👓 Social.coop | Discours.es

Read Social.coop by Doug BelshawDoug Belshaw (discours.es)
I deleted my account on the Mastodon instance social.coop yesterday. I still don't fully understand what went down, but here's some details from [...]

Just goes to show you that a social media silo doesn’t need to be a big platform run by a corporation.

Reminds me of Kevin Marks’ tweet the other day:

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👓 Can We Ever Reset the Field? | Smokey Ardisson

Read Can We Ever Reset the Field? by Smokey ArdissonSmokey Ardisson (ardisson.org)
The rise of the massive corporate-run social networks—silos, where everything was stored inside and nothing left—changed distributed online social relationships. The silos replaced distributed with centralized; all of your social connections were now in one place, making it faster and “easier” to keep up with everyone. Easier in some ways, yes, but now everyone could see every aspect of you, even if you didn’t want them to. Worse, your constant software talk annoyed your bowling-league friends, and your one uncle could not stand the fact you supported the Democratic Party. All of that didn’t happen at once; it took time for these corporate social networks to consume all of your communities, to seize ownership of all of your connections and relationships, transforming something very human into mere pieces of computer data, eventually hollowing out your communities and your humanness in the process. But once it had happened, and once you realized those downsides (and others, such as abuse, Nazis, and anti-democratic propaganda), how could you escape? Was there even anywhere to escape to?

To a large extent, some of the questions and observations in this article are the things that drive me to have my own domain and have my own website. I and many others in the IndieWeb are still working on the infrastructure to support the web we’d like to have instead of the web we’re given. We’re still not there yet, and it may never be the utopia we’re hoping for, but we’ll never get there if we don’t try.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

Just like in real life, where your bar trivia team doesn’t really overlap with your work softball team or your church bowling league, all of your online communities gathered in their own places, ones best suited to them, and you didn’t have to act as all facets of yourself simultaneously when trying to only interact with one.  

August 21, 2018 at 01:19PM

our brains have been trained to believe that we want, that we need, a single place where all of “our people” can gather, where it is “easy” to keep up with all of them: a massive network service, just without all the “bad stuff” of the existing ones.  

August 21, 2018 at 01:21PM

You find them in a place that you curate yourself, not one “curated” for you by a massive corporate social network intent on forcing you to be every part of yourself to everyone, all at once. You should control how, when, and where to interact with your people.  

August 21, 2018 at 01:23PM

web we lost  

https://indieweb.org/lost_infrastructure
August 21, 2018 at 01:24PM

we can’t just recreate the same thing we’re trying to escape, and we can’t expect the solution to be precisely as easy on us as the problem was.  

August 21, 2018 at 01:25PM

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👓 Strategy and Solidarity | Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Read Strategy and Solidarity by Kathleen FitzpatrickKathleen Fitzpatrick (Kathleen Fitzpatrick)
As I noted in my last post, I recently read Miranda Joseph’s Against the Romance of Community as a means of thinking a bit more deeply about the ways that Generous Thinking deploys the notion of community.

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

Calls to work on behalf of the community or to the community’s values wind up not only, as I noted in my last post, ignoring community’s supplementary role with respect to capital but also essentializing a highly complex and intersectional set of social relations.  

This reminds me of some studies in psychology about why people vote and for whom they vote. It’s not always who they would vote for individually, but who would a group of people like them vote? This makes the “community” portion far more complex than it would appear.

I should track down the original references, but I think I remember reading about them via either George Lakoff or possibly Malcolm Gladwell.

Under late capital, the non-profit has been asked to take over the space of providing for community needs or supporting community interests that had formerly been occupied by the state as the entity responsible for the public welfare.  

I know the book American Amnesia talks about the value built up by a strong government working in conjunction with a capitalist machine over the past century or so. I wonder if the later half of the book gets into how to shift things back in this manner?

