Read Trying out Micro.blog by Jeremy Felt (jeremyfelt.com)
Services like Micro.blog should spend more time telling everyone about features like “oh, by the way, we have a dedicated discovery page for posts about pizza“. That kind of pitch and I would have signed up for an account 2 years ago. Here I am discovering new things though. I got here beca...
Micro.blog is indeed doing some great things.

I feel so nostalgic for Posterous after reading this. It was a nice little platform.

Read Instagram Bloggers Gives Her Followers An Incredible Reality Check (comedy.com)
Rather interestingly, Instagram Blogger Rianne Meijer indulged in a meaningful and unique project. She put together some photos of herself that looked like something out of Vogue, and then placed a more natural picture right next to it, giving viewers a whole different perspective.
While written for the clicks, this article has an important message about social media.
Read Blogger Gets Slammed For Committing Ultimate Instagram Sin (comedy.com)
It’s no secret that bloggers, vloggers and pretty much anyone on social media tend to ‘bend the truth’ a little bit. There are countless apps you can download to turn your very average photo into what looks like photographic gold. With a little tweaking and cropping, a few saturation and contrast adjustments, you can fake just about anything. This may have become a trend that caught on a little too well. Johanna Olsson is one of the many bloggers who have photoshopped her images to suit the theme of her page. In an attempt to gain points for her reputation, her photo-shopping mishap caused her more publicity than she could have ever imagined. However, it was not for the reasons she was hoping.
Read “Link In Bio” is a slow knife by Anil Dash (Anil Dash)
We don’t even notice it anymore — “link in bio”. It’s a pithy phrase, usually found on Instagram, which directs an audience to be aware that a pertinent web link can be found on that user’s profile. Its presence is so subtle, and so pervasive, that we barely even noticed it was an attempt to kill the web.
This is another good example of how social media is destroying value and preventing new value creation to keep the power for itself. 

I like how Anil has managed to find a purple colored knife for the featured image.

I originally read his post on my cell phone and was surprised that it tool almost 30 seconds for the post to resolve because it’s apparently hosted on Glitch and it took the app ages to start itself back up. Not necessarily good UI for hosting a personal website, but bully to Anil for selfdogfooding his own work to host his site. I’m sure the speed will improve in the future.

Read The Evolving Exhibition of Us: A Decade of Sharing Pictures Online : Adjacent Issue 6 by Summer Bedard (itp.nyu.edu)
A deep examination and self-reflection on photo sharing of the last decade, Summer Bedard’s article looks at how the previously intimate, cumbersome experience has morphed into the edited, contrived perfection found on Instagram.

The explosion of people, marked a shift from having a community to having an audience. This ultimately changed the mental model of what gets posted. People act differently in their living room than they do on stage. They may feel more vulnerable and guarded. You’re sharing with a community, but working for an audience.

–November 28, 2019 at 09:42PM

I would love to see a future where enjoying photos becomes more like enjoying music. Spotify gives you an easy way to consider options by assessing your mood and putting together an appropriate playlist that feels personal. We could do the same for images. Can you imagine opening Spotify and having it blast a random song immediately? Our current Instagram home screen is the visual equivalent of a playlist mashup of country, classical, techno, hip hop, and polka. 

I like the idea of this. Can someone build it please?
–November 28, 2019 at 09:46PM

What if you could use AI to control the content in your feed? Dialing up or down whatever is most useful to you. If I’m on a budget, maybe I don’t want to see photos of friends on extravagant vacations. Or, if I’m trying to pay more attention to my health, encourage me with lots of salads and exercise photos. If I recently broke up with somebody, happy couple photos probably aren’t going to help in the healing process. Why can’t I have control over it all, without having to unfollow anyone. Or, opening endless accounts to separate feeds by topic. And if I want to risk seeing everything, or spend a week replacing my usual feed with images from a different culture, country, or belief system, couldn’t I do that, too? 

Some great blue sky ideas here.
–November 28, 2019 at 09:48PM

Read The escape from Instagram by Jeremy Felt (jeremyfelt.com)
I’ve been thinking through how to leave Facebook’s Instagram service since June, when I finally deleted my central Facebook account. This should be easy, because I don’t post that much on Instagram, but it always seems hard because it’s the best user experience (IMO) on mobile for writing a ...
An interesting method of leaving Instagram. I still read content there, but I had used dsgnwrks-instagram-importer by Justin Sternberg to rescue all of my Instagram posts back into my WordPress site since it gave me a huge amount of control over porting over the metadata as well. I’m noticing that the repository lists it with a warning “This plugin has been closed as of August 10, 2019 and is not available for download. Reason: Licensing/Trademark Violation.” though I can’t imagine what that would have been for unless Instagram is trying to nudge Justin out. (There’s a copy of the plugin on Github for those who may still want it.) Other than a small issue I’d seen with some emoji in Instagram, the plugin always worked like a charm for me.

Prior to that I’d always been a big fan of Aaron Parecki’s OwnYourGram, though I understand that Instagram was limiting his crawler, so the service may not be taking new accounts.

