A Twitter of Our Own

A Twitter of Our Own

A workshop proposal for the Domains Track of OERxDomains21 Conference in April 2021

Corporate social platforms extract a heavy and often hidden price from teachers and students. Lack of privacy, encouraging abuse, context collapse, and surveillance capitalism are a few of the harms we face. They also expose us to a wider variety of publics than we would choose in which to practice and share our learning.

We must take back ownership and control of our content and interactions online (Çelik 2019). This hands-on workshop will help those with domains of their own expand them into healthier and safer communication tools.

This session will be code-free. It’s presented at the level of a person who is able to log into their site, write a post, and publish it.

We’ll outline and install WordPress* plugins (IndieWeb 2021) to allow participants to make the open web their learning network. Participants can use their extended domains in classrooms, with personal and professional learning networks, or in their daily lives. We encourage more technical participants to partner with others for help. Community-based support is available following the conference.

When we’re done, participants should be able to:
– subscribe to each others’ websites;
– read subscriptions in a social reader (Parecki 2018);
– reply to posts by publishing on their domains using open standards (Parecki 2017a);
– send notifications to each other (Aldrich 2018) using open standards (Parecki 2017b).

The session will end with questions and discussion. We’ll focus on how to use our domains in ethical ways that enable an atmosphere of care. We want to ensure this system and its use don’t re-create the toxicity of the platforms it replaces.

Participants will leave with resources for how they might extend their independent network. Our domains can also interact with other social media using these new tools.

* This session will focus on WordPress as an example platform. We’ll provide resources for people using other content management systems. Everyone should be able to follow along, ask questions, and take part, either in real time or with follow up after-the-fact.

To the extent possible, the materials, resources, and video generated will be shared on the author’s domain with a CC0 license. Syndicated copies will be available on the IndieWeb.org community wiki and the Internet Archive.

References

Aldrich, C. (2018) “Webmentions: Enabling Better Communication on the Internet.” A List Apart. https://alistapart.com/article/webmentions-enabling-better-communication-on-the-internet/.

Çelik, T. (2019) Take Back Your Web. Beyond Tellerrand 2019. https://vimeo.com/336343886.

IndieWeb. (2021) “Getting Started on WordPress – IndieWeb.” Wiki. [online] Accessed February 9, 2021. https://indieweb.org/Getting_Started_on_WordPress.

Parecki, A. (2018) “An IndieWeb Reader: My New Home on the Internet.” [online] Aaron Parecki (blog). https://aaronparecki.com/2018/04/20/46/indieweb-reader-my-new-home-on-the-internet.

———. (2017a) “Micropub.” The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) [online] https://www.w3.org/TR/micropub/.

———. (2017b) “Webmention.” The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). [online] https://www.w3.org/TR/webmention/.

License

CC0
To the extent possible under law, Chris Aldrich has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to A Twitter of Our Own: A workshop proposal for the Domains Track of OERxDomains21 Conference in April 2021. This work is published from: United States.

This post was originally published on Chris Aldrich

Backing up Lanyrd

Since the old Lanyrd site was back up over the weekend, I went in and saved all of the old data I wanted from it before it decided to shut down again (there is no news on when this may happen). Sadly there is no direct export, but I was able to save pages individually and/or save them to the Internet Archive.

I also just noticed that notist seems to have a relatively nice import/export path which may also be available for some too. I love that their site says this:

One thing we very much believe in is that you should own your own data. As such, we didn’t want to just suck your data into Notist and leave it at that. Instead, we’ve built a tool that gives you access to the content as HTML and JSON, ready for you to take away today.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Backing up Lanyrd was originally published on Chris Aldrich

Tweetstorms, Journalism, and Noter Live: A Modest Proposal

Tweetstorms, Journalism, and Noter Live: A Modest Proposal

Tweetstorms and Journalism

Tweetstorms have been getting a horrific reputation lately. [1][2] But used properly, they can sometimes have an excellent and beneficial effect. In fact, recently I’ve seen some journalists using it for both marketing and on the spot analysis in their areas of expertise.[3] Even today Aram Zucker-Scharff, a journalism critic in his own tweetstorm [4], suggests that this UI form may have an interesting use case in relation to news outlets like CNN which make multiple changes to a news story which lives at one canonical (and often not quickly enough archived) URL, but which is unlikely to be visited multiple times:

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

A newsstorm-type user experience could better lay out the ebb and flow of a particular story over time and prevent the loss of data, context, and even timeframe that otherwise occurs on news websites that regularly update content on the same URL. (Though there are a few tools in the genre like Memento which could potentially be useful.)

It’s possible that tweetstorms could even be useful for world leaders who lack the focus to read full sentences formed into paragraphs, and possibly even multiple paragraphs that run long enough to comprise articles, research documents, or even books. I’m not holding my breath though.