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👓 Community, Privatization, Efficiency | Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Read Community, Privatization, Efficiency by Kathleen FitzpatrickKathleen Fitzpatrick (Kathleen Fitzpatrick)
Thanks to a recommendation from Danica Savonick, I’ve been reading Miranda Joseph’s Against the Romance of Community. Danica pointed me toward it as a corrective for some of the ways my gestures toward community flirted with the romanticized notions Joseph seeks to question, and hard as it is for me (an optimist, for better or for worse) to open some of the ideals I hold to harder questioning, that questioning is proving fruitful.
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👓 How Online Hobbyists Can Reaffirm Your Faith in the Internet | New York Times

Read How Online Hobbyists Can Reaffirm Your Faith in the Internet by Farhad Manjoo (nytimes.com)
Much of the internet feels terrible. But using the web to learn an offline hobby can give you a glimpse of a healthier relationship with your digital devices.

I see a lot of what I love about the IndieWeb community being discussed tangentially in this article. Interestingly, with respect to this article’s headline there’s a double-entendre with regard to who they are and what they actually happen to be doing as an online community.

#IndieWeb #FTW

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👓 Hello Goodbye | Casting Out Nines | The Chronicle of Higher Education

Read Hello Goodbye by Robert Talbert (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
Today I want to officially announce the end of one era at this blog and the beginning of a new one. Beginning Fall 2015 (I don’t know the exact date), the Chronicle of Higher Education will no longer be hosting Casting Out Nines. The article you are reading now is the last one I will be posting at...

Ran across this as I was updating my following list. I suspect after having done this for several years he wishes he had maintained his own blog and syndicated out to the Chronicle. He’s also got some interesting thoughts on the community he encountered in this new space that he didn’t/couldn’t control himself.

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Defining the IndieWeb

The concept of IndieWeb is something slightly different to many people and it’s ever evolving and changing, just like the internet itself.

Trying to define it is somewhat akin to trying to define America: while it has a relatively well-defined geographic border and place in time, its people, laws, philosophies, and principles, while typically very similar, can vary and change over time. What it is can be different for everyone both within it as well as outside of it. It can be different things to different people based on their place, time, and even mood. In the end maybe it’s just an idea.

A basic definition of IndieWeb

In broadest terms I would define being part of the IndieWeb as owning your own domain name and hosting some sort of website as a means of identifying yourself and attempting to communicate with others on the internet.

At its simplest, one could say they have an IndieWeb site by buying their own domain name (in my case: boffosocko.com) and connecting it to a free and flexible service like Tumblr.com or WordPress.com. Because you’ve got the ability to export your data from these services and move it to a new host or new content management system, you have a lot more freedom of choice and flexibility in what you’re doing with your content and identity and how you can interact online. By owning your domain and the ability to map your URLs, when you move, you can see and feel the benefits for yourself, but your content can still be found at the same web addresses you’ve set up instead of disappearing from the web.

If you wished, you could even purchase a new domain name and very inexpensively keep the old domain name and have it automatically forward people from your old links to all the appropriate links on your new one.

By comparison, owning your own domain name and redirecting it to your Facebook page doesn’t quite make you IndieWeb because if you moved to a different service your content might be able to go with you by export, but all of the URLs that used to point to it are now all dead and broken because they were under the control of another company that is trying to lock you into their service.

Some more nuanced definition

Going back to the analogy of America, the proverbial constitution for the IndieWeb is generally laid out on its principles page. If you like, the pre-amble to this “constitution” is declared on the IndieWeb wiki’s front page and on its why page.

Some people may choose to host the business card equivalent of a website with simply their name and contact information. Others may choose to use it as the central hub of their entire online presence and identity. In the end, what you do with your website and how you choose to use it should be up to you. What if you wanted to use your website like Twitter for short status updates or sharing links? What if you wanted to use it like Facebook to share content and photos with your friends and family? What if you want to host audio or video like Soundcloud, YouTube, or Vimeo allow?

The corporate social media revolution was a lovely and useful evolution of what the blogosphere was already doing. Thousands of companies made it incredibly easy for billions of people to be on the internet and interact with each other. But why let a corporation own and monetize your data and your ability to interact with others? More importantly, why allow them to limit what you can do? Maybe I want to post status updates of more than 280 characters? Maybe I want the ability to edit or update a post? Maybe I want more privacy? Maybe I don’t want advertising? Why should I be stuck with only the functionality that Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn and thousands of others allow me to have? Why should I be limited in communicating with people who are stuck on a particular service? (Would you use your phone to only call friends who use AT&T?) Why should I have hundreds of social accounts and an online identity shattered like just so many horcruxes when I could have one that I can fully control?

