Great bike ride down the river and along the bay this morning. Cold to start but warmed up nicely. Flat rear tyre though – twice… argh! I’m getting new tyres, finally. Should be good by Wednesday.

Vrypan says ‘social networks don’t scale socially’. It’s true. We need a distributed alternative to the monolithic megacorporations. The indieweb is a way of including in the web itself a set of social network protocols.  The big social network silos are then redundant, because social network functionality can exist everywhere by design. An example Vrypan uses is the webmention.  I’m loving micro.pub and am also intrigued by the DAT protocol and beaker browser. Such ideas are the building blocks of the next web, I hope. The next web will be fit for humans. The issue for semi-commercial operations like micro.pub and hashbase is whether they should develop a business model that recognises an optimum size. What even is the optimum size for a social network? One metric might be: ‘can be maintained by one admin person’. That would be a small network – hence the value of distribution and federation.

[vrypan]: https://blog.vrypan.net/2018/08/15/social-networks-dont-scale-socially/

[indieweb]: https://indieweb.org/Getting_Started

[webmentions]: https://www.w3.org/TR/webmention/

[[microblog]: https://micro.blog/

[beakerbrowser]: https://beakerbrowser.com/

[hashbase]: https://hashbase.io

[DAT protocol]: https://datproject.org/

A big win for civilization in England?
A judge has ruled that a local council in England needs to consider its statutory duties before closing down libraries due to funding cuts.
[The Guardian] (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/aug/14/family-claims-win-in-high-court-challenge-to-northants-library-cuts)

Old English Cuts - book cover

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, blogs are back! The article references one of my favourite metaphors for the web: the garden and the stream. It’s worth reading Mike Caulfield’s classic keynote presentation (for dLRN2015) to understand the contrasting and sometimes complimentary benefits of both.

I miss my old habit of blogging regularly. It used to make me happy.

I like the idea of cultivating one’s garden[1] online. But somehow the tools have become harder to use, or just less accessible, which for me amounts to the same thing. The end result is less writing.

I don’t think this is unusual. To browse the remains of the blogosphere in recent times is to see that many blogs just faded out around 2014-16. It feels like the Web’s own version of the Rapture. The righteous seemingly vanished. They ascended to Facebook and Twitter I guess. Only sinners were left down here in the blogs. But besides this great shift there is something else remarkable about the experience of writing online. It relates to the general shift from PC to mobile. Clearly this is a great leap forward. It is a kind of technophile dream to have an always connected computer *in your pocket*. But as Neil Postman reminds us, progress isn’t linear – it’s ecological.[2] Every technological ‘improvement’ changes the whole ecosystem, and not everywhere for the better. As we spend more time on my phone there is less time left over for the old (relatively productive) way of doing things.

But some of us just like it down here in the blogs. The mission, then: to find ways of writing more, more often; to find and use new ways of working that can support a justified feeling of accomplishment.

Links:

[1]: https://hapgood.us/2015/10/17/the-garden-and-the-stream-a-technopastoral/

[2]: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media ecology