On #2022/11/12 I have created a VPS running Debian 11. It is a CX41 from Hetzner.com, and I installed Yunohost on it using this description.

Yunohost then provides a GUI to maintain the VPS. It also does the diagnosis and provides the infromation to fix issues. The first experiences are encouraging.
From 2014 I’ve used a VPS for a few years, but it became too much of a chore, and in the end I shut down the entire VPS, because it became unmanageable. I stil haven’t fully deleted it, but I should.

Yunohost also supports the installation of all kinds of applications (like softaculous on cpanel for hosting environments), which makes things easier.

It’s an experimental space first and foremost.
I moved my (and E’s) Mastodon instance over to it (and save on the monthly fee I paid for Masto.host before, folding it into this one). I’m also interested to see if using e.g. Bookwyrm and Pixelfed over it brings use value. These are all AP based applications. Or it can be a testing ground for other projects, e.g. Linqurator.
I have installed Fresh RSS read on it, and a personal NextCloud instance on it, both for my own use as well as for experimenting with apps in Nextcloud, before running them in my business’ Nextcloud.

This is a project I started in December 2019 for myself. The goal is to create my own “ideal” bookmarking tool. If and when it works it might be useful as a service to others too. I optimistically registered a domain name for that eventuality: linqurator.eu

I see three layers to it:

  1. individual bookmark collections,
  2. a social layer like Delicious used to have,
  3. and a visualisation and analysis layer.

The latter is something that currently doesn’t exist as far as I’m aware (though examples of analysing / visualising bookmark collections do exist, just not as a regular feature of a bookmarking tool)

Key elements I am taking as starting points for the design:

  • Can be used offline (working with bookmarks that is, not the bookmarking itself obviously)
  • Fully based on PHP/Mysql as most commonly available web infrastructure
  • Useful stand-alone
  • More useful if connected to others (why?)
  • Using IndieWeb protocols for connection and interaction where useful
  • GDPR compliant, and on EU based servers (why?)

First I will attempt to build something I can and want to use myself. After that I’ll decide on adding the ‘social’ part, and beyond that the visualisation / analytical part across multiple collections.
I want to approach this in a number of small sprints, otherwise it will never happen. Two week sprints, with 13 of them to get to a working prototype for myself.

The first sprint is doing a first general plan working backwards from the imagined final service to first steps.

Currently imagined elements to sprint towards:

  1. General plan working backwards from imagined result
  2. Basic database design
  3. Basic API creation
  4. Import my Delicious archive through API
  5. Display page
  6. First add bookmark form
  7. First bookmarklet
  8. Basic timeline view of bookmarks and tags
  9. First search form
  10. Attempt Threading, for e.g. a Linkpost, or as input for a draft blog posting
  11. Parse original metadata / microformats of a bookmark
  12. Put a saved bookmark in archive.org for a permanent external reference (might not work for paywalled pages)
  13. Save the full page of a bookmark locally (to not bump into linkrot/paywall later, and for local full text search options)

The TechPledge is a Hippocratic oath like pledge for individual tech professionals. It is aimed at promoting human centered technology and at instilling reflective practices around tech as a key responsibility for tech professionals.

It was written during the 2019 TechFestival by the ‘Copenhagen 150’ a group of people in tech in diverse roles from over 40 countries, in 24 hours.

In the days after launch some criticisms were voiced, which are gathered below. This so it is possible to formulate a response, and perhaps adapt the TechPledge when warranted.

  • The pledge doesn’t have teeth. We need laws and regulation.
  • My specific technology(-concern) isn’t mentioned (e.g. nanotech, AI, Facebook, nuclear energy etc)
  • My specific societal concern isn’t mentioned (e.g. toxic online behaviour, verbal violence, misogyny, bigotry, hate)
  • Issues taken with specific wording (e.g. addiction, control)
  • This will not change any company’s behaviour
  • It’s too long / not concise enough (The Techpledge is 238 words, the English translation of the Hippocratic oath and the modern Geneva version are both over 300 words and the Hipprcatic oath has endured two and a half millennia
  • Will it actually be persuasive to prevent creepy (yet lucrative) behaviour?

(to be structured/added)
On addiction:
Person 1 (original tweeter:) Yes manipulation and influence exists. Yes, design shapes behavior in context. Yes, techs habits, but more like candy than heroin.

On control:
Me: It needs to be taken in the flow of the context of the techpledge.org as a whole. In that context I find it’s clearer what’s meant. For control I’d had suggested manipulation. I agree that maybe too much hinges on current perceptions of dark patterns and less timeless. That said calling out dark patterns is important. Perhaps the pledge should have said that, not willing to cooperate in designing/deploying dark patterns.
Person 2: If you are intentionally using “dark patterns”, you are intentionally using psychology to compel or addict.
Person 3: But mostly it does not make much sense. For instance fighting for democracy may in some cases entail deregulating tech or increasing control.
Me: I think you’re reading ‘control’ differently here. Control and boundaries are needed elements in any complex environment, just as allowing for emergence and experimentation, for sure. Intentionally and opaquely aiming for compulsion is a diff type of control, though.