👓 Open Invitation for Domain Camp 2019 | Domains of Our Own

Read Open Invitation for Domain Camp 2019 (Domains of Our Own)

It takes a bit more work to learn all of the tools and what is available when you can install many kinds of web sites and web-based apps and manage access to them. But as owner of your own domain, you get to fully control your footprint on the web.

If this has a ring of interest to you, this summer we revive last year’s summer Domain Camp, a set of activities and support areas to help you learn what you can do inside the big cpanel of possibilities (that’s your domain dashboard).

Each week we will include an intro video, a set of activities to do inside your domain, open office hours, and community spaces to ask and answer questions.

We are setting up camp again to start the week of June 11, 2019. Are you interested? If so, please sign up and let us know (or see form at bottom).

Sick and tired of corporate social media silos owning your online identity and content? Domain Camp is back again this year to help people learn in small, easy chunks how to take back their online lives. There’s lots of online help and interaction to get you on your way.

If participants would like to use it, I’d welcome them to the wealth of additional resources on the IndieWeb wiki as well as an open and friendly online chat where one can find lots of help and advice as you work to make your domain your own.

👓 Back from the dead | bastianallgeier.com

Read Back from the dead (bastianallgeier.com)
I killed my personal site in May 2018. It was the GDPR month of horror. Dozens of old clients approached me to help them get their privacy policies online. I was knee-deep into getting our own privacy policy for Kirby ready with our lawyer and everything just felt like shit. Instead of caring for my...

Hooray for resurrecting your blogs!

Lets Fix This

Jeffrey Zeldman does an excellent job of indicating why and what is wrong with the internet and social media and points to IndieWeb.org as a way forward.

If you’re personally using WordPress as a possible solution to those problems, I’m happy to help point to some quicker ways for people to rapidly implement them without struggling as much as many others have along the way.

(If WordPress isn’t your thing, the wiki has a plethora of other pathways depending on your CMS or programming language of choice–just search. It is abundantly clear that no single CMS is going to dig us out of the hole.)

I’ve written about and documented how I’ve gotten a lot of IndieWeb related technologies running on my own website. In many cases, these solutions are simple plugin downloads and activations, though it helps to have an idea of what they all do and how they may help.

I was particularly impressed with Brent Simmons’ post yesterday explaining how he was using his particular talents to further the cause. Though some may feel overwhelmed at the apparent size and scope of the problem, many diverse hands chipping away at small pieces can help to make a major dent in the problem.

Jen Simmons has indicated a useful paradigm structured around making resolutions with simple concrete steps and deadlines.

I have no doubt that even if you’re not a developer or programmer that you can help. If you’re not sure, ask me or others how.

I hope you’ll join us. Let’s roll up our sleeves and #​LetsFixThis.

👓 Move over, Facebook and Twitter: it's time to bring back the blog | CBC Radio

Read Move over, Facebook and Twitter: it's time to bring back the blog (CBC Radio)
The return of Web 1.0

👓 How to Fix Social Media by Injecting A Chunk of the Blogosphere | Kottke

Read How to Fix Social Media by Injecting A Chunk of the Blogosphere (kottke.org)
Not all hour-long podcasts are worthwhile, but I found this one by The Atlantic’s Matt Thompson and Alexis Madrigal to be pretty compelling. The subject: how to fix social media, or rather, how to create a variation on social media that allows you to properly pose the question as to whether or not it can be fixed. For both Matt and Alexis, social media (and in particular, Twitter) is not especially usable or desirable in the form in which it presents itself. Both Matt and Alexis have shaped and truncated their Twitter experience. In Alexis’s case, this means going read-only, not posting tweets any more, and just using Twitter as an algorithmic feed reader by way of Nuzzel, catching the links his friends are discussing, and in some cases, the tweets they’re posting about those links. Matt is doing something slightly different: calling on his friends not to like to retweet his ordinary Twitter posts, but to reply to his tweets in an attempt to start a conversation.

