I think that I’m weird for my generation in that I love a good phone call with a friend. Don’t get me wrong, I text and chat with folks until the cows come home, but I love having to make the time to wander around the parking lot and chat with a friend who lives elsewhere for a solid hour or so. I love it.
Ya’ll, micro.blog is amazing! The community has generated some truly 💯 content. With a bit of help form @smokey I put together a tiny wiki of community resources to help more folks micro.blog: https://m.b.wiki.eli.li/
Dear IndieWeb, it may be time to start considering the user, not just the technical spec.
I’ve been working on a series of walkthrough posts that outline how to IndieWebify a Wordpress site. I presumed the initial setup would be fairly straightforward because a) I have a vague idea of what I’m doing, and b) a suite of plugins already exists. Boy-howdy, was I wrong.
I’ve been through speed-dating hell — I’ve met a heap of difficult to parse, technical error messages. I’ve been able to figure out the issue in most cases, but totally understand why the IndieWeb isn’t ready for primetime.
The IndieWeb isn’t ready for primetime, at least in part, because of these terrible, bordering on user-hostile, error messages.
I by no means mean this as a criticism. These error messages are helpful if you have a clear understanding of the spec, and how it is implemented. If, however, you aren’t a technical-user (which is to say a programmer who has read the spec. document) the error messages aren’t all that helpful.
From my experience, error messages of the sort found across the IndieWeb are symptomatic of early-stage, in development platforms, e.g. those platforms that are still being debugged.
I think that if the IndieWeb is aiming for wide adoption it is time to start designing for the user, not the spec.
What do I mean by this?
For one, folks building IndieWeb tech can’t assume that their users care about the technical implementation of their project. The vast majority of users aren’t going to read the spec., nor care to ever do so. The vast majority of users will care, first and foremost, about themselves and their content. They will, most likely, already know enough to care about owning their content. This means their content is important to them. This also probably means that they’re itching to create content. To write.
This should be our (the IndieWeb’s) holy mission — empowering all sorts of folks to post content that they get to control.
The IndieWeb wiki has a groovy page all about generations. There, you’ll find this graphic.
That page opens:
Generations in the context of the IndieWeb refer to clusters of potential IndieWeb adopters in a series of waves that are expected to naturally adopt the IndieWeb for themselves and then help inform the next generation. Each generation is expected to lower barriers for adoption successively for the next generation.
I think the IndieWeb is at an exciting inflection point. A bunch of things are happening right now, among all the happenings are a few key events: the public at large is growing frustrated with traditional social media, the birth and (hopeful!) growth of micro.blog, and an uptick in the micropub client ecosystem.
I don’t know if everyone will agree with this — but I think micro.blog exists across both generation 3 and 4.
The hiccup, at least as I see it, is that the majority of existing IndieWeb tech is squarely rooted in generation 1…and sometimes, barely, generation 2.
SO, whereas “[e]ach generation is expected to lower barriers for adoption successively for the next generation” I wonder if it is maybe time to update some of the tooling from generation 1 and 2 to be more compatible with generations 3 and 4?
Anyone with me? Am I totes off base? Thank you kindly,
In reply to: Fewer conferences | Manton Reece
Huge props to @manton for praising the value of conferences. Both Marco Arment and Chris Adamson seem to completely ignore the value of meeting in person — as podcast hosts/producers, of course it is easier for them to share their points of view from their recording studios/home offices. Listening to conference talks isn’t the only value of a conference, though — meeting new folks in person is wicked valuable, especially for folks starting their career, or who don’t live in wicked techy places.
I’ve never been to a tech conference, but hope to be able to attend one sometime within the next year or two. One of my favorite parts of the indieweb community is that it feels sort of like a distributed conference. Through the indieweb I’ve been able to connect with other folks around a common topic.
When I was an undergrad I loved iTunes. I loved to sit in the library on campus and browse all the shared music libraries available over the campus network. There were hundreds of libraries. Some were identifiable to individuals, others, not so much
…Banana Cucumber Omelet
I think those may have been the best days for iTunes.
