👓 Blind Person-Tagging | Kicks Condor

Read Blind Person-Tagging by Kicks Condor (kickscondor.com)
I’m getting a lot out of these ruminations you’re doing about links as notifications. For me, I think I’m going to include a ‘cc’ bit of post metadata, much like I already have ‘via’ metadata, to advertise the original source for a bit of hypertext. Cool idea. The idea of a ‘bcc’ i...

Improving user experience with links, notifications, and Webmentions

Back in December, I was thinking about html links and the functionality of sending notifications using webmentions. Within the IndieWeb, this is known as mentioning or potentially person-tagging someone (inline). By adding a link to a person’s website onto any mentions of their name in my posts, my website will automatically send them a notification that they were mentioned. They can then determine what they want to do or not do with that information.

While I want people that I mention in some of my posts to be aware that they’ve been mentioned by me, I don’t necessarily need to add to the visual cruft and clutter of the pages by intentionally calling out that link with the traditional color change and underline that <a> links in HTML often have. After all, I’m linking to them to send a notification to them, not necessarily to highlight them to everyone else. In some sense, I’m doing this because I’ve never quite liked that Twitter uses @names highlighted within posts. All the additional cruft in Twitter like the “@” and “#” prefixes, while adding useful functionality, have always dramatically decreased the readability and enjoyment of their interface for me. So why not just get rid of them?! I’m glad to have this power and ability to do so on my own website and hope others appreciate it.

In the past I’ve tried “blind notifying” (or bcc’ing via Webmention) people by adding invisible or hidden links in the page, but this has been confusing to some. This is why one of the general principles of the IndieWeb is to

Use & publish visible data for humans first, machines second.

Thus, I’ve added a tiny bit of CSS to those notification links so that they appear just like the rest of the text on the site. The notifications via Webmention will still work, and those who are mentioned will be able to see their names appear within the post.

For those interested, I’ve left in some hover UI so if you hover your mouse over these “hidden” links, they will still indicate there’s a link there and it will work as expected.

As an example of the functionality here within this particular post, I’ve hidden the link on the words “mentioning” and “person-tagging” in the first paragraph. Loqi, the IndieWeb chat bot, should pick up the mention of those wiki pages via WebSub and syndicate my post into the IndieWeb meta chat room, and those interested in the ideas can still hover over the word and click on it for more details. In practice, I’ll typically be doing this for less relevant links as well as for tagging other people solely to send them notifications.

I’m curious if there are any edge cases or ideas I’m missing in this sort of user interface? Sadly it won’t work in most feed readers, but perhaps there’s a standardizable way of indicating this? If you have ideas about improved presentation for this sort of functionality, I’d be thrilled to hear them in the comments below.

Twitter:

📑 Publishers build a common tech platform together | Nieman Lab

Annotated Publishers build a common tech platform together by Jonathan GillJonathan Gill (Nieman Lab)

One way to meet the many needs that most if not all publishers share would be to collaboratively develop their digital products. Specifically, they should build for interoperability. One publisher’s CMS, another’s content APIs, a third company’s data offering — they might one day all work together to allow all ships to rise and to reclaim advertising and subscription revenue from the platforms. This might allow publishers to refocus on differentiating where it truly matters for the user: in the quality of their content.  

Some of this is already afoot within the IndieWeb community with new protocols like Webmention, Micropub, WebSub, and Microsub. Journalists should know about this page on their wiki.

👓 Blocking Domains in webmention.io | Aaron Parecki

Read Blocking Domains in webmention.io by Aaron PareckiAaron Parecki (Aaron Parecki)
For the past week or so, I've been getting a series of Pingbacks from a spam blog that reposts a blog post a couple times a day as a new post each time. It's up to about 220 copies of the post, each one having sent me a Pingback, and each one showing up in my reader as a notification, which also cau...

👓 Displaying Webmentions with Posts | Amit Gawande

Bookmarked Displaying Webmentions with Posts by Amit GawandeAmit Gawande (amitgawande.com)
I have been using Blot, a simple blogging platform with no interface, for quite some time now for running my blog. I am not alone when I say this, but am mighty impressed with how simple it is to post things on blot and maintain the overall site. They are just some files in Dropbox - that’s about ...

A nice little tutorial for using Webmention.io with content management systems like Blot.​​​​​​​​​​

👓 IndieWeb Support | sawv

Read IndieWeb Support by jr (sawv)
In the summer of 2013, I learned about the IndieWeb, ironically, via a comment, posted at Scripting.com, Dave Winer's website. Over the past 25 years, Dave has created, collaborated on, and evangelized about multiple open web technologies, but he's a bit prickly about some IndieWeb concepts, especia...

👓 disconnected thoughts on fandom and the indieweb | privilege escalation

Read disconnected thoughts on fandom and the indieweb by MarianneMarianne (privilege escalation)
Recently I discovered the IndieWeb project, and I… think I am a lot more intrigued by it than by other Better Social Media Platform pipe dreams and decentralization projects I’ve seen? Because it’s...