🎧 Radio Atlantic: How to Fix Social Media | The Atlantic

Listened to Radio Atlantic: How to Fix Social Media by Matt Thompson, Alexis Madrigal from The Atlantic

Social-media platforms once promised to connect the world. Today’s digital communities, though, often feel like forces for disunity. Anger and discord in 2018 seemed only amplified by the social-media institutions that now dictate our conversations. Executive Editor Matt Thompson sits down with the staff writer Alexis Madrigal to find out how we got to this state, and whether we can do anything to change it.

Discussion topics include: why our online problems are really offline ones, what these platforms have lost in pursuit of scale, and how Matt’s and Alexis’s experiments with solutions have fared.

Last year, Alexis removed retweets from his Twitter account (and was pessimistic about new changes bringing back the old Twitter). Matt just began an experiment turning his Twitter account into a place for conversation rather than performance by reclaiming “the ratio.” The effort reminds Alexis of another noble attempt at making your own rules online. Has it Made the Internet Great Again? Listen to find out.

Voices

Definitely a fascinating episode; potentially worth a second listen.

Of primary interest here, Matt Thompson discusses his concept of “Breaking the Ratio” (🎧 00:23:16-00:27:28a take on the idea of being ratioed on Twitter.

His concept immediately brings to mind a few broad ideas:

Micro.blog is, to some extent, a Twitter clone–loathe as I am to use the phrase as it is so much more than that–which acts in almost exactly the way that Matt and likely Alexis wish Twitter would. Manton Reece specifically designed Micro.blog to not have the idea of retweets or likes, which forces people to have more direct conversations and discussions. Instead of liking or retweeting a post, one must reply directly. Even if one just sends a heart or thumbs up emoji, it has to be an explicit reply. Generally replies are not so sparse however, and the interactions are much more like Matt describes in his personal community.

(I’ll be clear that micro.blog does have a “favorite” functionality, but it is private to the user and doesn’t send any notifications to the post on which it is given. As a result, the favorite functionality on micro.blog is really more semantically akin to a private bookmark, it just has a different name.)

The second thing, albeit tangential to the idea of breaking the ratio, is Ben Werdmüller‘s idea of people taking back agency and using their own voices to communicate.

While the retweet is a quick and useful shorthand, it decimates the personal voices and agency of the people who use it. He’s suggested that they might be better off restating the retweet in their own voice before sending it on, if they’re going to pass the information along. I wonder if he’s ultimately ended up somewhere interesting with his original thesis and research I know he has been doing.[1][2]

If one thinks about it for a moment the old blogosphere was completely about breaking the ratio as most writers wanted to communicate back and forth with others in a more direct and real manner. The fact that the blogosphere didn’t have likes, favorites, or retweets was a feature not an issue. The closest one usually got to a retweet was a blockquote of text which was usually highlighted, featured, and then either argued with or expounded upon.

I’ll note that I most typically use Twitter in a read-only mode almost exactly like Alexis indicates (🎧 00:29:56) that he uses it: plugged into Nuzzel to surface some of the best articles and ideas along with the ability to see the public commentary from the Tweets of the people I’m following and care about. To me this method filters out a lot of the crap and noise and tends to surface a lot more interesting content for me. I’ve created several dozen Twitter lists of various people and plugged them into Nuzzel, so invariably almost everything I come across while using it is useful and interesting to me.

Finally, I’d invite both Matt and Alexis, as fans of the old-school blogosphere, to take a look at what is happening within the IndieWeb community and the newer functionalities that have been built into it to extend what the old blogosphere is now capable of doing. My experience in having gone into it “whole hog” over the past several years has given me a lot of the experiences that Matt describes and which Alexis wishes he had (without all the additional work). I’m happy to chat with either of them or others who are looking for alternate solutions for community and conversation without a lot of the problems that come along as part and parcel with social media services.

👓 Why You Should Start A Blog In 2019 | Tedium

Read Why You Should Start A Blog In 2019 by Ernie SmithErnie Smith (Tedium)
The independent blog has been in decline for years. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s why you should start a blog in 2019—and host it yourself.

A great argument here for the IndieWeb, and his second in probably as many weeks. Even better, it sounds like he doesn’t yet know some of the cool new things that blogs are capable of doing now that they couldn’t do in 2006.

Reply to Bill Ferriter on Something Weird is Happening on Twitter Right Now.

