Internet

    Hmmmm. Day two with Day One 😉

    My habit is to use text editors primarily for blogging. So, now I’m thinking about how to use Day One. Probably over thinking it. I’m aware that most of my time writing is about sharing, usually via blog. This app seems geared towards private journaling for the sake of recording life moments. Right off I’m trying to bend it to blogging. And still considering whether or not I could do something like this in Notes.

    It’s far too easy to get stuck in a game of app hopping. Comparing Day One to Apple Notes and I like the Day One sidebar. The grouping by day is helpful. I can edit the dates if needed. The app includes weather and other metadata that would be a nice-to-have info when looking back.

    BUT, unlike Notes, I can’t view across devices. I’m not used to and don’t like the navigation via the arrow keys. I’m used to using arrow keys for moving the cursor in the text. This seems like a weird choice and there’s no setting to change it. Ugh.

    Okay, so, I spent the last 30 minutes in Notes. 🤣 If I had a nickel for every time I’ve played this game. But listen Linda, Linda, Honey, I think I’ve got something. I think perhaps I can make Notes work in more ways than one…

    To be continued as follow-up post on my blog at Beardy Guy Creative.

    Posting versus blogging

    I’ve been blogging for just shy of 20 years not counting my static html site in the late 1990s. Ah yes, I remember fondly “blogging” with straight html and ftping updates to a manually updated list of links. Over those 20 years I’ve accumulated far too many categories due to sloppiness and a lack of intent in my use of them. I’m still not entirely clear how I want to use them.

    In any case, as I’ve been doing a bit of tidying up I’ve also noticed that most of my posting over the past few months has been increasingly of the “micro” type post. Essentially, 280 words or less which is the limit on timeline posts on Micro.blog. The thing about micro posts, wherever I may have posted (Mastodon, micro.blog, or previously, Twitter), my primary intent is to share with other people. This might seem obvious as that’s the point of social media.

    But as I read through older posts I’m reminded that for me blogging is more about the writing down of my experiences for myself as much as anyone else. Blogging is an act of journaling for the sake of writing, remembering, and appreciating the happenings of my life. Sure, I’m posting on a website that I’m happy to have others find and read but when I’m blogging that is secondary to the deeper, reflective process.

    Of course it’s possible to do both but it’s easy to fall into the habit of the shorter social posting as it requires less effort. I’d like to make more of an effort at longer posts as they reflect a deeper, more deliberate thoughtfulness on the life I’m living and an appreciation of that life.

    Another aspect of this is just the realization that it’s easier to let free time with a screen become a more passive consumption of timelines. In recent times there’s more awareness and discussion of the nature of different timelines in various social media and the hazards of “doom scrolling” and an algorithm designed to keep people “engaged”. I deleted Facebook long ago but continued using Instagram and to a lesser degree Twitter. But then stopped using Instagram only to see my time increase on Twitter. Now I’ve left twitter and am using Mastodon and Micro.Blog.

    The common story at the moment is that Mastodon, compared to Twitter, has a much better, friendlier, healthier community and timeline and I think that’s true. Even more so micro.blog where there is a deliberate design to encourage people to engage with one another with actual comments rather than just boosting or liking posts. I think both of these are healthier than the social media that have come before. But they’re still a kind of social timeline where it can become a habit to scroll and react. And while leaving a comment is more thoughtful than a simple boost or like, the timeline is still a primarily social and more consumptive/reactive process.

    One of my favorite websites of the early to mid 2000s was Flickr which, unlike the others that came later, never felt like a bad place to be. There are a lot of high quality photos on Mastodon and quite a few on micro.blog too, it reminds me a bit of my time on Flickr.

    Overall I’m finding that most of my non-work time with a screen is being split between Mastodon and micro.blog and I’m really enjoying time spent between the two. But I’m hoping to shift a bit more of my time to reflecting and writing with a goal of a better balance.

    Love to see it!

    “In the week since Elon Musk took over Twitter, the number of people signing up for a small social network called Mastodon has surged.”

    With Twitter in chaos, Mastodon is on fire | CNN Business

    A lot of people ask me how to get started blogging. I figure a lot more are going to want to know how as the major social media sites start to fade. So I made you a guide!

    Get Blogging!

