Listened to Episode 10: FOSDEM, CopyleftConf and Spritely by Chris Webber and Serge Wroclawski from Libre Lounge

Chris and Serge are back from FOSDEM and CopyleftConf. Chris has a grant to work on an exciting new ActivityPub application and the dynamic duo talk about recursive compilation and Lisp without parentheis.

Links:

Replied to Our Social Media is Broken. Is Decentralization the Fix? by Wendy Hanamura (Internet Archive Blogs)
We agree. Much work has been done and some of the fundamentals are in place. So on January 21, 2020 the Internet Archive hosted “Exploring Decentralized Social Media,” a DWeb SF Meetup that attracted 120+ decentralized tech builders, founders, and those who just wanted to learn more. Decentralized social media app builders from London, Portland and San Francisco took us on a tour of where their projects are today.
Something important to notice about this article. Not a single person here is linked to using their own website, or via a link to their presence on any of their respective decentralized networks. All the people whose names are linked are linked to on Twitter. All of the people who’ve written pieces or articles linked to in this piece are writing on Medium.com and not on their own sites/platforms. How can we honestly be getting anywhere if there isn’t even a basic identity for any of these people on any of these decentralized networks? At least most of the projects seem to have websites, so that’s a start. But are any of them dogfooding their own products to do so? I suspect not.

I’ll circle back around shortly to watch the video of the event that they recorded. I’m curious what else they’ve got hiding in there.

Interestingly, I’ll note that it appears that my site will at least somewhat federate with the Internet Archive’s as they support pingback. (Great to see technology from almost 20 years ago works just as well as some of these new methods…)

Graber helped us understand the broad categories of what’s out there: federated protocols such as ActivityPub and Matrix; peer-to-peer protocols such as Scuttlebutt, and social media apps that utilize blockchain in some way for  monetization, provenance or storage.

Missing from this list is a lot of interop work done by the IndieWeb over the past decade.
Annotated on February 03, 2020 at 06:48PM

Thought leader and tech executive, John Ryan, provided valuable historical context both onstage and in his recent blog. He compared today’s social media platforms to telephone services in 1900. Back then, a Bell Telephone user couldn’t talk to an AT&T customer; businesses had to have multiple phone lines just to converse with their clients. It’s not that different today, Ryan asserts, when Facebook members can’t share their photos with Renren’s 150 million account holders. All of these walled gardens, he said, need a “trusted intermediary” layer to become fully interconnected.

An apt analogy which I’ve used multiple times in the past.
Annotated on February 03, 2020 at 06:50PM

👓 Decentralized Social Networks Sound Great. Too Bad They’ll Never Work | WIRED

Read Decentralized Social Networks Sound Great. Too Bad They’ll Never Work (WIRED)
Opinion: Facebook and Google's growing power has spurred calls to decentralize the web.
A bit too narrowly focused. They’re not looking at very many examples either. Nor are they taking in the idea that not EVERYTHING needs to be decentralized, just that many could be to create more competition. No mention of IndieWeb efforts here either.

👓 Understanding AirDrop ‘Crossfire’ | NPR

Read Understanding AirDrop 'Crossfire'
NPR's Scott Simon asks Atlantic writer Taylor Lorenz about the phenomenon of teens using AirDrop to share memes and pictures with each other and, sometimes, unwitting strangers.

❤️ btopro tweeted @johnmattdavis V unique venue. Look up reclaim hosting on YouTube. Couple of the videos are up, more should go up next few days including a particularly ranty form of me…even for me. Lots of interesting indieweb stuff that aligns w. Dweb even if not outright doing it

Liked a tweet by Bryan ✻llendykeBryan ✻llendyke (Twitter)

📑 We Have Never Been Social | Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Annotated We Have Never Been Social by Kathleen FitzpatrickKathleen Fitzpatrick (Kathleen Fitzpatrick)
I imagine that the first part of this project will focus on how it got to be this way, what got missed or ignored in some of the early warnings about what was happening online and how those warnings were swamped by the hype depicting the Internet as a space of radical democratization.  
I love the brewing idea here. We definitely need this.