Technical problems for tweetstorms

But the big problem with tweetstorms–even when they’re done well and without manthreading–is actually publishing them quickly, rapidly, and without letting any though process between one tweet and the next.

Noter Live–the solution!

Last week this problem just disappeared: I think Noter Live has just become the best-in-class tool for tweetstorms.

Noter Live was already the go-to tool for live tweeting at conferences, symposia, workshops, political debates, public fora, and even live cultural events like the Superbowl or the Academy Awards. But with a few simple tweaks Kevin Marks, the king of covering conferences live on Twitter, has just updated it in a way that allows one to strip off the name of the speaker so that an individual can type in their own stream of consciousness simply and easily.

But wait! It has an all-important added bonus feature in addition to the fact that it automatically creates the requisite linked string of tweets for easier continuous threaded reading on Twitter…
/hovercards.js

When you’re done with your screed, which you probably wrote in pseudo-article form anyway, you can cut it out of the Noter Live app, dump it into your blog (you remember?–that Twitter-like app you’ve got that lets you post things longer than 140 characters at a time?), and voila! The piece of writing that probably should have been a blog post anyway can easily be archived for future generations in a far more readable and useful format! And for those who’d prefer a fancier version, it can also automatically add additional markup, microformats, and even Hovercards!

Bonus tip, after you’ve saved the entire stream on your own site, why not tweet out the URL permalink to the post as the last in the series? It’ll probably be a nice tweak on the nose that those who just read through a string of 66 tweets over the span of 45 minutes were waiting for!

So the next time you’re at a conference or just in the mood to rant, remember Noter Live is waiting for you.

Aside: I really wonder how it is that Twitter hasn’t created the ability (UX/UI) to easily embed an entire tweetstorm in one click? It would be a great boon to online magazines and newspapers who more frequently cut and paste tweets from them to build articles around. Instead most sites just do an atrocious job of cutting and pasting dozens to hundreds of tweets in a long line to try to tell these stories.

References

[1]
D. Magary, “Fuck Tweetstorms,” Deadspin, 01-Dec-2016. [Online]. Available: http://deadspin.com/fuck-tweetstorms-1789486776. [Accessed: 31-Jan-2017]
[2]
A. Hope Levinson, “Men, Please Stop Manthreading,” Gizmodo, 13-Dec-2016. [Online]. Available: http://gizmodo.com/men-please-stop-manthreading-1790036387. [Accessed: 31-Jan-2017]
[3]
“Charles Ornstein on Healthcare and Trump’s #Travelban,” Twitter, 30-Jan-2017. [Online]. Available: https://twitter.com/charlesornstein/status/826264988784459777. [Accessed: 01-Feb-2017]
[4]
A. Zucker-Scharff, “Aram Zucker-Scharff on Twitter,” Twitter, 10-Feb-2017. [Online]. Available: https://twitter.com/Chronotope/status/830096151957344256. [Accessed: 10-Feb-2017]

Tweetstorms, Journalism, and Noter Live: A Modest Proposal was originally published on Chris Aldrich | Boffo Socko

Renaissance for Information Theory in Biology

This year is the progenitor of what appears to be the biggest renaissance for the application of information theory to the area of biology since Hubert Yockey, Henry Quastler, and Robert L. Platzman’s “Symposium on Information Theory in Biology at Gatlinburg, Tennessee” in 1956. (I might argue it’s possibly even bigger than Claude Shannon’s Ph.D. thesis.)  It certainly portends to create a movement that will rapidly build upon and far surpass Norbert Weiner’s concept of Cybernetics and Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s concept of General Systems Theory.

This week John Baez has announced an upcoming three day workshop on “Entropy and Information in Biological Systems” to be hosted by the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis in Knoxville, TN, tentatively scheduled for October 22-24, 2014.

Apparently unbeknownst to Baez, earlier this year Andrew Eckford, Toby Berger, and Peter Thomas announced a six day workshop on “Biological and Bio-Inspired Information Theory” to be hosted by the Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery scheduled for October 26-31, 2014 – just two days later!

What a bonanza!!

The BIRS workshop will be a bit more general in its approach while the NIMBioS workshop has a slightly tighter view specifically on maximum entropy as applied to biology.

Even more telling (and perhaps most promising) about the two workshops is the very heavy mathematical bent both intend to make their focus.  I have a theory that the bounds of science are held below the high water level of mathematics (aka are “bounded by” in mathematics-speak), so there is nothing more exciting than to see groups attempting to push the mathematics and its application further. It was both the lack of mathematical rigor and the general youth of biology (and specifically genetics and microbiology) in the 1950’s which heavily hampered the early growth of cybernetics as a movement. Fortunately this is no longer the case on either count. Now we just need more researchers who are more readily conversant in the two realms simultaneously.