I love that this post has all sorts of ideas and itches which resonate with large swaths of the growing IndieWeb. Some problems here are solved, and many remain to be worked on and improved. Either way, this has a reasonable beginning roadmap for people who are interesting in taking a crack at solving or improving on some of these problems.

I hope Marianne joins into the fray to not only make things better for herself, but for all of us. I know I and many others are happy to help on the WordPress front or otherwise. Here’s an overview video that may help some of the less technical.

It also raises some questions for me:
Do any wikis, bulletin boards/forum software send or receive webmentions yet? I receive refbacks from the IndieWeb wiki, but shouldn’t it handle sending webmentions? How about software for wikis and fora that allow for micropub or simple syndication?

It’s never dawned on me to look before, but I’ve just noticed that at least the IndieWeb wiki actually has an h-card!
​​​​​​​​​

📺 Jeremy Keith on Taking Back The Web (Opening Keynote) at Voxxed Thessaloniki 2018

Watched Taking Back The Web - Opening Keynote by Jeremy KeithJeremy Keith from Voxxed Thessaloniki 2018 | YouTube
In these times of centralised services like Facebook, Twitter, and Medium, having your own website is downright disruptive. If you care about the longevity of your online presence, independent publishing is the way to go. But how can you get all the benefits of those third-party services while still owning your own data? By using the building blocks of the Indie Web, that’s how!

Great overview of the building blocks of the IndieWeb from Voxxed Thessaloniki 2018.

Hat tip: Jeremy Keith​​​​​​​​​

👓 Send me a webmention with Drupal! | Swentel

Read Send me a webmention with Drupal! by Kristof De JaegerKristof De Jaeger (realize.be)

After months of reading, experimenting and a lot of coding, I'm happy that the first release candidate of the Drupal IndieWeb module is out. I guess this makes the perfect time to try it out for yourself, no? There are a lot of concepts within the IndieWeb universe, and many are supported by the module. In fact, there are 8 submodules, so it might be daunting to start figuring out which ones to enable and what they exactly allow you to do. To kick start anyone interested, I'll publish a couple of articles detailing how to set up several concepts using the Drupal module. The first one will explain in a few steps how you can send a webmention to this page. Can you mention me?

A red letter day in that there’s another open source Webmention set up for a huge CMS!

Reply to Dries Buytaert on follow and subscriptions to blogs

Replied to a tweet by Dries BuytaertDries Buytaert (Twitter)

Happy birthday Dries! If I may, can I outline a potential web-based birthday present based on your  wish?

Follow posts

With relation to your desire to know who’s subscribed and potentially reading your posts, I think there are a number of ways forward, and even better, ways that are within easy immediate reach using Drupal as well as many other CMSes using some simple web standards.

I suspect you’ve been following Kristof De Jaeger’s work with the Drupal IndieWeb module which is now a release candidate. It will allow you to send and receive Webmentions (a W3C recommendation) which are simple notifications much the way they work on Twitter, Facebook, etc. I’ve written a bit about how they could be leveraged to accomplish several things in Webmentions: Enabling Better Communication on the Internet.

Not mentioned in that article for brevity is the ability to send notifications via Webmention when one makes follow or subscription posts.

As an example, I’ve created a follow post for you for which my site would have sent a Webmention. Unfortunately at the time, your site didn’t support receiving it, so you would have missed out on it unless you support older legacy specs like pingback, trackback, or refback.

I also created a larger related Following page of people and sites I’m subscribed to which also lists you, so you would have received another notification from it if you supported Webmention.

I’m unaware of anyone actually displaying these notifications on their website (yet!), though I’ve got some infrastructure on my own site to create a “Followed by” page which will store and show these follows or subscriptions. At present, they’re simply stored in my back end.

Read Posts

As for Rachel’s request, this too is also possible with “read” webmentions. I maintain a specific linkblog feed (RSS) with all of the online material I read. All of those posts send notifications to the linked sites. While it’s not widely supported by other platforms yet, there are a few which do, so that online publications can better delineate and display the difference between likes, bookmarks, reads, etc. There’s at least one online newspaper among 800+WordPress websites which support this functionality. I suspect that with swentel’s Drupal module and some code for supporting the proper microformats, this is a quick reality in the Drupal space as well. Because the functionality is built on basic web standards, it’s possible for any CMS to support them. All that’s left is to ramp up adoption.

A quick note on Microsub and feed readers

Dave Winer in his reply to you linked to a post about showing likes on his site (presumably using the Twitter API) where he laments:

I know the Like icon doesn’t show up in your feed reader (maybe that can change)

Interestingly, swentel’s module also supports Microsub, so that reader clients will allow one to like (bookmark, or reply to) posts directly within readers which will then send Micropub requests to one’s website to post them as well as to potentially send Webmention notifications. These pieces help to close the circle of posting, reading, and easily interacting on the open web the way closed silos like Facebook, Twitter, et al. allow.

