Last week, I wrote a blog post emphasizing the distinction between the social internetand social media. The former describes the internet’s ability to enable connection, learning, and expression. The latter describes the attempt of a small number of large companies to monetize these capabilities inside walled-garden, monopoly platforms.
My argument is that you can embrace the social internet without having to become a “gadget” inside the algorithmic attention economy machinations of the social media conglomerates. As noted previously, I think this is the right answer for those who are fed up with the dehumanizing aspects of social media, but are reluctant to give up altogether on the potential of the internet to bring people together.
Over the years I almost feel like I’ve tried to max out the number of web services I could sign up for. I was always on the look out for that new killer app or social service, so I’ve tried almost all of them at one point or another. That I can remember, I’ve had at least 179, and likely there are very many more that I’m simply forgetting. Research indicates it is difficult enough to keep track of 150 people, much less that many people through that many websites.
As an exercise, I’ve made an attempt to list all of the social media and user accounts I’ve had on the web since the early/mid-2000s. They’re listed below at the bottom of this post and broken up somewhat by usage area and subject for ease of use. I’ll maintain an official list of them here.
This partial list may give many others the opportunity to see how fragmented their own identities can be on the web. Who are you and to which communities because you live in multiple different places? I feel the list also shows the immense value inherent in the IndieWeb philosophy to own one’s own domain and data. The value of the IndieWeb is even more apparent when I think of all the defunct, abandoned, shut down, or bought out web services I’ve used which I’ve done my best to list at the bottom.
When I think of all the hours of content that I and others have created and shared on some of these defunct sites for which we’ll never recover the data, I almost want to sob. Instead, I’ve promised only to cry, “Never again!” People interested in more of the vast volumes of data lost are invited to look at this list of site-deaths, which is itself is far from comprehensive.
No more digital sharecropping
Over time, I’ll make an attempt, where possible, to own the data from each of the services listed below and port it here to my own domain. More importantly, I refuse to do any more digital sharecropping. I’m not creating new posts, status updates, photos, or other content that doesn’t live on my own site first. Sure I’ll take advantage of the network effects of popular services like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to engage my family, friends, and community who choose to live in those places, but it will only happen by syndicating data that I already own to those services after-the-fact.
What about the interactive parts? The comments and interactions on those social services?
Through the magic of new web standards like WebMention, essentially an internet wide @mention functionality similar to that on Twitter, Medium, and even Facebook, and a fantastic service called brid.gy, all the likes and comments from Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and others, I get direct notifications of the comments on my syndicated material which comes back directly to my own website as comments on the original posts. Those with websites that support WebMention natively can write their comments to my posts directly on their own site and rely on it to automatically notify me of their response.
Isn’t this beginning to sound to you like the way the internet should work?
One URL to rule them all
When I think back on setting up these hundreds of digital services, I nearly wince at all the time and effort I’ve spent inputting my name, my photo, or even just including URL links to my Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Now I have one and only one URL that I can care about and pay attention to: my own!
Join me for IndieWebCamp Los Angeles
I’ve written in bits about my involvement with the IndieWeb in the past, but I’ve actually had incoming calls over the past several weeks from people interested in setting up their own websites. Many have asked: what is it exactly? how can they do something similar? is it hard?
My answer is that it isn’t nearly as hard as you might have thought. If you can manage to sign up and maintain your Facebook account, you can put together all the moving parts to have your own IndieWeb enabled website.
“But, Chris, I’m still a little hesitant…”
Okay, how about I (and many others) offer to help you out? I’m going to be hosting IndieWebCamp Los Angeles over the weekend of November 5th and 6th in Santa Monica. I’m inviting you all to attend with the hope that by the time the weekend is over, you’ll have not only a good significant start, but you’ll have the tools, resources, and confidence to continue building in improvements over time.
IndieWebCamp Los Angeles
1333 2nd Street,
Santa Monica, CA,
We’ve set up a variety of places for people to easily R.S.V.P. for the two-day event, choose the one that’s convenient for you:
* Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/indiewebcamp-la-2016-tickets-24335345674
* Lanyrd: http://lanyrd.com/2016/indiewebcamp-la
* Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1701240643421269
* Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/IndieWeb-Homebrew-Website-Club-Los-Angeles/events/233698594/
If you’ve already got an IndieWeb enabled website and are able to R.S.V.P. by using your own site, try one of the following two R.S.V.P. locations:
* Indie Event: http://veganstraightedge.com/events/2016/04/01/indiewebcamp-la-2016
* IndieWeb Wiki: https://indieweb.org/2016/LA/Guest_List
I hope to see you there!
Now for that unwieldly list of sites I’ve spent untold hours setting up and maintaining…
Primary Internet Presences
Content from the above two sites is syndicated primarily, but not exclusively, or evenly to the following silo-based profiles
Little Free Library #8424 Blog
Mendeley ITBio References
Chris Aldrich Radio3 (Link Blog)
Category Theory Summer Study Group
Johns Hopkins Twitter Feed (Previous)
JHU Facebook Fan Page (Previous)
Other Social Profiles
Academia / Research Related
IEEE Information Theory Society (ITSOC)
Genius (fka Rap Genius, aka News Genius, etc)
FigShare – Research Data
OdySci – Engineering Research
Digital Signal Processing-StackExchange
Intense Debate (Comments)
Wishlist: Evolutionary Theory
Wishlist: Information Theory
Audio / Video
Food / Travel / Meetings
Peach (app only)
Kinja (commenting system/pseudo-blog)
Mnemotechniques (Memory Forum)
AppBrain Android Phone Apps
Defunct Social Sites
(Redirects to G+)
Seesmic (Video, Status)
GetGlue (Video checkin)
Google Reader (Reader)
(Status) – closed 02/09
(Status) – closed 11/22/10
Brightkite (Location/Status) – closed 12/10/10
Buzz (Status) – closed 12/15/11
(Location) – closed 3/11/12
(Photo)- closed 9/2/12
Posterous (Blog) – closed 4/30/13 [all content from this site has been recovered and ported]
Upcoming (Calendar) – closed 4/30/13
(Identity) – closed 12/12/13
Qik (Video) – closed 4/30/14
(Reading)- closed 7/1/14
(Status) – closed 9/1/14
– closed 9/1/14
FriendFeed (Social Networking)- closed 4/10/15
(Calendar) – closed 1/21/16
(Identity) – closing 9/11/16
Shelfari (Reading) – closed 3/16/16