A new social network?


I recently discovered Ben Crosser.
Ben Crosser focuses on the cultural, social, and political effects of software.

He asks. What does it mean for human creativity when a computational system can paint its own artworks? How is an interface that foregrounds our friend count changing our conceptions of friendship? Who benefits when a software system can intuit how we feel? To examine questions like these, he constructs interactive experiences, machines, and systems that make the familiar unfamiliar, revealing the ways that software prescribes our behaviour and thus, how it changes who we are.

He has created a social network that works the opposite way to most. You are limited to 100 posts, there are no date and time-stamps, and no reason to connect or expand your network. As an interactive piece it is interesting, you can reply to people if you want. Replies don’t count toward your message limit.

☛ Website | Flickr | Instagram | Photography links | Twitter | Tumblr ☚

Geekiness

I have been searching for alternatives to the big gatekeepers of the internet of late over the last 2 or 3 years. Driven mainly by Facebook’s abuses of data. I have found a number of services, applications and tools that are operating outside the walled gardens of Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Google.

Some services replace platforms like Instagram, others are hybrids of Twitter and Instagram and Facebook, and others are a retro step back to the early days of the internet, where text reigned supreme. Most are run by volunteers who have the tech skills to run and organise and moderate these things.

Screengrab of my account on pixelfed
Screengrab of my account on pixelfed

These services are for instagram pixelfed.social, [free open source] Glass [glass.photo] a subscription model. Mastadon is a Facebook replacement, the platform runs “instances” I am connected to two. AusGalm.space you will need to “apply” to join and mastodon.social. Joining is simple easy and quick. [I’m hoping to merge the two soon]. And lastly discord. This is a social space where people with common interests congregate. The groups are called servers, currently I participate in several from my own specially created one for flickr users to others much more general in scope, like iPhone photography and online music listening.

A screen grab of the gemini browser showing my "site"
A screen grab of the gemini browser showing my site

Lastly a new internet protocol has been developed, this is super geeky and requires a special browser to read, I’m using Larange. It also requires access to a server that is configured to allow it to run if you want to write your own pages. The protocol is called gemini . This protocol is unlikely to ever take off the way the internet did in the mid to late 1990s, but for me this is fine. It is, I hope, going to be a space to build my writing skills. As it is text and hyperlink only protocol.  At least it’s bit more user friendly than the gopher protocol.

Here’s a description from the documentation page of the project:-

Gemini is a new application-level internet protocol for the distribution of arbitrary files, with some special consideration for serving a lightweight hypertext format which facilitates linking between files. You may think of Gemini as “the web, stripped right back to its essence” or as “Gopher, souped up and modernised just a little”, depending upon your perspective (the latter view is probably more accurate). Gemini may be of interest to people who are:
Opposed to the web’s ubiquitous tracking of users Tired of nagging pop-ups, obnoxious adverts, autoplaying videos and other misfeatures of the modern web Interested in low-power computing and/or low-speed networks, either by choice or necessity Gemini is intended to be simple, but not necessarily as simple as possible. Instead, the design strives to maximise its “power to weight ratio”, while keeping its weight within acceptable limits. Gemini is also intended to be very privacy conscious, to be difficult to extend in the future (so that it will *stay* simple and privacy conscious), and to be compatible with a “do it yourself” computing ethos. For this last reason, Gemini is technically very familiar and conservative: it’s a protocol in the traditional client-server request-response paradigm, and is built on mature, standardised technology like URIs, MIME media types, and TLS.

More thoughts on Blogging

Short form blogging as a form of note taking, thinking out loud, and public learning has taken off quietly in the last few years. I have spent some time recently reading about and  trying to setup my own disparate set of tools to do this as well.

It’s all a bit too technical right now. Some options I’ve considered are, Notion as a webpage, Voodoopad as a self constructed wiki, some suggest simply writing a html page and updating as I see fit, this is the least technical option for me and may yet take shape. At the moment I’m dropping most snippets of text, some pdfs and images into Apple’s notes app. From a search and retrieve perspective this is fine, however a digital garden is more than that. [See the links below for more on the ideas and approach to digital gardening.]

For now I have rejigged my WordPress blog in an attempt to better reflect this approach, adding a menu option in the main menu at the top for a links page. Also adding content to my about page that explains a bit about digtial gardens. I also moved categories to my sidebar to make the interconnections between my words/posts and other media seem more obvious.

Moving forward I will try to add as much link rich information as I can in each post. This will allow for some non-linear reading.  In the meantime my motley collection of links can be found on pinboard.in/u/:s2art, there is a social element there and it has a small annual fee attached, as well as a taxonomic tool for tags and organisation.

Here’s a list of articles that have been sitting in my open tabs in my browser for over a week now that have me thinking abot this idea of a digital garden.

☛ Website | Flickr | Instagram | Photography links | Twitter | Tumblr ☚

Photography & Blogging?

screen grab of final blogposts from blogger
a screen grab of the last few entries over at blogspot.com

Photography and blogging have become my two of my most pleasurable passions; well photography has been that way since 1987.

