Bookmark: Home | Solid

(From the Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Inrupt.)

Solid empowers users and organizations to separate their data from the applications that use it. It allows people to look at the same data with different apps at the same time. It opens brand new avenues for creativity, problem-solving, and commerce.

Note: Ownership of your own data and having control of your own data are very Indieweb.org concepts. Solid brings the concept to more to mobile and apps but it applies to the web too.

This was also posted to
/en/indieweb.

 

 

My response to Nick Montfort’s recent article asserting that the era of the open web as the main platform for digital writing has forever passed.

Like: Fogknife : Rejecting the “Post-web era” while embracing The Future (5 minute read)

The cool part of the web is that you can carve out your own little chunk of it.  We can build whatever web we want.

This blog is just a couple of months old and same for the domain.  I was looking at my Comments admin panel and I have just over 200 approved “comments” this includes both written comments and mentions which appear on site as “facepiles”.  I’m thinking only about 3 or 4 of those comments were from the traditional comment forms at the bottom of each post.  The rest come from Indieweb style webmentions from other Indieweb blogs, Micro.blog, Twitter and G+.

I’m not telling you this to brag.  This is still just a insignificant, dumpy, tiny, newish blog.  But I have blogged before, and while I have had participation, I have never had this level of good, thoughtful, helpful engagement. It just does not happen on a new blog by a nobody.  Ever.

200. On. a. new. blog. Unbelievable.

Part of this is I stumbled upon the Indieweb which we bloggers never had before and they responded. Part is due to the great Micro.blog community.

I can also tell you this much: people do click on those links I left commenting on other peoples blogs and equally people are clicking on the links other people leave on this blog.

Yup, these Indieweb folks are definitely on to something.

Also on:

#search engines #social networks #silos #indieweb

I hear a lot of people wanting the social network silos (mainly Facebook and Twitter) to go away.  I too want them to go. Eventually.  But before they do, I want to examine some things in this little essay.

Some Good Things that the Silos Did

Search: Facebook and Twitter punched a hole in the Google search monopoly.  Before these social networks, Google and Google alone dictated what you would find on the Web. And you did the finding through Google.  With, first Twitter and later Facebook, suddenly you didn’t need Google to find stuff on the Web.  Suddenly a little obscure website could become famous without or in spite of Google.  If you really sit down and think about it, that is no small thing.

Moreover, that hole in Google (plus Google’s bad record on privacy) gave smaller search engines just enough breathing room to try and become established (ie. Duckduckgo, Qwant, Mojeek.)

Web Advertising:  Again, before Facebook and Twitter, Google had a lock on both search advertising and display advertising.  Facebook in particular opened that up. Suddenly, sellers had an alternative place for ad campaigns besides something owned by Google.  If you are not selling stuff this means nothing to you, but if you are in business, large or small, it means a lot.

Traffic:  Posting on Facebook and Twitter can drive a lot of traffic to your website or blog.  Syndication (crossposting) is just another way of posting.  I’m convinced that a whole new generation has grown up that really does not remember the times before Facebook, Twitter and the other social network silos.  I can see it by their actions and inactions.  They don’t know how to get traffic besides syndicating to Facebook and Twitter.  What happens if those two cut off syndication?  What  happens if everybody leaves FB and Twitter so nobody reads your posts?

See, right now as a blogger, I don’t really need Google traffic.  I have Indieweb webmentions, Twitter and other social networks for traffic.  But if Twitter goes down or walls itself off, it is going to be lean pickings for visitors.

My biggest fear, is that if Facebook and Twitter suddenly crumble, we will go right back to having Google control everything.  By that I mean Google will control both traffic and discovery on the Web.

Yes it won’t be quite as all pervasive as it was before, at least as long as Bing sticks around and does not jump the shark.  Indieweb stuff is good but still a tiny niche (heck blogs are a small niche).  Smart things are being worked on, experimented with, new kinds of automated directories, new innovative webrings, – all discovery tools but they are not ready yet, that and nobody among the public know how to use them.  Things like RSS, which is a good source of repeat traffic, are experiencing a revival, but again this is just a small segment.  Given time I think RSS will be big but it ain’t there yet.

Google is a silo too. And I can tell you Google is part of what sucked all the fun out of Web 1.0.  Facebook and Twitter were not even around.  It was Google. And living under Google dominance is no fun.  Right now the Facebooks and the Twitters are still around so word can spread without Google.  It’s a rare opportunity but you better hurry.

Seriously, if FB and Twitter unravel quickly, how do we counter the Google silo?  Ideas?

 

Replied to

 

In reply to: Blogs in the Wild

I think the Indieweb is aware of the search problem but they have been focused on getting the essentials for individual blogs and stuff you can do with it up and running first.  I’m excited about their outreach to students and educators because I see students and academics seeing the utility for them straight off.

I don’t see mass adoption happening until WordPress builds it into WordPress.com, then lookout world!

But that’s okay. I think what you and I are doing will go like this:

  1. We hunt for homegrown blogs, sites, wikis and such just as we are right now.

  2. We build directories, webrings and syndication services that map out this world.

  3. The thing becomes a self-sustaining flotilla of: a) Talking, pitching in with each other’s projects. b) Experimenting with the format—I like to think that we’re developing an alternate timeline, as if blogs had replaced Friendster/Myspace rather than these other derivative networks. c) And customizing these directories and projects for subcommunities.

