🎧 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.

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🎧 Social Bubble Bath | IRL

Listened to IRL Podcast Episode 13: Social Bubble Bath by Veronica Belmont from irlpodcast.org

How technology can create, and can break, our filter bubbles.

We’ve long heard that the ways the web is tailored for each user—how we search, what we’re shown, who we read and follow— reinforces walls between us. Veronica Belmont investigates how social media can create, and can break, our filter bubbles. Megan Phelps-Roper discusses the Westboro Baptist Church, and the bubbles that form both on and offline. B.J. May talks about the bubbles he encountered every day, in his Twitter feed, and tells us how he broke free. Rasmus Nielsen suggests social media isn’t the filter culprit we think it is. And, within the context of a divided America, DeRay McKesson argues that sometimes bubbles are what hold us together.



Show Notes
Read B.J. May’s How 26 Tweets Broke My Filter Bubble.
Grab a cup of coffee and Say Hi From the Other Side.

An interesting take which takes filter bubbles and places them not necessarily just online, but often starting in the real world first and then extending from there.

h/t Kevin Marks

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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.

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👓 Privacy sentences to ponder | Marginal Revolution

Read Privacy sentences to ponder by Tyler Cowen (Marginal REVOLUTION)
The increasing difficulty in managing one’s online personal data leads to individuals feeling a loss of control. Additionally, repeated consumer data breaches have given people a sense of futility, ultimately making them weary of having to think about online privacy. This phenomenon is called “privacy fatigue.” Although privacy fatigue is prevalent and has been discussed by scholars, there is little empirical research on the phenomenon. A new study published in the journal Computers and Human Behavior aimed not only to conceptualize privacy fatigue but also to examine its role in online privacy behavior. Based on literature on burnout, we developed measurement items for privacy fatigue, which has two key dimensions —emotional exhaustion and cynicism. Data analyzed from a survey of 324 Internet users showed that privacy fatigue has a stronger impact on privacy behavior than privacy concerns do, although the latter is widely regarded as the dominant factor in explaining online privacy behavior.
Emphasis added by me.  That is by Hanbyl Choi, Jonghwa Park, and Yoonhyuk Jung, via Michelle Dawson.

Better control of online privacy is certainly something that the IndieWeb can help to remedy.

The past weeks have indicated that we really do need some regulations. It’s not just Facebook, but major, unpunished leaks from data brokers like Experian (which seemingly actually profited from it’s data leak) or even those of companies like Target. Many have been analogizing data as the “new oil”, but people shouldn’t be treated like dying sea birds trapped in oil slicks.

I’m bookmarking this journal article to read: The role of privacy fatigue in online privacy behavior. 1

References

1.
Choi H, Park J, Jung Y. The role of privacy fatigue in online privacy behavior. Comput Human Behav. 2018;81:42-51. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2017.12.001
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👓 Export your Facebook posts to WordPress | Chris Finke

Read Export your Facebook posts to WordPress by Christopher Finke (chrisfinke.com)
I’m a big proponent of owning the data that you create. I use WordPress (of course) wherever I blog, and I use the Keyring Social Importers plugin to make backup copies of my Twitter updates and Foursquare checkins. And as of today, I am also syncing my Facebook updates back to a private WordPress blog using Keyring Social Importers. Not familiar with Keyring Social Importers? That’s too bad, it’s amazing. Install it, and within minutes, you can be importing data from any one of a dozen sites to your blog. Remember all of that data you put into Myspace/Jaiku/Bebo/Pownce and how it disappeared when the site shut down? Wouldn’t it have been nice to be able to save a copy of all of that? That’s what Keyring Social Importers makes possible.

I was kind of hoping for something slightly different when I searched for something and found this, but it is interesting for those who don’t know about Keyring Social Importers and it had an interesting comments section.

I was looking for something in the range of a bulk Facebook Importer to exit Facebook altogether whereas this solution keeps you addicted to it. I would classify it more of a PESOS solution than a POSSE solution.

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Replied to Chris Jones on Twitter (Twitter)
A1. Personally I have multiple Wordpress sites, and I'm working on a stand-alone domain for my higher-end, highest-value #content .. all are candidates to aggregate relevant insights, yes? Pros/Cons? #smchat #contentseries

@sourcePOV I like @jgmac1106‘s general idea, but having less overhead to manage and administer appealed to me a lot. Here’s some thoughts on what I ended up doing: http://boffosocko.com/2016/12/18/rss-feeds-a-follow-up-on-my-indieweb-commitment-2017/

tl;dr: Having fewer sites to deal with seemed like a stronger idea. I still wanted to feature the richer content over the smaller tidbits while also not overwhelming people who had subscribed in the past. I also took into account trying to make it relatively easy for people to subscribe to the particular data they want/need out of my website. My home page has a list of various post kinds available which may be useful to think about as well.