Some broad initial bibliography from the top of my head:

Larry Sanger (co-founder of Wikipedia)

Some useful history/timelines:

I’m curious if you’d publicly share your current blbliography/reading list?

👓 Proposing a 'Declaration of Digital Independence' | WIRED | Larry Sanger

Read Proposing a 'Declaration of Digital Independence' by Larry Sanger (WIRED)
Opinion: Larry Sanger, the cofounder of Wikipedia and chief information officer of Everipedia, suggests how to spark a decentralized social media movement.

📺 David Wolfpaw: WordPress and the IndieWeb – Why You Should Own Your Voice | WordPress.TV

Watched David Wolfpaw: WordPress and the IndieWeb – Why You Should Own Your Voice from WordPress.tv
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📑 How to decentralize social media—a brief sketch | Larry Sanger

Annotated How to decentralize social media—a brief sketch by Larry Sanger (larrysanger.org)
No one is forced on Twitter, naturally, but if you aren’t on Twitter, then your audience is (probably) smaller, while if you are on Twitter, they can steal your privacy, which I deeply resent. This is a big dilemma to me. Beyond that, I simply don’t think anybody should have as much power as the social media giants have over us today. I think it’s increasingly politically important to decentralize social media.  
This is an important point! And nothing puts a finer point on it than Shoshona Zuboff’s recent book on surveillance capitalism.

👓 How to decentralize social media—a brief sketch | Larry Sanger

Read How to decentralize social media—a brief sketch by Larry SangerLarry Sanger (larrysanger.org)
The problem about social media is that it is centralized. Centralization empowers massive corporations and governments to steal our privacy and restrict our speech and autonomy.

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

The social media browser plugins. Here’s the killer feature. Create at least one (could be many competing) browser plugins that enable you to (a) select feeds and then (b) display them alongside a user’s Twitter, Facebook, etc., feeds. (This could be an adaptation of Greasemonkey.) In other words, once this feature were available, you could tell your friends: “I’m not on Twitter. But if you want to see my Tweet-like posts appear in your Twitter feed, then simply install this plugin and input my feed address. You’ll see my posts pop up just as if they were on Twitter. But they’re not! And we can do this because you can control how any website appears to you from your own browser. It’s totally legal and it’s actually a really good idea.” In this way, while you might never look at Twitter or Facebook, you can stay in contact with your friends who are still there—but on your own terms.  

This is an intriguing idea. In particular, it would be cool if I could input my OPML file of people I’m following and have a plugin like this work with other social readers.
February 20, 2019 at 12:29PM

We can look at a later iteration of Everipedia itself as an example. Right now, there is one centralized encyclopedia: Wikipedia. With the Everipedia Network, there will be a protocol that will enable people from all over the web to participate in a much broader project.  

As I look at this, I can’t help think about my desire to want to be able to link to a wiki in a post and have a Webmention added to that post’s “See Also” or reference section. With the link automatically added to the wiki’s page like this, future readers and editors could have access to my original and could potentially synopsize and include details from my post into the wiki’s article.
February 20, 2019 at 12:41PM

But how do we make it happen?  

Larry, I caught your Twitter conversation with Aaron Parecki earlier about IndieWeb. I’ve added a lot of the open specs he referenced to my own WordPress website with a handful of plugins and would be happy to help you do the same if you like. I think that with some of the IndieWeb tools, it’s always even more impressive if you can see them in action using something you’re already regularly using.

If nothing else, it’ll give you some direct experience with how the decentralized nature of how these things work. I’m posting my reply to you own my own site and manually syndicating the reply (since you don’t yet support webmention, one of the protocols) which will give at least some idea of how it all works.

If you’re curious about how you could apply it to your own WordPress site, I’ve collected some research, articles and experiments specific to my experience here: https://boffosocko.com/research/indieweb/
February 20, 2019 at 12:46PM

The feed readers. Just as the RSS standard spawned lots of “reader” and “aggregator” software, so there should be similar feed readers for the various data standards described in (1) and the publishers described in (2). While publishers might have built-in readers (as the social media giants all do), the publishing and reading feature sets need to be kept independent, if you want a completely decentralized system.  