❤️ the first Drupal to Drupal conversation over webmention

Liked a post by swentelswentel (realize.be)
Milestone: the first Drupal to Drupal conversation over webmention (AFAIK)! Thanks @aleksip for testing :) https://www.aleksip.net/trying-out-the-indieweb-module #indieweb #drupal

Awesome news indeed!

Using Inoreader as an IndieWeb feed reader

It may still be a while before I can make the leap I’d love to make to using Microsub related technology to replace my daily feed reader habits. I know that several people are working diligently on a Microsub server for WordPress and there are already a handful of reader interfaces available. I’m particularly interested in the fact that I can use a reader interface integrated with Micropub so that my reactions in the reader (likes, bookmarks, replies, etc.) are posted back to my own personal website which will then send notifications (via Webmention) to the mentioned websites. Of course it’s going to take some time before I’m using it and even more time after that for the set up to become common and easy to use for others. So until then, I and others will need some tools to use right now.

Toward this end I thought I’d double down on my use of Inoreader in my daily web consumption workflows. I wanted to make it easier to use my feed reader to post all these types of posts to my website which will still handle the notifications. In some sense, instead of relying on a feed reader supporting Micropub, I’ll use other (older) methods for making the relevant posts. As I see it, there are two potential possibilities using Inoreader:
(1) using a service like IFTTT (free) or Zapier (paid) to take the post intents and send them to my WordPress site, or
(2) using the custom posting interface in Inoreader in conjunction with post editor URL schemes with the Post Kinds plugin to create the posts. Using WordPress’ built-in Post This bookmarklet schemes could also be used to make these posts, but Post Kinds plugin offers a lot more metadata and flexibility.

If This Then That (IFTTT)

Below is a brief outline of some of the IFTTT recipes I’ve used to take data from posts I interact with in Inoreader and post them to my own website.

The trigger interface in IFTTT for creating new applets using Inoreader functionality.

Likes

IFTTT has an explicit like functionality with a one click like button. There is an IFTTT recipe which allows taking this datum and adding it directly as a WordPress post with lots of rich data. The  “then that” portion of IFTTT using WordPress allows some reasonable functionality for porting over data.

Favorites

IFTTT also has explicit favorite functionality using a one click starred article button. There is an IFTTT recipe which allows adding this directly as a WordPress post.

Since the “starred” article isn’t defined specifically in Inoreader as a “favorite”, one could alternately use it to create “read” or “bookmark” posts on their WordPress websites. I’m tempted to try this for read posts as I probably wouldn’t often use it to create favorite posts on my own website. Ultimately one at least wants an easy-to-remember 1 to 1 mapping of pieces of functionality in Inoreader to their own website, so whatever I decide I’ll likely stick to it.

Bookmarks

While there is no specific functionality for creating bookmarks in Inoreader (though starred articles could be used this way as previously mentioned), there is a “saved webpage” functionality that could be used here in addition to an IFTTT recipe to port over the data to WordPress.

Reads

While Inoreader has a common feed reader read/unread functionality, it is often not used tacitly and this is a means of reducing friction within the application. Not really wanting to muddle the meaning of the “starred” article to do it, I’ve opted to adding an explicit “read” tag on posts I’ve read.

IFTTT does have a “New tagged article” recipe that will allow me to take articles in Inoreader with my “read” tag and post them to my website. It’s pretty simple and easy.

Replies

For dealing with replies, there is an odd quirk within Inoreader. Confoundingly the feed reader has two similar, yet still very different commenting functionalities. One is explicitly named “comment”, but sadly there isn’t a related IFTTT trigger nor an RSS feed to take advantage of the data one puts into the comment functionality. Fortunately there is a separate “broadcast” functionality. There is an IFTTT recipe for “new broadcasted article” that will allow one to take the reply/comment and post it to one’s WordPress website.

Follows

Like many of the above there is a specific IFTTT recipe that will allow one to add subscriptions directly to WordPress as posts, so that any new subscriptions (or follows) within the Inoreader interface can create follow posts! I doubt many people may use this recipe, but it’s awesome that it exists.  Currently anything added to my blogrolls (aka Following Page) gets ported over to Inoreader via OPML subscription, so I’m curious if them being added that way will create these follow posts? And if so, is there a good date/time stamp for these? I still have to do some experimenting to see exactly how this is going to work.

RSS feed-based functionality

In addition to the IFTTT recipe functionality described above, one could also use IFTTT RSS functionality to pipe RSS feeds which Inoreader provides (especially via tags) into a WordPress website. I don’t personally use this sort of set up, but thought I’d at least mention it in passing so that anyone who might like to create other post types to their website could.