@mrkrndvs has played around in this area of aggregation as well with a few different websites and may have some insight too.

Whatever you decide, be sure to have some fun along the way.

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👓 Fed up with Facebook, activists find new ways to defend their movements | Tech Crunch

Read Fed up with Facebook, activists find new ways to defend their movements (TechCrunch)
Malkia Cyril Contributor Share on Twitter Malkia Cyril is founder and executive director of the Center for Media Justice (CMJ) and co-founder of the Media Action Grassroots Network. More posts by this contributor The benefits of police body cams are a myth In the wake of revelations that the person…
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👓 Apps of a Feather

Read Apps of a Feather …Stick Together (Apps of a Feather)
Third-party Twitter apps are going to break on June 19th, 2018.

After June 19th, 2018, “streaming services” at Twitter will be removed. This means two things for third-party apps:
  1. Push notifications will no longer arrive
  2. Timelines won’t refresh automatically
If you use an app like TalonTweetbotTweetings, or Twitterrific, there is no way for its developer to fix these issues.

We are incredibly eager to update our apps. However, despite many requests for clarification and guidance, Twitter has not provided a way for us to recreate the lost functionality. We've been waiting for more than a year.

Twitter seems to finally be closing off the remainder of their open API that allowed full-fledged Twitter clients to still exist. This certainly creates a chilling effect in the future on developers spending any time or resources on projects like it that aren’t completely open. This also makes it much harder to build competing services to Twitter which have a similar financial model. I remember the heady days when there were dozens of awesome Twitter clients to chose from and interesting new things were happening in the social space.

If I was sitting on a huge pile of Twitter related code with a full set of Twitter related reading/posting functionality, I think I’d head toward some of the new open protocols coming out of the IndieWeb to build a new user base. By supporting feeds like RSS, ATOM, JSON feed, and even h-feed (possibly via Microsub) for the feed reader portion and building in the open Micropub spec, one could rejuvenate old Twitter apps to work with a myriad of microblog-like (and even traditional blog) functionality on platforms like WordPress, Drupal, Craft, WithKnown, Jekyll, Kirby, Hugo, micro.blog, and a myriad of others in the future. Suddenly all those old Twitter apps could rise from the ashes and invigorate a new, more open community. Given the open “architecture” of the community, it would give developers much more direct control of both their software and futures than Twitter has ever given them as well as a deeper sense of impact while simultaneously eating a nice portion of Twitter’s lunch. With less than a week’s worth of work, I suspect that many of these old apps could have new and more fruitful lives than the scraps they were getting before.

If the bird site doesn’t heed their cries, I hope they’ll all re-purpose their code and support the open web so that their hard work and efforts aren’t completely lost.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: Can Facebook Be Fixed? | The New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Can Facebook Be Fixed? by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com
Five days after details about Cambridge Analytica were made public, Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, broke his silence on his company’s role in the data breach.

Minutes after posting a statement on Facebook, he spoke with The New York Times.



On today’s episode:
• Kevin Roose, a business columnist for The Times.

Background reading:
• Facebook, in crisis over the Cambridge Analytica data breach, vows to bolster security and privacy.
• A transcript of Mr. Zuckerberg’s conversation with Mr. Roose and another Times reporter, Sheera Frenkel.

I think Roose humanizes Zuckerberg a bit too much in his discussion of his interview. Facebook has some of the best and brightest engineering talent and a multi-billion dollar war chest. They’ve known about their pending problem for quite a while now and should have long since begun building a remedy. The plain truth is that they’ve actively chosen not to. Worse, even with the swirling problems in the public consciousness, they’re not actively doing anything much to fix things after-the-fact other than paying it some lip service. If Zuckerberg is as seemingly naive as Roose suggests, he needs to be removed from his position.

I’m coming much closer to calling it quits on Facebook. I’ve outlined a plan for extracting myself and just need to begin implementation. I’ve even got a potential scalable plan for family/friends who would like to leave as well.

I actually feel like my remaining on the platform is subsidizing keeping many third world people on it, and the way Facebook has been and is operating in many other countries it becomes a moral issue which is forcing me to actively seek to leave it.

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👓 Facebooked, Googled And Recovering Imagination | Identity, Education and Power – Medium

Read Facebooked, Googled And Recovering Imagination by Sherri Spelic (Identity, Education and Power – Medium)

This essay begins in frustration. I’m looking for something but cannot find them. I know they were here among my things at one time but now that I need them, want to press them into service, they are gone. “They” happen to be a couple of books I read some years ago which I was certain would hold the keys to making sense of my now. When I read them around 2010 or 2012, they were pivotal for me (or so I imagine).

So there may be a delicious kind of irony that precisely these two books are missing.

One book is Googled: The End of The World As We Know It (2010) by Ken Auletta and the other is The Facebook Effect — The Inside Story of the Company that is Connecting the World (also 2010) by David Kirkpatrick. (This is the point at which I actually found the books right next to each other, left corner, middle bookshelf 3rd row, obscured by a mid-sized photo album containing real family photos.)