I’ve outlined a bit about how feed readers could be slighly modified to do some of this in the past: https://boffosocko.com/2017/06/09/how-feed-readers-can-grow-market-share-and-take-over-social-media/
February 20, 2019 at 12:47PM

👓 There’s One Encouraging Thought Buried In Zuckerberg’s 2019 Challenge | Techdirt

Read There's One Encouraging Thought Buried In Zuckerberg's 2019 Challenge (Techdirt)
Every year Mark Zuckerberg sets a "challenge" for himself for that year, which as many people have noted, Facebook has turned into a big PR vehicle for the company. We usually don't even bother to write about it, because why bother?...

Do we want technology to keep giving more people a voice, or will traditional gatekeepers control what ideas can be expressed?  

Part of the unstated problem here is that Facebook has supplanted the “traditional gatekeepers” and their black box feed algorithm is now the gatekeeper which decides what people in the network either see or don’t see. Things that crazy people used to decry to a non-listening crowd in the town commons are now blasted from the rooftops, spread far and wide by Facebook’s algorithm, and can potentially sway major elections.

I hope they talk about this.

Reply to Damian Yerrick about leaving Tumblr and recommendation engines

Replied to a tweet by Damian YerrickDamian Yerrick (Twitter)
Because of the decentralized nature of the IndieWeb, it’s most likely that more centralized services in the vein of Indie Map or perhaps a Microsub client might build in this sort of recommendation engine functionality. But this doesn’t mean that all is lost! Until more sophisticated tools exist, bootstrapping on smaller individually published sorts of recommendations like follow posts or things like my Following Page (fka blogroll) with OPML support are more likely to be of interest and immediately fill the gap. Several feed readers like Feedly and Inoreader also have recommendation engines built in as well.

Of course going the direction of old school blogs and following those who comment on your own site has historically been a quick way to build a network. I’m also reminded of Colin Walker’s directory which creates a blogroll of sorts by making a list of websites that have webmentioned his own. Webrings are also an interesting possibility for topic-related community building.

Since Tumblr is unlikely to shut down immediately, those effected could easily add their personal websites to their bios to help transition their followerships to feed readers or other methods for following and reading.

Of course the important thing in the near term is to spend a moment downloading and backing up one’s content just in case.

 

Reply to What is Emoji ID? by Doug Belshaw

Replied to What is Emoji ID? by Doug BelshawDoug Belshaw (MoodleNet project)
Some more details about a proposed solution for MoodleNet that could solve some problems around decentralised identity.
Doug, the sound of this is interesting, but it seems to be a lot harder than it might need to be, not to mention the pitfalls of being assigned emojis one wouldn’t want representing them in addition or the centralized nature of the provisioning source.

It also sounds very much like Kevin Marks’ Distributed Verification scheme using the rel=”me” attribute on web pages for which he built a chrome browser extension to actually implement it. Kevin also recently reported that Mastodon now actually supports this verification scheme in one of their most recent updates which should be used by instances that are regularly updating. The benefit is that this scheme already exists, is relatively well supported, there are parsers available for it, and it’s actually working on the open web. It’s also truly distributed in that it doesn’t rely on any central provisioning authorities that require ongoing maintenance or which could provide a monopoly on such a service.

👓 WordPress Meetup Presentation: Decentralized Social Networking with WordPress | Alexander Kirk

Read WordPress Meetup Presentation: Decentralized Social Networking with WordPress by Alexander Kirk (alexander.kirk.at)
Wpvie Friends This is the presentation I held yesterday, November 7, 2018, at the WordPress Meetup Vienna about the Friends Plugin. I created this presentation with Deckset which allows to generate the presentation from a Markdown file.
Reminder: I need to try this out.

👓 Decentralized Social Networking with WordPress | Alexander Kirk

Read Decentralized Social Networking with WordPress by Alexander Kirk (alexander.kirk.at)
Over the past year, I've been working on the side on a WordPress plugin that implements an idea that has been growing in me over the last couple of years. Decentralized Social Networking. The plugin that does it is called Friends. Starting with the frustration that there are few alternatives for pe...