Working Facebook’s Land

Liked Media Companies Are Getting Sick of Facebook (Bloomberg Businessweek)
News outlets are complaining about Facebook’s terms for TV-quality videos meant to compete with YouTube.

It’s getting tougher for CNN and others to view these arrangements as mutually beneficial. “Facebook is about Facebook,” says Andrew Morse, general manager of CNN’s digital operations. “For them, these are experiments, but for the media companies looking to partner with ­significant commitments, it gets to be a bit of whiplash.” Morse says the financial compensation Facebook offers isn’t enough to convince him that working directly with the social network will be worthwhile in the long term.

Jason Kint, chief executive officer of the industry trade group Digital Content Next, was more blunt. “Media companies are like serfs working Facebook’s land,” he says.

Yet another prime example why people should be owning and controlling their own content.

(h/t: iwantmyname.com)

👓 Media Companies Are Getting Sick of Facebook | Bloomberg

Read Media Companies Are Getting Sick of Facebook (Bloomberg)
News outlets are complaining about Facebook’s terms for TV-quality videos meant to compete with YouTube.

👓 Some Trump supporters thought NPR tweeted ‘propaganda.’ It was the Declaration of Independence. | Washington Post

Read Some Trump supporters thought NPR tweeted ‘propaganda.’ It was the Declaration of Independence. by Amy B. Wang (Washington Post)
Some Twitter users reacted angrily to the thread, accusing NPR of spamming them or pushing an agenda.
HA!

I’m apparently the king of the microformat rel=”me”

Today, at the IndieWeb Summit 2017, Ryan Barrett, while giving a presentation on some data research he’s been doing on the larger Indieweb community, called me out for a ridiculous number of rel-me’s on a single page. His example cited me as having 177 of them on a single page! I tracked it down and it was actually an archive page that included the following post How many social media related accounts can one person have on the web?!.

What is a rel=”me”?

Rel=”me” is a microformat tag put on hyperlinks that indicates that the paged linked to is another representation of the person who controls the site/page you’re currently looking at. Thus on my home page the Facebook bug has a link to my facebook account which is another representation of me on the web, thus it has a rel=”me” tag on it.

His data is a bit old as I now maintain a page entitled Social Media Accounts and Links with some (but far from all) of my disparate and diverse social media accounts. That page currently has 190 rel=”me”s on it! While there was one other example that had rel-mes pointing to every other internal page on the site (at 221, if I recall), I’m proud to say, without gaming the system in such a quirky way, that each and every one of the rel=”me” URLs is indeed a full legitimate use of the tag.

I’m proud to be at the far end of the Zipf tail for this. And even more proud to be tagged as such during the week in which Microformats celebrates its 12th birthday. But for those doing research or who need edge cases of rel-me use, I’m also happy to serve as a unique test case. (If I’m not mistaken, I think my Google+ page broke one of Ryan’s web crawlers/tools in the past for a similar use-case a year or two ago).

The Moral of the Story

The take away from this seemingly crazy and obviously laughable example is simply just how fragmented one’s online identity can become by using social silos. Even more interesting for some is the number of sites on that page which either no longer have links or which are crossed out indicating that they no longer resolve. This means those sites and thousands more are now gone from the internet and along with them all of the data that they contained not only for me but thousands or even millions of other users.

This is one of the primary reasons that I’m a member of the Indieweb, have my own domain, and try to own all of my own data.

While it seemed embarrassing for a moment (yes, I could hear the laughter even in the live stream folks!), I’m glad Ryan drew attention to my rel-me edge case in part because it highlights some of the best reasons for being in the Indieweb.

(And by the way Ryan, thanks for a great presentation! I hope everyone watches the full video and checks out the new site/tool!)

Reply to Gutenberg: First Impressions | MattCromwell.com

Replied to Gutenberg: First Impressions by Matt Cromwell (MattCromwell.com)
Gutenberg is the future of content in WordPress. It will deliver the elegance of Medium but with far more power and flexibility of layouts and content types
I love how this looks and works and it’s certainly about time that WordPress had alternate means of publishing to its platform. (I miss the days when Twitter had thousands of different configurable apps to post to it, though these were far simpler.)

Not only does it remind me a bit of Medium.com’s interface, it is highly reminiscent of Aaron Parecki’s Quill editor which uses the open Micropub spec to publish to the Micropub endpoint on my blog. Though his isn’t as fully featured as the Gutenberg example, he could certainly add to it, but then it could be used to publish to any site that supports the spec.

A sample of the Quill interface for posting to WordPress via Micropub.

The nice part about Micropub (and the fact that there’s already a Micropub plugin for WordPress) is that developers can build multiple competing publishing interfaces to publish to any website out there. (Or developers could even build custom publishing interfaces for their clients.)

In fact, if they wanted to do a highly valuable pivot, Medium.com could add publishing via Micropub to their platform and really become the billionaire’s typewriter that some have suggested it to be.

👓 How Twitter, Micro.blog & Mastodon could team up to compete with Facebook | AltPlatform

Read How Twitter, Micro.blog & Mastodon could team up to compete with Facebook by Brian Hendrickson (AltPlatform)

There’s a good reason for the “@“ character in the middle of your email address. It separates the two parts: your user name and your web site. Someday you might see something similar on social networking sites – Mark Zuckerberg could write on Facebook and mention Jack Dorsey “hey jack@twitter.com” and Jack could write back from Twitter “hi mark@facebook.com!” — that would be the Silicon Valley equivalent of Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Watson’s first telephone call. When small social networks like Twitter and Google Plus start to interoperate with open source networks and blogs, they could eventually form a large enough base of users to “flip the iceberg” and have more usage than the dominant, non-interoperable player: Facebook.

