Checked into SupplyFrame DesignLab

Giving a short 15 minute talk on some basic IndieWeb ideas, particularly with an eye toward science communication, to a great turnout of students at the Space Apps Challenge 2018 Kickoff event as part of Connect Pasadena.

For those interested, I’m giving a more advanced version of this talk at the upcoming WordCamp Riverside on November 3rd.

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👓 Trying Mastodon | Gary Pendergast

Replied to Trying Mastodon by Gary PendergastGary Pendergast (Gary Pendergast)
It’s no secret that Twitter is red hot garbage fire, so I’ve signed up for a Mastodon account to give them a try. Because I’m super vain, I decided to create my own Mastodon instance, with a custom domain.

I know of a few folks in the IndieWeb and WordPress communities like Ryan Barrett (with FedBridgy) and Mathias Pfefferle (with OStatus plugin) who are actively working on helping bridge the technology between websites and the Fediverse so that one could use their WordPress install as a stand-alone “instance” of Mastodon.

It already seems somewhat obvious that moving from Twitter to Mastodon is bringing along some of the problems and issues that Twitter users are facing, so being able to use your current WordPress (or other) website to interact with other instances, sounds like a very solid idea. In practice, it’s the way I’ve been using my website with Twitter 1 2 (as well as Google+, Instagram, Facebook and other social silos) for some time, so I can certainly indicate it’s been a better experience for me. Naturally, both of their efforts fall underneath the broader umbrella of the web standards solutions generally pushed by the IndieWeb community, so I’m also already using my WordPress-based site to communicate back and forth in a social media-like way with others on the web already using Webmention, Micropub, WebSub, and (soon) Microsub.

These federation efforts have got a way to go to offer a clean user experience without a tremendous amount of set up, but for those technically inclined, they are efforts certainly worth looking at so one needn’t manage multiple sites/social media and they can still own all the data for themselves.

 

References

1.
Aldrich C. @Mentions from Twitter to My Website. BoffoSocko. https://boffosocko.com/2017/04/15/mentions-from-twitter-to-my-website/. Published April 15, 2017. Accessed September 11, 2018.
2.
Aldrich C. Threaded conversations between WordPress and Twitter. BoffoSocko. https://boffosocko.com/2018/07/02/threaded-conversations-between-wordpress-and-twitter/. Published July 2, 2018. Accessed September 11, 2018.
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👓 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...
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👓 The world is a terrible place right now, and that’s largely because it is what we make it. | Wil Wheaton

Read The world is a terrible place right now, and that’s largely because it is what we make it. by Wil Wheaton (WIL WHEATON dot NET)
As most of you know, I deactivated my Twitter account earlier this month. It had been a long time coming, for a whole host of reasons, but Twitter’s decision to be the only social network tha…

As I read article this I find myself wondering why Wil Wheaton was looking for a new social media platform? Hasn’t he realized yet that he’s already got one–his very own website?!!

While Wil maintains it more like an old school blog with longer thought pieces and stories, there’s certainly no reason he couldn’t use it to post shorter thoughts, status updates, or notes as he might do on Twitter or Mastodon. It’s also an “instance” which no one is going to kick him off of. He has ultimate control. If people moan and complain, he can moderate their complaints as he sees fit.

This particular post has 410 comments, most of which seem relatively civil and run a paragraph or two–at least enough to convey a complete and coherent thought or two. At some point he decided to cap the commentary for mental health or any other reason he may have, which is certainly his right as well as the right of anyone on their own website. Sadly most social services don’t provide this functionality.

I also notice that instead of trying to rebuild a following on someone else’s platform, he’s already got the benefit of a network of 3,689,638 email subscribers not to mention the thousands more who visit his site regularly or subscribe via RSS. I suspect that those subscribers, who have taken more time and effort to subscribe to his website than they did on any other platform, are likely a much better audience and are far more engaged.

So my short memo to Wil: Quit searching for an alternate when you’ve already got one that obviously seems like a much healthier and happier space.

If you feel like you’re missing some of the other small niceties of other social networks, I’ll happily and freely help you: set up some Micropub apps to make posting to your site easier; add Webmention support so others would need to post to their own websites to @mention you across the web from their service of choice; add a social media-esque Follow buttton; set up Microsub service so you can read what you choose on the web and like/favorite, reply to, bookmark, etc. to your site and send the commentary back to them. Of course anyone can do this on their own with some details and help from the IndieWeb.org community if they wish…

 

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👓 Upcoming Changes in the Blogs. | Harvard Blogging Platform

Read Upcoming Changes in the Blogs (Weblogs at Harvard)
7/13/2018 In 2003, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society (now the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society) began an unusual experiment: we launched a blogging platform. That seems q…
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👓 Owning and controlling my own content | Laura Kalbag

Read Owning and controlling my own content by Laura KalbagLaura Kalbag (Laura Kalbag)
One of the ultimate goals we have at Ind.ie is owning and controlling our own data. That means I want to have ownership and control over my own personal information, rather than it being in the hands of big corporations. My personal information could range from something as intensely private as my m...
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📑 Connections by Kathleen Fitzpatrick — A reply to heatherstains annotation

Replied to an annotation on Connections by Kathleen Fitzpatrick by Heather StainesHeather Staines (Hypothesis)
Social media networks provided immediate solutions to a few problems with those early blogging networks: they relieved the moderately heavy lift in getting started and they created the possibility of connections that were immediate, dense, and growing. But as those networks expanded, they both pulled authors away from their own domains — so much quicker to tweet than to blog, and with a much speedier potential response — and they privatized and scattered conversations.  
Exactly the use case that annotation is hoping to solve! Enabling the connection between different sites.

