👓 Webrings are Dead | Kicks Condor

Read Webrings are Dead by Kicks CondorKicks Condor (kickscondor.com)
This reminds me of these “useless web” sites—this being the primary one—that have managed to stay very popular. (A lot of YouTubers make videos of themselves clicking through this site and I often see kids at school using the site.) And it’s basically a webring. But it’s not a code-based...
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Following Derek Powazek

Followed Derek Powazek (Derek Powazek)

It's pronounced poe-WAH-zek.

Derek Powazek has worked the web since 1995 at pioneering sites like HotWired, Blogger, and Technorati. He is the author of “Design for Community: The Art of Connecting Real People in Virtual Places” (New Riders, 2001). He is the cofounder of JPG, the photography magazine that’s made by its community. He has been Chief of Design for HP’s MagCloud, advisor to a handful of startup companies, and creator of Fray, the magazine of true stories and original art.

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Extending a User Interface Idea for Social Reading Online

This morning I was reading an article online and I bookmarked it as “read” using the Reading.am browser extension which I use as part of my workflow of capturing all the things I’ve been reading on the internet. (You can find a feed of these posts here if you’d like to cyber-stalk most of my reading–I don’t post 100% of it publicly.)

I mention it because I was specifically intrigued by a small piece of excellent user interface and social graph data that Reading.am unearths for me. I’m including a quick screen capture to better illustrate the point. While the UI allows me to click yes/no (i.e. did I like it or not) or even share it to other networks, the thing I found most interesting was that it lists the other people using the service who have read the article as well. In this case it told me that my friend Jeremy Cherfas had read the article.1

Reading.am user interface indicating who else on the service has read an article.

In addition to having the immediate feedback that he’d read it, which is useful and thrilling in itself, it gives me the chance to search to see if he’s written any thoughts about it himself, and it also gives me the chance to tag him in a post about my own thoughts to start a direct conversation around a topic which I now know we’re both interested in at least reading about.2

The tougher follow up is: how could we create a decentralized method of doing this sort of workflow in a more IndieWeb way? It would be nice if my read posts on my site (and those of others) could be overlain on websites via a bookmarklet or other means as a social layer to create engaged discussion. Better would have been the ability to quickly surface his commentary, if any, on the piece as well–functionality which I think Reading.am also does, though I rarely ever see it. In some sense I would have come across Jeremy’s read post in his feed later this weekend, but it doesn’t provide the immediacy that this method did. I’ll also admit that I prefer having found out about his reading it only after I’d read it myself, but having his and others’ recommendations on a piece (by their explicit read posts) is a useful and worthwhile piece of data, particularly for pieces I might have otherwise passed over.

In some sense, some of this functionality isn’t too different from that provided by Hypothes.is, though that is hidden away within another browser extension layer and requires not only direct examination, but scanning for those whose identities I might recognize because Hypothes.is doesn’t have a specific following/follower social model to make my friends and colleagues a part of my social graph in that instance. The nice part of Hypothes.is’ browser extension is that it does add a small visual indicator to show that others have in fact read/annotated a particular site using the service.

A UI example of Hypothes.is functionality within the Chrome browser. The yellow highlighted browser extension bug indicates that others have annotated a document. Clicking the image will take one to the annotations in situ.

I’ve also previously documented on the IndieWeb wiki how WordPress.com (and WordPress.org with JetPack functionality) facepiles likes on content (typically underneath the content itself). This method doesn’t take things as far as the Reading.am case because it only shows a small fraction of the data, is much less useful, and is far less likely to unearth those in your social graph to make it useful to you, the reader.

WordPress.com facepiles likes on content which could surface some of this social reading data.

I seem to recall that Facebook has some similar functionality that is dependent upon how (and if) the publisher embeds Facebook into their site. I don’t think I’ve seen this sort of interface built into another service this way and certainly not front and center the way that Reading.am does it.

