Visually indicating post types on blogs and microblogs

It’s been a while since I’ve actively read Om Malik‘s blog, but I noticed that he’s using graphical indicators that add some semantic detail about what each post is. It’s a design element I’ve only seen lately out of the IndieWeb community with plugins like the Post Kinds Plugin for WordPress or done manually with emoji in post titles the way Aaron Davis has done relatively religiously, particularly on his “Collect” site.

Om Malik is using some graphical indicators to give quick additional semantic meaning to what he’s posting.

I highly suspect that he’s using the Post Formats functionality from WordPress core to do some of this using a custom theme. Sadly it’s generally fallen out of fashion and one doesn’t see it very often any more. I suspect that it’s because WordPress didn’t take the functionality to its logical conclusion in the same way that the Post Kinds Plugin does.

The way Aaron Davis uses emoji in his posts helps to provide additional context about what is being written about to indicate what is going on in a link before it’s clicked.

I think some of my first experience with its resurgence was as helpful UI I saw suggested by Tantek Çelik on the Read page of the IndieWeb wiki. I’ve been doing it a lot myself, primarily for posts that I syndicate out to micro.blog, where it’s become a discovery function using so-called tagmoji (see books, for example), or Twitter (reads, bookmarks, watches, listens, likes). In those places, they particularly allow me to add a lot more semantic meaning to short notes/microblog posts than others do.

I do wish that having emoji for read posts was more common in Twitter to indicate that people actually bothered to read those articles they’re sharing to Twitter, the extra context would be incredibly useful. I generally suspect that article links people are sharing have more of a bookmark sentiment based on their click-bait headlines. Perhaps this is why I like Reading.am so much for finding content — it’s material people have actually bothered to read before they shared it out. Twitter adding some additional semantic tidbits like these would make it much more valuable in my mind.

It doesn’t appear that Om has taken this functionality that far himself though (at least on Twitter). Perhaps if WordPress made it easier to syndicate out content to Twitter with this sort of data attached it would help things take off?

👓 Can we PLEASE talk about privacy, not GDPR, now? | Sebastian Greger

Read Can we PLEASE talk about privacy, not GDPR, now? by Sebastian Greger (Sebastian Greger)
It’s the “morning after”: a mere twelve hours have passed since the GDPR applies and while still awaiting breaking news on hobbyist blog owners being fined EUR 20 million, an army of burnt-out web and legal professionals has begun to clean up from the party that was “the final dash towards GDPR”.

A nice article pushing folks to focus more on the privacy portion of the discussion rather than the non-nonsensical technical GDPR regulations.

tl;dr: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

👓 On Weaponised Design | Sebastian Greger

Read Bookmark: "On Weaponised Design" by Sebastian Greger (sebastiangreger.net)
This may well be the most comprehensive article I’ve read this year so far on the topic of the ethical responsibility of designers. Its author, Cabe, discusses “weaponised design”: “electronic systems whose designs either do not account for abusive application or whose user experiences directly empower attackers”.

👓 Get direct link from a soundcloud for use in download managers | Stack Exchange

Read Get direct link from a soundcloud for use in download managers (Web Applications Stack Exchange)
There's a sound clip on soundcloud that has a "download" button.. It's a large mp3 (150 MB+), when I click it, download starts on the crappy chrome and due to some reason, it got stuck at 60%. No...

👓 How has soundcloud hidden the URL of streaming audio | Stack Overflow

Read How has soundcloud hidden the URL of streaming audio (Stack Overflow)
I am trying to hide the URL of my audio streams for my HTML5 player and was really struggling to think of a way to do so and then I realised, soundcloud must hide the URL's of their streams. So i w...

🔖 CNN Lite

Bookmarked CNN Lite (lite.cnn.io)
An uber low bandwidth and text only version of CNN. View the latest news and breaking news today for U.S., world, weather, entertainment, politics and health at CNN.com.

I just ran across a text-only version of CNN and I’m really wishing that more websites would do this. It’s like AMP, but even leaner!

📺 Zeynep Tufekci: We’re building a dystopia just to make people click on ads | TED

Watched We're building a dystopia just to make people click on ads by Zeynep TufekciZeynep Tufekci from ted.com

We're building an artificial intelligence-powered dystopia, one click at a time, says techno-sociologist Zeynep Tufekci. In an eye-opening talk, she details how the same algorithms companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon use to get you to click on ads are also used to organize your access to political and social information. And the machines aren't even the real threat. What we need to understand is how the powerful might use AI to control us -- and what we can do in response.

👓 whitehouse.gov Redesign | inkdroid

Read whitehouse.gov Redesign (inkdroid.org)
TLDR; By “redesign” I actually mean clusterfuck. As of last Thursday 47% of the 315 whitehouse.gov URLs I’ve collected during 2017 are now 404 Not Found

Dollars to donuts this goes down to switching CMSes from Drupal to WordPress–probably because the tech team doesn’t know Drupal, but also doesn’t know how to remap the URLs or to port over any of the data. I’ll bet it’s down more to incompetence than it is being evil, though being evil may be part of it too.

👓 Google to radically change homepage for first time since 1996 | The Guardian

Read Google to radically change homepage for first time since 1996 by Samuel Gibbs (the Guardian)
Search company to integrate its app-based feed of news, events, sports and interest-based topics into Google.com page in the near future

👓 Automattic to Host a Free, Remote Conference on Design and Exclusion on April 21 | WP Tavern

Read Automattic to Host a Free, Remote Conference on Design and Exclusion on April 21 (WordPress Tavern)
Automattic is hosting a free, remote conference called Design and Exclusion on April 21. The event will bring together design and technology experts who will discuss solutions for the ways that dig…

Resilient Web Design

Bookmarked Resilient Web Design by Jeremy Keith (resilientwebdesign.com)
The World Wide Web has been around for long enough now that we can begin to evaluate the twists and turns of its evolution. I wrote this book to highlight some of the approaches to web design that have proven to be resilient. I didn’t do this purely out of historical interest (although I am fascinated by the already rich history of our young industry). In learning from the past, I believe we can better prepare for the future.

You won’t find any code in here to help you build better websites. But you will find ideas and approaches. Ideas are more resilient than code. I’ve tried to combine the most resilient ideas from the history of web design into an approach for building the websites of the future.

I hope you will join me in building a web that lasts; a web that’s resilient.

Weekly Recap: Interesting Articles 7/24-7/31 2016

Some of the interesting things I saw and read this week

Went on vacation or fell asleep at the internet wheel this week? Here’s some of the interesting stuff you missed.

Science & Math

Publishing

Indieweb, Internet, Identity, Blogging, Social Media

General

3 Rules of Academic Blogging

Bookmarked 3 Rules of Academic Blogging (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
Not only is the form alive and well, but one of its most vibrant subsections is in academe.

1. Pick the right platform.
2. Write whatever you want.
3. Write for the sake of writing.