Bookmarked Twitter’s Project Bluesky by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller

The time is right for tech companies to make the shift into open protocols, in a way that allows businesses to make money, users to own their data, and a thousand new social networking interfaces to bloom. And I think that’s a progressive move for the web.

Responding to Jack Dorsey’s announcement that Twitter would be funding an independent group to would develop an open standard for decentralized social networking, Ben Werdmuller discusses his own attempts at decentralised platforms through Elgg and Known. The challenge, according to Werdmuller, is balancing business and community interests.

The key will be rapid iteration in the public interest, repeatedly testing not just the feasibility of such a protocol (whether you can build and maintain it at scale), but also its desirability (user risk) and viability (business risk). In other words, it’s not enough to make something work. It also has to be able to win user trust, serve as the foundation of an ecosystem, and allow businesses built on the platform to become valuable. As yet, open standards processes have not shown themselves to be capable of this kind of product development.

Doug Belshaw is sceptical about what is being proposed and feels that it focused on investors and regulators.

Ultimately, Twitter’s announcement is a distraction to the important work of building viable, interoperable alternatives to Big Tech. The thought of Dorsey and chums building an alternative to ActivityPub sounds a lot like the Rainforest Alliance. Given the mention of blockchain, I should imagine there will be a ‘token’ or cryptocurrency angle in there, too. And I’m not sure that’s in the long-term best interests of humanity.

I think that Michael Bishop captures my feelings best in a short post on his blog:

This is a note I’m posting to my WordPress blog that syndicates to Twitter. If you heart it, it will show up on my blog too. Open standards.

Liked Sandstorm is winding down and some other options to begin exploring for self-hosting web apps

say, there are options. And I suspect there will be more open source options emerging in the future as interest among both organizations and individuals looking for more self-hosted cloud-like options that put the emphasis on privacy, data sovereignty, and local control grows.

Liked A changing of the guard by Malcolm BlaneyMalcolm Blaney

It took me many years to join the FSF as a member, even though I have considered myself a supporter of Free Software for as long as I have written code. I’ve only been a member for a year, but today I emailed the FSF to cancel my membership. This makes me very sad as I really believe in the Free Software movement, but I refuse to contribute to an organisation that supports RMS and the views he is currently sharing.

Replied to HyperDocs: Evolution, Purpose & Intention – EdTechTeacher by an author (EdTechTeacher)

This is part Google rolling a great new service and part Google taking one more step to destroy the open web. The concept of ‘HyperDocs’ emerges from the tools GSuite provides enabling teachers and students to create using Google Docs. Greg Kulowiec doesn’t define ‘HyperDocs’ directly but instead talks about the ways student and teachers can interact using Google Docs. What would be really great would be an open web designed with that capacity – much the way Tim Berners-Lee intended it in the first place. Maybe something like that is coming. In the meantime, we can use Google Docs.

I find the whole ‘HyperDocs‘ thing interesting Stephen. I think that the online nature of GSuite has led to the association. However, as Alan Levine has shown with thinks like SplotPoint, the answer does not always have to be Google. The challenge is the ease of use, especially in regards to the ability to copy a template. I am not sure if this is what Doug Belshaw is trying to achieve with
Bookmarked What’s wrong with the Raspberry Pi by an author

I really think that the Raspberry Pi has been a very important event in the history of SBCs but today it falls behind in terms quality, performance and transparency. There are other affordable alternatives out there where developers have given more consideration to those issues.

A technical dive into the Raspberry Pi. Although some of this is a bit beyond me, it does provide an interesting insight into how things work and some of the choices that have been made.
Replied to Have you seen these personalities in open source? by an author (

An inclusive community is a more creative and effective community. But how can you make sure you’re accommodating the various personalities that call your community “home”?

This is an interesting post Laura. I really like your point about what sort of people and personalities make up different communities.

Learn to recognize your own preferences and understand how your brain works—but also remember that everyone’s neural networks work a bit differently. Then, as a leader, make sure you’re creating space for everyone by championing inclusivity, fairness, open-mindedness, and neurodiversity.

I wonder though what the exact purpose of such tests as the Myer-Briggs actually is? I feel the work Goldman etc is useful as a provocation, but what else?

Bookmarked Google’s iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary (Ars Technica)

From the archives: Android is open—except for all the good parts.

Ron Amadeo outlines the limits to Google’s the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). The reminds me of their work with maps and the fact that other platforms and providers are seemingly locked in or working with a second-rate solution.


There have always been closed source Google apps. Originally, the group consisted mostly of clients for Google’s online services, like Gmail, Maps, Talk, and YouTube. When Android had no market share, Google was comfortable keeping just these apps and building the rest of Android as an open source project. Since Android has become a mobile powerhouse though, Google has decided it needs more control over the public source code.

Google’s real power in mobile comes from control of the Google apps—mainly Gmail, Maps, Google Now, Hangouts, YouTube, and the Play Store. These are Android’s killer apps, and the big (and small) manufacturers want these apps on their phones. Since these apps are not open source, they need to be licensed from Google. It is at this point that you start picturing a scene out of The Godfather, because these apps aren’t going to come without some requirements attached. While it might not be an official requirement, being granted a Google apps license will go a whole lot easier if you join the Open Handset Alliance. The OHA is a group of companies committed to Android—Google’s Android—and members are contractually prohibited from building non-Google approved devices. That’s right, joining the OHA requires a company to sign its life away and promise to not build a device that runs a competing Android fork.

Listened The Virtue of Sharing from Radio National

Let’s look at the virtue of sharing: How could sharing shape our future, and what do we stand to lose if we refuse to share?

Edwina Stott unpacks the benefits of the sharing culture. This includes conversations about open source software, the sharing economy and open publishing. Stott unpacks challenges, such as how we support people to participate, this includes the feedback we provide.
Liked WordPress at 15 (Matt Mullenweg)

Many in the open source world are like Moses in that they speak of the Promised Land but will never set foot there. If I spend the rest of my life working and we don’t reach almost all websites being powered by open source and the web being substantially open, I will die content because I already see younger generations picking up the banner.