By decentralizing things to the level of owning a domain and having a simple website with control of my URLs, I can move to cheaper or more innovative web hosts or service providers. I can move to more innovative content manage systems that allow me to do more and communicate better or more broadly with others online. As a side effect of empowering myself, I can help create more competition and innovation in the space to do things I might not otherwise be capable of doing solely by myself.

Web standards

Almost all of the people behind the IndieWeb movement believe in using some basic web standards as a central building block. Standards help provide some sort of guidance to allow sites to be easier to build and provide a simpler way for them to communicate and interact with each other.

Of course, because you have control of your own site, you can do anything you wish with it. (In our America analogy we could consider standards to be like speech. Then how might we define free speech in the IndieWeb?) Perhaps a group of people who want some sort of new functionality will agree on a limited set of new standards or protocols? They can build and iterate and gradually create new standards that others can follow so that the infrastructure advances and new capabilities emerge. Generally the simpler and easier these standards are to implement, the more adoption they will typically garner. Often simple standards are easier to innovate on and allow people to come up with new ways of using them that weren’t originally intended.

This type of growth can be seen in the relatively new W3C recommendation for the Webmention specification which grew out of the IndieWeb movement. Services like Facebook and Twitter have a functionality called @mentions, but they only work within their own walled gardens; they definitely don’t interoperate–you can’t @mention someone on Facebook with your Twitter account. Why not?! Why not have a simple standard that will allow one website to @mention another–not only across domain names but across multiple web servers and even content management systems? This is precisely what the Webmention standard allows. I can @mention you from my domain running WordPress and you can still receive it using your own domain running Drupal (or whatever software you choose). People within the IndieWeb community realized there was a need for such functionality, and so, over the span of several years, they slowly evolved it and turned it into a web standard that anyone (including Facebook and Twitter) could use. While it may have been initially meant as a simple notifications protocol, people have combined it with another set of web standards known as Microformats to enable cross-site conversations and a variety of other wonderous functionalities.

Some people in the IndieWeb might define it as all of the previous ideas we’ve discussed as well as the ability to support conversations via Webmentions. Some might also define an IndieWeb site as one that has the ability to support Micropub, which is a standard that allows websites to be able to accept data from a growing variety of applications that will allow you to more easily post different types of content to your site from articles and photos to what you’re drinking or reading.

Still others might want their own definition of IndieWeb to support the functionality of WebSub, MicroSub, IndieAuth, or even all of the above. Each small, free-standing piece expands the capabilities of what your personal website can do and how you can interact online. But since it’s your website and under your control, you have the power to pick and choose what and how you would like it to be able to do.

So what is the IndieWeb really?

Perhaps after exploring the concept a bit, most may not necessarily be able to define it concretely. Instead they might say–to quote United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart“But I know it when I see it […]”.

The IndieWeb can be many different things. It is:

  • a website;
  • an independent network of websites;
  • an idea;
  • a concept;
  • a set of broad-based web standards;
  • a set of principles;
  • a philosophy;
  • a group of people;
  • a support network;
  • an organization;
  • an inclusive community;
  • a movement;
  • a Utopian dream of what the decentralized, open Internet could be.

In some sense it is all of these things and many more.

In the end though, the real question is:

What do you want the IndieWeb to be?

Come help us all define it.

IndieWeb.org

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👓 New Communities Can Be Overwhelming | David Wolfpaw

Replied to New Communities Can Be Overwhelming by David WolfpawDavid Wolfpaw (davidwolfpaw.com)
I’ve been paying a lot more attention to the IndieWeb space this year, with the intention of revamping my lifelogging site to both include more services that I still use (and remove the fitness tracking that I decided to stop), as well as become a repository for webmentions.

David, Welcome! Come on in, the water’s fine…

I remember lurking for over a year and a half before dipping a toe in for the first time myself. Everyone I’ve met has been so kind, thoughtful, supportive, and helpful that I now regret having let so much time pass before jumping in with both feet.

