Over the past couple of months, I have been vacillating on this issue; the issue of whether to return to my roots of the Known content management system, or to stay within the WordPress ecosystem for my personal web presence. I figured it might be a prudent idea to outline the pros and cons of both and get people’s thoughts on them. Let me know what you think…
For Known:
1. Known Is Customizable via HTML, a great thing for me since I need a reason to learn HTML 5
2. It has IndieWeb support natively out of the box
3. All themes work with the IndieWeb functionality

For WordPress:
1. Less HTML handcrafting necessary
2. More available themes
3. More available plugins than I know what to do with

Regarding that last, however, most of the plugins that are available for WordPress take it so far off the rails from its original reason for being created in the first place, which makes me hesitate to consider using any of them, for fear that my site might lose the very purpose of its existence. My site exists as a blog and as a commonplace book. what do the citizens think?

Known In Higher demand for Developers

Here, the choice is simple. It’s my eventual goal to develop for some of the smaller web communities, focusing on the smaller folks who need more features. Known would be perfect for that, considering there are still a bunch of things that haven’t yet been implemented since people only have so much time during their day to work on projects. I could gladly see myself assisting over there, and hopefully I will, providing I can learn enough of the PHP language to be proficient in it. I will keep everyone posted… so watch this space for more as progress is made.

Just heard from a colleague that everyone he knows trying to learn # would rather have an efficient immediate way to learn it rather than spending six months learning it. My adventures just got more intersting…

Now I know why I need a Pleroma instance that I run. Because every single existing one out there, at least the new ones, require CAPTCHA. And worse, the aforementioned with no audio alternatives. That is not okay. So, “open communication for almost everyone” should be the slogan until this is fixed.

In light of recent events, I have been thinking a lot about the web, what I would like to get out of it, as well as some of the problems with the current landscape. I will say right now, many, particularly those in the space, will probably and more than likely disagree with some of my proposals, and that’s okay. (one of the biggest things these days is the fact that many on the internet think that their keyboard and screen shield them from needing to be a worthy participant in society, and that they can be somebody different as long as they aren’t looking at their target’s face.) In other words, Gods help you if you disagree. I don’t follow that mentality, and nor will I ever.

Current Problems

As a citizen of the open web, I will not be the first to declare that there are definitely some problems with our current situation. Most of which revolve around closed ecosystems, APIs that are rapidly becoming closed-off entities behind a paywall (I get it, everyone needs to make money to survive, but if you’re going to charge for the API, don’t litter the service with ads, or charge for the service and leave the API free, as Manton Reese does. Twitter, looking at you right now. But that, I can deal with.

People, Stop Complaining!

The second problem is one that is probably in everybody’s life right now; depressing and misleading news reports and stories. Yes, those are gfreaking everywhere, but no, they do not have to take over your life, and you can get rid of them without getting rid of your social media accounts, because, let’s face it. As bad as some of these companies are; Facebook, Twitter, and so on, most people are there, and businesses, of course, are always going to use the big tech giants first, so until there is a wider shift in our culture, social media is here to stay. I definitely respect the decisions of those choosing not to partake anymore, but I will present my strategy for how I stay on and remain happy.

  • Only follow pages, businesses, and people I care about: This one is easy. Stay away from news outlets, unless you know the source, and focus on the people and things you actually will pay attention to.
  • Limit time spent on social media sites: Use something like RescueTime to help you monitor how much time you spend on such corners of the internet, and adjust your habits accordingly. I can tell you … I do, and having productivity goals for which I get reminders helps … immensely.
  • Post useful content of your own that will spark conversations from genuine people interested in your field of study/hobby/interest. I only post things that I want people to respond to, so if you think of it as a place to interact, not as a firehose of information, then you’re much more likely to generate a healthy environment and not a dumpster fire. What I have been doing for years.
  • Create Accounts on the decentralized social web, also called the fediverse, and cross-post to mainstream social media. I find that people on the fediverse tend to respond more readily, and conversations last longer; my theory is that since most of the instances on the fediverse are smaller, they have fewer people, so the folks responding have less irrelevant information to wade through.

Metrics Aren’t The Issue, People Are

I don’t mean to be this harsh, and normally I’m not, but this has been a complete thorn in my tall side lately. I will be the first to shamefully admit that I fell into this trap too, particularly when I was in college and shortly after graduation, where I tried to get as many followers on the various silos as possible. Those are the people who need to get rid of metrics, and work on their narcist views. At this point, since I’m a member of several communities, I have to keep track of the various metrics in order to tell how the groups are doing. Otherwise, we currently have no way to do so. I take the same approach with my personal account; I will look at follower counts, but if I lose a follower here or there, that’s excepted. People’s interests change, new things come up, so if I’m not interesting to everyone, then, I’m not going to change, either. It doesn’t mean I’m boring, it just means that something else has cropped up in that person’s life. More folks should take this approach; life is much better when you’re not worrying about how popular you are; it’s a delicate balance between popularity and enjoyment.