On micro-blogs like Twitter, the @mention (“at-mention”) is the way to link to another micro-blogger by user name. Facebook has a similar mention feature for calling out friends by name. But these versions of mention technology are missing the “web site” aspect, because they only work within one site.

On open source micro-blogs like Mastodon, cross-site mentions are already working – and for blogs it’s easy to install a Webmention plugin. These are the beginnings of what could eventually be a large collection of sites interoperating.

In 2008 the micro-blogging community proposed that Twitter interoperate with the micro-blog networks of the time. Twitter today could allow Mastodon and Micro.blog users to “follow” updates from its micro-bloggers. The Twitter search engine could aggregate updates from many different networks. Micro-blogging at Twitter would be a first-class open web experience, if it interoperated with other micro-blogs.

Open source tools like WordPress, 1999.io and Mastodon.social are creating many small networks of publishers, and popular tools like Twitter and Micro.blog could peer with them. If all of the social networks outside of Facebook interoperated at some level, they might eventually “flip the iceberg” and become the dominant form of social networking.

👓 Signl.fm on making a social media interface for Podcasts. | Matter

Read Signl.fm on making a social media interface for Podcasts by Kim Hansen (Matter)
An overview of the history of Signl.fm and some of the experiments they've been doing in podcasting, audio, and social.

👓 Layoffs & Tumblr the Centipede | BlueChooChoo

Read Layoffs & Tumblr the Centipede by Andréa López‏ (Casual Information)
A hazy day for Tumblr. A shoe dropped. After a year of dancing around, the Yahoo (Tumblr owner)/Verizon deal closed. There were immediate layoffs across their new Frankenstein org, “Oath.” Some of these layoffs hit inside Tumblr, and that’s bad. In addition to the real life talented human beings impacted by these layoffs, the move is a warning and reminder- Tumblr is no longer in the protective purgatory of pre-Verizon Yahoo.
I know that bluechoochoo has hit the nail on the head when she previously saw people leaving Tumblr for Medium right before they pivoted this past January. Her prognostications on Tumblr are always worth reading.

👓 WordPress.com Announces New Importer for Medium Posts | WP Tavern

Read WordPress.com Announces New Importer for Medium Posts by Sarah Gooding (WP Tavern)
Medium started 2017 on uncertain footing, laying off a third of its staff in January after admitting that its ad-based business model was not working.

Feed reader revolution

The state-of-the-art in feed readers was frozen in place sometime around 2010, if not before. By that time most of the format wars between RSS and Atom had long since died down and were all generally supported. The only new features to be added were simple functionalities like sharing out links from readers to social services like Facebook and Twitter. For fancier readers they also added the ability to share out to services like Evernote, OneNote, Pocket, Instapaper and other social silos or silo related services.

So the real question facing companies with stand alone traditional feed reader products–like Feedly, Digg Reader, The Old Reader, Inoreader, Reeder, NewsBlur, Netvibes, Tiny Tiny RSS, WordPress reader–and the cadre of others is:

  • What features could/should we add?
  • How can we improve?
  • How can we gain new users?
  • How can we increase our market share?

In short the primary question is:

What should a modern RSS feed reader be capable of doing?

Continue reading Feed reader revolution

👓 The hunt for Twitter alternatives: Mastodon | AltPlatform

Read The hunt for Twitter alternatives: Mastodon by Richard MacManus (AltPlatform.com)
Let’s get this out of the way right at the start: Mastodon is not a Twitter killer. It’s more like Twitter crossed with Reddit, plus it’s open source. But while Mastodon is not going to take over the world, it does have promise as a community platform. Here’s why…
An interesting take on Mastodon a month or so after its rise in popularity.

Continue reading 👓 The hunt for Twitter alternatives: Mastodon | AltPlatform

Twitter List from #Domains17

Bookmarked Twitter List from #Domains17 by Chris Aldrich (Twitter)
Teachers, educators, researchers, technologists using open technologies in education , , ,
I’ve compiled a twitter list of people related to , , , , and related topics who tweeted about #domains17 in the past week. The list has multiple views including members and by tweets.

Feel free to either subscribe to the list (useful when adding streams to things like Tweetdeck), or for quickly scanning down the list and following people on a particular topic en-masse. Hopefully it will help people to remain connected following the conference. I’ve written about some other ideas about staying in touch here.

If you or someone you know is conspicuously missing, please let me know and I’m happy to add them. Hopefully this list will free others from spending the inordinate amount of time to create similar bulk lists from the week.

👓 Fuck Facebook | Daring Fireball

Read Fuck Facebook by John Gruber (Daring Fireball)
Treat Facebook as the private walled garden that it is. If you want something to be publicly accessible, post it to a real blog on any platform that embraces the real web, the open one.

Content that isn’t indexable by search engines is not part of the open web.

John Gruber

👓 New open web social apps to check out | AltPlatform

Read New open web social apps to check out by Brian Hendrickson (AltPlatform)
People love sharing on the internet and the technology is always evolving. Enthusiasts recently flocked to Kickstarter to back a new blogging tool, Micro.blog, RSS and podcasting pioneer Dave Winer released a new open source app, 1999.io, and the old bones of micro-blogging phenom identi.ca are bac...

👓 Examining Decentralized Social Networks | The Stream Blog

Read Examining Decentralized Social Networks by Ian Douglas (The Stream Blog)
Most companies who create a social network do so with the end goal of collecting information, interests and habits of their users in order to monetize that data (usually through advertising). They guard this data heavily and many of the largest social networks are trusted enough to be Identity Provi...