Replied to Dumb Twitter by Adam CroomAdam Croom (Adam Croom)
Here’s my pitch for a Dumb Twitter app: The app forces you to tweet at the original 140 character tweet length. You can reply. You can’t like or retweet. You most certainly can’t quote tweet. There is no private DMing. Linear tweet stream only.

Adam, as you describe “dumb Twitter”, I can’t help but think about many of the design decisions that Manton Reece has made while more consciously designing and building micro.blog which specifically leaves out reposting, likes, and quote tweets as you’ve indicated. Admittedly micro.blog is still relatively small in scale compared to Twitter, and perhaps that size also helps guard against some of the toxic behaviors seen in Twitter. However, I might also suggest that since people are paying for a product and/or using one that has their personal identity built right into it with their own custom domain name, they are far less likely to proverbially “shout from their front porch” at passerby.

I notice you have a micro site which you were using with a micro.blog account, though I suspect you may have given up experimenting with them? Admittedly there is a bit of a technical hurdle in dovetailing either a WordPress or WithKnown site into the platform, but even tying RSS feeds from these platforms into the system isn’t too difficult.

I suspect that as a proponent of DoOO, you may find it fruitful to take another crack at micro.blog which, to a great extent, is really just a DoOO platform for the broader public. For a small monthly fee it allows users to bring their own domain name and get inexpensive hosting to own their own content including articles, status updates, photos, and podcasts. Otherwise, for free, you can use your own site (as you started to) and interact with the community by syndicating your content into it via RSS instead of crossposting via other means they way you’ve done with Twitter in the past.

I might suggest you try using your WithKnown site with micro.blog instead of WordPress, particularly as Known supports webmention out of the box. As a result, anything you syndicate into the system will automatically provide you notifications of any replies. You could then have just the “dumb Twitter” you wanted along with a solid DoOO solution at the same time. Ultimately you’d be using the micro.blog interface as a feed reader to scroll through content while posting your content from your own site.

If it helps to join the community there I’ve got a post that lists several micro.blog users who are in the education space, many of whom are tinkering around in areas like DoOO and IndieWeb, and a few of whom you may recognize.

I’m happy to help if you need any getting set up or experimenting. There’s a lot more power and value in the hybrid set up that micro.blog provides than it gets credit for.

👓 Dumb Twitter | Adam Croom

Read Dumb Twitter by Adam CroomAdam Croom (Adam Croom)
Some years ago, it felt like Tim Ferriss was building his entire brand around himself as a human guinea pig. The term for what he did changed (biohacking, quantified self, etc.) but it was basically self expermentation around different types of diets, workout routines, and lifestyle choices. There w...

📑 Dumb Twitter | Adam Croom

Annotated Dumb Twitter by Adam CroomAdam Croom (Adam Croom)
Here’s my pitch for a Dumb Twitter app: The app forces you to tweet at the original 140 character tweet length. You can reply. You can’t like or retweet. You most certainly can’t quote tweet. There is no private DMing. Linear tweet stream only.  

Perhaps he’s unaware of it, but this sounds a lot like the design decisions that micro.blog has made in it’s platform which is very similar to DoOO, but for the broader public.

📑 Dumb Twitter | Adam Croom

Annotated Dumb Twitter by Adam CroomAdam Croom (Adam Croom)
So far coming back to Twitter has felt like visiting your hometown: it’s great to visit but it’s also a reminder of how much you enjoy not living there anymore.  

📖 15% done with Ruined by Design by Mike Monteiro

📖 15% into reading Ruined by Design: How Designers Destroyed the World, and What We Can Do to Fix It by Mike Monteiro

Read Chapters: The Ethics of Design, How Designers Destroyed the World, and Moving Fast and Breaking Things

I was very reticent about this book at first, but it is way more essential than I initially thought! I knew I was going to know almost all of the examples, and I’ve generally been right on that account so far, but he’s going beyond the problems with potential solutions. I was worried it was going to be something that I would appreciate and heartily recommend to others without getting much out of it myself, but it reads quickly and easily and there’s a lot here that I want to come back and ponder about further.

Despite the fact that I don’t feel like a professional web designer by trade, what he’s talking about here are standards of human care and interaction that anyone who makes anything should be thinking about on a daily basis. Whether you’re building or creating things for others or even making your own daily life, at heart, you’re designing something.

If Chuck Chugumlung hasn’t come across this book yet with respect to his Design X Pasadena group, I’ll recommend it heartily to him.

I also find myself thinking a lot about how people are building and designing technologies in the edtech space. May of the researchers, professors, and instructional designers I know are immersed in some of the ethics and morals behind using these technologies. Generally I hear them talking about what they “wish” they had as tools, but often they seem to be stuck with things they don’t really want and are then attempting to figure out ways around these technologies after-the-fact so that they can use them in an ethical manner. They really need to stand up, refuse to use what they’re given, and demand better design from the start. Even if they’re incapable of building their own tools, they’re slowly, but surely going to loose the war if they don’t move upstream to where the actual decisions are being made. Fortunately some of the work I see in the OER space is being done at the grass roots where people have more choice and say in the design, but I worry that if they’re not careful, those tools will be siloed off with bad design choices by for-profit companies as well.