Since it looks like you’re playing in the WordPress world, feel free to drop into the #WordPress channel (or any of the others for that matter) anytime to ask questions, help others solve problems (we can always use help with UX/UI, and themes especially), talk about what itches you’re working on, or even just to say “hi”. If you haven’t yet, I’m sure you’ll enjoy meeting some of the WP regulars including pfefferle (Germany), GWG (New York), miklb (Florida), snarfed (San Francisco), jgmac1106 (Connecticut), jeremycherfas (Rome), and me: chrisaldrich (Los Angeles).

I hope that the most overwhelming part isn’t getting to know the community, but the sheer number of things that are becoming possible to do with one’s website that weren’t as easily possible just a few years ago. My biggest problem reading the chat logs usually comes in the form of saying, “That sounds/looks cool, I want that too!” about 8 times a day. My best advice for “eating the whole whale” is to do it one bite at a time.

I’ll also personally extend an invitation to the upcoming IndieWeb Summit in Portland at the end of the month. If you can’t make it in person, there should be enough support to allow a lot of direct participation via chat and live streaming video–it’s not quite as much fun as attending in person, but you can participate to a level higher than most conferences typically allow.

Welcome again!

 

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An IndieWeb Podcast: Episode 5 “Indieweb Summit and More”

Episode 5: IndieWeb Summit and More
https://david.shanske.com/2018/05/13/an-indieweb-podcast-episode-5-indieweb-summit-and-more/


Running time: 1 h 18m 25s | Download (24.4 MB) | Subscribe by RSS

Summary: With the IndieWeb Summit coming up at the end of June in Portland, David Shanske and I discuss it, participation, and other parts of the IndieWeb community.

 

Huffduff this Episode


Show Notes

Related Articles and Posts

Related IndieWeb wiki pages

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Reply to chenoehart’s tweet about community

Replied to a tweet by Chenoe HartChenoe Hart (Twitter)
Whenever I find myself actively seeking something to RT it always feels like there’s nothing but noise. Seem to find the most interesting things to share after I’ve already found too many things to RT at once.

Sometimes I find myself wanting to tweet just in general, and wish there was an easy way to just have casual conversations on here, tweet about the weather or something. It’s often really just a proxy for trying to meet people anyway.

I’ve had this feeling before and often long for the earlier days of Twitter when it functioned more like this. The popularization of Twitter in 2009 and the subsequent iteration on the platform and its community killed all the original spirit. It also reminds me of a piece I’d read recently by John Naughton1 about how toxic the retweet functionality (and other gamification like likes/favorites) can be.

I’ve seen the type of interaction you’re describing in smaller pockets of the internet on services like App.net (aka ADN, now defunct), pnut, and 10centuries, and a few corners of the Mastodon sphere.

The place I’ve seen it done well most recently is on Manton Reece‘s awesome micro.blog service, which I think has some strong community spirit and a greater chance of longevity. They’ve specifically left off “features” like follower counts, number of likes, and made conversation front and center. As a result it is a much more solid and welcoming community. I’m curious, as always, if they can maintain it as they scale, but the fact that they encourage people to have their own website and own their own data mean that you can take it all with you somewhere else if they ever cease meeting your needs in the future–something that certainly can’t be easily done on Twitter.

I hope you find the connections with the types of people you’d like to meet.

Originally bookmarked on April 01, 2018 at 09:22PM

References

1.
Naughton J. How to stay sane on Twitter: ignore retweets. Memex 1.1: John Naughton’s online diary. http://memex.naughtons.org/archives/2018/03/11/25409. Published March 11, 2018. Accessed April 12, 2018.
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Reply to ravisagar on Twitter

Replied to ravisagar on Twitter (Twitter)
@ChrisAldrich Just found your blog after searching more about implementing #POSSE and #Webmention Great content. Thanks for sharing.

If you’re building in Drupal, I’m sure you’ll also find some valuable help from @hongpong, @mlncn@dries, and @swentel.

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IndieWeb: The Book

For a quite a while I’ve been thinking about writing a book about the IndieWeb to provide a broader overview of what it is philosophically, how it works, how its community functions, and most specifically how the average person can more easily become a part of it.

Back in January Timo Reitnauer wrote Let’s Make 2017 The Year of the Indie WebI agree wholehearted with the sentiment of his title and have been personally wanting to do something specific to make it a reality. With the changes I’ve seen in the internet over the past 22 years, and changes specifically in the last year, we certainly need it now more than ever.

