Liked Facebook's monopoly is harming consumers by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller
With any lens except the most superficial, Facebook fails this test. Yes, its product is free and available to anyone. But we pay with our data and privacy - and ultimately, with our democracy. Facebook's dominance has adversely affected entire industries, swung elections, and fuelled genocides.
Replied to I'm going dark on social media for the rest of 2018. by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller
I'm cutting out Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Mastodon completely. (Mastodon doesn't suffer from the organizational issues I described above, but by aping commercial social networking services, it suffers from the same design flaws.) As of tonight, I won't be logging into those platforms on any device, and I won't receive comments, likes, reshares, etc, on any of them.
You raise some interesting questions to consider in moving away from social media, especially the point about staying in contact. I have tried to be more mindful of my interactions this year. RSS has definitely been an important part in this (that is how I found this post).

Noting your concerns with Mastodon, I am wondering if you think Micro.blog fixes any of this, especially with its use of feeds and webmentions etc

Replied to Media for the people by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller

Fascist propaganda led directly to modern advertising, and modern advertising has now led us right back to fascist propaganda, aided and abetted by people who saw the right to make a profit as more important than the social implications of their work.
I think this is the time to take more direct action, and to build institutions that don't just speak truth to power, but put power behind the truth. Stories are how we learn, but our actions define us.

This reminds me of danah boyd’s call for:

  • Create a sustainable business structure without the pressure of ROI
  • Rebuild the social networks
  • Develop new ways of holding those who are struggling
Liked Gab and the decentralized web by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller
These are complicated ethical questions. As builders of software on the modern internet, we have to know that there are potentially serious consequences to the design decisions we make. Facebook started as a prank by a college freshman and now has a measurable impact on genocide in Myanmar. While it's obvious to me that everyone having unhindred access to knowledge is a net positive that particularly empowers disadvantaged communities, and that social media has allowed us to have access to new voices and understand a wider array of lived experiences, it has also been used to spread hate, undermine elections, and disempower whole communities. Decentralizing the web will allow more people to share on their own terms, using their own voices; it will also remove many of the restrictions to the spread of hatred. In America, we're unfortunately used ...
Liked Start with the spark, not the fire by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller (Ben Werdmüller)
It's not enough to have working code. It's not enough to have a vision. You've got to have a holistic, concrete understanding of your entire venture and the context it sits within. Your vision can be a raging fire that might change the world. But you can't have a fire without a spark that takes hold.
Liked Article 13 makes it official. It's time to embrace decentralization by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller (Ben Werdmüller)

Although it uses incredibly imprecise language, it can be reasonablly inferred that the directive targets large service providers like Google and Facebook. It doesn't target small communities or people who are independently hosting their content.

...

All of which means that peer-to-peer decentralized social networks are exempt, if you're hosting your profile yourself. Nobody on the indie web is going to need to implement upload filters. Similarly, nobody on the federated social web, or using decentralized apps, will either. In these architectures, there are no service providers that store or provide access to large amounts of work. It's in the ether, being hosted from individual servers, which could sit in datacenters or could sit in your living room.

Liked Bad news: there's no solution to false information online by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller (Ben Werdmüller)
Imagine, instead, if I could highlight a stated fact I disagree with in an article, and annotate it by linking that exact segment from my website, from a post on a social network, from an annotations platform, or from a dedicated rating site like Tribeworthy. As a first step, it could be enough to link to the page as a whole. Browsers could then find backlinks to that segment or page and help me understand the conversation around it from everywhere on the web. There's no censoring body, and decentralized technologies work well enough today that we wouldn't need to trust any single company to host all of these backlinks. Each browser could then use its own algorithms to figure out which backlinks to display and how best to make sense of the information, making space for them to find a competitive advantage around providing context.
Bookmarked Building an Instant Life Plan and telling your personal story by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller (Ben Werdmüller)
I think humans are meant to freestyle; living by too many sets of rules closes you off to new possibilities. Conversely, having guiding principles, and treating them as a kind of living document, could be helpful.
Ben Werdmüller dive into digital identity and storytelling. He provides a series of quick prompts to help with the process.

Hi! I’m [halfsheet Post-It]

I believe the world is [no more than three regular Post-Its]

I make money by [halfsheet Post-It]

My employers are [no more than three halfsheet Post-Its]

My key work skills are [no more than three regular Post-Its]

My key personal attributes are [no more than three regular Post-Its]

My key lifestyle risks are [three regular Post-Its]

My key work risks are [three regular Post-Its]

Risks parking lot

Above all, to be successful, I need to [three regular Post-Its]

My key next steps are [three regular Post-Its]

This continues on from a past post reimagining the traditional resume, instead focusing on what you are proud of.

I wish there was a place where I could read the story of a person. Everybody’s journey is so different and beautiful; each one leads to who we are. It would be the anti-LinkedIn. And because you wouldn’t “engage with brands”, it would be the anti-Facebook, too. Instead, it would be a record of the beauty and diversity of humanity, and a thing to point to when someone asks, “who are you?”

I am also reminded of Doug Belshaw’s thoughts on emojis, identity and trust.

Replied to I’m done with syndication. Let’s help people be themselves on the web. by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller (Ben Werdmüller)
POSSE requires participation from the networks. I think it might be more effective to move all the value away: publish on your own site, and use independent readers like Woodwind or Newsblur to consume content. Forget using social networks as the conduit. Let’s go full indie.
Ben, ever since taking the dive into the #IndieWeb, I have wondered what a ‘full indie’ experience might look like. When I think of McLuhan’s ‘Law of Media’ I think #IndieWeb:

  • AMPLIFIES: control of content
  • REVERSES: ease of use
  • REVIVES: community and connections from the early blogging days
  • ELIMINATES: dependency of platforms capitalism

I must admit that I am yet to dig into things like Woodwind or Aaron Parecki’s IndieWeb Reader. Personally, if people cannot be bothered following my blog, I have a monthly newsletter which summarises various links and posts. I also like Adam Procter’s initiative of a weekly summary you can subscribe to.

I guess the question is what steps need to occur for a ‘full indieweb’ experience? Process? Applications?