Read Giving up tweeting for one week by Matt MaldreMatt Maldre (Spudart)
I’m thinking about giving up tweeting for one week, and instead write out all my thoughts and reactions on my blog. So far this year, I’ve been having a lot of fun blogging more. In the past decade when I have an idea, I would head to Twitter and blurt it out. Now, writing out …
It’s not a complete silo quit, but it’s a start. Matt’s got some great ideas here about why it’s important and useful to write on your own website. I do think there are some building blocks he could add to his site to improve on some of the downsides or replace bits he thinks he’s missing out on though.

Since he doesn’t support Webmentions yet, I’m manually syndicating my reply to his website in support of his efforts.

Read I ❤ Blogs And Maybe You Should Too. by Luis Gabriel Santiago AlvaradoLuis Gabriel Santiago Alvarado (gabz.me)
I have been reading ‘Blogs’ for as long as I have been “surfing” the web (it’s that a term I can still use?), even if at the time I wasn’t aware of what I was reading was a blog. To me was probably just another website. Then I started to get more serious about it and read more of some pe...
Read A return to blogs (finally? sort of?) by Joanne McNeil Joanne McNeil (Nieman Lab Predictions for Journalism 2020 )
One reason we might see a resurgence of blogs is the novelty. Tell someone you’re starting a new newsletter and they might complain about how many newsletters (or podcasts) they already subscribe to. But tell them you’re launching a blog and see how that goes: Huh. Really, a blog? In 2020? Wow.
I almost want to call her to task, but Joanne has got her own website that looks like it’s part of tilde.club including an under construction image at the bottom of the page! How cool is that?!

I do find myself wishing that she kept her own writing in a blog so I could subscribe to her longer form work there. She’s also got a fantastic sounding book on the history of the internet from the perspective of the user called Lurking that’s coming out in February!

Her piece doesn’t tacitly tie back to journalism as directly as many in this series generally do, but I feel like she’s suggesting that by getting back to the roots of the old (non-corporately owned and controlled) web, journalism has a better chance to recover.  Much like her, I also think there is a beginning of a blogging renaissance that is brewing on the interwebz. It’s quite interesting to see people noticing and writing about it in contexts like the Nieman Lab’s annual predictions.

I’m not sure that I agree with her assertions about context collapse. Some of the most sophisticated information consumers are aware of it, but I don’t think that Harry or Mary Beercan are aware of the general concept.

Highlights and Annotations

But tell them you’re launching a blog and see how that goes: Huh. Really, a blog? In 2020? Wow.

It’s been long enough now that people look back on blogging fondly, but the next generation of blogs will be shaped around the habits and conventions of today’s internet. Internet users are savvier about things like context collapse and control (or lack thereof) over who gets to view their shared content. Decentralization and privacy are other factors. At this moment, while so much communication takes place backstage, in group chats and on Slack, I’d expect new blogs to step in the same ambiguous territory as newsletters have — a venue for material where not everyone is looking, but privacy is neither airtight nor expected.

She doesn’t have the technical terminology many use, but she’s describing the IndieWeb community pretty well here.

Replied to Flow in WordPress for writers by Dave WinerDave Winer (Scripting News)
Flow is the writer's problem for blogging. I have been working on this since I started in 1994. I solved the problem for myself in 1997, and ever since I've been working on solving it for everyone else.
Dave has some solid points about the UI and process of writing here. Speed is key! WordPress is pretty deplorable in this way. Some of the more advanced user may simply write the word “new” in their browser and tab down once to the correct URL to begin creating. Others may have some browser bookmarklets set up to jump right to creation. Still, for the unwashed masses–and I include myself in this, things should be far easier and more direct. I’ve recently been experimenting with the Narwhal plugin that puts a writing interface right up top on my website (and only appears when I’m logged in) and provides a pretty solid experience the way Twitter, Facebook, and other social sites do.

I have played around with many of Dave’s tools over the years and appreciated his UI and particularly some of his outliner tools. Given that he’s built and tested some very strong tools and interfaces, I’d be really curious to see him implement a Micropub client back end on some of them so that they not only allow one to post to his sites, but so that one could use them to create, edit, and publish to almost any website out there. Some of his tools are already set up to post content to Twitter, why not set them up to post to WordPress and many others too?

Given that CMSs and static site services like WordPress, Drupal, Craft, WithKnown, Jekyll, Kirby, Hugo, and Blot all support Micropub either natively or with simple plugins, Dave could easily take his various publishing interfaces and make them broadly available to almost any website on the planet. How many times have I desperately wished I could use Radio3, Little Outliner, Little Card Editor, pngWriter and others to be able to post to other websites instead of just Twitter?!

