👓 Social.coop | Discours.es

Read Social.coop by Doug BelshawDoug Belshaw (discours.es)
I deleted my account on the Mastodon instance social.coop yesterday. I still don't fully understand what went down, but here's some details from [...]
Just goes to show you that a social media silo doesn’t need to be a big platform run by a corporation.

Reminds me of Kevin Marks’ tweet the other day:

👓 It’s time to say goodbye to Twitter | sonniesedge

Replied to It's time to say goodbye to Twitter by sonniesedgesonniesedge (sonniesedge.co.uk)

When I first got on Twitter it was like usenet in the 90s. Just a bunch of people talking shit about things that they enjoyed. It was small enough that everyone seemed to know each other, but large enough that there were still interesting nerdy people to find and get to know and enjoy the company of. The perfect little club.

But at some point it went horribly wrong.

I hope that as you wean yourself away from Twitter that you regain the ability to do longer posts–I quite like your writing style. This is certainly as well-put a statement about why one should leave Twitter as one could imagine.

I remember those old days and miss the feel it used to have as well. The regrowing blogosphere around the IndieWeb and Micro.blog are the closest thing I’ve seen to that original feel since ADN or smaller networks like 10 Centuries and pnut. I enjoy finding that as I wean myself away from Twitter, I do quite like going back to some of the peace and tranquility of reading and thinking my way through longer posts (and replies as well). Sometimes I wonder if it doesn’t take more than ten minutes of thought and work, it’s probably not worth putting on the internet at all, and even then it’s probably questionable… I’m half tempted to register the domain squirrels.social and spin up a Mastodon instance–fortunately it would take less than the ten minute time limit and there are enough animal related social silos out there already.

As an aside, I love the way you’ve laid out your webmentions–quite beautiful!

👓 I’m joining the campaign to deactivate my Twitter account on August 17 | BoingBoing

Read I'm joining the campaign to deactivate my Twitter account on August 17 by Mark Frauenfelder (Boing Boing)
I deleted my Facebook account a few months ago and am not sorry I did. For the last couple of months, I've been thinking about deleting my Twitter account, too. It has become a creepy, toxic place. I'm stunned that Twitter has no problem with people who want to inflict additional misery on the parents of murdered children. It's not about the first Amendment. Twitter is a company -- it can choose whomever it wants to be on its platform. As my friend Sean Bonner posted, Twitter "didn’t start as an open forum for free speech, it started as a way for people to see what their friends were doing. Enforcing the same rules for everyone to promote civil discourse isn’t censorship. Bots spewing hate and attacking people isn’t fun." He's right. I'm joining Sean and others on August 17 by deactivating my Twitter account. The hashtag for this action is #DeactiDay. If Twitter doesn't fix its hate enabler problem in 30 days, I won't reactivate my account, after which it will be permanently deleted. It's very likely it will be deleted, because Twitter has demonstrated that it badly wants Alex Jones and his ilk on its platform. When CNN reported that Jones violated at least a dozen of Twitter's rules after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said Jones hadn't and therefore couldn't be kicked off, Twitter didn't do a thing about it. Then Twitter admitted that Jones had indeed violated rules that had resulted in bans for other people, but said it wouldn't ban Jones. Twitter can have Jones, and I'll be happy to be the hell away from the place.
I’ve been watching lots of folks jumping ship over the past weeks and months. I think I could be in for just exactly this. I’ve already got my own website that handles all of my personal content and some great interaction at micro.blog. I’ll even help build sites for others who need a place to go to from Twitter, please ping me at my site. #deactiday

👓 Farewell Social Media | James Shelley

Read Farewell Social Media by James ShelleyJames Shelley (jamesshelley.com)
I recently purged the data from my Facebook account. This effort was shockingly labour intensive: it took a browser script all weekend to crunch, and still many aspects of the process required manual execution. Torching years and years of old Facebook activity felt so liberating that I found another...
A short, but solid piece on why James has left social media and consciously moved to his own blog and feed reader. I’m curious what his thoughts are a bit on into his experience. He’s definitely worth a follow.

👓 Why I Needed to Pull Back From Twitter | Maggie Haberman

Read Why I Needed to Pull Back From Twitter by Maggie Haberman (nytimes.com)
The viciousness, toxic partisan anger and intellectual dishonesty are at all-time highs.

