🔖 NowNowNow

Bookmarked Now Now Now (nownownow.com)
Websites with a /now page

I hadn’t really thought of it until now (no pun intended), but the set up of this website and how people opt in to creating a Now Page on their own websites, makes it an interesting and unique type of online directory for the discovery of a particular type of online set of links. Certainly an interesting set up and concept for Brad Enslen and Kicks Condor to take a look at in their online explorations of these types of discovery-based websites.

Certainly webmention could be used to collect the data and provide updates for such a directory. (I’ll note that most people who do have Now pages put a small notice at the bottom of their pages with a link back to the directory to reference it–something which I’m sure has helped spread the general idea.) One of the things I haven’t seen directories like this necessarily have is a feed of content that one could subscribe to updates from. While this one doesn’t have this sort of ability built into it (or seemingly any search or sorting functionality by categories or tags), it does have a Twitter feed that pushes out semi-regular updates of people within the directory. This way, if you’re subscribed, you see others’ updates being fed out. Every couple of months it also mentions me directly, which provides me with a regular reminder to update my presence within the directory.

I’m curious how we might expand this sort of concept to other types of online directories? Is there anything else useful about how this is one is set up?

👓 2019.01: Href.Cool Updates | Kicks Condor

Read 2019.01: Href.Cool Updates by Kicks Condor (kickscondor.com)

Okay, so I’ve added outgoing Webmentions to Href.cool. This means that sites will be notified if they are linked in any of my category.

Incidentally, the directory itself has also has Webmentions. So, if you have an Indieweb blog and you want to recommend a link to the directory: make a post containing the link you want to submit and a link to the category page you think it belongs on and I will get the message. I may also choose to list submitted links at the bottom of the page. Or, yeah, you tell me if this is useful to you.

👓 2019 Book Industry Predictions: The Butterflies Will Flap Their Wings | Smashwords

Read 2019 Book Industry Predictions: The Butterflies Will Flap Their Wings (blog.smashwords.com)
Welcome to my annual publishing predictions. I’ll start by sharing some thoughts on the state of the indie nation and then I’ll jump int...

This post is very anti-Amazon and has an IndieWeb flavor. Sadly, it comes mostly from the perspective of yet-another-silo that is competing with Amazon. A better and more holistic solution would be for them to be supporting authors owning their own platforms for publishing and distribution. 

There’s also a useful question brought up here about the idea of discovering new authors and new books. It’s a similar problem faced by websites and other online content in general. Silo’s general nature and the algorithms they can bring to bear have solved some of the discovery question (for their own enrichment). Solving this from an indie perspective isn’t just useful from the website content perspective, but it’s also very important for the book sales perspective.

👓 Chris Aldrich’s Year In Pocket

Read My Year in Pocket (Pocket App)
See how much I read in Pocket this year!

According to Pocket’s account I read 766,000 words or the equivalent of about 10 books. My most saved topics were current events, science, technology, health, and education.

The most popular things I apparently saved this year:

I’ll have to work at getting better to create my own end-of-year statistics since my own website has a better accounting of what I’ve actually read (it isn’t all public) and bookmarked. I do like that their service does some aggregate comparison of my data versus all the other user data (anonymized from my perspective).

Pocket also does a relatively good job of doing discovery of good things to read based on aggregate user data in terms of categories like “Best of” and “Popular”. They also give me weekly email updates of things I’ve bookmarked there as reminders to go back and read them, which I find a useful functionality which they haven’t over-gamified. Presently my own closest functionality to this is to be subscribed to the RSS feed of my own public bookmarks in a feed reader (which I find generally useful) as well as regularly checking on my private bookmarks on my websites’s back end (something as easy as clicking on a browser bookmark) and even looking at my “on this day” functionality to review over things from years past.

I’ll note that I currently rely more on Nuzzle for real-time discovery  on a daily basis however.

Greg McVerry might appreciate that they’re gamifying reading by presenting me with a badge.