Title and author on a white background at the top with a red filtered view of an atomic mushroom cloud explosion on the Bikini atoll in the Pacific Ocean

Acquired Ruined by Design: How Designers Destroyed the World, and What We Can Do to Fix It by Mike Monteiro (Mule Books)

The world is working exactly as designed. The combustion engine which is destroying our planet’s atmosphere and rapidly making it inhospitable is working exactly as we designed it. Guns, which lead to so much death, work exactly as they’re designed to work. And every time we “improve” their design, they get better at killing. Facebook’s privacy settings, which have outed gay teens to their conservative parents, are working exactly as designed. Their “real names” initiative, which makes it easier for stalkers to re-find their victims, is working exactly as designed. Twitter’s toxicity and lack of civil discourse is working exactly as it’s designed to work.The world is working exactly as designed. And it’s not working very well. Which means we need to do a better job of designing it. Design is a craft with an amazing amount of power. The power to choose. The power to influence. As designers, we need to see ourselves as gatekeepers of what we are bringing into the world, and what we choose not to bring into the world. Design is a craft with responsibility. The responsibility to help create a better world for all. Design is also a craft with a lot of blood on its hands. Every cigarette ad is on us. Every gun is on us. Every ballot that a voter cannot understand is on us. Every time social network’s interface allows a stalker to find their victim, that’s on us. The monsters we unleash into the world will carry your name. This book will make you see that design is a political act. What we choose to design is a political act. Who we choose to work for is a political act. Who we choose to work with is a political act. And, most importantly, the people we’ve excluded from these decisions is the biggest (and stupidest) political act we’ve made as a society.If you’re a designer, this book might make you angry. It should make you angry. But it will also give you the tools you need to make better decisions. You will learn how to evaluate the potential benefits and harm of what you’re working on. You’ll learn how to present your concerns. You’ll learn the importance of building and working with diverse teams who can approach problems from multiple points-of-view. You’ll learn how to make a case using data and good storytelling. You’ll learn to say NO in a way that’ll make people listen. But mostly, this book will fill you with the confidence to do the job the way you always wanted to be able to do it. This book will help you understand your responsibilities.

book cover of Ruined by Design featuring the title and a red and black image of a mushroom cloud from a nuclear bomb

Has anyone read Mike Monteiro’s new book “Ruined by Design”? Sounds very IndieWeb in flavor… (or at least anti-silo/anti-corporate)

I just noticed he’s touring with his book and will be in my backyard later this month: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mike-monteiro-lets-destroy-silicon-valley-tickets-60958127400

I love the line for it: “This isn’t a talk, this is a union meeting.”

Got a .azw version of the book for my Kindle.

👓 Jack Dorsey’s TED Interview and the End of an Era | New Yorker

Read Jack Dorsey’s TED Interview and the End of an Era (The New Yorker)
The C.E.O. of Twitter no longer seems capable of controlling the system he’s created.

A Modest Proposal Review

Will you look at this?! Twitter has recreated the WordPress Gutenberg editor interface into their web product. Currently it only has a few blocks for text, photos, gifs, video, embeds, and polls, but it’s not completely horrible and it’s relatively fast and convenient.

The Gutenberg editor in WordPress:

The title of the pending post is "Hello to the New Editor"
Screen capture of the new Gutenberg interface

In fact it appears that they’ve pared the editor down substantially. A few more tweaks and it might be as clean as the Medium editor experience.

Want to add a video, just drop a youtube link:

Want to embed a blog post from somewhere else? Add the link in your tweet and get a spiffy Twitter Card (just like oEmbed!)

An Introduction to the IndieWeb

I can see people getting awfully tired of clicking that “plus” button interminably though. Maybe if the interface could algorithmically choose where to break text the same way it determines what tweets I’m going to see?

Now they just need an edit button and they’ve got a “real” blogging experience, but one that’s editable in tiny 280 character chunks. Who has the attention span for more content than this anyway?

I can already tell that newspapers and magazines are going to love this. Just imagine the ease of doing shareable pull quotes this way?!

I can see journalistic institutions rebuilding their entire platforms on Twitter already!

Old CMS -> Tumblr -> Medium -> Twitter!

What is your favorite editing experience?

  • The Tweetstorm-o-matic
  • WordPress’ Gutenberg
  • WordPress Classic Editor
  • Medium

Uh oh! I’m noticing that they’ve neglected to put a block in for a title area. Maybe we could just do a really short tweet up at the top of the thread instead? If only we could drag and drop tweets to reorder them? At least you can add new tweets into the middle of the stream.

Besides, who’s going to read anything but the headline tweet anyway. No one is ever going to read this far into a tweetstorm. Maybe a blog post where they at least know what they’re getting into, but never a 20+ card tweetstorm.

And would you look at that? They almost jumped ahead of Medium on inline annotations by allowing people to reply to very specific pieces of the text. I’m kind of disappointed that they don’t have the pretty green highlighter colors though.

Screencapture from Medium.com with an example of an inline response.
An inline annotation on the text “Hey Ev, what about mentions?” in which Medium began to roll out their @mention functionality.

Now if only I could register a custom domain on their service and have control over the CSS, Twitter could be a first class open web CMS.

#​I​CanOnlyDream

*Sigh* I suppose until then I’ll just stick with my humble little website that allows me to own and control my own data on my own domain name and communicate with others using simple web standards.

#​​IndieWebForever

👓 How to Automatically Link Twitter Usernames in WordPress | WPBeginner

Read How to Automatically Link Twitter Usernames in WordPress (WPBeginner)
A simple snippet that automatically link twitter usernames in WordPress by automatically replacing all @username tags with twitter profile links.

👓 Twitter’s Jack Dorsey paid $1.40 in 2018 | Reuters

Read Twitter's Jack Dorsey paid $1.40 in 2018 (Reuters)
Twitter Inc said on Monday it paid its Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey $1.40...

Surely I won’t be the first to have said it, but a penny per character in a tweet almost seems fitting if not overpaying. But they need to amend his contract to match the new 280 character limit.

Replied to https://twitter.com/davidwbarratt by David Barratt on Twitter David Barratt on Twitter (Twitter)

Sure why not? Don’t you imagine that if multiple millions left Facebook for managed hosting that the cost of $5/month would potentially drop to $1/month or less via competition?

👓 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