Journal Entries By Tag: #SocialMedia

Assorted journal entries with the tag #SocialMedia.

Things I Couldn't Say

TL;DR — My previous employer's policies prevented me from voicing my opinions on certain topics. As I am no longer employed by them, these are those opinions.

👓 2 minutes

As I mentioned before, I have recently ended my employment relationship with a certain telecommunications entertainment company, and while I don’t want to be seen as someone who bad mouths their former employer, the truth is that they had some policies in place that prevented me from voicing my opinions on certain topics while I was working for them. This is not me complaining so much as explaining why I feel the need to make the following statements now, as opposed to when they were somewhat more relevant to current events.

  • Net Neutrality is a good thing, and it needs to be re-instated ASAP - the major ISPs in the US have proven time and again that they can’t be trusted, and that they will use every opportunity to try and take advantage of their customers. IMHO, this is a result of the total lack of competition outside of the top 30-50 markets (and sometimes, even within them, meaning that most customers in the US only have one or maybe two competing ISPs available (and who knows how many are in the same position I am, where only one offers actual high-speed internet, with the other limited to offering DSL). This is why we need #NetNeutrality .

  • Targeted #advertising is not a good thing - I’m not a huge fan of surveillance capitalism in general, but I have a particular distaste for targetted advertising, mostly because of the (unintended?) side effects that we see all around us (filter bubbles, fake news, weaponized misinformation, etc.). That having been said, I do still have a number of Google products in my house, primarily because they are useful devices to have, and (IMHO) that usefulness justifies the data that Google can scrape about me from them. However, to suggest that targetted advertising itself is so useful that we should allow advertisers to collect data about us is, to me, not only the height of arrogance (assuming that these offers are so good that we’ll beg them to take our information), but (because those ads track you further) become something of a circular argument: we need to collect this data, so we can show you better ads, which will track you further, so we can collect more data, so we can show you better ads, which will track you further…

  • Media conglomeration is not a good thing - there was a time when various arms of the federal government would actually move in order to stop dangerous potential monopolies from forming, but with a few exceptions, that hasn’t happened much lately (even though it should). IMHO, telecommunication companies, as gateways to content, should be barred from owning entertainment companies that produce said content (or, if not barred, at least forced to operate those companies at arm’s length) in order to help guarantee competition.

  • Donald Trump is an unhinged, narcissistic ass-clown who is incapable of telling the truth, and who will go down as one of the worst (but hopefully not last) US presidents in history - I don’t think I need to elaborate on this one.

I may have more to add to these someday soon, but for now, the above statements will have to do.

My Blogging Problem

TL;DR — Social media navel gazing about my love/hate relationship with blogging, all because I'm launching a new journal (not blog) at

👓 2 minutes

I have a problem with #blogging .

For a long time, I assumed that it was a time issue - I felt like I either didn’t have the time to do anything cool (which would give me something to blog about), or I felt like I didn’t have the time to blog about the few cool things that I did accomplish.

Then, when I did have some time, there would always be other reasons that I couldn’t write: I’d have issues with my blogging software (and wind up spend time either diagnosing it, fixing it, or looking for a replacement), or I’d get distracted updating the servers, or by a family issue, or any number of 100 other things.

But what makes it worse is my other problem: every few weeks, I’ll go on a tear where I get hyper-focused on a single topic or idea, and spend a large amount of my free time either researching it, attempting my hand at it, or both. And then, after a few weeks, I’ll inevitably move on to some other topic (something Les Orchard calls “Serial Enthusiasm”), and I won’t take the time to document what I learned / accomplished during said tear.

But… no more.

This post represents the first in (what I hope will be) a series of journal entries about the various things that I’ve done and/or learned about in the few months/years/lives, in hopes of doing my own small part to develop the web. In addition to posting new items here, I also plan to (eventually) import most of my entries from my on-again-off-again Known instance (aka just in case something bad happens to it). I’ve got a few other ideas, too, but we’ll see how industrious I am.

And, in order to break my blogging curse, this will not be called a blog, but rather a journal, and it will live at

So, I hope you enjoy my new journal, and if you’re already here, I say “Thanks for stopping by, feel free to take a look around, but please don’t let the cats out.” ☺

Loose Ideas for the Next Social Web

TL;DR — Some thoughts about what I would like to see next in the social media / web space.

👓 2 minutes

Inspired by both this toot and my recent dabblings in the Fediverse, I just wanted to take a moment and collect some thoughts about what I would like to see next in the #SocialMedia / #web space.

  • I like the idea of using a hub-and-spoke model, where each actual edge device (phone / tablet / etc.) connects to some kind of always-on server (either a cheap virtual machine or a home-based server), which would be run by a tech-enabling friend, like BBSes used to be.
  • All content creation and such would occur on the edge device, probably via a progressive web app hosted on the hub (to enable #offline creating), and which would connect to its hub when convenient to upload any newly created content.
    • Here, “content” means basically anything that you can create on a social media site - text, photos, replies, whatnot.
  • The content would be marked up with IndieWeb microformats-2 tags, enabling easy consumption / sharing.
  • Since the content creation / editing would occur on the spoke devices, the hub would be used primarily for caching and speedy connectivity (to prevent issues with asymmetric connection speeds that would prevent direct sharing between the edge devices).
  • The hub would collect incoming messages for the user and cache them until the user’s device can connect to the hub to pull them down into their edge device(s).
  • The hub would also support webmentions (both in and out), webfinger, and any other useful protocols (ActivityPub, to enable more clients?).
  • Ideally, each user of this kind of system would have a subdomain of their own (, which has their public info, profile pic, and public posts, and which could serve as a Web sign-in endpoint via the presence of an h-card (listing their OAuth2-compatible accounts).

I freely admit that this idea still has some issues, since it is both incredibly hand-wavy and would still require tech-smart gatekeepers to run the hubs, but eventually even that second issue could be mitigated somewhat by turning the software into a single-click install option for a Pi or similar device (or pre-installed on such a device, with a plug-and-play setup of some kind, or pre-built images for VPS hosting).

I’m open to thoughts / suggestions / comments.