In large part, I’ve been inspired by the huge number of diverse and big-hearted developers who are an active part of the growing community, but specifically today I came across a note by Doc Searls, an email about the upcoming NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and then a reminder about the 100 Days of IndieWeb project. This confluence of events is clearly my tipping point.

As a result, I’m making my 2018 IndieWeb resolution early. For the month of November, as part of NaNoWriMo, I’m going to endeavor to lovingly craft together a string of about 2,000 words a day on the topic of the IndieWeb to create a book geared toward helping non-developers (ie. Generation 2 and Generation 3 people) more easily own their online identities and content.

IndieWeb Generations Diagram by Amber Case (Caseorganic.com) as depicted on the IndieWeb Wiki

Over the past year, surely I’ve read, written about, or interacted with the IndieWeb community concretely in one way or another on at least 70 days. This sprint of 30 days should round out a 100 days project. To be honest, I haven’t necessarily posted about each of these interactions on my own site nor are they necessarily visible changes to my site, so it may not follow the exact requirements of the 100 Days of IndieWeb, but it follows the spirit of the creator idea with the hopes that the publicly visible result is ever more people adopting the principles of the movement for themselves.

I’ll focus the book primarily on how the average person can utilize the wealth of off-the-shelf tools of the WordPress content management system and its community–naturally with mentions of other easy-to-use platforms like Known and Micro.blog sprinkled throughout–to own their own domain, own their content, and better and more freely communicate with others online.

If you haven’t heard about the movement before, I’ll direct you to my article An Introduction to the IndieWeb, portions of which will surely inform the introduction of the book.

If you’ve recently joined the IndieWeb, I’d certainly love to hear your thoughts and stories about how you came to it, why you joined, and what the most troublesome parts have been so I can help direct people through them more easily–at least until there are a plurality of one-click solutions to let everyone IndieWeb-ify themselves online.

As a publisher who realizes the value of starting a PR campaign to support the resultant book, I’m also curious to hear thoughts about potentially launching a crowdfunding campaign to support the modest costs of the book, with profits (if any) going toward supporting the IndieWeb community.

I’m happy to entertain any other thoughts or considerations people have, so feel free to reply in the comments below, or better yet, reply on your own site and send me a webmention.

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👓 Two alternatives to #WomenBoycottTwitter that don’t rely on women’s silencing | Another Angry Woman

Read Two alternatives to #WomenBoycottTwitter that don’t rely on women’s silencing by Zoe Stavri (Another Angry Woman)
After Twitter extending their risible “abuse” policy to a suspension of a celebrity white woman speaking out against sexual violence, the problems in their model have been laid bare, and to my pleasant surprise, people are talking about taking action (I’d been pessimistic about this). Unfortunately, it’s entirely the wrong kind of action: a women’s boycott. This is a problem, because once again, it forces us to do the heavy lifting. And once again, it forces us to silence ourselves: the very opposite of what we should be doing. So, here’s two things that can be done. One is an activity for men who consider themselves allies. The other is for all of us. Especially women.

I took part in #WomenBoycottTwitter today and it honestly wasn’t too difficult, though I did miss out on some of the scientific chatter that crosses my desk during the day. Since I post mostly to my own website more often and syndicate to Twitter only occasionally, the change didn’t feel too drastic to me, though there were one or two times I almost accidentally opened Twitter to track down people’s sites. Fortunately I’ve taken control of more of my online experience back for myself using IndieWeb principles.

This particular post has some seemingly interesting methods for fighting against the status quo on Twitter for those who are entrenched though. The first #AmplifyWomen sounds a lot like the great advice I heard from Valerie Alexander a few months ago at an Innovate Pasadena event.

Some of the others almost seek to reverse-gamify Twitter’s business model. People often complain about silos and how they work, but few ever seek to actively subvert or do this type of reverse-gamification of those models. This is an interesting concept though to be as useful tools as they might be, it may be somewhat difficult to accomplish in some cases and may hamper one’s experience on such platforms.  This being said, having ultimate control over your domain, data, and interactions is still a far preferable model.

And while we’re thinking about amplifying women, do take a look at some of Zoe’s other content, she’s got a wealth of good writing. I’ll be adding her to my follow list/reader.

h/t Richard Eriksson

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