Replied to Audience Doesn’t Matter by Bill Ferriter
Audience is a function of the content that you create, the consistency of your creation patterns, the length of time that you’ve been creating, the opportunities that you have to be in front of audiences in the real world, the relationships that you have with people who have audiences larger than you do — and, as frustrating as it may seem, serendipity.
Great reflection Bill. I think that it is easy to be distracted by clicks and likes. I remember when I first started blogging, I thought that I was going to get inundated. The shock was that I almost had to beg for my first comment. I think that in part the Blogger user interface encourages a focus on statistics. I find that the fact you have make a choice to setup Jetpack means that at the very least users are more mindful of the impact and choice. When I moved to WordPress I also made the decision to stop checking the stats. I think that I have only randomly checked Jetpack a handful of time in the last few years.

In regards to “hits’ and ‘likes’, you might enjoy reading this post from danah boyd (although I assume that you have probably stumbled upon it before). She provides a different perspective on data and numbers:

Stats have this terrible way of turning you — or, at least, me — into a zombie. I know that they don’t say anything. I know that huge chunks of my Twitter followers are bots, that I could’ve bought my way to a higher Amazon ranking, that my Medium stats say nothing about the quality of my work, and that I should not treat any number out there as a mechanism for self-evaluation of my worth as a human being.

The only thing that I am unsure about is that by my nature of ‘responding’ I often have someone in mind associated with my writing and reflection, is this though a different sort of ‘audience’?

via collect.readwriterespond.com

Replied to Chopping Ancestors from WordPress oEmbedded Tweets by Alan Levine (CogDogBlog)
After a few rounds of swinging the code axe, I am cautiously optimistic I have an answer. Be warned. What follows involves code modifications to your theme’s functions.php and for older posts, some clearing of stuff in your database. Now that there are maybe three readers left (Hi Tom!), here we go.
This is another great deep dive Alan. I have not quite got to the stage of carving things out in the backend, but have started down the road of a Child theme thanks to your help. I am interested in adding your solution at that level. It really bugs me how the default oEmbed bakes in the parent post.

P.S. Am I the third reader or a lucky forth?

Via collect.readwriterespond.com

Read
Here is a collection of quotes from Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale:

Fraternize means to behave like a brother. Luke told me that. He said there was no corresponding word that meant to behave like a sister. Sororize, it would have to be, he said.

The young ones are often the most dangerous, the most fanatical, the jumpiest with their guns. They haven’t yet learned about existence through time. You have to go slowly with them.

There is more than one kind of freedom, said Aunt Lydia. Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don’t underrate it.

Would like to believe this is a story I’m telling. I need to believe it. I must believe it. Those who can believe that such stories are only stories have a better chance. If it’s a story I’m telling, then I have control over the ending. Then there will be an ending, to the story, and real life will come after it. I can pick up where I left off. It isn’t a story I’m telling. It’s also a story I’m telling, in my head, as I go along. Tell, rather than write, because I have nothing to write with and writing is in any case forbidden. But if it’s a story, even in my head, I must be telling it to someone. You don’t tell a story only to yourself. There’s always someone else. Even when there is no one.

I read about that in Introduction to Psychology; that, and the chapter on caged rats who’d give themselves electric shocks for something to do. And the one on the pigeons, trained to peck a button which made a grain of corn appear. Three groups of them: the first got one grain per peck, the second one grain every other peck, the third was random. When the man in charge cut off the grain, the first group gave up quite soon, the second group a little later. The third group never gave up. They’d peck themselves to death, rather than quit. Who knew what worked?

Replied to Accessibility on the Web (Chris Aldrich | BoffoSocko)
I certainly don’t go out of my way to follow the topic of accessibility, though I do think about it occasionally. It’s apparently bubbling up more frequently as something in need of some dire attention on both the web and in real life. I ran across three different pleas in less than the span of...
Just to add to the conversation Chris, Tom Woodward has done a bit in regards to investigating WordPress and accessibility that might be worth checking out:
Working on Accessibility
Javascript for Added Accessibility

Technological Trust

Tim Wu reflects on the rise of Bitcoin and wonders about the wider implications for society. He suggests that it may herald a move away from trust in sovereign entities to a trust in code:

Yet as Bitcoin continues to grow, there’s reason to think something deeper and more important is going on. Bitcoin’s rise may reflect, for better or worse, a monumental transfer of social trust: away from human institutions backed by government and to systems reliant on well-tested computer code. It is a trend that transcends finance: In our fear of human error, we are putting an increasingly deep faith in technology. source

The concern that this raises is that it implies that ‘code’ is somehow pure and unbiased. Audrey Watters’ work around the Blockchain paints a different picture, while Cathy O’Neil’s book Weapons of Mass Destruction highlights many concerns too.


