Bookmarked Sapien (sapien.network)
Sapien is a Web 3.0 social news platform that gives users control of their data, rewards content creators, and fights fake news.

I am a bit concerned that this network heavily features “democracy” on its front page the way it does and includes gab.ai in the page’s meta data. I’m not sure what to expect to find here.

Bookmarking as the result of a mention in an episode of Human Current.

👓 The promise and peril of academia wading into Twitter | Johns Hopkins Magazine

Read The promise and peril of academia wading into Twitter by Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson (The Hub)
Increasingly, scholars are turning to Twitter for sharing research and engaging with the public

👓 Following Twitter peeps in an indiereader with granary.io and Microsub | Neil Mather

Read Following Twitter peeps in an indiereader with granary.io and Microsub by Neil MatherNeil Mather (doubleloop)
My online social experience is mostly through the indieweb. For following people and blogs, I use Aperture, a Microsub server, to subscribe to various social feeds. And then I read and interact with those feeds in various clients – e.g. Indigenous on Android, and Monocle on the web. Although I don...

I haven’t migrated over to a microsub-based reader yet, but this is an excellent description of some tools for freeing yourself from reading friends and family in Twitter.

👓 Twitter reveals big changes to conversations and new camera features | NBC

Read Twitter reveals big changes to conversations and new camera features (NBC News)
The changes are meant to make good on the company's promise to promote "healthy conversation."

Their sample certainly doesn’t look any better here. I wonder how much of a change it will really represent?

I worry that the camera is just another means of weaponizing their users’ phones?

🎧 The Daily: Silicon Valley’s Military Dilemma | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Silicon Valley’s Military Dilemma from New York Times

Should Big Tech partner with the Pentagon? We examine a cautionary tale.

Some great history and questions about ethics here.

I’m surprised that for it’s share of profits that Down didn’t spin off the napalm division to some defense contractor?

Of course some tech companies are already weaponizing their own products against people. What about those ethical issues.

🔖 Status as a Service (StaaS) | Remains of the Day

Bookmarked Status as a Service (StaaS) by Eugene Wei (Remains of the Day)

Status-Seeking Monkeys

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a person in possession of little fortune, must be in want of more social capital."

So wrote Jane Austen, or she would have, I think, if she were chronicling our current age (instead we have Taylor Lorenz, and thank goodness for that).

Let's begin with two principles:

  • People are status-seeking monkeys*

  • People seek out the most efficient path to maximizing social capital

* Status-Seeking Monkeys will also be the name of my indie band, if I ever learn to play the guitar and start a band

I begin with these two observations of human nature because few would dispute them, yet I seldom see social networks, some of the largest and fastest-growing companies in the history of the world, analyzed on the dimension of status or social capital.

Hat tip: Ryan Barrett

stunning analysis of social networks as products: https://www.eugenewei.com/blog/2019/2/19/status-as-a-service . many insights i’d never heard before. (beware though, almost 20k words!)

👓 Social media is an existential threat to our idea of democracy | Opinion | The Guardian

Read Social media is an existential threat to our idea of democracy by John Naughton (the Guardian)
Two reports for the US senate reveal how Russia’s Internet Research Agency has fomented distrust and division in the west

📑 ‘The goal is to automate us’: welcome to the age of surveillance capitalism | John Naughton | The Guardian

Annotated 'The goal is to automate us': welcome to the age of surveillance capitalism by John NaughtonJohn Naughton (the Guardian)
The combination of state surveillance and its capitalist counterpart means that digital technology is separating the citizens in all societies into two groups: the watchers (invisible, unknown and unaccountable) and the watched. This has profound consequences for democracy because asymmetry of knowledge translates into asymmetries of power.  

👓 How to decentralize social media—a brief sketch | Larry Sanger

Read How to decentralize social media—a brief sketch by Larry SangerLarry Sanger (larrysanger.org)
The problem about social media is that it is centralized. Centralization empowers massive corporations and governments to steal our privacy and restrict our speech and autonomy.

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

The social media browser plugins. Here’s the killer feature. Create at least one (could be many competing) browser plugins that enable you to (a) select feeds and then (b) display them alongside a user’s Twitter, Facebook, etc., feeds. (This could be an adaptation of Greasemonkey.) In other words, once this feature were available, you could tell your friends: “I’m not on Twitter. But if you want to see my Tweet-like posts appear in your Twitter feed, then simply install this plugin and input my feed address. You’ll see my posts pop up just as if they were on Twitter. But they’re not! And we can do this because you can control how any website appears to you from your own browser. It’s totally legal and it’s actually a really good idea.” In this way, while you might never look at Twitter or Facebook, you can stay in contact with your friends who are still there—but on your own terms.  