Replied to Something Weird is Happening on Twitter Right Now. by Bill FerriterBill Ferriter (THE TEMPERED RADICAL)

Check it out in the stream of comments that follow this Dean Shareski tweet:

Do you see what it is?

A REAL CONVERSATION!  With some intellectual give and take.  With people expanding on one another’s thoughts.  With people offering differing viewpoints.  With a few lighthearted jokes added to the mix to make everyone smile while wrestling with an important idea.

I definitely can get behind the idea of throwing fewer “edufuzzies”, because while they’re cute, entertaining, and can lighten the mood, it’s the conversation that matters more. The tougher part is that attempting to have a substantive conversation on Twitter can be difficult because of the character limitations as well as the painful UI involved of properly threading a conversation. I also suspect that taking the conversation somewhere other than Twitter will up the level of the conversation by an order of magnitude.

I far prefer Aaron’s idea of using our own websites to communicate back and forth:

Even better Bill is if we had such conversations from the comfort of our own backyard using bridgy and webmenbtions, rather than someone else’s playground?

So I’ll post my reply to you on my own website and manually copy it across to yours and (begrudgingly) syndicate a copy into Twitter, so everyone can play along. I’m hoping that the ability to automate these sorts of conversations from site to site will improve them all around in the coming year.

Quoted a tweet by Meg on TwitterMeg on Twitter (Twitter)

Seems like every time I turn around more and more people are going back to old school methods.
#IndieWeb #netpositiveblog Happy #newwwyear

👓 We Should Replace Facebook With Personal Websites | Motherboard

Read We Should Replace Facebook With Personal Websites (Motherboard)
Personal websites and email can replace most of what people like about Facebook—namely the urge to post about their lives online.

There’s a lot of talk about leaving Facebook again in the last day or two, but very little on where to go other than a few people talking about Twitter or other toxic social media that will just end up starting the same cycle of pain and frustration again. This is at least a start, but it could lean more towards a full IndieWeb approach.

👓 The web finally feels new again. | i.webthings

Read The web finally feels new again. by Joe Jenett (i.webthings)
The web was amazing before Web 2.0 and the advent of so-called social networks. Many people had their own sites and blogs from which they shared ideas and interacted with others in the community at large. It seemed to me like meeting others in their own homes back then and there was a widespread enthusiasm for blogging and personal expression. Then came the big social networks. With time, many personal sites and blogs disappeared from the web as people flocked to the big silos where their content became a heavily monitized commodity. To me, the web had lost much of its soul as people gathered in just a few, huge noise chambers.

👓 The Web Finally Feels New Again | KicksCondor

Read The Web Finally Feels New Again by Kicks Condor (kickscondor.com)
(Joe’s full article is here.)
Yes, here we are again—I think what you’re saying is that even a single-line annotation of a link, even just a few words of human curation do wonders when you’re out discovering the world. (Perhaps even more than book recommendations—where we know that at leas...

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

it made me feel like we were trying to send some kind of concentrated transmission to the author—linking as a greeting, links as an invitation.  

I love the idea of this.

December 19, 2018 at 04:14PM

I do find that Webmentions are really enhancing linking—by offering a type of bidirectional hyperlink. I think if they could see widespread use, we’d see a Renaissance of blogging on the Web.  

December 19, 2018 at 04:17PM

I’m really not sure if linking, in general, has changed over the years. I’ve been doing it the same since day one. But that’s just me.  

Only in the last hour I’ve had a thought about a subtle change to one of the ways I link. It’s not a drastic thing, but it is a subtle change to common practices. Also as I think about it, it removes some of the obviousness of links on social platforms like Twitter that add the ugly @ to a username in addition to other visual changes when one mentions someone else.

December 19, 2018 at 04:22PM

👓 Is there a RSS revival going on? | Andy Sylvester

Read Is there a RSS revival going on? by Andy Sylvester (andysylvester.com)
Earlier this week, Taylor Lorenz, staff writer for The Atlantic on Internet culture, posted this on Twitter: Is there any good way to follow writers on a bunch of diff websites, so anytime they post a story I see a link or something in a single feed? This resulted in a series of over 40 replies with...

Interesting that it looks like she subsequently deleted the original post….

