In Which Your Humble Narrator Stumbles Ass-Backwards Into The Newest Thing On The Internet, Which Might Turn Out To Be A Big New Thing, But Might...Um, Not
#writeas #blogging #cms #framework #decision #opensource #free #anonymous #journal #journaling #mastodon #federation #socialnetwork #fediverse #FEDIVERSE!!! #markdown #GratuitousGenerationXReference #52weekphotographychallenge #2019photographychallenge #52week #photography #challenge #week1 #dramatic #shadow
Ha ho, my gents and laddies! Greetings from the newest member of THE FEDIVERSE!!! The newest thing on the internet to predict itself to be the next big hot thing on the internet! Will it convert? Well...
This all started because I got motivated to finally get off my ass this year and move my personal journal off Medium.com, where it's been since 2015, after Medium moved to a paid-access business model and suddenly tons of people wouldn't have access to my blog unless paying money. Over New Year's, the online publication Tedium published an article challenging its readers to move off social media and into owning their own intellectual property by running their own blog or publication-style newsletter/podcast, and recommended the minimalist publishing platform Write.as as a great destination; and that finally got me up and going as far as moving my personal journal off of Medium and onto https://write.as/jasonpettus. Or, not off Medium, but no longer exclusively on it; one of the nice things about Write.as is that it taps into Medium's public API and will repost your blog entries there if you ask it to.
Where I'm composing my essays, though, is now over at Write.as, and it's merely sending a copy over to Medium. No third party is dictating who can and can't see it at Write.as, and it has a public RSS feed too. I actually kind of like composing essays there in Markdown a little more than the WYSIWIG dashboard at Medium — it's faster and cleaner for someone like me, who isn't a great coder but a good enough one that Markdown comes easily. But one of the biggest new benefits, I'm coming to discover, is that Write.as is broadcasting my feed in a way so that a Mastodon-built server, any of them, can add me as either a “friend” in a social network or a “feed to follow” in a news reader. In other words, it's not one central social network like Twitter or Facebook, but a bunch of social networks that all run off the same shared free public API, so that any member at any of them can follow or friend any other member at any other of them, just like being able to directly dial any other phone on the planet just by knowing its number. It's a federation of different, competing social networks, just with one communications protocol to Rule Them All. It's a... FEEEDIIVEEERSSSE! [echo] [echo]
And I'm like, okay, sure, I believe in supporting your hippie vision, I do. But I also lived through the birth and death of THE BLOGOSPHERE!!! twenty years ago. I was on Geocities and then I was on LiveJournal, then was on TypePad and then MovableType, then Blogger and then Blogspot, then was on a gay porn server space being provided to me for free by one of my fans, and eventually all of them failed me in one way or another, so forgive me if I'm not a dyed-in-the-wool believer just quite yet. Still, it's an admirable system, and really the next generation of how the social web online is going to work. Ironically, the technology for it's been around for awhile, but it's just now with the big major social networks having ethical meltdowns that it's suddenly become a hot thing that a bunch of people are interested in at once. It'd be a beautiful way of opening up Twitter-like benefits (the immediacy, the rapid scope) but without anyone ever again having to worry about the random whims and badly enforced censorship of any one large corporation like Twitter; you simply all share a core code base for exchanging information with each other, just how like how 100 percent of email clients now share a core protocol for communicating.
So we'll see whether it catches on or not; but for now, you can add this blog to any account at any Mastodon server anywhere with @firstname.lastname@example.org . And, sigh, yes, I suppose I will sign up for an account myself at some Mastodon server somewhere just to see if the hype is earned. Now fetch me my Mondo 2000 and a cyberpunk movie on videotape, my Nine-Inch-Nails-listening Generation-X Blogosphere Comrade!
Here's the image I chose as the best at the end of week #1 of my new 52 Week Photography Challenge of 2019, the theme this week being “dramatic shadows.” Four other finalists from a nighttime shoot are below. As always, check out more at my Instagram or Flickr accounts. They were all taken in the Buena Park neighborhood of Chicago where I live. Next week, some thoughts on joining Spotify last week for the first time ever, and the windowless room full of nerd slaves they must undoubtedly have somewhere in order to make their recommendation algorithms work so well. Talk with you then again.