[[Silicon Valley Seasteads]]
[[Technology is never neutral]]

Replied to Hard Questions: Is Spending Time on Social Media Bad for Us? | Facebook Newsroom by David Ginsberg and Moira Burke (newsroom.fb.com)
In sum, our research and other academic literature suggests that it’s about how you use social media that matters when it comes to your well-being.
I find the answer to improving social media as being how it is used as being problematic. This was a message that was also presented in a recent RN Future Tense podcast. What about the side effects of using such platforms as Facebook? I recognise the improvements in functionality, such as the ability to snooze, take a break from seeing an ex or detecting suicidal posts. However, these only add to the data that I as a user would provide you to develop a richer profile of me. As Ben Williamson reminds in his new book,

Whether you like it or not, a data-based version of yourself exists out there, scattered among different databases as data points in massive torrents of big data. Data mining, algorithms and analytics processes are increasingly being put to work to know and understand you, and also to know and understand the wider populations, communities and societies to which you belong.

If benefits are gained by how we use social media then I would argue that the #IndieWeb has a lot to offer, as well as the movement to claim your own domain. This means that I am more mindful of my space and potentially decide how to share my data and information.

Audrey Watters asks the questions ‘who is telling the stories’ of the future and about research:

Where do these stories about the future come from? Like, how do we know about “what’s happening” and “what’s trending” in education? Who are the people who are telling us what the future of education or technology or education technology is supposed to like? Who tells these stories? Who benefits from these stories? Who funds these stories? Why do we find these stories compelling?

Clearly, in this case it is Facebook and this is a concern.

Replied to Groups, communities, collectives or …? by Ian Guest (Marginal Notes)
Twitter is classified by Stephen Downes as a Group, based on the fact that power is centralised and held by the platform, rather than being in the hands of the participants. Membership is closed by dint of the requirement to create an account and there are rules which members are obliged to follow. In addition to the criteria he uses to disti...
This is an interesting discussion Ian. I wonder if you have read Teaching Crowds by Jon Dron and Terry Anderson. I have summarised it here. However I think that this graphic captures it:

A representation of the ideas presented in Teaching Crowds
Graphic taken from a presentation at GAFE Summit, 2016

What intrigues me about labeling Twitter as a ‘group’ ignores the many features built into the platform and the affordances they allow. For example, the focus on hashtags allows for the formation of ‘Communities of Interest’, while lists can be used to develop ‘Circles’. Maybe Downes’ reference to ‘sameness’ is assocaited with the idea of ‘templated self’.

A self or identity that is produced through various participation architectures, the act of producing a virtual or digital representation of self by filling out a user interface with personal information.

It has definitely left me wondering.

Replied to Chris Aldrich (Chris Aldrich | BoffoSocko)
I’ve switched over to David Shanske’s IndieWeb-friendly fork of the TwentySixteen Theme tonight. Liking it a lot so far. Can’t wait to see what little surprises I run across under the hood and how we can potentially make it better for the community.
Really interested Chris in what David Shanske’s theme might have to offer. Having spent some time lately trying to get my head around the ‘motor under the hood’, I am wondering about the difference between David’s approach to fork the 2016 theme, compared to your approach of creating a child. Is there simply fors and againsts for both? Or is one more ideal? Just wondering as per usual.
Replied to Storify Bites the Dust. If You Have WordPress, You Don’t Need Another Third Party Clown Service by Alan Levine (CogDogBlog)
There are two kinds of people or organizations that create things for the web. One is looking to make money or fame and cares not what happens once they get either (or none and go back to flipping burgers). The other has an understanding and care for the history and future of the web, and makes every effort to make archived content live on, to not leave trails of dead links. Storify is Type 1. After getting enough of a value based on the free labor of grunts like you and me who built content in it, they got bought by Adobe, and swept up into some enterprise product
Thank you Alan for your investigation into alternatives to Storify. By chance, I had gone down a similar rabbit hole wondering how I could store a set of Tweets. I was under the impression that being embedded if the original tweet were deleted then they would not show up in the blog. It was for this reason that I explored pasting the text. I am assuming from your discussion(s) that this is not the case?

I still like the idea of using TAGS to collect the links, but rather than pasting the text:

The book traces the changing focus of the history of second wave feminism over the 20th/21st centuries. Providing essays situated in each of the three ‘Acts’. I’m live tweeting Fraser’s overview of the history and spirit of the wave
“Second wave feminism came out of the New Left after WW2.

Act1 – Began life as an insurrectionary force that challenged male domination in state organised capitalist societies”

Act2 – the feminist imagination turned from redistribution of power/economy to recognition of difference – identity/cultural politics dominated

Act3 – still unfolding but we are seeing the reinvigoration of feminist and other emancipatory forces to demand that the runaway markets be subjected to democratic control

A user could just paste the URLs:

http://twitter.com/DrNomyn/statuses/940413626082455552
http://twitter.com/DrNomyn/statuses/940414094946873344
http://twitter.com/DrNomyn/statuses/940414496564166661
http://twitter.com/DrNomyn/statuses/940414918280429568

Will continue to think about this, especially as I do not always want the parent tweet necessarily embedded. I also have to investigate your Storify Embeddable Link Extractor, but it looks to be a great tool for all situations.