The closest thing I can think of to this type of functionality in the analog world was in my childhood when library card slips in books had the names of prior patrons on them when you signed your own name when checking out a book, though this also had the large world problem that WordPress likes have in that one typically wouldn’t have know many of the names of prior patrons necessarily. I suspect that the Robert Bork privacy incident along with the evolution of library databases and bar codes have caused this older system to disappear.

This general idea might make an interesting topic to explore at an upcoming IndieWebCamp if not before. The question is: how to add in the social graph aspect of reading to uncover this data? I’m also curious how it might or might not be worked into a feed reader or into microsub related technologies as well. Microsub clients or related browser extensions might make a great place to add this functionality as they would have the data about whom you’re already following (aka your social graph data) as well as access to their read/like/favorite posts. I know that some users have reported consuming feeds of friends’ reads, likes, favorites, and bookmarks as potential recommendations of things they might be interested in reading as well, so perhaps this would be an additional extension of that as well?


[1] I’ve certainly seen this functionality before, but most often the other readers are people I don’t know or know that well because the service isn’t huge and I’m not using it to follow a large number of other people.
[2] I knew he was generally interested already as I happen to be following this particular site at his prior recommendation, but the idea still illustrates the broader point.

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👓 undo | IndieWeb

Read undo (indieweb.org)
undo is a common action you can take (often a button or menu item) to reverse the effects of the previous action, as if the action had never occurred; on the indieweb, you may want to undo a post, a deletion, or an update.
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Itch: UI for creating a TK editorial mark

Logged an itch UI for creating a TK editorial mark (indieweb.org)
TK is an abbreviated editorial mark made when writing, proofreading, or editing to indicate that a portion of the piece is to come some time in the future.

TK is an abbreviated editorial mark made when writing, proofreading, or editing to indicate that a portion of the piece is to come some time in the future.

Writers often use the combination when writing so as not to slow down the flow of their thought when they might otherwise need to look something up or do some research.

Because the letter combination TK is very rare in the English language it is easy to do a search or search/replace for the mark in digital documents.

Examples

Medium

When composing text in Medium if one writes a stand alone TK within the text, the text editor shows a yellow TK within the margin as an indicator to return to that place to finish the thought(s).

Example of a TK editorial mark in the Medium.com user interface.

See also

  • editor
  • create
  • UI
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👓 Dark Mode is Possibly Coming to a WordPress Dashboard Near You | WordPress Tavern

Read Dark Mode is Possibly Coming to a WordPress Dashboard Near You (WordPress Tavern)
For the past year, Daniel James has been developing the Dark Mode plugin for WordPress. The plugin is actively installed on more than 1K sites. Dark Mode replaces the white and grey colors in the b…
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👓 The Narrow Passage of Gortahig | Dan Cohen

Read The Narrow Passage of Gortahig by Dan Cohen (Dan Cohen)

You don’t see it until you’re right there, and even then, you remain confused. Did you miss a turn in the road, or misread the map? You are now driving through someone’s yard, or maybe even their house. You slow to a stop.

On rural road R575, also known as the Ring of Beara and more recently rebranded as part of the Wild Atlantic Way, you are making your way along the northern coast of the Beara Peninsula in far southwestern Ireland. You are in the hamlet of Gortahig, between Eyeries, a multicolored strip of connected houses on the bay, and Allihies, where the copper mines once flourished. The road, like the landscape, is raw, and it is disconcertingly narrow, often too narrow for two cars to pass one another.

An interesting example of how small local decisions can have complex and interesting ramifications in the future.