Reply to 50cent tweet about Instagram abuse

Replied to a tweet by 50cent (Twitter)
Why rely on yet another corporation that may do the same? Come join the #IndieWeb!
#ownyourdata

🎧 Episode 3: Freedom from Facebook | Clevercast

Listened to Episode 3: Freedom from Facebook by Jonathan LaCourJonathan LaCour from cleverca.st

This time on clevercast, I discuss my departure from Facebook, including an overview of how I liberated my data from the social giant, and moved it to my own website.

Here are some of the tools that I mention in today’s episode:

Also check out my On This Day page and my Subscribe page, which includes my daily email syndication of my website activity.

There’s a lot going on here and a lot to unpack for such a short episode. This presents an outline at best of what I’m sure was 10 or more hours of work. One day soon, I hope, we’ll have some better automated tools for exporting data from Facebook and doing something actually useful with it.

An IndieWeb Podcast: Episode 1 “Leaving Facebook”

Episode 1 Leaving Facebook
This first half of the episode was originally recorded in March, abruptly ended, and then was not completed until April due to scheduling.

It’s been reported that Cambridge Analytica has improperly taken and used data from Facebook users in an improper manner, an event which has called into question the way that Facebook handles data. David Shanske and I discuss some of the implications from an IndieWeb perspective and where you might go if you decide to leave Facebook.

Show Notes

Articles

The originating articles that kicked off the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica issue:

Related articles and pages

Recent Documented Facebook Quitters

Jonathan LaCourEddie Hinkle, Natalie Wolchover, Cher, Tea Leoni, Adam McKay, Leo Laporte,and Jim Carrey

New York Times Profile of multiple quitters: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/21/technology/users-abandon-facebook.html

IndieWeb Wiki related pages of interest

Potential places to move to when leaving Facebook

You’ve made the decision to leave Facebook? Your next question is likely to be: to move where? Along with the links above, we’ve compiled a short list of IndieWeb-related places that might make solid options.

Replied to a post by Jeff Doshna (facebook.com)
I have a real problem. I HATE FACEBOOK, what they are doing with our data, how they control access to information and news for millions of people, and the fact that they've insinuated themselves into every aspect of our lives.

So I'm inclined to walk away from it entirely.

But....

There's real information on here that I need, about people I care about, about things going on in my communities, and keeping connected with folks who've been part of my life over the years.

So, what to do?
You can add people to custom Facebook lists and just read those, but then you’re not necessarily getting all the data you want given the Facebook algorithm deciding what you see.

There’s lots more I could advise doing, but if you’re only using Facebook for reading content you want to get out of Facebook, then lock the whole thing down as best as you can (privacywise) and then use https://facebook-atom.appspot.com/ to suck the data you want out as a feed and pipe it into a feed reader.

You can unsubscribe or unfollow folks to limit your feeds to the bare minimum. The atom feed the appspot tool gives you will be everything and it will be reverse chronological. Good feed readers like Feed.ly and Inoreader will allow you to filter out posts you don’t want to see using a variety of keyword filters.

If you need specific help in setting it up or the instructions are unclear, let me know; I’m happy to help.

If you want to set up and run your own custom private system/server for close family, I can make some suggestions for doing that too.

Getting data out of Medium

Read Getting data out of Medium by Kris Shaffer (pushpullfork.com)

Controlling my data is important to me. It’s also important that my students (and the faculty that I support) have the ability to control their own data, as well. That doesn’t mean that everything needs to live on a Domain of One’s Own. But it does mean that I want my data to be as flexible as possible, and as easy to move around as possible.

It’s really easy to download an archive of your Medium posts. Like your Twitter archive, you can just unzip the archive and upload it to your domain, and you’ve got it up and running.

However, if you want to incorporate those posts into a different platform — like WordPress, Jekyll, Known, etc. — it is more of a challenge.

I wrote my posts on the Medium API directly in Medium. Partly as an experiment, and partly because I love the Medium post editor. (It’s why I incorporated a Medium editor clone into Peasy.) But after writing three posts —  complete with feature images, inline images, and code blocks — in Medium, I decided to import them into my Jekyll/GitHub Pages site. That’s turned out to be a challenge. Not an insurmountable one, but one that I’d rather avoid going through.

I downloaded my Medium archive, used Pandoc to convert the posts from HTML to MarkDown, and then copied and pasted the MarkDown into new posts on my Jekyll site. There was more post-processing than I anticipated, or would like. And it doesn’t look as easy to automate the cleanup as I would like.

Even more frustrating was my discovery a couple weeks ago that the Medium API supports posting to Medium, but not retrieving posts from Medium. It is easy to write code that cross-posts from another platform to Medium, but Medium makes it more difficult to go the other way.