Apple tried to turn iTunes into a social network, but they never realized that the social power of iTunes wasn’t in the “network,” per se, but rather in the media. It was a media platform with in-built sharing features. Passive connection, with communal feelings.
When I was an undergrad I loved iTunes until Spotify came around. Spotify changed the game. Spotify delivered on the promise of Groove Shark — the ability to listen to more or less whatever you wanted to without needing to make the monetary commitment of owning a song or album. Without needing to maintain a personal library.
iTunes was for librarians while Spotify was for the hungry. An iTunes library took cultivation and care to maintain. Spotify just required an appetite. One isn’t necessarily better than the other. I still have my iTunes library, but it is neglected and oft ignored. I only catch a few notes of a song now and again when my phone starts to play music from the default library when I connect via bluetooth.
I loved to sit in the library on campus and browser other folks’ music libraries. Now Spotify serves me Discover Weekly and Daily Mix playlists. I discover new and fascinating music to listen to…but it is different. It is catered to my liking, even if unknowingly. Spotify knows me and my tastes better than I can probably articulate. It serves me what it has calculated I’ll like. I don’t necessarily get to sample from the bitter or divergent when Spotify serves me what it thinks I’ll like…well, I mean, I can if I try. But Spotify doesn’t make the recommendation. Does it?
I loved to sit in the library. Mine and others.
I think @manton’s micro.blog offers a great model of the indieweb. It, like quill or webmention.io, is a microservice or set of microservices that leverages indieweb tech in a user friendly way. When the indieweb works more like the social media that folks are already familiar with (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) the less friction there is to join. So…this is all to say, in the end, I think better on boarding materials and user-friendlier documentation would go a LOOOOONG way. BUT, before one can create such documents there needs to be a relatively stable way of joining the indieweb. Between wordpress and micro.blog I think that is starting to emerge.
In reply to: https://eli.li/entry.php?id=20170528030247
With a little help from the indieweb IRC channel, shout out to @aaronpk, I’m able to post both html and plaintext notes now! 🎉
In reply to: https://micro.blog/jeremycherfas/88048
@micro.blog/jeremycherfas thanks! I don’t know if I’d go as far as to say “I know what I’m doing.” The community has been wicked helpful. 😄 Excited to keep exploring. Next step is to set up a media and point, and then clean up my bajillions of PHP scripts.
In reply to: https://eli.li/entry.php?id=20170526015901
HOORAY! Thanks to a whole 🙌 heap 🙌 of 🙌 help 🙌, I’ve got basic micropub support up and running!
I recently read Running an effective mobile team, part 1. It was wicked good so I poked around the blog where I read it, “Accidentally in Code: engineering an interesting life.” There, I noticed the author, Cate, also facilitates a slack for Engineering Managers. I sent Cate a message and asked for an invite. Before long we were messaging back and forth.
During our exchange Cate asked me a few questions and in the end helped me to better define my role at work, pointing out that I wasn’ an engineering manager, but rather pretty squarely in the category of product manager. PROFESSIONAL DEFINITION!
It was awesome.
Cate was a micro mentor!
Thanks Cate! 🙌
I’ve noticed that “mentorship” is a term that gets thrown around a lot in weby techy circles. While I’m no expert, I feel that my time as a “summer camp professional” provided me with insight into mentorship.
Being a mentor doesn’t need to be a gigantic life-long commitment. It can be a 10 minute exchange online. Quick. Passing. Camp counselor our mentors, but not in any overly-wrought sort of way. They’re high school and college aged folks for the most part who are in the right place at the right time to listen to younger folks.
A mentor listens and shares. A mentor needn’t be the Qui-Gon to your Obi-Wan (this is to say making a life-long commitment to you, granted, Qui-Gon does do a bit of post-life mentoring for Obi-Wan, too, so this was a terrible example, BUUUUT I digress). This post is my benumbed way of saying that mentorship can be done on the daily. I think it is about taking the time to listen every now and again, breakthrough the anomie and have a moment of connection.
Micro mentor, like a personal pizza that gets shared. Bagel bites.