I do like the way Hypothes.is works, but I still think that a direct site to site version of conversation is still more powerful and both ends get to keep the data rather than relying on a third party. 😉

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🔖 Data Transfer Project https://datatransferproject.dev

Bookmarked Data Transfer Project (datatransferproject.dev)

The Data Transfer Project was formed in 2017 to create an open-source, service-to-service data portability platform so that all individuals across the web could easily move their data between online service providers whenever they want.

The contributors to the Data Transfer Project believe portability and interoperability are central to innovation. Making it easier for individuals to choose among services facilitates competition, empowers individuals to try new services and enables them to choose the offering that best suits their needs.

Current contributors include: Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter

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🔖 The Data Transfer Project google/data-transfer-project

Bookmarked google/data-transfer-project (GitHub)
The Data Transfer Project makes it easy for people to transfer their data between online service providers. We are establishing a common framework, including data models and protocols, to enable direct transfer of data both into and out of participating online service providers. http://datatransferproject.dev

cross reference: https://boffosocko.com/2018/07/22/data-transfer-project/

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👓 Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter unite to simplify data transfers | Engadget

Read Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter unite to simplify data transfers (Engadget)
The open-source Data Transfer Project should make it easier to switch services.
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Over 1 million Webmentions can’t be wrong. Join the next revolution in web communication. Add the Webmentions standard to your website to solve the biggest communications problem on today’s internet and add rich context to your content.

https://alistapart.com/article/webmentions-enabling-better-communication-on-the-internet

My post on A List Apart is up!

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Threaded conversations between WordPress and Twitter

I’ve written about threading comments from one WordPress website to another before. I’ve long suspected this type of thing could be done with Twitter, but never really bothered with it or necessarily needed to do it, though I’ve often seen cases where others might have wanted to do this.

For a post today, I wrote on my own site and syndicated it to Twitter and got a reply back via webmention through Brid.gy. This process happens for me almost every day, and this all by itself feels magical.  The real magic however, and I don’t think I’ve done this before or seen it done, was that I replied to the backfed comment on my site inline and manually syndicated to Twitter using a permalink of the form http://www.example.com/standard-permalink-structure/?replytocom=57527#respond, where 57527 is the particular comment ID for my inline comment. (This comment ID can typically be found by hovering over the “Reply” or “Comment” button on one’s WordPress website in most browsers.)

Where to find the comment ID to provide the proper permalink to get properly nested comments backfed to your site.

When a reply to my second syndicated Twitter post came in, Brid.gy properly sent it as a comment to my comment AND nested it properly!

I’ve now got a nested copy of the conversation on my site that is identical to the one on Twitter.

I suspect that by carefully choosing the URL structure you syndicate to Twitter, you’ll allow yourself more control over how backfed comments from Brid.gy nest (or don’t) in your response section on your site.

Perhaps even more powerfully, non-WordPress-based websites could also use these permalinks structures for composing their replies to WordPress sites to have their replies nest properly too. I think I’ve seen Aaron Parecki do this in the wild.

Since the WordPress Webmention plugin now includes functionality for sending webmentions directly from the comments section, I’ll have to double check that the microformats on my comments are properly marked up to  see if I can start leveraging Brid.gy publish functionality to send threaded replies to Twitter automatically. Or perhaps work on something that will allow automatic replies via Twitter API. Hmmm…

Despite the fact that this could all be a bit more automated, the fact that one can easily do threaded replies between WordPress and Twitter makes me quite happy.

Thread onward!

For more on my IndieWeb explorations with Twitter, see my IndieWeb Research page.

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👓 Self-platforming, DoOO, and academic workflows | Tim Clarke

Read Self-platforming, DoOO, and academic workflows by Tim ClarkeTim Clarke (simulacrumbly.com)
I see self-platforming as an expression of my own digital citizenship, and I also see it as my deliberate answer to the call for digital sanctuary.  The frequency and extent to which educators urge students onto extractive applications is of great concern.  Self-platforming offers opportunities to benefit from the collaborative, hyper-textual, asynchronous, and distributed qualities of the web, while diminishing the costs — often hidden to us — of working on proprietary and extractive platforms.

I love that Tim is looking closely at how the choices of tools he’s using can potentially impact his students/readers. I’ve also been in the boat he’s in–trying to wrangle some simple data in a way that makes it easy to collect, read, and disseminate content for myself, students, and other audiences.