As an aside while I’m thinking of it, it might be a cool thing if the IndieWeb wiki received webmentions, so that self-documentation I do on my own website automatically appeared on the appropriate linked pages either in a webmention section or perhaps the “See Also” section. If wikis did this generally, it would be a cool means of potentially building communities and fuelling discovery on the broader web. Imagine if adding to a wiki via Webmention were as easy as syndicating content to a site like IndieNews or IndieWeb.XYZ? It could also function as a useful method of archiving web content from original pages to places like the Internet Archive in a simple way, much like how I currently auto-archive my individual pages automatically on the day they’re published.

👓 Warbler Description | sawv

Read Warbler Description by jr (sawv)
I like community websites where people gather for online discussions. That's why I launched my message board Toledo Talk in January 2003, and it continues today. Warbler is a message board where all thread starter posts and comments are Webmentions. A Webmention is a cross-site communication idea, e...

Some interesting thoughts here on community applications and the idea of discovery from an IndieWeb perspective. Kicks Condor and Brad Enslen may appreciate having yet another person who is actively thinking about and working on these particular problems.

👓 about | href.cool

Read About href.cool (href.cool)
This directory is somewhat inspired by the old, failed link collections like the original Yahoo! and DMOZ. They were terrible—you couldn’t find anything, but what you did find was often unexpected. My ‘archivist’/‘forager’ tendencies want to do this.

I ran into this website courtesy of Brad Enslen and thought it was a cool looking little directory. I should have known better, but it appears it’s a new experiment by our friend Kicks Condor.

I love nothing more than seeing where the discussions between Brad, Kicks and others (along with their experiments) end up going. One day they’re going to fix what’s wrong with the web. I hope everyone is following along and cheering them the same way I do.

👓 Is YouTube Fundamental or Trivial? | Study Hacks – Cal Newport

Replied to Is YouTube Fundamental or Trivial? by Cal Newport (Study Hacks)

As a public critic of social media, I’m often asked if my concerns extend to YouTube. This is a tricky question.

As I’ve written, platforms such as Facebook and Instagram didn’t offer something fundamentally different than the world wide web that preceded them. Their main contribution was to make this style of online life more accessible and convenient.

I suspect that people have generally been exploring some of this already, particularly with embedding. The difficult part on moving past YouTube, Vimeo, et al. with streaming or even simple embedding is that video on the web is a big engineering problem not to mention a major bandwidth issue for self-hosters. I’ve seen scions like Kevin Marks indicate in the past that they’d put almost any type of content on their own websites natively but video. Even coding a JavaScript player on one’s site is prohibitively difficult and rarely do major corporate players in the video content space bother to do this themselves. Thus, until something drastic happens, embedding video may be the only sensible way to go.

As an interesting aside, I’ll note that just a few months ago that YouTube allowed people to do embeds with several options, but they’re recently removed the option to prevent their player from recommending additional videos once you’re done. Thus the embedding site is still co-opted to some extent by YouTube and their vexing algorithmic recommendations.

In a similar vein audio is also an issue, but at least an easier and much lower bandwidth one. I’ve been running some experiments lately on my own website by posting what I’m listening to on a regular basis as a “faux-cast” and embedding the original audio. I’ve also been doing it pointedly as a means of helping others discover good content, because in some sense I can say I love the most recent NPR podcast or click like on it somewhere, but I’m definitely sure that doesn’t have as much weight or value as my tacitly saying, “I’ve actually put my time and attention on the line and actually listened to this particular episode.” I think having and indicating skin-in-the-game can make a tremendous difference in these areas. In a similar vein, sites like Twitter don’t really have a good bookmarking feature, so readers don’t know if the sharing user actually read any of an article or if it was just the headline. Posting these things separately on my own site as either reads or bookmarks allows me to differentiate between the two specifically and semantically, both for others’ benefit as well as, and possibly most importantly, for my own (future self).

Reply to ricmac on indie blogs

Replied to a post by ricmacricmac (micro.blog)

Open question: what are some cool indie blogs (by which I mean, topic-focused blogs not personal blogs)? There are a ton of excellent indie podcasts out there (e.g. literatureandhistory.com is one of my faves). Would like to get a list started of blogs like that.