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👓 Things that baffle me about WordPress in 2018 | a.wholelottanothing.org

Read Things that baffle me about Wordpress in 2018 by Matt Haughey (A Whole Lotta Nothing)
So I’m back blogging! And I haven’t used wordpress.com in ages, but I wanted to share my running list of WTF moments over the past week of using the site and service, both at work (we j…
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👓 Introduction – The new Gutenberg editing experience | WordPress

Read Introduction: The new Gutenberg editing experience (WordPress)
“Gutenberg” is the codename for the new WordPress editor focus. The goal of this focus is to create a new post and page editing experience that makes it easy for anyone to create rich post layouts. This was the kickoff goal: The editor will endeavour to create a new page and post building experi...
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👓 Giving Up On IndieWeb | Glenn 2.0

Read Giving Up On IndieWeb by Glenn DixonGlenn Dixon (glenn.thedixons.net)
(Further update:  webmentions are working!!!) (UPDATE: It’s now been a year since I first posted this. Just today I discovered a year-old blog post which mentioned this one, and an ensuing discussion. Of course I knew nothing of this because – well, I couldn’t get webmentions to work! I have ...
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Reply to Sara Soueidan about front end development feeds

Replied to a tweet by Sara SoueidanSara Soueidan (Twitter)

I tinker on my own website and frequently write about IndieWeb related technologies because the web is my social media platform. The feed you might appreciate most is https://boffosocko.com/category/indieweb/feed/.

I have feeds for nearly every tag/category or post type on my site for convenience (just add /feed/ to almost anything). You could subscribe to my firehose feed, but I suspect even my mother would tire of it quickly.

I’m curious if you have OPML files or similar bundles of feeds you follow that are shareable or subscribe-able?

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👓 Tech Notes: Why not add an option for that? | Neugierig.org

Read Tech Notes: Why not add an option for that? (neugierig.org)
If you've ever developed software you've surely had users ask you to add an option. "Rather than forcing everyone into behavior A," they'll reason, "why not add an option so users can choose between behaviors A and B?" This post is an attempt at producing a canonical consolidated answer to why the answer to this is often "no".
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👓 Controlling How Webmentions are Rendered | ruk.ca

Read Controlling How Webmentions are Rendered by Peter RukavinaPeter Rukavina (ruk.ca)
Ton continues to wrap his head around Webmention, and wonders about how mentions should be displayed on the “mentioned” site: What strikes me as odd now is how little control I have over how the Webmention and Semantic Linkbacks plugins actually deal with webmention data. The stuff I’d like to...
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👓 A Close Look at How Facebook’s Retreat From the News Has Hurt One Particular Website—Ours | Slate

Read A Close Look at How Facebook’s Retreat From the News Has Hurt One Particular Website—Ours by Will Oremus (Slate Magazine)
New data shows the impact of Facebook’s pullback from an industry it had dominated (and distorted).

(Roose, who has since deleted his tweet as part of a routine purge of tweets older than 30 days, told me it was intended simply as an observation, not a full analysis of the trends.)

Another example of someone regularly deleting their tweets at regular intervals. I’ve seem a few examples of this in academia.


It’s worth noting that there’s a difference between NewsWhip’s engagement stats, which are public, and referrals—that is, people actually clicking on stories and visiting publishers’ sites. The two have generally correlated, historically, and Facebook told me that its own data suggests that continues to be the case. But two social media professionals interviewed for this story, including one who consults for a number of different publications, told me that the engagement on Facebook posts has led to less relative traffic. This means publications could theoretically be seeing less ad revenue from Facebook even if their public engagement stats are holding steady.


From Slate’s perspective, a comment on a Slate story you see on Facebook is great, but it does nothing for the site’s bottom line.


(Remember when every news site published the piece, “What Time Is the Super Bowl?”)

This is a great instance for Google’s box that simply provides the factual answer instead of requiring a click through.


fickle audiences available on social platforms.

Here’s where feed readers without algorithms could provide more stability for news.

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👓 GitHub Is Microsoft’s $7.5 Billion Undo Button | Bloomberg

Read GitHub Is Microsoft’s $7.5 Billion Undo Button by Paul Ford (Bloomberg.com)
Steve Ballmer spent years hating on open source software. Satya Nadella recognized that the service has become indispensable to programmers.

A nice analysis piece about the GitHub purchase for the non-technical. It highlights the fact that a nice and simple UI can be worth its weight in gold.

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