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👓 It’s Time For an RSS Revival | Wired

Read It's Time For an RSS Revival by Brian Barrett (WIRED)
After years of letting algorithms make up our minds for us, the time is right to go back to basics.

This article, which I’ve seen shared almost too widely on the internet since it came out, could almost have been written any time in the past decade really. They did do a somewhat better job of getting quotes from some of the big feed readers’ leaders to help to differentiate their philosophical differences, but there wasn’t much else here. Admittedly they did have a short snippet about Dave Winer’s new feedbase product, which I suspect, in combination with the recent spate of articles about Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, motivated the article. (By the way, I love OPML as much as anyone could, but feedbase doesn’t even accept the OPML feeds out of my  core WordPress install though most feed readers do, which makes me wonder how successful feedbase might be in the long run without better legacy spec support.)

So what was missing from Wired’s coverage? More details on what has changed in the space in the past several years. There’s been a big movement afoot in the IndieWeb community which has been espousing a simpler and more DRY (don’t repeat yourself) version of feeds using simple semantic microformats markup like h-feed. There’s also been the emergence of JSON feed in the past year which many of the major feed readers already support.

On the front of people leaving Facebook (and their black box algorithmic monster that determines what you read rather than you making an implicit choice), they might have mentioned people who are looking for readers through which they can also use their own domains and websites where they own and maintain their own data for interaction. I’ve written about this in more depth last year: Feed reader revolution.

One of the more bleeding edge developments which I think is going to drastically change the landscape in the coming years for developers, feed readers, and the internet consumption space is the evolving Microsub spec which is being spearheaded by a group of projects known as the Aperture microsub server and the Together and Indigenous clients which already use it. Microsub is going to abstract away many of the technical hurdles that make it far more difficult to build a full-fledged feed reader. I have a feeling it’s going to level a lot of the playing field to allow a Cambrian explosion of readers and social related software to better leverage more easily reading content on the web without relying on third party black box services which people have been learning they cannot fully trust anymore. Aaron Parecki has done an excellent job of laying out some parts of it in Building an IndieWeb Reader as well as in recent episodes of his Percolator microcast. This lower hurdle is going to result in fewer people needing to rely solely on the biggest feed readers like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for both consuming content and posting their own content. The easier it becomes for people to use other readers to consume content from almost anywhere on the web, the less a monopoly the social networks will have on our lives.

I truly hope Wired circles around and gives some of these ideas additional follow up coverage in the coming months. They owe it to their readership to expand their coverage from what we all knew five years ago. If they want to go a step or two further, they might compare the web we had 15 years ago to some of the new and emerging open web technologies that are starting to take hold today.

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👓 Why Tweet? | Confessions of a Community College Dean

Read Why Tweet? by Matt Reed (Inside Higher Ed)
The positives of academic Twitter.

Some interesting and generally useful insight here. Sadly I didn’t see his Twitter handle attached to the post–at least on the mobile version. So much for the “promotion” accusation…

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📺 Ricky Gervais: Humanity | Netflix

Watched Ricky Gervais: Humanity (2018) by Ricky Gervais from Netflix
Live performance of British comedian Ricky Gervais filmed in London's Eventim Apollo.

I watched this in pieces over the last two evenings and finished of the tail end at lunch today.

I’ve often thought of Gervais simply as a crass entertainer, but there are so many interesting new dimensions which come out in “Humanity”, they give me newfound respect for who he is and what he’s doing now. This is far more complex than just simple comedy, he’s doing something much more significant with this particular performance.

I also haven’t laughed this hard in quite a while. Tears, literally tears. Perhaps most interesting is that he’s got a much wider range of emotions which he’s playing off of here than just the humorous.

Gervais has some really interesting philosophy hiding in here among the dark humor. He has an interesting take on comedy and what it does and doesn’t target. The bit at the end on social media was particularly interesting. His take on “The Commons” is quite solid and is something I don’t suspect many could expound upon so eloquently.

During the portion in which he talks about his favorite Twitter response ever, he looked down at his phone to quote the tweet. I was reminded of some of the comedy greats I’ve seen at clubs late at night reading out of their beat up notebooks to try out new material. For a moment I thought, “perhaps Gervais is trying out some new material live here.” If it’s the case, then he was genius, though I suspect now that it was just a useful prop to add to the narrative of the joke. Either way, just brilliant. I wonder when we’ll see comics at clubs reading off of phones instead of the old spiral bounds? I wonder if it’ll play an better than the index card or notebook?

His closer with the story about his mum’s death and the wonderful prank on the poor vicar put a wonderfully fine point on the entire piece. It is humanity indeed. If there were a god, I’m sure he’d bless Ricky Gervais.

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