My history of blogging is not as long as some. I have been blogging using text, photography and on occasion video since the early 2000s.

As I contemplate my final days as a middle aged man, I  have been looking back over my digital footprint; consisting of some blogging and lots of photography. My time also includes some micro-blogging and  photography since 2004. I have been interested in all things web since my introduction to it in 1995.  I have  jumped and hopped from blogging service to service. The one constant? My photography.

I have used many blogging platforms and tools. I started writing blog style entries on my own website in October 2003, [A caveat these links may be broken.]

Then I blogged on blogspot from 2004 to 2010 with the lofty claim; “an online experiment in content publishing using only a mobile phone”.

I hosted a Movable type blog for a while on a server I was gifted, from August 2006, to May 2011. [Archived partially here, also many broken links] The server eventually fell over.  At some point I had started using Tumblr.com around 2007 .

Next I moved to a free WordPress account for a while 2015-2018. Then it was back to blogspot [2019-2020], and now finally here on my self hosted site.

Website | Flickr | Instagram | Photography links | Twitter | Tumblr

Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on


Imagine that! Google making a browser plugin that enables users to opt of their analytics program!
Here’s the link, https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout
It is available for all the main browsers.

Website | Flickr | Instagram | Photography links | Twitter | Tumblr

Search, Browsers and Google?

It’s a common misconception that you can only use Google to search online. There are other options and turning off Google should  be one fo the first things you do when you open a browser like Safari, Firefox or Opera. I use duckduckgo for all my searching online.

Changing this in your browsers settings is simple, and is similar for most operating systems.

With the DOJ in America bring an anti-trust suit against Google now is the time to help break Google’s monopoly over search, and claim back the internet.

Here are some screengrabs from my desktop machine in the 3 main browsers I use.

Safari preferences to change search engine
Safari preferences to change search engine
Firefox preferences to change search engine
Firefox preferences to change search engine
Chrome preferences to change search engine
Chrome preferences to change search engine

Needless to say I rarely use Chrome, in fact it took some digging to find where to make the above changes.


Website | Flickr | Instagram | Photography links | Twitter | Tumblr | altfotonet

The History of the World Wide Web


I found this website that explores through a timeline and in a decade by decade series, how we got to where we are in terms of the current world wide web. It uses fairly non-technical language and builds on and adds to some of the Web’s best known stories.

Website | Flickr | Instagram | Photography links | Twitter | Tumblr | altfotonet

bloglovin’?

my blog loving feed
screen grab of my blog loving feed

In the vein of resurrecting older technologies to circumvent, GAFA, [Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon]. I’m adding this blog to blog lovin’.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin  or use an RSS newsfeeder

Website | Flickr | Instagram | Photography links | Twitter | Tumblr | altfotonet

Social Media in the time of the pandemic?

NetNewsWire's Splash screen
NetNewsWire’s Splash screen

Earlier this year I noticed callout for a shift in approach to social media. Andy Adams, Bryan FormhalsJorg Colberg Noah Kalina and Alec Soth all are writing and distributing via means outside of Facebook or Twitter. Lewis Bush began the year by advocating for a shift away from Twitter. I am still predominantly reading online via an RSS news reader called NetNewsWire. Combined with my Alumni access to RMIT‘s online resources and the SLV’s online collection there’s no shortage of reading material. Yesterday’s quote by Teju Cole came from Bryan Formal’s newsletter for example

The reader view of NetNewsWire
The reader view of NetNewsWire showing Petapixel’s RSS new feed

Website | Tumblr | Flickr | Twitter | Instagram | Photography links

Technology in the time of the pandemic

Screengrab from my gallery page
My gallery page on the 18th of April 2020

I have been housebound for about 4 weeks now. My energies were primarily focused on digital work and projects while on term holidays. One of those projects was resurrecting my domain [stunik.com] and website. I use 2 tools to make pages for my website Dreamweaver by Adobe, and GraphicConverter, by Lemhke Software. I added some new content, primarily in the gallery section. I also added some content in new personal sections of the site, pets and house. The other setting up and creating this blog.

Graphic Convertor Splash Screen
Graphic Convertor Splash Screen

Exploring GraphicConverter I discovered I can build html galleries quickly and easily. This means many plans I had for my website in terms of galleries can be expanded and sped up. Every time I publish a photobook now I can add a digitised version of each page easily too. I updated my photobook section as well.

The last big project I hope to undertake is to archive my Movable Type blog it was originally hosted at http://blog.stunik.com. The new uri will most likely be, http://stunik.com/MvT/.  This is going to be a big long job, there are many broken links. I used to use flickr extensively to host images there. In the interim I had a major purge of my flickr stream, this broke many links on the blog. At the time I was also using a piece of software called Skitch made by a company called Plasq, it was bought by Evernote in 2011 and this also broke many links on the blog.

Screen grab from the wayback machine archive of my old blog
Screen grab from the wayback machine archive of my old blog note the missing links in the right column.

Website | Tumblr | Flickr | Twitter | Instagram | Photography links