Custom posting in Inoreader with Post Kinds Plugin

If using a third-party service like IFTTT isn’t your cup of tea, Inoreader also allows custom sharing options.  (There are also many pre-built ones for Facebook, Twitter, etc. and they’re also re-orderable as well.) I thus used WordPress’ post editor URL schemes to send the data I’d like to have from the original post to my own website. Inoreader actually has suggestions in their UI for how to effectuate this generically on WordPress. While this is nice, I’m a major user of the Post Kinds Plugin which allows me a lot more flexibility to post likes, bookmarks, favorites, reads, replies, etc. with the appropriate microformats and much richer metadata. Post Kinds has some additional URL structures which I’ve used in addition to the standard WordPress ones to take advantage of this. This has allowed me to create custom buttons for reads, bookmarks, replies, likes, and listens. With social sharing functionality in Inoreader enabled, each article in Inoreader has a sharing functionality in the bottom right corner that has a configuration option which brings up the following interface:

Custom sharing functionality in Inoreader. I’ve added set up to post reads, bookmarks, likes, replies and listens to my personal website.

Once made, these custom button icons appear at the bottom of every post in Inoreader, so, for example, if I want to reply to a post I’ve just read, I can click on the reply button which will open a new browser window for a new post on my website. The Post Kinds plugin on my site automatically pulls in the URL of the original post, parses that page and–where available–pulls in the title, synopsis, post date/time, the author, author URL, author photo, and a featured photo as well as automatically setting the specific post kind and post format. A lot of this data helps to create a useful reply context on my website. I can then type in my reply to the post and add any other categories, tags, or data I’d like in my admin interface. Finally I publish the post which sends notifications to the original post I read (via Webmention).

Screencapture of Inoreader’s interface highlighting some of their social features as well as the custom sharing interface I’ve added. The article shown here is one lamenting the lost infrastructure of feed readers and hopes for future infrastructure from Jon Udell entitled Where’s my Net dashboard?

Conclusion and future

With either of the above set ups, there are a few quick and easy clicks to create my posts and I’m done. Could it be simpler? Yes, but it likely won’t be much more until I’ve got a fully functional Microsub server and reader up and working.

Of course, I also love Inoreader and its huge variety of features and great usability. While I’m patiently awaiting having my own WordPress Microsub server, I certainly wouldn’t mind it if Inoreader decided to add some IndieWeb functionality itself. Then perhaps I wouldn’t need to make the switch in the near future.

What would this look like? It could include the ability to allow me to log into Inoreader using my own website using IndieAuth protocol. It could also add Micropub functionality to allow me to post all these things directly and explicitly to my website in an easier manner. And finally, if they really wanted to go even further, they could make themselves a Microsub server that enables me to use any one of several Microsub clients to read content and post to my own website. And of course the benefit to Inoreader is that if they support these open internet specifications, then their application not only works with WordPress sites with the few appropriate plugins, but Inoreader will also work with a huge variety of other content management systems that support these specs as well.

Whether or not Inoreader supports these protocols, there is a coming wave of new social feed readers that will begin to close many of these functional gaps that made RSS difficult. I know things will slowly, but eventually get better, simpler, and easier to use. Soon posting to one’s website and doing two way communication on the internet via truly social readers will be a reality, and one that’s likely to make it far easier to eschew the toxicity and problems of social sites like Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia from Linked: The New Science Of Network by Albert-László Barabási

Annotated Linked: The New Science Of Networks by Albert-László Barabási (Perseus Books Group)

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

Guide to highlight colors

Yellow–general highlights and highlights which don’t fit under another category below
Orange–Vocabulary word; interesting and/or rare word
Green–Reference to read
Blue–Interesting Quote
Gray–Typography Problem
Red–Example to work through

The First Link: Introduction

…the high barriers to becoming a Christian had to be abolished. Circumcision and the strict food laws had to be relaxed.

Highlight (yellow) – page 4

make it easier to create links!

The Second Link: The Random Universe

But when you add enough links such that each node has an average of one link, a miracle happens: A unique giant cluster emerges.

Highlight (yellow) – page 17

Random network theory tells us that as the average number of links per node increases beyond the critical one, the number of nodes left out of the giant cluster decreases exponentially.

Highlight (yellow) – page 19

If the network is large, despite the links’ completely random placement, almost all nodes will have approximately the same number of links.

Highlight (yellow) – page 22

seminal 1959 paper of Erdős and Rényi to bookmark

Highlight (green) – page 23

“On Random Graphs. I” (PDF). Publicationes Mathematicae. 6: 290–297.

The Third Link: Six Degrees of Separation

In Igy irtok ti, or This is How You Write, Frigyes Karinthy

Highlight (yellow) – page 25

But there is one story, entitled “Lancszemek,” or “Chains,” that deserves our attention

Highlight (yellow) – page 26

Karinthy’s 1929 insight that people are linked by at most five links was the first published appearance of the concept we know today as “six degrees of separation.”

Highlight (yellow) – page 27

He [Stanley Milgram] did not seem to have been aware of the body of work on networks in graph theory and most likely had never heard of Erdős and Rényi. He is known to have been influenced by the work of Ithel de Sole Pool of MIT and Manfred Kochen of IBM, who circulated manuscripts about the small world problem within a group of colleagues for decades without publishing them, because they felt they had never “broken the back of the problem.”

Highlight (yellow) – page 36

Think about the small world problem of published research.

We don’t have a social search engine so we may never know the real number with total certainty.

