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YouTube and Facebook Are Losing Creators to Blockchain-Powered Rivals, Camila Russo, Bloomberg, Apr 10, 2018
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The idea of blockchain-enabled alternatives such as DTube is that viewers can pay for content directly through tips or subscriptions, thus avoiding the tracking and advertising pervasive on platforms like YouTube and Google. But a quick look at DTube shows the risks as well - scam links in the comments, for example, or unsavory videos on the home page. Yes, it can be worse than YouTube out there.Still, as the article notes, " The less centralized platforms keep more power—and ... [Direct Link]


Don’t Delete Facebook. Do Something About It., Siva Vaidhyanathan, New York Times, Mar 26, 2018
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Readers will recall I deleted Facebook a year and a half ago, citing just the sort of newsfeed manipulation we've now all come to see as harmful. If I had been able to do something about it at the time, I would have. I have spent my time since focusing on working with and developing distributed personal learning and information networks. There's no money in this. If you are required to find paying clients, you'll hear nothing but crickets (or the many voices telling you to ... [Direct Link]


OERu social network, Wayne Mackintosh, OERu, Mar 20, 2018
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OERu has launched it's on Mastodon instance. In an email Wayne Mackintosh writes, " We are excited to announce the launch of mastodon.oeru.org - OERu’s own social network to support learners and the wider OERu family. For information on how to sign up on mastodon.oeru.org, please consult the OERu support site." Mastodon is an open source social network application that creates a distributed network of instances (instead of a commercialized central service like Twitter). &... [Direct Link]


Identity in the Browser (Firefox), Aza Raskin, Feb 03, 2018
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(Update) Doug Belshaw wrote me on Mastodon: "Stephen, this Mozilla project you link to in the latest OL Daily is almost a decade old. Aza Raskin left *years* ago, and the work you cite led to the (now defunct) Mozilla Persona." Longtime readers of OLDaily will remember I created something called mIDm back in 2004. The idea was to put an identifying URL in the browers so I could automatically log into sites. Three days later (literally!) the first proposals for OpenID were released ... [Direct Link]


Harmony and hope as pedagogies for 2018, Jenny Mackness, Jenny Connected, Dec 25, 2017
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Jenny Mackness summarizes some of the recent discussion around the idea of a 'pedagogy of harmony'. She links to Kevin Hodgson's video of a 'found poem' from Laura Ritchie's post (definitely required viewing). Harmony doesn't seem to be enough, she suggests. "'Don’t we need dissonance to be able to recognise harmony?’ and in terms of pedagogy  ‘Don’t we need dissonance to maintain interest and attention?'" And she also ... [Direct Link]


Weaving quicksilver: ‘We-searching’ for a pedagogy of small, Tanya Dorey, Small Stories, Dec 12, 2017
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I've been on Mastodon for just over a year; my first post was last December 3. Since then I've written small stories, discussed theory, documented 1500 km of bike rides, and engaged in general banter. What I like about it is that it is a small and informal community I can share with. Some people call it a pedagogy of small. Others call it a pedagogy of slow. If it's a pedagogy at all, it's a pedagogy of harmony (which really, at long last, may be my answer to Friere). Tanya ... [Direct Link]


We need to nationalise Google, Facebook and Amazon. Here’s why, Nick Srnicek, The Guardian, Sept 03, 2017
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This post has been making the rounds recently, and it was no doubt calculated to generate the negative response it's receiving. And let me jump on board and agree that nationalizing social media is a dumb idea. We would never generate the value for the money we'd spend. But. There is an argument for noncommercial alternatives to Facebook and Twitter, an analogue to public mail delivery or public broadcasting. The sort of model I would envision would be a public service ... [Direct Link]


Mastodon is big in Japan. The reason why is… uncomfortable, Ethan Zuckerman, Aug 22, 2017
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This criticism of Mastodon - which, full disclosure, I use regularly - is odd. Here it is: "Japanese users had been looking for a Twitter-like platform where they could share lolicon writing and imagery for some time." For those unfamiliar with lolicon (as I was", it "includes animated cartoons and 2D drawings of young men and women in a way that is undeniably sexualized." As Zuckerman says, "some advocates for distributed publishing will be disappointed that ... [Direct Link]


NodeBB Powered by Intuz, AWS Marketplace, Aug 17, 2017
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This comes from a post in Mastodon. Sandstorm is "an open source, community-driven project aiming to enable self-hosting of cloud services and to make it possible for open source web apps to compete with today’s cloud services." It's like a personal cloud. I'm not sure how long it will last, but it's there now. NodeBB is an mobile-first open source (GitHub) discussion forum system written for Node. The Mastodon post refers to a Sandstorm port of NodeBB. I'm not ... [Direct Link]


A $99 'subscription' will be the beginning of the end for Twitter, Pete Pachal, Mashable, Jul 30, 2017
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It's the option no Twitter user anywhere asked for: pay $99 a month and Twitter will promote your tweets to readers who never asked for them. "Now imagine if the top of your feed was mostly tweets from so-called influencers, with a bunch of tweets from brands thrown in for good measure," writes Pete Pachal. "It's hard to imagine a change to Twitter better designed to make me leave the service for good." Of curse, there's always Mastodon. [Direct Link]


Scholar.Social: A Mastodon Network For Teachers, Aaron B. Smith, Academic Aesthetic, Jun 02, 2017
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This post introduces scholar.social, a Mastodon server for teachers and educators. "scholar.social is not JUST for teachers, but anyone involved in academics. The tag line they use is  'The Mastodon profile that you’re not embarrassed to put on the last slide of a presentation at a conference.'" [Direct Link]


The rise and rise of Mastodon, Eugen Rochko, Medoum, Apr 26, 2017
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The developer of Mastodon, Eugen Rochko, offers this update following an exciting month that found the distributed social network software suddenly discovered and (it seems) accepted by people around the world. How accepted? "At the time of writing, the Mastodon network includes more than 486,767 users spread out among more than a 1,212 instances." Now we have to expect that a certain number of users are just test users, but his Patreon support also went from $700 to $3000 a month ... [Direct Link]


What I wish I knew before joining Mastodon, Qina Liu, Medium, Apr 13, 2017
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I've been on Mastodon for a while and have written about it previously, but if you're just looking at it now the first instance, mastodon.social, is now closed to new users. But the idea is that Mastodon is distributed so there are other instances you can join. When you do, you can find me at https://mastodon.social/@Downes. [Direct Link]


Experimenting with alternative social networks, D’Arcy Norman, D’Arcy Norman Dot Net, Dec 04, 2016
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As readers know, I dropped out of Facebook at the end of the summer. It felt lonely but it was a good move - the people who were missing my posts on Facebook came back, and viewership on downes.ca went from the 25K per month it had averaged to more like 40K per month. That's a big difference compared to the single-digit reads I was getting on Facebook. Anyhow, D'Arcy Norman is also looking at alternatives, having dropped off both Facebook and Twitter. He lists four services he's ... [Direct Link]