While I know some of the people behind Pixelfed and generally trust them, I don’t think I would use it as a solution unless I was standing up my own instance of the service. Far too many Mastodon instances have gone down for me to trust a particular sites’ admins. Apparently Mastodon has made it easier to move from one instance to another, but I’m not sure how this may or may not apply to Pixelfed.

Presently, my money is on Matthias Pfefferle’s ActivityPub plugin which adds support to a WordPress site to act as a stand-alone member of the Fediverse. While it’s beta software, it works fairly well and is evolving impressively over the past year or so. I suspect that photo support will improve to put it on par with solutions like Pixelfed, particularly when combined with the ease of use of some of the Micropub photo posting applications that are out there.

I’d feel remiss if I didn’t mention that another option for exiting Instagram (or at least backing it up to your own site even if you don’t leave completely) is to try Beau Lebens’ Keyring Social Importers plugin. I know a few who have used and liked it for its Instagram and other social silo support.

I’m sure there are other methods out there as well and many might be found on the IndiwWeb wiki pages for “Instagram” or “photo”.

👓 Instagram is about to hide likes for some US users. Here's what to expect | CNN

Read Instagram is about to hide likes for some US users. Here's what to expect (CNN)
Instagram is removing likes for some users in the United States, following similar tests in other countries, including Canada and Australia.
Read Migrate Instagram to WordPress by Ola (olalindberg.com)
A while ago I wanted to move all my Instagram posts for my three IG accounts to WordPress. To my surprise I couldn’t find any tools for that. I asked in the IndieWeb forums but nothing there either. I found a feature in IG where you could export all posts to a ZIP file on your computer. I download...

👓 There’s Nothing Wrong With Posing for Photos at Chernobyl | Taylor Lorenz | The Atlantic

Read There’s Nothing Wrong With Posing for Photos at Chernobyl by Taylor Lorenz (The Atlantic)
Influencer-style pictures are simply the way we document our lives now.
Strip away the headline and the social media influencer angle which is a canard.

There’s an interesting societal shift happening here in photography. For counterpoint, compare this with Pictures of Death: Postmortem Photography by Nancy West (The Atlantic).

👓 Adding Instagram to a Social Reader | Mr.Kapowski

Read Adding Instagram to a Social Reader by Chris Chris (mrkapowski.com)
I mentioned yesterday my frustrations with Instagram were at an all-time high, and I wanted to “soft quit” the app by adding my follows as a source in Monocle. I didn’t find any existing guide on how to do this (sorry if I misse...
Granary will give you some additional options I suppose, but I’ve always just blindly used Ryan Barrett’s other atom-based tools for Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to make feeds for my feed reader of choice.

In my experience, the session cookies needed for these will last from about four months or more before needing to be refreshed. I just refreshed my Instagram cookie earlier this week.  

Read Black and white and RSS by Giles Turnbull (gilest.org)
Black and white and RSS is an RSS feed of black and white photographs, updating throughout June 2019. There is no associated website. You can only see the photos if you use an RSS feed reader and subscribe to the feed.
This is certainly a cool looking experiment Giles Turnbull is attempting. I’m almost half tempted to hide my actual website and just make my content available via RSS, h-feed, or JSON-feed.

Sometimes for as much time and effort as I put into making my site look the way I want it, I often worry that it’s all for naught as I suspect many of my readers are just reading it in a feed reader or interfaces like Pocket or Instapaper that are stripping away all my CSS and reformatting it in some vanilla way for simpler reading.

I remember reading about Instagrammers making their accounts private as a means of getting more people to subscribe to them for the fear of missing out on their content. Maybe stopping posts to your site, but simply maintaining a feed could be the IndieWeb equivalent of this?


Hat tip: Jason McIntosh.

👓 Millions of Instagram influencers had their private contact data scraped and exposed | TechCrunch

Read Millions of Instagram influencers had their private contact data scraped and exposed (TechCrunch)
A massive database containing contact information of millions of Instagram influencers, celebrities and brand accounts has been found online. The database, hosted by Amazon Web Services, was left exposed and without a password allowing anyone to look inside. At the time of writing, the database had…

👓 Instagram influencer cries at the prospect of getting a ‘normal’ job after account is deleted | The Independent

Read Instagram influencer cries at prospect of getting a 'normal' job (The Independent)
The influencer said she is 'nothing without my following'
Is this the “Leave Britney Alone” moment for why to own and control your own web presence?

👓 Judge may jail Roger Stone after Instagram post | NBC News

Read Judge may jail Roger Stone after Instagram post (NBC News)
Judge Amy Berman Jackson will rule whether he has violated the conditions of release after a hearing Thursday.
The more I seeread, and hear about the vagaries of social media; the constant failings and foibles of Facebook, the trolling dumpster fire that is Twitter, the ills of Instagram; the spread of dark patterns; and the unchecked rise of surveillance capitalism, and weapons of math destruction the more I think that the underlying ideas focusing on people and humanity within the IndieWeb movement are its core strength.

Perhaps we need to create a new renaissance of humanism for the 21st century? Maybe we call it digital humanism to create some intense focus, but the emphasis should be completely on the people side.

Naturally there’s a lot more that they–and we all–need to do to improve our lives. Let’s band together to create better people-centric, ethical solutions.