👓 On Blogs in the Social Media Age | Cal Newport

Read On Blogs in the Social Media Age by Cal Newport (Study Hacks)

Earlier this week, Glenn Reynolds, known online as Instapundit, published an op-ed inUSA Today about why he recently quit Twitter. He didn’t hold back, writing:

“[I]f you set out to design a platform that would poison America’s discourse and its politics, you’d be hard pressed to come up with something more destructive than Twitter.”

What really caught my attention, however, is when Reynolds begins discussing the advantages of the blogosphere as compared to walled garden social media platforms.

He notes that blogs represent a loosely coupled system, where the friction of posting and linking slows down the discourse enough to preserve context and prevent the runaway reactions that are possible in tightly coupled systems like Twitter, where a tweet can be retweeted, then retweeted again and again, forming an exponential explosion of pure reactive id.

As a longtime blogger myself, Reynolds’s op-ed got me thinking about other differences between social media and the blogosphere…

Cal has some interesting thoughts on blogging versus social media which I’ve been seeing more and more about in the past several months. In addition to the major efforts by the people taking up the IndieWeb philosophies (of which I recognize several people in the comments section on the post, though they all appear as pingbacks because Cal apparently doesn’t yet support the prettier webmention specification), I’ve been seeing more people I don’t know directly talking about these ideas in the wild. I’ve only recently begun to tag some of these occurrences on my site with the tags slow social and blogosphere revival though many other examples are assuredly hiding untagged this year and last.

He almost lays out an interesting thesis for the idea of “slow social” which is roughly something I’ve been practicing for nearly 4+ years. While I maintain my personal website mostly for my own benefit as an online commonplace book, I also use it as a place to post first everything I write on the web and only then syndicate it to social media sites. The little extra bit of friction keeps my reposts, likes, and other related micro-posts (or is it micro-aggressions?) to a relative minimum compared to the past.

I’ve also noticed a lot more intentionality and value coming out of people who are writing their own posts and replies on their personal websites first. Because it appears on a site they own and which is part of their online identity, they’re far more careful about what and how they write. Their words are no longer throw-away commentary for the benefit of a relatively unseen audience that comes and goes in a rushing stream of content on someone else’s social site.

I hope this blogging renaissance continues apace. It also doesn’t escape my notice that I’m serendipitously reading this article right after having seen New Clues by David Weinberger and Doc Searls

👓 New Clues by David Weinberger and Doc Searls

Read New Clues by David Weinberger and Doc Searls (newclues.cluetrain.com)

Hear, O Internet.

It has been sixteen years since our previous communication.

In that time the People of the Internet — you and me and all our friends of friends of friends, unto the last Kevin Bacon — have made the Internet an awesome place, filled with wonders and portents.

From the serious to the lolworthy to the wtf, we have up-ended titans, created heroes,  and changed the most basic assumptions about
How Things Work and Who We Are.

But now all the good work we’ve done together faces mortal dangers.

When we first came before you, it was to warn of the threat posed by those who did not understand that they did not understand the Internet.

These are The Fools, the businesses that have merely adopted the trappings of the Internet.

Now two more hordes threaten all that we have built for one another.

The Marauders understand the Internet all too well. They view it as theirs to plunder, extracting our data and money from it, thinking that we are the fools.

But most dangerous of all is the third horde: Us.

A horde is an undifferentiated mass of people. But the glory of the Internet is that it lets us connect as diverse and distinct individuals.

We all like mass entertainment. Heck, TV’s gotten pretty great these days, and the Net lets us watch it when we want. Terrific.

But we need to remember that delivering mass media is the least of the Net’s powers.

The Net’s super-power is connection without permission. Its almighty power is that we can make of it whatever we want.

It is therefore not time to lean back and consume the oh-so-tasty junk food created by Fools and Marauders as if our work were done. It is time to breathe in the fire of the Net and transform every institution that would play us for a patsy.

An organ-by-organ body snatch of the Internet is already well underway. Make no mistake: with a stroke of a pen, a covert handshake, or by allowing memes to drown out the cries of the afflicted we can lose the Internet we love.

We come to you from the years of the Web’s beginning. We have grown old together on the Internet. Time is short.

We, the People of the Internet, need to remember the glory of its revelation so that we reclaim it now in the name of what it truly is.