Replied to Scripting News: Sunday, February 17, 2019 by Dave Winer (Scripting News)

Discourse is not Twitter’s strength, not because of the thread structure, rather that it’s a write-only community of attention seekers. Most of what passes for discourse is thinly disguised spam.

This reminds me of a comment (which ironically was a Tweet) from Alec Couros from a few years ago:

There are challenges when it is so easy to just push out comments and critique. This is something Stewart Riddle touches on in a recent interview on the TER Podcast.

Replied to Be Someone’s Conversational Follower. by Bill Ferriter (The Tempered Radical)

My goal is to both to add and to find more intellectual value from the time that I spend in social spaces.

More information doesn’t really help anyone to improve. It’s deeper reflection and conversation that matters most. I can encourage those behaviors in others and feed them in myself by becoming a conversational follower and reinvesting in blogs as a forum for extended interactions.

Personally, one of the changes that has made a difference to me is to keep a copy of the comments I make around the web. This is a part of the IndieWeb. Some sites accept comments in the form of webmentions, however those that do not (like your own) I simply cut and paste. I find that this extra effort has made the exercise more meaningful. Someone who might have something to add to this is Chris Aldrich.
Replied to Something Weird is Happening on Twitter Right Now by Bill Ferriter (Tempered Radical)

What if instead of using social spaces to simply share content, we made a New Year’s Resolution to engage in more conversations with one another? What if we made a commitment to ask more provocative questions or to play the Devil’s Advocate more often?

Even better Bill is if we had such conversations from the comfort of our own backyard using bridgy and webmenbtions, rather than someone else’s playground?
Replied to On Beyond Like (The Place Where Conversations Happen) by Kevin Hodgson (Kevin’s Meandering Mind)

Is there any doubt that the world would be a little better place if we took the time to talk, even in digital spaces, with each other? A “like” or a “plus one” or a “boost” or whatever is something, to be sure, but is it enough? Does it have depth? Nope. I can’t even remember what I liked yesterday and I bet you can’t either.

I was thinking about this topic recently when developing a session on blogging. I created a paper blog and added a space for ‘likes’, ‘read’ and ‘comment’.

Paper Blog inspired by Bianca Hewes
Paper Blog Template inspired by Bianca Hewes

My intent was to get people to think about the different points of data and what they might mean.

Personally, I have a long history of sharing quotes from posts that grabbed my attention. My issue was this wealth of knowledge was shared within someone else’s house. I have therefore taken to posting on my own site. This has led me to organise responses into different kinds, including likes, bookmarks, replies, listens, watches and reads.

For me, a ‘like’ often refers to something I thought was interesting, but do not really have anything else to add, either personally or as a comment to the author. In many respects these ‘Likes’ are for me firstly. I think that they are similar to Chris Aldrich’s read posts. (I use ‘reads’ for books.) I often link to articles I like in my own writing, rather than hit originals with endless pingbacks. See for example this post by Richard Olsen:

A screenshot taken from Richard Olsen’s post ‘Evaluating expert advice on schools and learning’

In addition to sharing in someone else’s house, I felt I had lost my purpose in plastering Twitter with endless quotes that were simply feeding the stream. I have subsequently tried to be more mindful, fearful of becoming a ‘statistical zombie’ as danah boyd puts it:

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. And yet, when there are numbers beckoning, I am no better than a moth who sees a fire.

Compared to the simplicity of just liking, favouriting or clapping, using my own site to ‘like’ involves more effort than a quick click. Although micropub clients provide an easier workflow, I find the effort put into crafting a like makes it something more than just clicking a button. I really like what Clay Shirky says:

The thing I can least afford is to get things working so perfectly that I don’t notice what’s changing in the environment anymore.

Maybe then rather than beyond like we need to reimagine what the like is all about and start from there?

Replied to Experimenting with turning on comments for a week (Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel)

Hello Thought Shrapnel readers! Some of you have asked over the last few months why the ability to comment on posts is switched off here. Well, that’s mainly because I noticed a general downw…

I agree with John in the hope that the quality of replies from webmentions might be better. My concern with comments is that we are stuck in the past with what constitutes a ‘comment’. The only way to improve that is to write our own future one comment at a time.
Liked Threaded conversations between WordPress and Twitter by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (BoffoSocko)

I’ve written about threading comments from one WordPress website to another before. I’ve long suspected this type of thing could be done with Twitter, but never really bothered with it or necessarily needed to do it, though I’ve often seen cases where others might have wanted to do this.

Replied to Using Facepiles in Comments for WordPress with Webmentions and Semantic Linkbacks by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (Chris Aldrich | BoffoSocko)

An update to an IndieWeb WordPress plugin now facilitates more streamlined conversations and interactions online

I feel that I have done something wrong, but my facepiles have been turned into names.

I thought this was somehow related to GDPR and have finally gotten to lifting the hood, but there is nothing there? Have I missed something? Is it being broken by something else? I have ticked the various types in Settings>Discussion. Disabled Jetpacked based comments.

I am wondering if something occured by moving webmentions out of Discussion

Aldrich screenshot

And into IndieWeb plugin settings?

I am sure that it is just me.

Replied to 30 and Counting, Episode 5: Leaving Facebook… and replying over email? (

In this episode, I talk about my plans to leave Facebook and how I plan to in some ways replace it with a monthly newsletter. Then I brainstorm about how to receive replies and reactions from it.

I really like this idea Eddie. I guess it builds on the idea of creating custom web actions? I am not sure I would necessarily know where to start but interpreted that it is in part built around information in the URL. I currently use Tinyletter and haven’t explored MailChimp completely, but is this solution built into the template or your original posts?

Look forward to following your journey.

Replied to Finally! Simple Blog to Blog conversations in WordPress. by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (Chris Aldrich | BoffoSocko)

IndieWeb and Webmentions plugin for WordPress FTW!
I don’t think I’d used it before or really seen it happening in the wild, but Khurt Williams used his website to reply to one of my posts via Webmention. I was then able to write my reply directly within the comments section of my original post…

I was wondering how I was meant to facilitate a threaded comment. Wondering Chris, is that with the Threaded Comment plugin? I remember seeing it listed as ‘optional’. Can’t remember if I installed it.

I still want to know how to bake more code into my responses/posts etc. Is it something that you handcraft or put into the theme?

I remember when I thought I had my head around WordPress and blogging. Then I found the IndieWeb and realised I had sold myself a lie.

Replied to Engaging Students’ Parents in a Collaborative Digital Place (

As Karen Mapp says, involvement tends to be passive, falling short of real effectiveness. With digital places like Schoology, we can positively influence students, as Matthew Kraft says, “by engaging parents as partners in the education process.” The research on the benefits of parent engagement and school achievement are indisputable. Our infrastructure is in place, now it’s a matter of creating the expectations and dedicating the time necessary for teachers and parents to collaboratively advance student learning for all.

This is a great post Bob. Engaging with parents is such a wicked educational problem. I remember developing a focus a few years ago as a part of my Google Certified Educator experience:

How Might We ENGAGE PARENTS in a CULTURAL SHIFT to make RELATIONSHIPS and CONNECTIONS the focus of learning?

What I learnt from the experience is that it is not as simple as just inviting parents in.  I developed the eBox blog as a way of engaging, however it never really took. Since then applications like Seesaw have really opened up this space.