Needing to rely on five or more outside services (Twitter, Instapaper, Pinboard, bit.ly, and finally even Canvas, where some of them are paid services) seems just painful and excessive. He mentions the amount and level of detail he’s potentially giving away to just bit.ly, but each of these are all taking a bite out of the process. Of course this doesn’t take into consideration the fact that Instapaper is actually a subsidiary of Betaworks, the company that owns and controls bit.ly, so there’s even more personal detail being consumed and aggregated there than he may be aware. All this is compounded by the fact that Instapaper is currently completely blocking its users within the EU because it hasn’t been able to comply with the privacy and personal data details/restrictions of the GDPR. Naturally, there’s currently no restrictions on it in the U.S. or other parts of the world.

I (and many others) have been hacking away for the past several years in trying to tame much of our personal data in a better way to own it and control it for ourselves. And isn’t this part of the point of having a domain of one’s own? Even his solution of using Shaarli to self-host his own bookmarks, while interesting, seems painful to me in some aspects. Though he owns and controls the data, because it sits on a separate domain it’s not as tightly integrated into his primary site or as easily searched. To be even more useful, it needs additional coding and integration into his primary site which appears to run on WordPress. With the givens, it looks more like he’s spending some additional time running his own separate free-standing social media silo just for bookmarks. Why not have it as part of his primary personal hub online?

I’ve been watching a growing trend of folks both within the IndieWeb/DoOO and edtech spaces begin using their websites like a commonplace book to host a growing majority of their own online and social related data. This makes it all easier to find, reference, consume, and even create new content in the future. On their own sites, they’re conglomerating all their data about what they’re reading, highlighting, annotating, bookmarking, liking, favoriting, and watching in addition to their notes and thoughts. When appropriate, they’re sharing that content publicly (more than half my website is hidden privately on my back end, but still searchable and useful only to me) or even syndicating it out to social sites like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Instapaper, et al. to share it within other networks.

Some other examples of educators and researchers doing this other than myself include Aaron Davis, Greg McVerry, John Johnson, and more recently W. Ian O’Byrne and Cathie LeBlanc among many others. Some have chosen to do it on their primary site while others are experimenting using two or even more. I would hope that as Tim explores, he continues to document his process as well as the pros and cons of what he does and the resultant effects. But I also hopes he discovers this growing community of scholars, teachers, programmers and experimenters who have been playing in the same space so that he knows he’s not alone and perhaps to prevent himself from going down some rabbit holes some of us have explored all too well. Or to use what may be a familiar bit of lingo to him, I hope he joins our impromptu, but growing personal learning network (PLN).

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👓 MyData – a Nordic model for human-centered personal data | IIS

Read MyData – a Nordic model for human-centered personal data (iis.se)
MyData is the name of a human centered approach in personal data and Antti Poikola is one of the main initiators. The concept is well known on the open data arena in Finland, but now Antti Poikola wants the concept to be more used in other Nordic countries as well.
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📺 re:publica 2018 – Jim Groom: Domain of One’s Own: Reclaim Your Data | YouTube

Watched re:publica 2018: Domain of One's Own: Reclaim Your Data by Jim GroomJim Groom from YouTube

A Domain of One's Own is an international initiative in higher education to give students and faculty more control over their personal data. The movement started at the University of Mary Washington in 2012, and has since grown to tens of thousands of faculty and students across hundreds of universities. The first part of this presentation (5-10 minutes) will provide a brief overview of how these Domains projects enable not only data portability for coursework, but also a reflective sense of what a digital identity might mean in terms of privacy and data ownership.

The second part of this presentation will explore how Domain of One's Own could provides a powerful example in how higher education could harness application programming interfaces (APIs) to build a more user-empowered data ecosystem at universities. The initial imaginings of this work has already begun at Brigham Young University in collaboration with Reclaim Hosting, and we will share a blueprint of what a vision of the Personal API could mean for a human-centric data future in the realm of education and beyond.

A short talk at the re:publica conference in Germany which touches on the intersection of the Domain of One’s Own which is very similar to the broader IndieWeb movement. POSSE makes a brief appearance at the end of the presentation, although just on a slide with an implicit definition rather than a more full-fledged discussion.

Toward the end, Groom makes mention of MyData, a Nordic Model for human-centered personal data management and processing, which I’d not previously heard of but which has some interesting resources which look like they might dovetail into some of what those in the IndieWeb are looking at. I’m curious if any of the folks in the EU like Sebastian Greger have come across them, and what their thoughts are on the idea/model they’ve proposed? It looks like they’ve got an interesting looking conference coming up at the end of August in Helsinki. There seems to be a white paper outlining a piece of their philosophy, which I’ll link to below:

MyData: A Nordic Model for human-centered personal data management and processing by Antti Poikola (t), Kai Kuikkaniemi (t), Harri Honko (t)

This white paper presents a framework, principles, and a model for a human-centric approach to the managing and processing of personal information. The approach – defined as MyData – is based on the right of individuals to access the data collected about them. The core idea is that individuals should be in control of their own data. The MyData approach aims at strengthening digital human rights while opening new opportunities for businesses to develop innovative personal data based services built on mutual trust.

Based on a quick overview, this is somewhat similar to a model I’ve considered and is reminiscent to some ideas I’ve been harboring about applications of this type of data to the journalism sphere as well.

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