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.

👓 Exploring Mastodon | Bryan Alexander

Read Exploring Mastodon by Bryan Alexander (Bryan Alexander)
I decided to explore the Mastodon social network after a great deal of suggestions and gentle prodding from many people. That’s Mastodon the software, not the very fine metal band. In this post I’ll share my experiences of getting to know the thing.

I joined Mastodon about two years ago this week. I’d written a bit about it as well as bookmarked several interesting early articles that help to explain it, what it is, and what it does, which can be found here and scrolling back a few pages: https://boffosocko.com/tag/mastodon/

While Mastodon is working to remedy some of the issues that large corporate and advertising supported social sites like Facebook and Twitter have, one ought to be careful jumping into just any instance as there is little, if any, guarantee that the instance you choose will still be around tomorrow.

indieweb movement.  

hooray!
November 28, 2018 at 08:02PM

What was that about crowdfunding instances?  How much of an instance’s conversation was visible to the outside?  How much of this is Google-spidered?  What are those anti-abuse tools?  Why can’t governments “completely block” Mastodon (as a whole, or just instances?)? Can one join more than a single instance?  

Managing an instance can come with a lot of work and maintenance, so some instances are crowdfunded to help defray the costs of full time management of a particular instance.

Anti-abuse tools give users the ability to better block people as well as instances have the ability to block incoming messages from entire instances. Thus an instance that serves as a haven for Nazis could be completely blocked by one or more other instances which prevent their users from seeing any content from all users on an instance that is a “bad actor.” One of the common anti-abuse tools is the CW or content warning functionality, which some instances mandate, which can be used to hide spoilers or controversial content. (As an example, some instances require content warnings on political related posts.)

Governments could block instances based on their IP addresses, but would have to do some work to block all instances (primarily by knowing where they all are).

One can join as many instances as they’d like, but it would likely become confusing after a while. Ideally one should be able to join just one instance and be able to follow or be followed by anyone from any other instance. Some communities have particular sets of rules they expect their users to abide by. Some may be centered on particular topics of discussion as well. Some instances are individually run and have only one user.
November 28, 2018 at 08:11PM

Is stability a problem in the Fediverse?  

Stability is typically an issue based on who is running the instance and what sort of server they’re doing it on. Is it fast or slow? Does it have 3 people or 300,000? Naturally the larger the instance, the more resources it requires. Some instances have popped up and shut themselves down because the maintainer was doing it as a hobby and just got tired of it. Often there isn’t much information about who is running the server and how long it may or may not be around or how well it’s maintained.
November 28, 2018 at 08:16PM

No other options presented themselves on the page  

This website has some reasonable set up for helping one determine an appropriate instance:
https://instances.social/
November 28, 2018 at 08:19PM

other routes in.  

http://www.unmung.com/mastoview will show content from random instances to give one an idea about the content within a particular instance before joining.

Most instances will have some general information about themselves. Usually the more thought out they are, the more likely they will be around for a while. Here’s an example of the instance maintained by the creator of the original platform, which is also one of the largest and most popular instances out there: https://mastodon.social/about/more
November 28, 2018 at 08:24PM

Any pointers or experiences to share?  

There are a couple of WordPress plugins for Mastodon that allow you to syndicate your content from your own website into your instance. You might find that somewhat useful.

The IndieWeb wiki has some generally useful information as well as some criticisms and related articles which might be helpful: https://indieweb.org/Mastodon

Mastodon runs on the Activity Pub specification for sending messages back and forth. As a result some people are looking into having their personal websites support these protocols so that people on Mastodon (or other parts of the Fediverse) can subscribe to one’s primary website. If you can do this then you don’t necessarily need “yet another social platform” for interacting with those online. The two biggest of these efforts within the WordPress community are Fed Bridgy and the Activity Pub plugin
November 28, 2018 at 08:50PM

👓 Usernames on Micro.blog | Manton Reece

Read Usernames on Micro.blog by Manton ReeceManton Reece (manton.org)
Micro.blog now has 3 distinct styles of usernames to make the platform more compatible with other services: Micro.blog usernames, e.g. @you. These are simple usernames for @-mentioning someone else in the Micro.blog community. Mastodon usernames, e.g. @you@yourdomain.com. When you search Micro.blog ...

👓 The way out | Manton Reece

Read The way out by Manton ReeceManton Reece (manton.org)
There have been many articles written in the last month about the role of social networks. Some even reach the obvious conclusion: that the top social networks are too big. This interview on Slate was fairly representative, covering monopolies and centralized power. But these articles always stop sh...

👓 Micro.blog + Mastodon | Manton Reece

Read Micro.blog + Mastodon by Manton ReeceManton Reece (manton.org)
For some time, we have been considering how we could open up compatibility between Micro.blog and Mastodon. Any feature that could be disruptive needs to be approached carefully. In this post I want to talk about how Micro.blog supports Mastodon, why I think it’s useful, and anticipate some questi...

There’s some awesome new functionality in micro.blog now. It looks like it’s still got some work to come, but, ideally, this is how most websites will work in the near future.

👓 (Mind you, since you can self-host Mastodon, you … | Aral’s Mastodon | Aral Balkan

Read a post by Aral BalkanAral Balkan (Aral’s Mastodon)
(Mind you, since you can self-host Mastodon, you should really verify links yourself instead of relying on a cosmetic feature as I could have just faked that via a bit of CSS.) ;)

👓 What Does Gab’s Demise Mean For Federation? | Interdependent Thoughts

Read What Does Gab’s Demise Mean For Federation? by Ton Zijlstra (zylstra.org)
The Twitter-like platform Gab has been forced offline, as their payment providers, hosting provider and domain provider all told them their business was no longer welcome. The platform is home to people with extremist views claiming their freedom of speech is under threat. At issue is of course wher...

