The big design update for the Mac sure as shit doesn’t look like it would be right on a multi-thousand dollar computer.

Right now I am happy with my tech set-up. An alternative scenario involves something I trialled over the summer, wherein I limit my exposure to the web:

  • a computer (iPad Pro/laptop of some kind)
  • a simple phone
  • analogue watch

Got my back-up plan set. 👍

Previously: People use control of their computers to make the web work in the way they want.

Now: Companies use control of the web to ruin people’s computers.

I’ve finally hit the very last stop on my interest in celebrity politics. For the record, it was seeing the tweet from my Prime Minister in which he promoted his LinkedIn profile.

I’m out. 👋

The lack of search in every blog continues to be a big mark against the open web. It’s frustrating to know that there was a post you now really want to find but the blog doesn’t have search built into it.

It’s even worse when there is also no good archive.

I love autumn but I think the size of the seasonal change – from generally hot to cold – has a larger impact on me than I ever remember. And I mean beyond basic physical effects, straight to the point where suddenly it’s time for some existential thoughts.

If we could throw “follow-back” culture into a deep pit, that’d be grand.

A bland life is not worth living. If you’re going to have an opinion, actually have a fucking opinion.

We are people, with flaws all over the place, not some stupid corporation with work-shopped statements.

If you have something to say, feel free to just say it.

How To Make Twitter Bearable

  1. Delete your account.
  2. Delete the app.
  3. Do something better with your time.

Every single time you use any part of Facebook

Every time you use Instagram

Every time you use WhatsApp

You contribute to the denial of the Holocaust

I have done this but I cannot do it any longer. I cannot live with myself if I do this.

For @kimberlyhirsh and all of us:

You be you.

Don’t concern yourself with work or “being productive” to the point where your health is comprimised.

Whatever you need to do to make it through these troubled times; do that.

Don’t forget to love each other. 💙

Hashtags for Micro.blog

This is a reply to @vivianlee:

You’ll have to excuse my ignorance here, but you could elaborate on the negative effects of hashtags? I’m new to the IndieWeb philosophy, and having just come from the likes of Twitter and Instagram, the lack of hashtags here has made it difficult for discovery. I’m wondering what the workaround is, and why hashtags would be a negative thing.

(original comment)

I’m not as well-informed on all of the technical aspects or any work that has been done to support this position – case studies, etc – but I do have a general view based on my experiences in the hashtag-heavy platforms vs. Micro.blog and my old days on message boards and the like.

A lot of the behaviour around hashtags for those with ill will is about tracking and campaigning at speed; using algorithms for trending to target and pile-on people and groups. It can also become easy to ruin a topic that has until that point been carefully curated by the people involved, whether through crude spambots or planned, targeted campaigns.

The flip-side of that is of course moderation, whether from the people running the platform or via account-based tools made available to each person. Whilst I’m not aware of what exactly could be done with such resources, I know for sure that either way it is likely to be a lot of work for such a small team.

There is also the question of priorities within the context of culture; are hashtags, with all of the associated work, what Micro.blog needs right now? From my experience this is the kind of mechanism that can quickly lead to significant unintended consequences and so the positive value – which is basically just discovery – needs to be carefully weighed against the costs.

As for the alternatives, on Micro.blog it’s a mix of direct-ish approaches;

and the in-direct approach that has become part of the culture of Micro.blog;

(Note: there is also a Micro.blog help page covering this subject)

These alternatives also work well with philosophies of the open web, which preclude the silos; specifcally, the idea of the open web as the great social network, where we use feeds, email, newsletters, and other such technology and platforms that are largely non-proprietary. This means greater agency, independence, control, and less manipulation for all involved; it becomes a lot less like everybody dumping their posts into a bucket of faceless, nameless content whilst parasitical entities take advantage of our ignorance and lack of ownership.

I don’t think hashtags are intrinisic to the destructive nature of the web, rather I am unaware of any way for a small team to harness their power without sacrificing the good of Micro.blog; the intention, the curation, the personal contact, the idea that we are all people sharing space with some degree of control, and choosing to take our actions no matter what they might be.

Always be careful of people who breathlessly critique something, especially something being built on the web, with righteous dismissal. Often such people will also make grand promises and then produce absolutely nothing in the aftermath of their dramatic cries of opposition.