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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.

Keeping with the nearly constant theme for me of and , I have decided to take a look at where the community needs more work. I can think of a couple of places, though I would like to focus on a singular one for this month. Wait for it …
Open Library, a great resource for books, and it is wonderful in its current iteration, but it seriously needs more content. At the current moment, book catalogues are highly centralized, relying primarily on the likes of Goodreads, owned by Amazon, and in light of the fact that they cut off access to their Twitter API key and corresponding application, normal users will find it difficult to share their statuses with the world; Twitter access is no longer supported as of 2021. (Not sure whether or not it’s been disabled, for honestly I haven’t really looked, but if it’s not yet, then it will be), but since OL has an open API, it’s high time we start developing new resources against it. I’m interested in helping out there, too, but I have way too many projects on my hands to be able to afford any time with learning extra coding at the moment. It will come, but one thing at a time. Either way, other great resources pull from OL’s main catalogue of books, so, adding more books will in turn make it easier for those using software such as Bookworm a.k.a. fedireads, with possibly more in the future.

I am currently in the middle of around four books (I will have to check since I’m always reading stuff that it is easy to forget day to day), so each month, providing what I’m reading doesn’t already possess an entry, I will be adding at least that much, maybe more for people to discover and read. I read from a variety of genres all the time, so be prepared for some intriguing ones. Just a warning. Either way, if anyone has any requests for books to add, either for their information or their social reading habits, let me know.

I am going to begin doing monthly updates for you regarding the things that I have read, begun using, subscribed to, and/or acquired each month; inspired by Ben Werdmiller, who always has some interesting developments to write about. Thought it would be interesting to do the same thing.

Using

I decided to start the year off with more quantified self (have always been into the concept, but have just recently started actually paying more attention to the gathered data), and have signed up for the following:

These are good tools for determining metrics like productivity, fitness, and so on (Exist connects to Apple Health to obtain data from there). Recently I have actually been monitoring my progress on particular activities, coding in particular, as well as things relating to community resources and projects. I will ideally have a more productive month than I have had in a while.

 

Reading

 

Just started reading the sanyare Chronicles series by Meghan Haskell. I will be completely honest; one of the best Fae series I have read so far; between that and the Fae War Chronicles by Jocelyn Fox. Either way, Follow my Goodreads feed until I can figure out how to get the Read post kind to handle reading statuses on IndieWeb sites.

 

Acquired

 

My best friend gave me one of his extra servers he’s no longer using; images and video to come on that. Either way, will keep you guys updated.

Just realized … how few people I actually follow on Twitter and other places now. It’s not that I don’t like you guys … actually the exact opposite. I care more about your presence on the web than I do about your social media presence.

just found out that Goodreads is not allowing sharing or logging into their site from Twitter after next year. Had known about it for a while, though, only after receiving their email warning does it actually feel final. I am wondering if that’s writing on the wall, which will soon also affect personal sites who are trying to syndicate their content? If so, then, that will bother me for a while. Thoughts? Remember, guys, only had to reauthorize Bridgy yesterday.

stuff has been interesting lately … seems like Twitter is kicking people for using their API. no wonder my syndication links haven’t been working.

As I sit in the office on this Monday morning, I’m wondering about the possibility of more broken plugins on my site. I have all of my profile information completed, though I do get the following when looking at webfinger.net:

Logs as sent from there

 

Request Log

15:21:21 Looking up WebFinger data for https://cambridgeport90.org/author/cambridgeport90
15:21:21 GET https://cambridgeport90.org/.well-known/webfinger?resource=https%3A%2F%2Fcambridgeport90.org%2Fauthor%2Fcambridgeport90
15:21:22 Error getting JRD: 400 Bad Request

JSON Resource Descriptor (JRD)

null

 

Not entirely positive what this means, though it sounds like there is an error of some sort somewhere along the request pipeline. Seeking assistance from the community to help figure this out, because I would like to have the be able to follow me natively, and I would rather not be forced to employ plugins that link my blog to a specific server instance. drives me crazy. Either way, hopefully some sees this.