Highlight (yellow) – page 39

Facebook has fixed this in the erstwhile. As of 2016 it’s down to 3.57 degrees of separation

social network

Highlight (orange) – page 40

google the n-gram of this word to see it’s incidence over time. How frequent was it when this book was written? It was apparently a thing beginning in the mid 1960’s.

The Fourth Links: Small Worlds

Mark Newman, a physicist at the Santa Fe Institute… had already written several papers on small worlds that are now considered classics.

Highlight (yellow) – page 49

Therefore, Watts and Strogatz’s most important discovery is that clustering does not stop at the boundary of social networks.

Highlight (yellow) – page 50

To explain the ubiquity of clustering in most real networks, Watts and Strogatz offered an alternative to Erdős and Rényi’s random network model in their 1998 study published in Nature.

Highlight (green) – page 51

Watts, D. J.; Strogatz, S. H. (1998). “Collective dynamics of ‘small-world’ networks” (PDF). Nature. 393 (6684): 440–442. Bibcode:1998Natur.393..440W. doi:10.1038/30918. PMID 9623998

The Fifth Link: Hubs and Connectors

The most intriguing result of our Web-mapping project was the complete absence of democracy, fairness, and egalitarian values on the Web. We learned that the topology of the Web prevents us from seeing anything but a mere handful of the billion documents out there.

Highlight (yellow) – page 56

Do Facebook and Twitter subvert some of this effect? What types of possible solutions could this give to the IndieWeb for social networking models with healthier results?

On the Web, the measure of visibility is the number of links. The more incoming links pointing to your Webpage, the more visible it is. […] Therefore, the liklihood that a typical document links to your Webpage is close to zero.

Highlight (yellow) – page 57

The hubs are the strongest argument against the utopian vision of an egalitarian cyberspace. […] In a collective manner, we somehow create hubs, Websites to which everyone links. They are very easy to find, no matter where you are on the Web. Compared to these hubs, the rest of the Web is invisible.

Highlight (yellow) – page 58

Every four years the United States inaugurates a new social hub–the president.

Highlight (yellow) – page 63
The Sixth Link: The 80/20 Rule

But every time an 80/20 rule truly applies, you can bet that there is a power law behind it. […] Power laws rarely emerge in systems completely dominated bya roll of the dice. Physicists have learned that most often they signal a transition from disorder to order.

Highlight (yellow) – page 72

If the disorder to order is the case, then what is the order imposed by earthquakes which apparently work on a power law distribution?

Leo Kadanoff, a physicist at the University of Illinois at Urbana, had a sudden insight: In the vicinity of the critical point we need to stop viewing atoms separately. Rather, they should be considered communities that act in unison. Atoms must be replaced by boxes of atoms such that within each box all atoms behave as one.

Highlight (yellow) – page 75

#phase transitions

Kenneth Wilson […] submitted simultaneously on June 2, 1971, and published in November of the same year by Physical Review B, turned statistical physics around. The proposed an elegant and all-encompassing theory of phase transitions. Wilson took the scaling ideas developed by Kadanoff and molded them into a powerful theory called renormalization. The starting point of his approach was scale invariance: He assumed that in the vicinity of the critical point the laws of physics applied in an identical manner at all scales, from single atoms to boxes containing millions of identical atoms acting in unison. By giving rigorous mathematical foundation to scale invariance, his theory spat out power laws each time he approached the critical point, the place where disorder makes room for order.

Highlight (yellow) – page 76-77
The Seventh Link: Rich Get Richer

The random model of Erdős and Rényi rests on two simple and often disregarded assumptions. First, we start with an inventory of nodes. Having all the nodes available from the beginning, we assume that the number of nodes is fixed and remains unchanged throughout the network’s life. Second, all nodes are equivalent. Unable to distinguish between the nodes, we link them randomly to each other. These assumptions were unquestioned in over forty years of network research.

Highlight (yellow) – page 81

Both in the Erdős-Rényi and Watts-Strogatz models assumed that we have a fixed number of nodes that are wired together in some clever way. The networks generated by these models are therefore static, meaning that the number of nodes remains unchanged during the network’s life. In contrast, our examples suggested that for real networks the static hypothesis is not appropriate. Instead, we should incorporate growth into our network models.

Highlight (yellow) – page 83

It demonstrated, however, that growth alone cannot explain the emergence of power laws.

Highlight (yellow) – page 84

They are hubs. The better known they are, the more links point to them. The more links they attract, the easier it is to find them on the Web and so the more familiar we are with them. […] The bottom line is that when deciding where to link on the Web, we follow preferential attachment: When choosing between two pages, one with twice as many links as the other, about twice as many people link to the more connected page. While our individual choices are highly unpredictable, as a group we follow strict patterns.

Highlight (yellow) – page 85

The model is very simple, as growth and preferential attachment lead to an algorithm defined by two straightforward rules:
A. Growth: For each given period of time we add a new node to the network. This step underscores the fact that networks are assembled one node at a time.
B. Preferential attachment: We assume that each new node connects to the existing nodes with two links. The probability that it will chose a given node is proportional to the numver of links the chosen node has. That is, given the choice between two nodes, one with twice as many links as the other, it is twice as likely that the new node will connect to the more connected node.

