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Language and the New Social Web

(Note: I originally wrote this on Slack, as part of a thread about Micro.blog as a name.)

I know naming isn’t easy but I think I find it hard because M.b gets used for the company, individual blogs, the app and the timeline respectively in the following sentence (although arguably the second “Micro.blog” should be “microblog”):

“When I post to my Micro.blog hosted Micro.blog using Micro.blog it gets cross-posted to Micro.blog”

– Matthew Lindfield Seager (@matt17r), in the Indie Microblogging Slack

I think part of the issue here, especially if you’re going to compare to social media silos, is that they are not interested in differentiating these things… whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, whatever… they are simply interested in people not ever thinking about the technical side of things.

Meanwhile, Micro.blog fully embraces the technical side of things yet is also driven by a desire to make things as simple as possible.

As such, tbh, things aren’t cleanly and easily tucked into a nice little marketable pocket of jargon. If people don’t like the inevitable downsides of social media silos then they’re going to have to at least become aware of things like “blogs”, “posts”, “microblogs”, and so on.

That doesn’t mean people have to become experts or even especially comfortable with these concepts but they will need to acknowledge that there is no easy, one-size-fits-all answer for posting and sharing things on the web. Maybe over time the language will get easier but I don’t think it’s going to be because the marketing improves; rather, it’s time for people on the web to become better citizens.

Behind me, a filled room of 9/11 first responders, and in front of me, a nearly empty Congress. Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak to no one. Shameful. It’s an embarrassment to the country and it is a stain on this institution.

Jon Stewart

They should isolate the Apple Music or News team and force them to go through App Review, pay 30%, etc to get a better feel for what it’a really like.

David Barnard, via Twitter

An interesting idea, eh @manton. πŸ€”

Up to 3.7 million pensioners who previously received a free TV licence will now have to pay for it.

The BBC

Perhaps they should all just die… and decrease the surplus population.

As I’ve just said in this conversation, think about it, those who are cynical with regard to AR technology:

Augmented Reality + Voice Control

For privacy-focused companies like Apple this is a part of the tech industry with great potential to do so much good for the world.

Comments is the new issue of xkcd and yet again Randall Munroe is right on the money. πŸ˜˜πŸ‘ŒπŸ»

OK. That’s enough WWDC excitement for now. Back to work on @til and a bunch of shamefully late email replies. 😬

One of the reasons I miss iOS so much is YouTube, specifically with regard to how genuinely bad it is. I’m using: Android, on a Pixel 2 to be exact; a Chromebook; Chrome on Windows; and yet YouTube becomes less intuitive over time. Google are dropping the ball on this.

We Need to Talk About the Larger Scope

No one is forcing these game developers to take these jobs

@frostedechoes, on the effects felt by developers when creating violent video games.

Whilst I understand this isn’t the core of Robert’s point, I will note that I see this kind of qualifier quite a lot across different issues, and I think it’s important for all of us to also make note of the fact that there is an agent influencing the decisions of, well, everybody. That agent is the socio-economic system, the culture we prop up with our many decisions, for which there is no current alternative. If we had a better alternative then things could be different; for example, introducing both universal healthcare and universal basic income would create significant foundations upon which we could all make better decisions.

To put it bluntly, in many cases these developers are in the USA and these terrible jobs are still preferable to having no job, almost entirely due to the punitive treatment of unemployment in said country.

Also, looking at what Jason has said, he ends with the idea of questioning whether to support certain art or not. Again, an easy thing, Jason is taking the much easier route of looking at this small insignificant piece… those pieces do nothing when compared to the foundational issues here, even if they are much easier to talk about.

Micro.blog is slower, but also more considered.

@frostedechoes, Social Decay

@macgenie has often spoken about Micro.blog being “the slow social media” and the benefits to this become clearer as more people write about the platform.

What’s beef?

Beef is when you murder motherfuckers on a beat, kill ‘em all, kill ‘em all

Nah, nah, what’s beef?

Beef is brothers dyin’ over shit that never mattered in the first place, lyin’ in the street

ISIS – Joyner Lucas ft. Logic

So so good.

Blog a Lot

I think people neglect to write blog posts because the feedback loop is not as tangible as the onslaught of (sometimes mechanical) likes or faves that you can receive on a social network.

Daniel Jalkut, Blog a Little

It’s a shame people believe what those at Facebook, Twitter, and such like would prefer them to believe; specifically, just because the audience seems to be all on those closed networks that it is therefore the best option to just post everything there and never have an independent, self-owned option as the core of whatever you are posting.

Instead, it’ll be great even if people just change how they think about the whole system, to realise that the closed networks can be useful for specific types of broadcasting but that’s about it. Even then, with regard to messaging not only do we have feed technology but also email and the unbelievable flexibility of open web software as a whole.

It has been encouraging to see the influential voices of the web become louder about these issues in the past few years. It might not be obvious at first but the truth is that we can only build a better world if we learn from our history, identify the good in what we have done, and then attempt to build on that. I truly believe that we can maintain the internet as a force for good, specifically with the web, so long as we hold close to the values of independence, generous spirit, and free thinking; all of which are possible with a web that itself is as open and independent as possible.

#LongLiveTheOpenWeb is another good piece in a movement well worth your time, doubtless there will be more to come and we will all be here, ready to blog a lot.