He might even implement them as Micropub clients just so that he could use his own interfaces to publish directly to his WordPress sites instead of worrying about their interface. I suspect that in day or two’s worth of work he could not only have half a dozen or more micropub clients, but he might also figure out how to dovetail them all together to make something more interesting and useful than Gutenberg, which has taken hundreds of developers and a magnitude larger amount of time to create.

Perhaps some additional competition against Gutenberg would help speed WordPress (and everyone else for that matter) toward making a simpler and more direct publishing interface? Micropub seems like a designer’s dream for making better posting interfaces, especially since it’s got such broad endpoint support.

Read Hyperchatting by Jack BatyJack Baty (baty.blog)
People seem very focused on technological solutions to online communication (ActivityPub, Indieweb, this absurd BlueSky idea), but the hyperconversation approach is trying to prove that the problem is a human problem. If you read and listen to each other and try to respond thoughtfully and carefully - and try to
Read Instagram Bloggers Gives Her Followers An Incredible Reality Check (comedy.com)
Rather interestingly, Instagram Blogger Rianne Meijer indulged in a meaningful and unique project. She put together some photos of herself that looked like something out of Vogue, and then placed a more natural picture right next to it, giving viewers a whole different perspective.
While written for the clicks, this article has an important message about social media.
Replied to a tweet by Hungry Bread ElevatorHungry Bread Elevator (Twitter)
Some of the off-label uses of Hypothes.is have been enumerated lately, including some I’ve mentioned.

I’ve tinkered a bit with CROWDLAAERS, but it’s always seemed to me geared toward a very niche audience including teachers potentially using it for grading? Perhaps I’m missing some more of its flexibility? Remi Kalir might be able to help elucidate it or indicate if he’s noticed anyone using it for off-label usage.

I might see it being more useful if one could analyze site-wide annotations on a domain with a wild-card search of this sort: https://tomcritchlow.com/*.

I have to imagine that it would be cool to see all the annotations and conversations across something like the New York Times with a data visualization tool like this.

Jon Udell and gang are aware of Webmention, but haven’t pulled the trigger (yet) on making the decision to build them in. I’ve outlined some methods for making their platform a bit more IndieWeb friendly by adding markup and some additional HTML to allow people to force the system to be able to send webmentions. I do frequently use Jon’s facet tool to check highlighting and annotation activity on my website.

I have found Crowdlaaers useful several times in that I’m aware that some pages are annotated, but they’re either not public or are part of other groups for which I’m not a member. An example of this is this page on my website which has one annotation which I can’t see, but by using Crowdlaaers, I can. Another example is viewing annotations on sites that have subsequently blocked Hypothes.is like this example. Of course, sometimes you’ll do this and find odd bugs floating around in the system.

 

Liked a tweet by AmandaAmanda (Twitter)
What a fantastic vote of confidence! I’ll take it.
Replied to In the year of our blog 2019 by Clint LalondeClint Lalonde (EdTech Factotum)
Thought I would join in the year end fun with Tannis, Martin, Tony and others and put together a year end review kinda blog post. Funny. I’ve been blogging about edtech since 2007, and I don&…

Most of the convo, if any, seems to happen on the socials vs comments left on the blog these days.

The sad part of this is how painfully limiting the conversation can be on social with the character limitations and too many issues with branching conversations and following all the context.
–Annotated December 19, 2019 at 12:51PM

By the numbers

I’m curious what things would look like if you similarly did an analysis of Twitter, Facebook, etc.? Where are you putting more time? What’s giving you the most benefit? Where are you getting value and how are you giving it back?
–Annotated December 19, 2019 at 01:01PM

I still find blogging one of the most professionally satisfying things I do. It is a powerful thing to feel like you have a voice.

–Highlighted December 19, 2019 at 01:03PM

2020 will also bring a more concerted effort on my part to both amplify the women in my network who blog, and both comment and refer back to their blogs. To use what they write as a starting off point for my own posts more.

–Highlighted December 19, 2019 at 01:03PM

And I am planning on cutting back on my personal use of social media (easier said than done) and want to try to return to using my blog more than Twitter for sharing.

certainly a laudable goal!

It helped me a lot to simply delete most of the social media apps off of my phone. I scribbled a bit about the beginning of the process back in November and there’s a link there to a post by Ben doing the same thing on his own website.