Highlight (yellow) – page 86

The how and why remain for each are of application though.

In Hollywood, 94 percent of links are internal, formed when two established actors work together for the first time.

Highlight (yellow) – page 89

These shifts in thinking created a set of opposites: static versus growing, random versus scale-free, structure versus evolution.
[…] Does the presence of power laws imply that real networks are the result of a phase transition from disorder to order? The answer we’ve arrived at is simple: Networks are not en route from a random to an ordered state. Neither are they at the edge of randomness and chaos. Rather, the scale-free topology is evidence of organizing principles acting at each stage of the network formation process. There is little mystery here, since growth and preferential attachment can explain the basic features of the networks see in nature. No matter how large and complex a network becomes, as long as preferential attachment and growth are present it will maintain its hub-dominated scale-free topology.

Highlight (yellow) – page 91
The Eighth Link: Einstein’s Legacy

The introduction of fitness does not eliminate growth and preferential attachment, the two basic mechanisms governing network evolution. It changes, however, what is considered attractive in a competitive environment. In the scale-free model, we assumed that a node’s attractiveness was determined solely by it’s number of links. In a competitive environment, fitness also plays a role: Nodes with higher fitness are linked to more frequently. A simple way to incorporate fitness into the scal-free model is to assume that preferential attachment is driven by the product of the node’s fitness and the number of links it has. Each new node decides where to link by comparing the fitness connectivity product of all available nodes and linking with a higher probability to those that have a higher product and therefore are more attractive.

Highlight (yellow) – page 96

Bianconi’s calculation s first confirmed our suspicion that in the presence of fitness the early bird is not necessarily the winner. Rather, fitness is in the driver’s seat, making or breaking the hubs.

Highlight (yellow) – page 97

But there was a indeed a precise mathematical mapping between the fitness model of a Bose gas. According to this mapping, each node in the network corresponds to an energy level in the Bose gas.

Highlight (yellow) – page 101

…in some networks, the winner can take all. Just as in a Bose-Einstein condensate all particles crowd into the the lowest energy level, leaving the rest of the energy levels unpopulated, in some networks the fittest node could theoretically grab all the links, leaving none for the rest of the nodes. The winner takes all.

Highlight (yellow) – page 102

But even though each system, from the Web to Hollywood, has a unique fitness distribution, Bianconi’s calculation indicated that in terms of topology all networks fall into one of only two possible categories. […] The first category includes all networks in which, despite the fierce competition for links, the scale-free topology survives. These networks display a fit-get-rich behavior, meaning that the fittest node will inevitably grow to beome the biggest hub. The winner’s lead is never significant, however. The largest hub is closely followed by a smaller one, which acquires almost as many links as the fittest node. Ata any moment we have a hierarchy of nodes whose degree distribution follows a power law. In most complex networks, the power laws and the fight for links thus are not antagonistic but can coexist peacefully.

Highlight (yellow) – page 102

In […] the second category, the winner takes all, meaning tht the fittest node grabs all the links, leaving very little for the rest of the nodes. Such networks develop a star topology. […] A winner-takes-all network is not scale-free.

Highlight (yellow) – page 102
The Ninth Link: Achilles’ Heel

…the western blackout highlighted an often ignored property of complex networks: vulnerability due to interconnectivity

Highlight (yellow) – page 110

Yet, if the number of removed nodes reaches a critical point, the system abruptly breaks into tiny unconnected islands.

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Computer simulations we performed on networks generated by the scale-free model indicated that a significant fraction of nodes can be randomly removed from any scale-free network without its breaking apart.

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…percolation theory, the field of physics that developed a set of tools that now are widely used in studies of random networks.

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…they set out to calculate the fraction of nodes that must be removed from an arbitrarily chosen network, random or scale-free, to break it into pieces. On one hand, their calculation accounted for the well-known result that random networks fall apart after a critical number of nodes have been removed. On the other hand, they found that for scale-free networks the critical threshold disapears in cases where the degree exponent is smaller or equal to three.

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Disable a few of the hubs and a scale-free network will fall to pieces in no time.

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If, however, a drug or an illness shuts down the genes encoding the most connected proteins, the cell will not survive.

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Obviously, the likelihood that a local failure will handicap the whole system is much higher if we perturb the most-connected nodes. This was supported by the findings of Duncan Watts, from Columbia University, who investigated a model designed to capture the generic features of cascading failures, such as power outages, and the opposite phenomenon, the cascading popularity of books, movies, and albums, which can be described within the same framework.

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The Tenth Link: Viruses and Fads

If a new product passes the crucial test of the innovators, based on their recommendation, the early adopters will pick it up.

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What, if any, role is played by the social network in the spread of a virus or an innovation?

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In 1954, Elihu Katz, a researcher at the Bureau of Applied Social Research at columbia University, circulated a proposal to study the effect of social ties on behavior.