Why?

My guess is that their focus is on content. They want to be the place where we go to find ALL THE CONTENT. So they make it really easy to get content in. Harder to get content out. And by making a beautiful, easy-to-use editor, the temptation is strong to just use Medium from the start.

If we just want to write, get our writings read, and have a permanent record of what we wrote. Medium can be great. But if we want to write content that we keep coming back to, content that keeps evolving, content that’s part of a long-term project … and if we don’t want that long-term project to be locked into a single platform … then Medium may be a problem.

I say as I write this post on Medium.

Because I just can’t resist this editor.

Time to go add some code to Peasy so I can get it ready for prime-time sooner.

Featured image by paul bica (CC BY).

A prescient article written last fall before the news that Medium was downsizing significantly this week.

My new social media POSSE |

Read My new social media POSSE by Kris Shaffer (pushpullfork.com)

Several of my friends and colleagues have been critical of their social media experience recently — Twitter in particular. One friend left Twitter altogether last week. I’m sympathetic. I’m a serial Facebook quitter, and in the fall, I wrote a few blog posts about my disillusionment with relying on Twitter for social and professional conversations. I even took some time off . . . and enjoyed it.

And then there were conferences. Twitter is such an assett at professional conferences, adding a layer of depth to the presentations and conversations. Then came #moocmooc. And so Twitter dragged me back in.

For all of its benefits, Twitter still has a signal-to-noise ratio problem. And a harassment problem. It facilitates the antisocial and the parasocial alongside the social. Creative, and promiscuous, blocking helps the anti-/parasocial problem. But it’s still noisy, and even the good is under the control of the Twitter company. However, I’ve started trying two things this past week that are helping with these issues.

First, I’m largely ignoring my Twitter timeline, and instead, I’m following a few lists I’ve created, each of which have, at most, a few dozen people. This targeted reading, loosely by topic, means that I read less tweets, and that I can choose a topic to focus on at a given moment. (My lists include topics like critical pedagogy, music scholarship, digital humanities, social justice, Christianity, etc. I also follow hashtags like #mtped and #moocmooc.) The topical division is messy, of course, as individuals tend to tweet about more than one topic. But there is more signal and less noise on these lists, and less topic-jumping while reading one of these lists, than while reading my timeline. Since I’m following less people this way, I might miss something. But most of the good stuff I really need to see will be retweeted by someone in a list eventually. (And people retweeted often get added to the list.) And at some point, I have to resign myself to the fact that there will always be more good stuff out there than I have time to engage . . . and that’s okay.

The other change I’ve made is installing Known on my server (sketches.shaffermusic.com). Known is a blog-like, social-media-like platform designed with POSSE in mind: Publish on your Own Site and Syndicate Elsewhere — a growing trend on the IndieWeb. Known double-publishes on Tiwtter (and other platforms) and uses webmentions to collect the ensuing conversations onto the original Known site. (Bridgy helps, too.) It also differentiates Tweet-like status updates from Facebook-like mini-blog entires without imposing character limits. It also integrates with social media conversations and @-replies pretty well. In short, it’s a pretty smooth way to own and control your content while connecting on proprietary social media networks.

I’ve found that more targeted reading makes me happier, and more targeted Twitter use means more time for longer-form reading and writing. Further, I really want to control my own content, and doing so makes me more excited about writing (as does having a new publishing toy . . . er . . . platform).

I’m liking this setup, at least for now. Targeted, meaningful engagement on Twitter, more time to read the longer-form pieces I find there, an easier and more “indie” way to engage, and more motivation to dig in and really write. Good stuff. And no need to leave Twitter just yet.

Kris Shaffer, Ph.D. (Yale University, 2011), is an Instructional Technology Specialist and adjunct instructor in Computer Science and Digital Studies at the University of Mary Washington and Contributing Editor for Hybrid Pedagogy. He is also the lead author of Open Music Theory.

Header image by Jared Tarbell.

The Seattle Review of Books – Sherman Alexie, Lindy West, and Ta-Nehisi Coates all quit Twitter this week

Read Sherman Alexie, Lindy West, and Ta-Nehisi Coates all quit Twitter this week by Paul Constant (seattlereviewofbooks.com)
Sooner or later, enough people I like are going to abandon the service, and the pain-to-pleasure ratio will tip unfavorably. I don't know how Twitter will survive 2017 without making some drastic changes to its service. Maybe it's already too late.