I’m struggling to think of an example of a modern era indie blog, except for my own 2018 effort Blocksplain. Keen to hear other (more successful!) suggestions. Again: topic-focused blog is what I mean.

@ricmac To get things kicked off, are you thinking of something along the lines of Gretchen McCulloch’s linguistics blog All Things Linguistics? If this is the sort of thing you’re looking for, I can think of several along these lines in various areas of academia, which apparently never left the old blogosphere, if you’d like some additional ones. There are also several multi-author/contributor ones like these as well.
#WishingTechnoratiStillExisted

Reply to Greg McVerry about academic samizdat pre-print server

Replied to a post by Greg McVerryGreg McVerry (quickthoughts.jgregorymcverry.com)
Then we also make a 12/31/2019 to have published first issue of a academic samizdat POSSE Journal about blogging research from any discipline. I wanna bring back some lightning talks like BlogCon 2003-2006., but first we do the journal.

I like that idea. Perhaps between the models for news.IndieWeb.org and Kicks Condor’s indiweb.xyz, we could create a syndicatable (pre-print) academic journal that allows sorting by top level academic disciplines.

I don’t recall though, are either of them open source, or do we need to re-build by hand?

📺 The Future of SEO is on the SERP | Rand Fishkin | BrightonSEO 2018 | YouTube

Watched The Future of SEO is on the SERP | BrightonSEO 2018 by Rand Fishkin from YouTube

The good news is: the number of searches on Google keeps growing. The bad news is: decreasing clickthrough rates on organic results ( especially in mobile), fewer big companies dominating the world’s Google search results and more results answered entirely in Google’s SERPs.

As Google answers a higher and higher percent of queries in the results themselves and refers out less traffic to websites, we’re all gonna have to think about how we influence search audiences through what Google shows rather than just focusing on driving traffic to our own sites.

A big part of SEO’s future will be on the SERP rather than driving traffic to websites.

Rand Fishkin is the founder of SparkToro - https://sparktoro.com/-and was previously co-founder of Moz and Inbound.org. He’s dedicated his professional life to helping people do better marketing through the Whiteboard Friday video series, his blog, and his book, Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World.

About BrightonSEO
BrightonSEO – is a major search marketing event in the UK. One of our favourite events of the year, This is a superb conference for search marketing professionals, novice or expert. BrightonSEO - https://www.brightonseo.com/ - is a chance to learn from some of the best minds in search, and then rub shoulders with them at one of the friendliest, and largest, gatherings of Digital Marketers in Europe.

Some interesting perspective on the future of the internet from an SEO-related perspective.

While a lot of the net is going to mobile first and the rise of the assistants (Google Home and Amazon Alexa) are taking a lot of eyeballs, I’m curious if the move toward immediate answers is more for the “I don’t have time for more in-depth search because I just want a quick answer” versus buyers and people looking for more depth that are going to prefer desktop or sit-back experiences where they’ll spend some time browsing and/or reading. Are the numbers in this presentation specific to this phenomenon or indicative of something much worse as is predicted in the video?

#1. It’s never been harder to earn organic traffic from the web’s major players.  

#2. It’s never been more important to make your website (and email list)–rather than someone else’s property–the center of your campaigns.  

The second slide point is directly from the video with the “rather than someone else’s property” part quoted and inserted from the audio portion. I love that this is a direct incarnation of the IndieWeb philosophy for business use cases. Earlier this morning I actually heard a radio advertisement use the phrase, “or find us on our socials” with word socials being indicative of a generic term for ubiquitous social media platforms which would presumably include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Perhaps the fact that companies aren’t directly differentiating social silos in their advertising anymore means that some better social readers would portend a more IndieWeb-first approach? Eventually companies are going to find that maintaining dozens of presences on multiple sites isn’t as cost-effective as just maintaining their one site and perhaps the market drops back to a more distributed web approach?