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When it came to the spread of tetracyclin, the doctors named by three or more other doctors as friends were three times more likely to adopt the new drug than those who had not been named by anybody.

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Hubs, often referred to in marketing as “opinion leaders,” “power users,” or “influencers,” are individuals who communicate with more people about a certain product than does the average person.

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Aiming to explain the disappearance of some fads and viruses and the spread of others, social scientists and epidemiologists developed a very useful tool called the threshold model.

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any relation to Granovetter?

…critical threshold, a quantity determined by the properties of the network in which the innovation spreads.

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For decades, a simple but powerful paradigm dominated our treatment of diffusion problems. If we wanted to estimate the probability that an innovation would spread, we needed only to know it’s spreading rate and the critical threshold it faced. Nobody questioned this paradigm. Recently, however, we have learned that some viruses and innovations are oblivious to it.

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On the Internet, computers are not connected to each other randomly.

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In scale-free networks the epidemic threshold miraculously vanished!

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Hubs are among the first infected thanks to their numerous sexual contacts. Once infected, they quickly infect hundreds of others. If our sex web formed a homogeneous, random, network, AIDS might have died out long ago. The scale-free topology at AIDS’s disposal allowed the virus to spread and persist.

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As we’ve established, hubs play a key role in these processes. Their unique role suggest a bold but cruel solution: As long as resources are finite we should treat only the hubs. That is, when a treatment exists but there is not enough money to offer it to everybody who needs it, we should primarily give it to the hubs. (Pastor-Satorras and Vespignani; and Zoltan Dezso)

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Are we prepared to abandon the less connected patients for the benefit of the population at large?

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The Eleventh Link: The Awakening Internet

They [Michalis Faloutsos, Petros Faloutsos, and Christos Faloutsos] found that the connectivity distribution of the Internet routers follows a power law. In their seminar paper “On Power-Law Relationship of the Internet Topology” they showed that the Internet […] is a scale-free network.

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Routers offering more bandwidth likely have more links as well. […] This simple effect is a possible source of preferential attachment. We do not know for sure whether it is the only one, but preferential attachment is unquestionably present on the Internet.

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After many discussions and tutorials on how computers communicate, a simple but controversial idea emerged: parasitic computing.

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The Twelfth Link: The Fragmented Web

Starting from any page (on the Internet), we can reach only about 24 percent of all documents.

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If you want to go from A to D, you can start from node A, then go to node B, which has a link to node C, which points to D. But you can’t make a round-trip.

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Not necessarily the case with bidirectional webmentions.

[Cass] Sustein fears that by limiting access to conflicting viewpoints, the emerging online universe encourages segregation and social fragmentation. Indeed, the mechanisms behind social and political isolation on the Web are self-reinforcing.

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Looks like we’ve known this for a very long time! Sadly it’s coming to a head in the political space of 2016 onward.

Communities are essential components of human social history. Granovetter’s circles of friends, the elementary building blocks of communities, pointed to this fact. […]

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early indications that Facebook could be a thing…

One reason is that there are no sharp boundaries between various communities. Indeed, the same Website can belong simultaneously to different groups. For example, a physicist’s Webpage might mix links to physics, music, and mountain climbing, combining professional interests with hobbies. In which community should we place such a page? The size of communities also varies a lot. For example, while the community interested in “cryptography” is small and relatively easy to locate, the one consisting of devotees of “English literature” is much harder to identify and fragmented into many subcommunities ranging from Shakespeare enghusiasts to Kurt Vonnegut fans.

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Search for this type of community problem is an NP complete problem. This section may be of interest to Brad Enslen and Kicks Condor. Cross reference research suggested by Gary Flake, Steve Lawrence, and Lee Giles from NEC.

Such differences in the structure of competing communities have important consequences for their ability to market and organize themselves for a common cause.

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He continues to talk about how the pro-life movement is better connected and therefore better equipped to fight against the pro-choice movement.

Code–or software–is the bricks and mortar of cyberspace. The architecture is what we build, using the code as building blocks. The great architects of human history, from Michelangelo to Frank Lloyd Wright, demonstrated that, whereas raw materials are limited, the architectural possibilities are not. Code can curtail behavior, and it does influence architecture. It does not uniquely determine it, however.

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Added on November 3, 2018 at 5:26 PM

Yes, we do have free speech on the Web. Chances are, however, that our voices are too weak to be heard. pages with only a few incoming links are impossible to find by casual browsing. Instead, over and over we are steered toward the hubs. It is tempting to believe that robots can avoid this popularity-driven trap.

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Facebook and Twitter applications? Algorithms help to amplify “unheard” voices to some extent, but gamifying the reading can also get people to read more (crap) than they were reading before because it’s so easy.

Your ability to find my Webpage is determined by one factor only: its position on the Web.

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Facebook takes advantage of this with their algorithm

Thus the Web’s large-scale topology–that is, its true architecture–enforces more severe limitations on our behavior and visibilityon the Web than government or industry could ever achieve by tinkering with the code. Regulations come and go, but the topology and the fundamental natural laws governing it are time invariant. As long as we continue to delegate to the individual the choice of where to link, we will not be able to significantly alter the Web’s large-scale topology, and we will have to live with the consequences.

