Dave The Web Guy

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Leaving Twitter, Leaving the Web

11/12/2022

Everyone is leaving Twitter for Mastodon or “Truth”, or other parts unknown. But there is no exodus back to the “pure web”. HTML. Blogs. - those sorts of things. This even after the actual pitch for setting up a Mastodon server is literally the pitch for hosting a website.

Mastodon server instructions capture.

At first I felt like, once again, people searching for digital freedom of expression were overlooking something they already had, which is the ability to host any persona and point that they like, right here on the raw web.

A website is an instance, just like a Mastodon account. It runs on a server which is individually managed, even if only at the content level, just like a Mastodon server.

In other words, the original web is decentralized. You don’t stop word of a cheap, free, and safe cure for cancer by knocking down one website, assuming that the information is absorbed and re-published, re-stated, and regurgitated by a thriving chatty WWW.

That all being said, by the time I come to write these words, I realize that there are of course many important differences between the manner of running a website and that of using a intermediate publishing instrument such as Mastodon (or even the original Twitter).

And more importantly, that at the end of the day, Mastodon may well be that place where the ease of web publishing offered up by monetizing control-freak social media companies is afforded, but without said influence of the almighty dollar and a debilitating demand for “growth”. The decentralized architecture is still there, along with the ever-precious friction-free form that allows people to shoot off a missive, thought, or the cure for cancer, all without the “work” of web publishing.

Okay I get it.

But I have to impress that the World Wide Web is still a thing and is still here, and is not that hard to capitalize on for freedom of speech, expression, and perhaps more crucially, individual presentation.



  By Dave for Personal Blog.

socialmedia twitter www

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Yes, Your Blog Can be Censored, But...

01/02/2022

I happened upon:

Snippet from Reddit forum.

Reddit discussion.

Yes, a web hosting provider can "censor" you as much as Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media forum might.  A web hosting provider might decide to take you offline at any time.  So why do I offer up "running your own blog" and "hosting your own site", like yours truly, as some sort of panacea for avoiding it?

It's because it's more a question of resiliency and the culture of web hosting providers.  Twitter and Facebook have decided to become moderators.  Chances are your web hosting provider of choice, such as GoDaddy, has not.

Twitter and Facebook have hired teams of people looking for things to act against.  A wise move considering that the top energy of these places involves people pumping in ground-level content, at what must be millions of interactions per minute. 

On the other hand, a crank like me pushing out a blog post maybe once every few weeks, and then having that blog post generate enough interest to push people over the friction barrier to comment back, hardly merits a single intern doing the same.

But of course there are "high velocity" personal blogs out there, so even if there is a temptation to monitor activity with an eye to zap any hint of non-conformity, the impulse goes against the early-established ethos of web hosting which is something along the lines of "we just give you the space to rant, the consequences are on you".

Those dynamics do not make for bulletproof protection of course, which is the basis for my overall philosophy that no forum, analog or digital, is ever going to be completely free of the risk.  In fact the Wikipedia article for internet censorship currently breaks down 7 control points that can be exploited in a way that either knocks you offline completely or severely diminishes your reach and influence.

But look:  Having your own hosted blog or website drops you much farther away from the frontline debate and all of its component triggers.  You are protected much better in cases where you are making a strong statement with perhaps ambiguous clauses, than you are on social media where there is less tolerance for either, particularly in the accumulation dimension.

The snippet from a Reddit thread above about Marjorie Greene's Twitter account being suspended over Covid misinformation posts, which prompted me to make this entry, is ironically itself a reminder why you can't even rely on the conduits of discussion on these matters to take place.  If you visit the thread now, you'll find that it has been locked by the moderators.

So yeah, if you want greater resilience against censorship, and certainly more direct control, you need to get back to blogging and web hosting.



  By Dave for Personal Blog.

blogging socialmedia

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Keeping Social Media Bad and Dumb

12/19/2021

I love this Tech Dirt article, Which Went More Viral Challenge: Local News Stories Or TikTok School Violence 'Challenge'? .  The question puts mayonnaise news media on the spot about so much coverage over something that wasn't actually happening.

Worse, it makes the mainstream media look complicit.

I'm surprised by none of it of course.  I'll just fall back on my mantra that this happens because the more social media is discredited, the more value old school media retains. Important because the value and authority of mainstream media are deflating at an unbelievable rate.

The collective strategy of giving so much coverage to every threat circulated on TikTok or whatever, in my view, is to highlight the dangers of low barrier publishing and to accent its unreliability. That it also provides cheap content for them is just a side benefit.

You may have noticed you pay attention less to overworked local media folks pumped into uniform productions by their corporate overlords.  The mainstream media knows that you are and that's why it's important for "bad" social media examples, and the WWW by native extension, to find their way to the daily news cycle.

It's okay you can admit it, mainstream news houses are no longer an authority.



  By Dave for Personal Blog.

deauthorizethemedia socialmedia www

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NYC Nostalgia, Interview With Livestreaming Guy

12/12/2021

Nostalgic NYC stuff.  I operated a blog title called "Tech for the City" very briefly while there.  I tried to dig up unique technology for exhibit at the blog, and at some point finally decided to walk up and interview this guy -- an early live streamer before Periscope and live feature components of Twitter and the like.  He was a regular at Union Square Park.

He had some beef with Turkey politics and I believe he was in some kind of voluntary exile.  Livestreaming was his chosen opposition voice, and he was certainly committed to it.  

Not exactly sure what happened to him, but I do know from his blog at the time he was staged to head back.  He was pissing people off, I hope he is okay today wherever he is.



  By Dave for Personal Blog.

interesting socialmedia video

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Full Instagram Previews are Back on Twitter

11/05/2021

This is great news:  Instagram posts are now going to show up on Twitter feeds as real pictures again.  As it is/was, sharability from Instagram to Twitter was limited to a link reference.  Post a picture of your pie, and a boring old hyperlink to that picture would show up in Twitter -- assuming you opted to share at all.

But, the Verge account of why the one-time behavior was ever changed in the first place, and the somewhat random meandering way it came back, exemplifies the disturbing capriciousness resulting from all these private enterprises bonking no-brainer easy solutions back and forth like gods, while we the digital consumers exist as mere pawns.

I for sure as a 55-year-old guy with zero social capital, or "synergy" if you will, should not be caring about this as much as I do,  but I believe in the digital revolution and really hate when we have examples of getting less usability, or a gain, by power broker whims.



  By Dave for Personal Blog.

socialmedia

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