👓 Distributed Digital Transformation | Interdependent Thoughts

Read Distributed Digital Transformation by Ton ZijlstraTon Zijlstra (zylstra.org)
This is a start to more fully describe and explore a distributed version of digitisation, digitalisation and specifically digital transformation, and state why I think bringing distributed / networked thinking into them matters. Digitising stuff, digitalising routines, the regular way Over the past ...

We need to learn to see the cumulative impact of a multitude of efforts, while simultaneously keeping all those efforts visible on their own. There exist so many initiatives I think that are great examples of how distributed digitalisation leads to transformation, but they are largely invisible outside their own context, and also not widely networked and connected enough to reach their own full potential. They are valuable on their own, but would be even more valuable to themselves and others when federated, but the federation part is mostly missing.
We need to find a better way to see the big picture, while also seeing all pixels it consists of. A macroscope, a distributed digital transformation macroscope.  

This seems to be a related problem to the discovery questions that Kicks Condor and Brad Enslen have been thing about.

👓 It’s a Link Thing (Re: Graph-Based Indie-reading) | Kicks Condor

Read It’s a Link Thing (Re: Graph-Based Indie-reading) by Kicks Condor (kickscondor.com)
Cool, yes, the alert worked! That alone is very worthwhile and goes a long way toward discovery. In a way, I think this is the most idealized form—you’ve just done the equivalent of “Hey, check this out” and I am very fortunate that I get to read your reasoning rather than to simply see a li...

👓 The idea that “a Reader could boost …” | known.stierand.org

Read a post by Björn StierandBjörn Stierand (Björn Stierand)
The idea that "a Reader could boost posts when they are from a feed that is not regularly updated" is implemented in Newsblur, my RSS reader of choice. They call it "Infrequent Site Stories" and it is a quite powerful tool to find interesting pieces of information in a huge number of posts. http://b...

I hadn’t been aware that any feed readers had this type of functionality! Glad to see it’s out there and others are considering implementing it.

👓 It’s a link thing | Jeremy Cherfas

Read It's a link thing by Jeremy Cherfas
This is too good to be true. Yesterday I read Sebastiaan's write-up of how he graphically a link between two individuals who both liked the same thing on the internet, and how, by doing that, he could alert himself to things he might like.

👓 Three things about Readers during IndieWebCamp Nürnberg | Seblog

Read Three things about Readers during IndieWebCamp Nürnberg by Sebastiaan AndewegSebastiaan Andeweg (seblog.nl)

This year is marked as the ‘Year of the Reader’, and indeed, there was a lot of Reader talk last weekend. I really like the progress we are making with Microsub and apps like Indigenous, but I also noticed we’re not there yet for me. But that’s not a discouragement, quite the opposite!

This blogpost has three parts: first I describe the painpoints I feel at the moment, then I describe what I have been hacking on yesterday, and in the last part I share some other ideas we talked about over dinner in Nürnberg, that where not recorded in any form other than short notes on some phones.

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

this is another single point of Aaron in our stack.  

As opposed to another single point of Ryan….
November 08, 2018 at 08:59AM

I have discovered new interesting posts by looking at the likes my friends post.  

November 08, 2018 at 09:07AM

More ways to combat feed overwhelm
Before IndieWebCamp, we had a discussion about Readers in a traditional Nürnberger restaurant. Here also, people came up with some ideas to deal with accruing unread-counts.
One idea came from how Aperture deletes posts after 7 days. This actually prevents the overload. It would be nice if you can tell your reader that, for example your Twitter feed, is ephemeral and that the posts can be discarded if you did not read them in time.
One other idea that came up was to keep track of the average time between posts of a certain feed. This way a Reader could boost posts when they are from a feed that is not regularly updated. These kind of posts are usually lost in piles of more posts from more frequently updates feeds.
Yet a last idea was to tell your reader to leave out posts with certain words for a small period of time. This can come in handy when you haven’t watched the newest episode of Game of Thrones yet, but want to stay connected to your feeds without spoilers.  

Some good ideas here to deal with feeds.
November 08, 2018 at 09:10AM