👓 Reply to Ben Werdmüller | Interdependent Thoughts

Read Reply to Gab and the decentralized web by Ben Werdmüller by Ton Zijlstra (zylstra.org)

I think this is a false dilemma, Bernd.

I’d say that it would be great if those extremists would see using a distributed tool like Mastodon as the only remaining viable platform for them. It would not suppress their speech. But it woud deny them any amplification, which they now enjoy by being very visible on mainstream platforms, giving them the illusion they are indeed mainstream. It will be much easier to convince, if at all needed, instance moderators to not federate with instances of those guys, reducing them ever more to their own bubble. They can spew hate amongst themselves for eternity, but without amplification it won’t thrive. Jotted down some thoughts on this earlier in “What does Gab’s demise mean for federation?“

👓 Gab and the decentralized web | Ben Werdmüller

Read Gab and the decentralized web by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller (Ben Werdmüller)
As a proponent of the decentralized web, I've been thinking a lot about the aftermath of the domestic terrorism that was committed in Pittsburgh at the Tree of Life synagogue over the weekend, and how it specifically relates to the right-wing social network Gab. In America, we're unfortunately used ...

I couldn’t have put it any better myself.

👓 Some IndieWeb WordPress tuning | EdTech Factotum

Replied to Some IndieWeb WordPress tuning by Clint LalondeClint Lalonde (EdTech Factotum)
Been spending a bit of time in the past 2 days adding some new functionality to the blog. I am making more of an effort to write more, thanks in no small part to the 9x9x25 blog challenge I am doin…

Right now, I just want to write.  

You might find that the micropub plugin is a worthwhile piece for this. It will give your site an endpoint you can use to post to your site with a variety of third party applications including Quill or Micropublish.net.
October 14, 2018 at 01:01AM

My hope is that it will somehow bring comments on Facebook back to the blog and display them as comments here.  

Sadly, Aaron Davis is right that Facebook turned off their API access for this on August 1st, so there currently aren’t any services, including Brid.gy, anywhere that allow this. Even WordPress and JetPack got cut off from posting from WordPress to Facebook, much less the larger challenge of pulling responses back.
October 14, 2018 at 01:03AM

Grant Potter  

Seeing the commentary from Greg McVerry and Aaron Davis, it’s probably worthwhile to point you to the IndieWeb for Education wiki page which has some useful resources, pointers, and references. As you have time, feel free to add yourself to the list along with any brainstorming ideas you might have for using some of this technology within your work realm. Many hands make light work. Welcome to the new revolution!
October 14, 2018 at 01:08AM

the autoposts from Twitter to Facebook were  

a hanging thought? I feel like I do this on my site all too often…
October 14, 2018 at 01:09AM

I am giving this one a go as it seems to be the most widely used.  

It is widely used, and I had it for a while myself. I will note that the developer said he was going to deprecate it in favor of some work he’d been doing with another Mastodon/WordPress developer though.
October 14, 2018 at 01:19AM

👓 What is ActivityPub, and how will it change the internet? | Jeremy Dormitzer

Read What is ActivityPub, and how will it change the internet? by Jeremy Dormitzer (jeremydormitzer.com)
ActivityPub is a social networking protocol. Think of it as a language that describes social networks: the nouns are users and posts, and the verbs are like, follow, share, create… ActivityPub gives applications a shared vocabulary that they can use to communicate with each other. If a server implements ActivityPub, it can publish posts that any other server that implements ActivityPub knows how to share, like and reply to. It can also share, like, or reply to posts from other servers that speak ActivityPub on behalf of its users.

👓 Welcome to Voldemorting, the Ultimate SEO Dis | Wired

Read Welcome to Voldemorting, the Ultimate SEO Dis by Gretchen McCulloch (WIRED)
When writers swap Trump for Cheeto and 45, it's not just a put-down. Removing a keyword is the anti-SEO—transforming your subject into a slippery, ungraspable, swarm.

Surprised she didn’t mention the phenomena of subtweeting, snitch tagging, or dunking which are also closely related to voldemorting.

To my experience, the phrase “bird site” was generally used as a derogatory phrase on Mastodon (represented by a Mastodon character instead of a bird), by people who were fed up by Twitter and the interactions they found there. I recall instances of it as early as April 2017.

In addition to potential SEO implications, this phenomenon is also interesting for its information theoretic implications.

I particularly like the reference in the van der Nagle paper

[…] screenshotting, or making content visible without sending its website traffic – to demonstrate users’ understandings of the algorithms that seek to connect individuals to other people, platforms, content and advertisers, and their efforts to wrest back control.

This seems like an awesome way to skirt around algorithms in social sites as well as not rewarding negative sites with clicks.

👓 Wil Wheaton Leaves Mastodon | jeffmueller.net

Read Wil Wheaton Leaves Mastodon by Jeff MuellerJeff Mueller (jeffmueller.net)
I’m done with social media. Maybe I just don’t fit into whatever the social media world is. I mean, the people who are all over the various Mastodon instances made it really clear that I wasn’t welcome there (with a handful of notable, joyful, exceptions, mostly related to my first baby steps ...

👓 Wil Wheaton Has a Listening Problem | Amber Enderton

Read Wil Wheaton Has a Listening Problem by Amber Enderton (Amber Enderton – Medium)
Wil Wheaton has left Mastodon after facing pressure and hostility from both the community and the staff. Yesterday, Wheaton got bofa’d. A…