    Via Ben Werdmuller

    An interesting episode featuring a discussion on what a “truly public Internet would look like, from the fiber optic cables to the social media platforms.”

    Ben Tarnoff Wants an Internet for the People - Initiative for Digital Public Infrastructure

    Interoperability — a fairly fundamental tenet of the Internet. Simply, it means that different applications and devices can share the same data with one another.

    Keyword: Interoperability - Initiative for Digital Public Infrastructure

    Social media and Blogging updates

    I’m currently experimenting with a new host and may move this blog there at some point in the near future. The address for the experimental blog is: http://beardystarstuff.blot.im. This current blog is hosted via WordPress and while it’s not a bad system it’s got a lot of accumulated cruft and posting can sometimes take longer than it should. I don't need much of what WordPress offers. By comparison is Blot.im is lighter on code, fewer features, fewer options for themes but, frankly, wonderful.

    Read More

    The First Website

    August 6 marked 30 years since the first website. Benj Edwards at How-To Geek has an excellent story about the origin. It began with Tim Berners-Lee of CERN posting to the alt.hypertext newsgroup to invite people to visit his World Wide Web project on August 6, 1991: In 1989, a British software developer at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (commonly abbreviated “CERN”) named Tim Berners-Lee grew frustrated with how scientists shared research at his organization.

    Read More

    WIX Website Code

    I recently took on a new client who had an existing WIX website. The initial plan was that I would update the WIX site. I’ve never used WIX so I told the client I’d have a look and expected it would not be a problem to update. Then I took a look and discovered that WIX is a visual editor, the sort you might get with a page layout application like Affinity Publisher or Apple Pages.

    Read More

    Thinking about Internet publishing

    In my last post complaining about the complexity of posting and especially editing WordPress posts, I had a reply from Pete which led me down a rabbit hole. I tapped Pete‘s name to view his profile… I get so few comments here that I usually do this to see if commenters have their own blog which I might follow. I ended up on Pete‘s Micro.blog which found me reading through a conversation over there and an hour later I was checking out TiddlyWiki.

    Read More

    Publishing to WordPress is too messy

    I published a post this morning and was reminded that this is too messy. Depending on the app I‘m using, it may not be too difficult to push the text, as html or markdown to WordPress via the WordPress share extension. But where It really falls down is in any editing I have to do in either the WordPress app or WordPress websites. The new editor, which comes in different flavors: Rich Text, Blocks, or HTML is just… eeeewwwwwwwwwww.

    Read More

    Frictionless Posting

    I’m in search of a better posting process for my two Word Press blogs. Really, it’s not that difficult. I usually post from iA Writer, sometimes the Micro.blog app, sometimes from Apple Notes and lastly, sometimes via the built in Share Sheet in iOS. Again, not really difficult. Just more taps than I’d like. Apparently I am extremely lazy.

    Internet Growing Pains and “Social Media”

    In my previous post I spent a few minutes reminiscing about my early time on the internet and my webiversary. While I was out for my walk yesterday I was pondering how I used to think of the internet, say, in 1998. The web was just emerging and I, an anarchist activist in my Memphis community, thought it would eventually prove to be an important part of the democratic process. At the time it seemed the roadblocks to a more meaningful democracy were ignorance and apathy.

    Read More

    The Micro.blog experience and a few thoughts on the open web

    This post started as a response to a thread on the Macpowerusers forum asking any users of the forum to share if they were users of micro.blog. As users chimed in with user names some also offered opinion and critique of micro.blog. It was something I’d thought about quite a bit myself and as I typed this I realized it should be a blog post rather than a forum post.

    Read More

    Test post from Apple Notes

    So, I’m working on a post about the benefits of Apple Notes and it occurred to me that I might be able to post to WordPress with an image. I already knew I could post text but how would it handle a note with an image? Well, apparently it works just fine! I’ll get back to that now but will just leave this here because… why not?  

    A Guide to Leaving Facebook

    Over the past year I’ve been increasingly uncomfortable with Facebook and have finally decided to abandon it. It was Salim Virani’s article Get Your Loved Ones Off Facebook that finally sealed the deal. I’m not going to spend anytime reiterating what he has written. If you’re on Facebook you really should read it yourself. What I intend to do here is detail how I am transitioning away from Facebook by replacing it with different services.

    Read More