 

Those social network silos did a couple of good things even if they are going sour now. 1. They broke Google’s stranglehold on the web and getting found, 2. They offered an alternative advertising choice besides Adsense and Adwords.  This is something even Microsoft/Bing and Yahoo before it could not do.  They proved to the rest of Silicon Valley it could be done and Google was not invincible.  So I’m not anxious for the social silos to crumble too fast, I also get a fair amount of traffic from them.

(And that maybe part of the lack of wider uptake of our directory, webring, blogroll strategy, everyone is getting some traffic now by syndicating to the silos so they don’t see a problem.)

Anyway, I’m not willing to go back to Google being the sole Gate Keeper of the Web. I’ll fight that, no matter how puny my efforts might be. There is a story behind this: you have never been carpet bombed until Google has carpet bombed you.  I’ve been collateral damage in that.  It was things like webrings, directory listings, and a huge network of hyperlinks from little websites that kept my directory on life support until I could rebuild elsewhere. That’s kinda why I started reminiscing about them when the topic came up.  No I’ll never go back to Google controlling the web. I’ll never take traffic for granted again.  Part of the reason I’ve been posting so much is to try and build a reader base before syndication gets shut off.

So yeah, you and I are experimenting with versions of these guerrilla search tools.  We will see if there is any life left in them.

I can roll out a directory ready for submissions in a few weeks if I have to.  All the old directory scripts are a little long in the tooth but I already know the one I would use and how I would use it.  I can roll out webring hosting too since I found that Ringlink perl script. Or you can or we both can.  Again, if need be.

Public uptake is the key, uptake by bloggers and webmasters.  If they are not willing to list themselves, if the public is not willing to to use these to browse, then we have little chance.

Marketing plays in here. I just put up a little advertising banner for the blog directory.  Early signs are it has more visitors checking it out. We’ll see if that’s a temporary blip or a trend.

Anyway it’s fun.

Replied to

LEECHING AND LINKING IN THE HYPERTEXT KINGDOMi

Replying to: Indieweb.xyz: Difficult or Silo?

Heh, well everything not on your own domain is a silo, or at least I can make that argument.  Not all silo’s are bad we’ve all just gotten sloppy talking as if they are.  Silo’s become particularly bad when they become monopolies: ie. Facebook, Twitter, Google.  But what you are trying to do with Indieweb.xyz is exactly the opposite, that is create another independent outlet for both articles to be found and also blogs to be found.  We need more of these not less.

Indieweb et al.: Commendably, you have built Indieweb.xyz using Indieweb tech.  But I’m not sure if the Indieweb, as it sits right now, is the best audience.  I mean, we Indiewebbers all “got ours”, we can talk to each other directly anytime we want, we have: webmentions, chat rooms on Indieweb.org, Slack, IRC and maybe other places, we have Twitter, we have our own Indie News self serve aggregator, newsletters and most of what we talk about with each other is Indeweb related.  And there is nothing wrong with any of that, it’s just that, maybe Indieweb.xyz gets overlooked by that audience.  I see you have opened things up so that more diverse non-indieweb equipped blogs can syndicate and I think this is wise.

There are blogs and bloggers out there, basically talking to themselves because nobody can find them.  They don’t know if anybody is reading or appreciates what they post because nobody comments and they have no clue about Indieweb.  They want to reach out but they don’t know how, maybe they aren’t techie, maybe they majored in English at Uni.  How do we reach them?  How do we get them to get off their duffs and nailing manifestos on Indieweb.xyz?  I have to confess, there are times when I forgot to syndicate to xyz because my post was not linking or Indieweb related.  I’m getting over that.

Difficulty: I think it is best if we have to do a little work to syndicate to xyz.  I’ve thought about what if we could syndicate via RSS but that would spam xyz out.  It does not need all my drivel, only my better (or longer) posts.  And if you incorporated RSS then the real spammers would take over sooner or later.

There is a generational thing here too.  I’m not talking about the Indieweb, but others on the web.  They have become passive, or at least it seems that way to me.

Keep at it.  You are experimenting with something good.  When all the massive silos like FB and Twitter go down or wall themselves off, people will discover the need for places like Indieweb.xyz.  They just don’t know it yet.

 

 

Like: Indieweb.xyz: Difficult or Silo?

I want to respond to this but I’ll wait for morning.  There is a lot here to think about.

I just installed the new Aperture WordPress plugin.  I’m not real clear on what it does but it gives me access to Aperture and Microsub and, maybe, Monocle so it’s going in the direction towards an Internet home, which is good.

I’ve been kinda waiting for this, but also stalling a little to see how thing go.  This brings me closer and makes the process easier which is great.

See also: Indieweb.org

Introduction The “best” feed reader is largely a matter of individual preference. There are many good ones. Most of them, including the best, are free like browsers. The one that matches the way you want to work is best for you. 🙂 No matter which reader you choose, it should give you some way to back up your feeds, preferably as an OPML file. You may also be able to use your OPML file to move to another reader, although the formats may not be compatible.

Like: Best Free RSS Reader-Aggregator | Gizmo’s Freeware

Wow what a great article.  It’s much more comprehensive than most of it’s kind.  One thing I’ve learned you really really need a feed reader in the Indieweb space and eventually on Micro.blog.

In the Indieweb you are going to really want to follow all those neat blogs you discover.  On Micro.blog the timeline is purposely fleeting.  There will be people you follow who you don’t want to miss any of their posts or you just find that you are following too many interesting people and the timeline moves past too quickly: the solution is to subscribe to their Micro.blog blogs in the feed reader.  That way you capture it all.

It’s just an essential tool.  I use Inoreader, which is listed in the article.