This is an intriguing idea. In particular, it would be cool if I could input my OPML file of people I’m following and have a plugin like this work with other social readers.
February 20, 2019 at 12:29PM

We can look at a later iteration of Everipedia itself as an example. Right now, there is one centralized encyclopedia: Wikipedia. With the Everipedia Network, there will be a protocol that will enable people from all over the web to participate in a much broader project.  

As I look at this, I can’t help think about my desire to want to be able to link to a wiki in a post and have a Webmention added to that post’s “See Also” or reference section. With the link automatically added to the wiki’s page like this, future readers and editors could have access to my original and could potentially synopsize and include details from my post into the wiki’s article.
February 20, 2019 at 12:41PM

But how do we make it happen?  

Larry, I caught your Twitter conversation with Aaron Parecki earlier about IndieWeb. I’ve added a lot of the open specs he referenced to my own WordPress website with a handful of plugins and would be happy to help you do the same if you like. I think that with some of the IndieWeb tools, it’s always even more impressive if you can see them in action using something you’re already regularly using.

If nothing else, it’ll give you some direct experience with how the decentralized nature of how these things work. I’m posting my reply to you own my own site and manually syndicating the reply (since you don’t yet support webmention, one of the protocols) which will give at least some idea of how it all works.

If you’re curious about how you could apply it to your own WordPress site, I’ve collected some research, articles and experiments specific to my experience here: https://boffosocko.com/research/indieweb/
February 20, 2019 at 12:46PM

The feed readers. Just as the RSS standard spawned lots of “reader” and “aggregator” software, so there should be similar feed readers for the various data standards described in (1) and the publishers described in (2). While publishers might have built-in readers (as the social media giants all do), the publishing and reading feature sets need to be kept independent, if you want a completely decentralized system.  

I’ve outlined a bit about how feed readers could be slighly modified to do some of this in the past: https://boffosocko.com/2017/06/09/how-feed-readers-can-grow-market-share-and-take-over-social-media/
February 20, 2019 at 12:47PM

👓 A Declaration of Independence from Facebook | Mike Elgan

Read A Declaration of Independence from Facebook by Mike Elgan (Mike Elgan)
I’m deleting my Facebook accounts. I think you should, too.
I’m deleting my Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger accounts on July 4th, 2019. I’m calling it “Independence from Facebook Day.” (Facebook owns Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.) I’m doing this on the 4th of July becaus...

What a well reasoned out silo-quit plan for Facebook! More and more I’m leaning toward leaving soon myself.

📑 Exploring the UX of web-annotations | Tom Critchlow

Annotated Exploring the UX of web-annotations by Tom CritchlowTom Critchlow (tomcritchlow.com)
There’s also a robust ecosystem of tools to follow users, monitor site annotations etc.  

Wait? What!? I’ve been wanting to be able to follow users annotations and I’d love the ability to monitor site annotations!! (I’ve even suggested that they added Webmention before to do direct notifications for site annotations.)

Where have you seen these things hiding Tom?

📑 Building a digital garden | Tom Critchlow

Annotated Building a digital garden by Tom CritchlowTom Critchlow (tomcritchlow.com)
Catch up by reading my last post of digital streams, campfires and gardens.  

I immediately thought of a post from Mike Caulfield (Hapgood). Interesting to see that Tom has already read and referenced it in his prior post.

👓 Building a digital garden | Tom Critchlow

Read Building a digital garden by Tom CrichtlowTom Crichtlow (tomcritchlow.com)
How I built myself a simple wiki using folders and files and published via Jekyll

Hat tip: Greg McVerry

👓 Differential privacy, an easy case | accuracyandprivacy.substack.com

Read Differential privacy, an easy case (accuracyandprivacy.substack.com)
By law, the Census Bureau is required to keep our responses to its questionnaires confidential. And so, over decades, it has applied several “disclosure avoidance” techniques when it publishes data — these have been meticulously catalogued by Laura McKenna

I could envision some interesting use cases for differential privacy like this within an IndieWeb framework for aggregated data potentially used for web discovery.

👓 12 days of microblogging: business sites | Manton Reece

Read 12 days of microblogging: business sites by Manton ReeceManton Reece (manton.org)
It’s the 8th day in our 12 days of microblogging blog post series. Most Micro.blog accounts use the author’s name — personal blogs, writing about everyday topics or sharing stories and photos. But since Micro.blog-hosted blogs can have a custom design, separate pages, and a domain name, you ca...