Like: Can blogs rebuild America?

 

I’m not talking about all of us launching political blogs. I’m talking about reigniting our independent spaces once again. Turning up the volume on our individual voices and real-life stories, sharing our values…creating an alternative to the mass media (now social media) messages and memes that keep floating to the top.

It’s worth trying.  It’s time for thoughtful, wise voices to be heard.

H/T: Brent Simmons

Bookmark: Webrings are Not the Answer | by mariteaux

 

Somebody else has reservations about webrings. This in regards to Neocities.  I have similar problems with webrings.  However, I wouldn’t get too locked on to webrings being the only solution.  Maybe they will work in Neocities.  Maybe they will make the nostalgia buffs happy.  The inportant thing is to experiment and have some fun.  I suggest going to Webringo.com, the last fully functioning webring host, start a ring, get your friends to join and have some fun.  Webringo has some tools to address some of mariteaux’s worries (dead link code checkers, pure html ring codes) to make managing a ring easier so play around.

I guess my point is, you don’t really know until you try.  If webrings can be made to work anywhere it’s at Neocities, they are a very inventive community.

H/T: Web-Site-Ring

In reply to: Distributed Digital Transformation | Ton Zijlstra

Source: Read: Distributed Digital Transformation | Chris Aldrich

Yes Ton you are right.

We need to learn to see the cumulative impact of a multitude of efforts, while simultaneously keeping all those efforts visible on their own. There exist so many initiatives I think that are great examples of how distributed digitalisation leads to transformation, but they are largely invisible outside their own context, and also not widely networked and connected enough to reach their own full potential. They are valuable on their own, but would be even more valuable to themselves and others when federated, but the federation part is mostly missing.
We need to find a better way to see the big picture, while also seeing all pixels it consists of. A macroscope, a distributed digital transformation macroscope.

Great article!

Yes we need a macroscope.  The first practical thing that needs to be done now is to publicly catalog all these initiatives as a first step in building that macroscope.  Part of that cataloging (indexing) requires defining just what is a worthy initiative and explain it. Then we we figure out how to network.  And part of it needs to be practical, boots on the ground stuff, because we don’t have infinite time to come up with perfect solutions.

Those steps I listed above, are doable right now.  Somebody needs to start. If there is a way I can help, let me know.

RIP Findx.  I came across the announcement just now while investigating why searches were not working with them.  I just discovered FIndx about a month ago and now it’s gone. This makes me sad.

You should read the announcement above.

Some takeaways:

  1. The open source Gigablast search engine script is not up to the job, they say.  Good to know if you are starting up a search engine project.
  2. It is very hard to get people to switch away from their preferred search engine.
  3. Too many major sites block small legitimate search engines by default.
  4. The web is awash in a sea of spam and it’s very hard to sort that out.
  5. Crawling the web, building your own search index is very expensive.
  6. Building a competent crawler is very hard.

To the Findx team, goodbye and thank you for trying.

Google Chrome is the most popular browser in the world. Chrome routinely leads the pack in features for security and usability, most recently helping to drive the adoption of HTTPS. But when it comes to privacy, specifically protecting users from tracking, most of its rivals leave it in the dust….

Source: Google Chrome’s Users Take a Back Seat to Its Bottom Line | Electronic Frontier Foundation

This is a very well written article from EFF.

This is a test so disregard. My last post shows no Title on my blog even though Post Kinds it’s marked “Article”

The only things different are I used the “Press This” bookmarklet to capture the URL and I used the new syndication links to post to Indieweb News which is part of several new updates to that plugin. I have never seen this behavior before from using the bookmarklet.

The video below is of interest to SEO’s, webmaster’s trying to create their own informational websites, and the Indieweb.  The video, featuring Rand Fishkin, is 32 minutes long but packs a lot of current information.  I agree with Rand through the first 2/3rds of the video where he is making his case. I disagree with his conclusions in the last third because I’m not an SEO, I don’t have clients that are trying to sell things and I’m not trying to sell things.

via The Future of SEO is on the SERP | BrightonSEO 2018 – YouTube

Why this matters to:

  1. The Indieweb: Rand touches upon the social network silos, and how they are increasingly not linking out. They want to keep your content within their walled gardens.  Google is now doing this too, especially in mobile search.  This is not by accident but by design.  This is why I keep hammering away that Google is one of the the bad silos that the Indieweb should be concerned about, especially with Google controlling 90% of search traffic.  When the social network silos implode we will still be left with Google as the Gatekeeper.
  2. To Content Websites and Webmasters: we see in the video, that on the mobile SERP, Google is just posting their own information or information scraped from our sites and reused as their own without providing any click through links to the originators. eg. weather, celebrity news, sports, travel and tourism, food and dining via Google maps, accommodation etc. and its growing.  Commercial content websites which rely on ads to pay the bills are not getting many ad impressions if Google borrows their content or or otherwise fails to provide click through traffic.  As Rand points out the tacit agreement with search engines (I call it the Search Contract) is that in return for providing content and letting search engine crawlers use our bandwidth to index our sites, the search engines supply traffic.
  3. Commerce Websites: This is where Rand and I part ways.  His conclusions are probably realistic if you are trying to market a product because Google, the social networks and Amazon are all putting you in a squeeze play.  It’s the money making sites that hire SEO’s and good SEO’s have to do what is in their client’s best interest.  In this instance you have to play the game, when your business depends upon sales, it is probably not the best time to launch an anti-Google crusade.

Conclusions

Watch the video, you will learn something even if you are not an SEO and don’t care about search engines.  Rand’s presentation and the slides are telling.  Or at least watch the first 2/3rds until he gets to the recommendations for SEO’s.

It explains why I think decentralized search is so important for the Indieweb and the general health of the web and why we need guerrilla search solutions.

robots.txt

BTW Rand mentions one clear solution for content sites early on:  if, over time Google is not sending you traffic, bar Googlebot via robots.txt.  Give Bing and the smaller search engines an exclusive, if they are smart enough to take it.  If Google is not sending traffic you are not out anything.  I say this as someone who has just launched a web directory.  I don’t know how Google treats web directories anymore and I guess I will find out.  But if after a year or two, I’m not getting any traffic or appear to be penalized by Google, I have no problem barring Googlebot from the site.

 

This was also posted to
/en/indieweb.

 

Also on:

Like via 11 Things Not to Buy Before Black Friday | PCMag.com

Some good advice here.

I’ve been installing and setting up a DokuWiki.  My hosting ISP provides automatic install for 4 different wiki engines and Doku is one of them.  This is not something I do everyday so I’m being methodical (read slow) because it’s easier to get it right the first time rather than undo mistakes. At least for me it is.

Impressions:

  1. I’m impressed with Doku so far.  Like most open source scripts it’s not quite as polished as a commercial script but it’s all very straightforward and workmanlike.  It does not feel half finished.
  2. The instructions are well written.  Even I could understand them.
  3. Doku has a plugin system similar to WordPress.  All the essential plugins are already installed on the default installation.
  4. Adding new plugins to extend and customize worked smoothly.

There is a learning curve, wiki’s have their own lingo and it takes awhile to learn what things are called. I think I have it mostly set up.   Then I need to test it.

Why Wiki?

What has me excited about wikis is they work more like my brain works.  I’ve never been a good outliner for stories or projects.  My thought process is more like sticky notes all scattered around rather than an outline and that sticky note approach is sort of how wiki’s work.

Blogs are fine and have their place, but they are linear.  Wiki’s create something closer to a static site but the navigation gets built automatically as you create pages.  I like that part.

I really won’t have a final judgement on Doku and wiki’s in general for a few weeks until I’ve started writing and editing.  The setup of the script is just a one time thing,  It’s the everyday use of the thing that is important.  But in any event, if you want a wiki, I don’t think you will go too far wrong with Dokuwiki.

In Reply to: Directory Features. Kicks Condor.

I’ve worked out a search index that’s entirely done in JavaScript

 

If you chose to go with a search feature, I was going to add you to the search engines at the bottom of Indieseek’s SERP like I did with Wiby.me.  That way I could share traffic – like someday when I have traffic, with your directory.  So, please, add working out a search string for that js search to your bucket list of future stuff to do.

But in any event I think your adding search is wise.  I gives the end user options.

I think one of my primary questions these days is: will the future be blogcentric? I feel like things are going to change. Although they could get more hyperactive.

 

I think our choice of tools is widening.  I’m going to experiment with Dokuwiki.  And you really need to check out Federated Wiki.  It’s that copying feature, in essence “forking” another persons post, that really caught my eye and made me think back to all your conversations with h0p3.  Anyway, I think blogs are just one tool in the box.

Features:

We talked before about these.  Right now on Indieseek I have ratings (stars) and Comments enabled.  I addition to the public using them, I intend to use them to write comments about certain sites on things I notice or recommendations I may have about the service or thing.  This means I can be more neutral in my descriptions of listings.

On the usability front: since I added Indieseek search to my browser, I notice I search my own directory more!  Interesting that I’m that lazy. Heh.