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hmmm?

After selling Alexa to Amazon.com in 1999

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Brewster Kahle’s Alexa Internet company is apparently the root of the Amazon Alexa?

The Thirteenth Link: The Map of Life

To return to our car analogy, it is…

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Where before? I don’t recall this at all. Did it get removed from the text?

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ref somewhere about here… personalized medicine

After researching the available databases, we settled on a new one, run by the Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago, nicknamed “What Is There?” which compiled the matabolic network of forty-three diverse organisms.

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…for the vast majority of organisms the ten most-connected molecules are the same. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is almost always the biggest hub, followed closely by adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and water.

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A key prediction of the scale-free model is that nodes with a large number of links are those that have been added early to the network. in terms of metabolism this would imply that the most connected molecules should be the oldest ones within the cell. […] Therefore, the first mover advantage seems to pervade the emergence of life as well.

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Comparing the metabolic network of all forty-three organisms, we found that only 4 percent of the molecules appear in all of them.

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Developed by Stanley Fields in 1989, the two-hybrid method offers a relatively rapid semiautomated technique for detecting protein-protein interactions.

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They [the results of work by Oltvai, Jeong, Barabasi, Mason (2000)] demonstrated that the protein interaction network has a scale-free topology.

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…the cell’s scale-free topology is a result of a common mistake cells make while reproducing.

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In short, it is now clear that the number of genes is not proportional to our perceived complexity.

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The Fourteenth Link: Network Economy

We have learned that a sparse network of a few powerful directors controls all major appointments in Fortune 1000 companies; […]

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Regardless of industry and scope, the network behind all twentieth century corporations has the same structure: It is a tree, where the CEO occupies the root and the bifurcating branches represent the increasingly specialized and nonoverlapping tasks of lower-level managers and workers. Responsibility decays as you move down the branches, ending with the drone executors of orders conceived at the roots.

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Only for completely top down , but what about bottom up or middle out?

We have gotten to the point that we can produce anything that we can dream of. The expensive question now is, what should that be?

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It is a fundamental rethinking of how to respond to the new business environment in the postindustrial era, dubbed the information economy.

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This is likely late, but certainly an early instance of “information economy” in popular literature.

Therefore, companies aiming to compete in a fast-moving marketplace are shifting from a static and optimized tree into a dynamic and evolving web, offering a more malleable, flexible command structure.

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While 79 percent of directors serve on only one board, 14 percent serve on two, and about 7 percent serve on three or more.

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Indeed, the number of companies that entered in partnership with exactly k other institutions, representing the number of links they have within the network, followed a power law, the signature of a scale-free topology.

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Makes me wonder if the 2008 economic collapse could have been predicted by “weak” links?

As research, innovation, product development, and marketing become more and more specialized and divorced from each other, we are converging to a network economy in which strategic alliances and partnerships are the means for survival in all industries.

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This is troubling in the current political climate where there is little if any trust or truth being spread around by the leader of the Republican party.

As Walter W. Powell writes in Neither Market nor Hierarchy: Network Forms of Organization, “in markets the standard strategy is to drive the hardest possible bargain on the immediate exchange. In networks, the preferred option is often creating indebtedness and reliance over the long haul.” Therefore, in a network economy, buyers and suppliers are not competitors but partners. The relationship between them is often very long lasting and stable.

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Trump vs. Trump

The stability of these links allows companies to concentrate on their core business. If these partnerships break down, the effects can be severe. Most of the time failures handicap only the partners of the broken link. Occasionally, however, they send ripples through the whole economy. As we will see next, macroeconomic failures can throw entire nations into deep financial disarray, while failures in corporate partnerships can severly damage the jewels of the new economy.

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In some sense this predicts the effects of the 2008 downturn.

outsourcing

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early use of the word?

A me attitude, where the companies immediate financial balance is the only factor, limits network thinking. Not understanding how the actions of one node affect other nodes easily cripples whole segments of the network.

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Hierarchical thinking does not fit a network economy.

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The Last Link: Web Without a Spider

We must help eliminate the need and desire of the nodes to form links to terrorist organizations by offering them a chance to belong to more constructive and meaningful webs.

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And for poverty and gangs as well as immigration.

“Their work has a powerful philosophy: “revelation through concealment.” By hiding the details they allow us to focus entirely on the form. The wrapping sharpens our vision, making us more aware and observant, turning ordinary objects into monumental sculptures and architectural pieces.

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not too dissimilar to the font I saw today for memory improvement

👓 Webmention improvements on Micro.blog | Manton Reece

Read Webmention improvements on Micro.blog by Manton ReeceManton Reece (manton.org)
I rolled out a few Webmention improvements to Micro.blog today: Fixed the permalink for a reply when you aren’t signed in, which was preventing external sites from verifying the link after receiving a Webmention from Micro.blog. Added limited support for accepting replies from external sites that ...