More people are leaving social feeds for RSS feeds lately. I’ve recently started following Jeremy Felt who is taking this same sort of journey himself. See: https://jeremyfelt.com/tag/people-still-blog/

Kudos as well to making the jump here:

In part, it’s what prompted me to visit your site to write a comment. (Sorry for upping your cis-gendered white male count, but 2019 was a bad year, and hopefully we can all make 2020 better as you’ve indicated.)
–Annotated December 19, 2019 at 01:03PM

Read How to Add to Blogging Conversations by SerenaSerena (supine-owl.com)

Liked How to Add to Blogging Conversations... And Eliminate the Echo Chamber (ProBlogger)

Just going through my old bookmarks and found this article. Some interesting ideas to keep in mind. Although I wonder where this current post would sit in his 11 ideas? This post doesn’t add to the conversation, but it just introduces the conversation to a wider audience…

Replied to a post by SerenaSerena (supine-owl.com)
Does anybody else have this problem: I can’t decide on a domain name or constantly wanting to change my domain name…
For my primary domain I’m generally happy, though I do sometimes wish I was using a domain with my name in it. I do often have a problem of collecting other domain names and wanting to build quirky and interesting things on them. Some I’ve had for ages and just haven’t had the time to do the things I bought them for. I wonder if there’s a 12-step program for domain hoarders? 
Read Blogging Less in the 2020s by Kicks Condor (Kicks Condor)
How frequently should you post to keep pace with the next decade?

h0p3 (at philosopher.life) who I just like to converse with and keep up with throughout my week

I’m curious what modality you use to converse? Am I missing some fun bit of something about that wiki?
–annotated on December 10, 2019 at 01:52PM

I like the thrust of this piece a lot Kicks. It’s also somewhat related to a passing thought I had the other day which I need to do some more thinking/writing on soon: On the caustic focus on temporality in social media.

Replied to a tweet by Dr. Ryan StraightDr. Ryan Straight (Twitter)
What a great prompt! Here are a few interesting off-label use cases I’ve used, imagined, or seen in the wild:

Greg McVerry, Ian O’Byrne, and I have integrated Hypothes.is into our digital/online commonplace books in different ways. Greg’s are embedded at https://jgregorymcverry.com/annotations, Ian discusses his process on his site, while mine show up as annotation or highlight posts.

I’ve not published the full idea yet, but I’ve spent some time contemplating using Hypothes.is as a blogging platform/CMS. It might require a bit of flexibility, but it generally has reasonable support for:

  • Writing posts with a reasonably full-featured text editor and the ability to edit and delete posts later;
  • HTML and markdown support;
  • Public and private posting as well as sharing content with other private groups;
  • The ability to reply to other websites;
  • The ability for others to comment on your posts natively;
  • A robust tagging functionality;
  • The ability to socially bookmark web pages (blank page notes);
  • An RSS feed;
  • The ability to share posts to other social platforms including meta data for Twitter cards;
  • Naturally, it’s very easy to use for writing short notes, creating highlights and annotations, and keeping track of what you’ve read;
  • It has a pseudo-social media functionality in that your public posts appear on a global timeline where people can read and interact with them.
  • It’s also opensource, so you can self-host, modify it, or add new features.

I have been personally using Hypothes.is to follow the public feed, several tag feeds, and several friends’ specific feeds as a discovery tool for finding interesting content to read.

And a final off-label use case that could be compelling, but which could have some better UI and integration would be to use Hypothes.is as an embeddable commenting system for one’s own website. It has in-line commenting in much the same way that Medium does, but the entire thing could likely be embedded into a comment section under a traditional blog post and be used in much the same way people use Disqus on blogs. I’ll note that in practice, I find Hypothes.is far faster than Disqus ever was. I’ve yet to see anyone offloading the commenting functionality of their blog this way, but I’d be willing to bet dollars to donuts that someone could hack it together as a simple iframe or via the API pretty quickly and with solid results.

And naturally I’m missing many, potentially including some I’ve thought about before. Maybe worth checking the old Hypothes.is tag in my digital notebook?

If people have others, I’m enamored to hear them.

On the caustic focus on temporality in social media

In thinking about the temporality of social media, I’ve realize that sites like Twitter and Facebook focus incredibly hard on the here-and-now. At best you may get a few posts that go back a day or two when reading. I find it’s very rare that anyone is interacting with my tweets from 2010 or 2013, and typically when those are being liked, it’s by bots trying to give themselves a history.

We’re being trained to dip our toes into a rapidly flowing river and not focus on deeper ideas and thoughts or reflect on longer pieces further back in our history.

On the other hand, reading more and more from my variety of feed readers, I realize that on the broader web, I’m seeing people linking to and I’m also reading much older blog posts. In the last few days alone I’ve seen serious longform material from 2001, 2005, 2006, 2011, and 2018 just a few minutes ago.

The only time I see long tail content on Twitter is when someone has it pinned to the top of their page.

Taking this a level deeper, social is thereby forcing us to not only think shallowly, but to make our shared histories completely valueless. This is allowing some to cry fake news and rewrite history and make it easier for their proponents to consume it and believe it all. Who cares about the scandals and problems of yesterday when tomorrow will assuredly be better? And then we read the next Twitter-based treat and start the cycle all over again.