#BlackLivesMatter
I don’t really like likes. On the big silos of the social industry they have become weaponised; a kind of social Taylorism, where the craft of building social relationships has been reduced to unskilled labour – just another way of automating us.

Even on the open web, where they are not designed to distract, likes are still a bit of a weak form of interaction. I think they have their place, but I want something a bit more. Something more than comments below a post, too. They’re a bit constrained – in hock to the main body of text above.

Blogchains

I came across the idea of blogchains the other day, on Tom Critchlow’s blog I believe. The word is from Venkatesh Rao, and the very tl;dr is that it’s a string of short, ad-hoc blog posts that build on a theme. That’s cool, and tied in with a wiki is kind of how I see me builing up ideas over time.

But where the idea gets really interesting (for me) is when it extends to cross-site blogchains and open blogchains. These are more open-ended, involving two or more people conversing and building on a theme, simply by posting to their blog about it and linking the posts together.  Kind of like a webring, but for posts rather than sites.

There’s definitely something to be said for the long-form, turn-based conversation. One of the best conversations I have had recently was a long email chain. And some of the thoughts that have stuck with me the most are ones I’ve written as a long reply to someone else’s open question or musings on a topic.

Hyperconversations

The blogchain thing reminded me of something Kicks wrote about a few months back – hyperconversations. It’s a chat between friends, conducted across blogs and wikis. Less formal than a blogchain – no predetermined theme.

It’s very informal and fluid. It’s completely simple: just leaving messages for each other on our sites.

The Hyperchat Modality

Conversations that last

I think what they’re both getting at, is using social software to have distributed conversations that last more than just an hour or two.

Chris wrote about the temporality of social media.

Taking this a level deeper, social is thereby forcing us to not only think shallowly, but to make our shared histories completely valueless.

Shallow conversations disappear off the timeline and out of our minds pretty quickly. As mentioned, I don’t think this is true just for Twitter and Facebook though. It’s more a problem of the medium.

Relatedly, contemporary fediverse interfaces borrow from surveillance-capitalism based popular social networks by focusing on breadth of relationships rather than depth. […] What if instead of focusing on how many people we can connect to we instead focused on the depth of our relationships?

Spritely: towards secure social spaces as virtual worlds

Not to rag on likes and reposts too much. I do them plenty. There’s a time and place for everything. And I’m not saying that I want to have to sit down and write a 500 word blog post every time I want to say hi to a friend. But! I would definitely like some more conversations that last.

So who’s up for a blogchain, or a hyperconversation?

Read Your Website Is Your Passport by Desmond RivetDesmond Rivet

Your personal website as a form of identification #indieweb

I found this a very helpful discussion of IndieAuth from Desmond, touching on web sign-in, RelMeAuth, OAuth and OIDC along the way. It’s one of those things that I know exists, and just works for me (e.g. everytime I use a Micropub client), but it’s nice to get a bit of a handle on how it works.

In a nutshell the purpose is this:

your domain should function as a kind of universal online passport, allowing you to sign in to various services and applications simply by entering your personal URL

Desmond does a great job of explaining the nitty-gritty of how it works, too. The two bits I bolded below jumped out at me – a decentralised authentication mechanism leveraging DNS as a user registration system. It’s very elegant.

The process of using your domain to log in to sites and services is called web sign-in and is implemented via a protocol called IndieAuth, an extension of OAuth used for decentralized authentication.

If your goal is to make a social network out of the world wide web, there is a certain elegance to the idea of leveraging DNS as a user registration system.

Getting events out of the silos seems like a hot topic this year, with plenty of IndieWeb and Fediverse activity around it. The COVID-19 pandemic might be changing the nature of events for the foreseeable, but there’s still plenty happening online.

A couple of weeks ago at IndieWebCamp London, Jamie led a session about owning your RSVPs: indieweb.org/2020/London/OwnYourRSVPs

Inspired by the session, my day 2 hacking revolved around events and RSVPs. The plan was to try indie-fy my event discovery a bit, and also try and decouple myself from Meetup a little for events there. I want to get a feed of upcoming events that I might be interested in in my social reader, and RSVP to them on my own site.

Continue reading “Indiewebifying events and RSVPs”

RSVPed: Attending ONLINE: Homebrew Website Club Europe/London

Join us… on ✨The Internet!✨
Join the Zoom call: tbc 20 minutes before start
We will provide a Zoom video conference link 20 minutes before the meetup here and in the IndieWeb chat.
Homebrew Website Club is a meetup for anyone interested in personal websites and a distributed web. Whether you?…

I’ll be attending and most likely working on a blog post that I need to write about owning my RSVPs, before I actually forget what I did at IWC London.
lve found though that sometimes a monolith can help. e.g. though I love vim and its key bindings, an IDE of some kind, whether it’s Visual Studio or Emacs, can really help tie things together. The key is providing a wrapper around well defined components, not rebuilding everything from scratch. This is where there is great value in something like known or the WordPress lndieweb plugins.