A regular week, though less productive than needed.

  • Had a first long board meeting of Open Nederland, the Dutch Creative Commons chapter
  • Visited the Partos Innovation Festival as a jury member
  • Explored micropub’s protocol, and the Tiny Tiny RSS data structure, in prep for next week’s IndieWebCamp Neuremberg
  • Worked on our open data project for a province
  • Did some revisions for a report on the impact of open data

A quick test of my blog’s micropub endpoint (there’s a WordPress micropub plugin) . Using Quill to post this. Quill doesn’t support categories, so this should initially end up on the front page. Ultimately want to be able to simply post on the go from mobile through micropub.

Results:

  • It submitted the blogpost ok
  • It made HTML appear as regular text, did not interpret the link I added
  • It added all the tags as one tag
  • It, as expected, did not use categories

Also tried to do the same using Micropublish, but that throws an ‘unauthorized’ error. If it worked, it would however support categories, as well as various microformats, such as replies, like and rsvps. Need to take a look at that error message.

We visited the Escher’s Journey exhibit in the Frisian Museum in Leeuwarden today, as part of a very nice day with the three of us. Leeuwarden is Europe’s cultural capital this year, and Escher was born in Leeuwarden. They brought a large collection of works together in a beautifully made exhibition that we really enjoyed. Part of it was a replica of Escher’s studio in Italy where he made the famous self portrait of his reflection in a ball. Visitors could sit at a desk and hold a similar reflective ball with a camera in it, for a portrait that was then pasted into Escher’s drawing and sent to you via e-mail. The bookcase in the back, the chair to the side, all similar to the original.


our portrait and original next to each other, deliberately at low quality

Today I bought this little wooden robot.

Leeuwarden

It’s a Rijkswachter, or State Guard. It derives its name from the source of the wood it is made from.

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam was closed ten years, from 2003 to 2013, for reconstruction. In that period all objects and art that had been on display were kept safe in wooden crates. In these crates the objects were stored, but also travelled around the world for temporary displays. Studio Hamerhaai, a Dutch design duo based in Haarlem, only uses discarded materials for their work. They acquired all the wooden crates when the objects they held were returned to the exhibition rooms of the Rijksmuseum. They created robots from them in various sizes, called Rijkswachters, in reference to the Rijksmuseum and the previous role the wood they are made of had.

All robots are unique and carry a number on their back, and using that number you can find out exactly which object of the Rijksmuseum collection was stored in its wood.

Leeuwarden

My number 7496 is connected to a three legged silver tea pot with tap, from 1756 and attributed to a silver smith called Nicolaas van Diemen. (A slight disappointment of course that it didn’t house one of the old masters like Rembrandt…. 😉 ) The Rijksmuseum has been digitising most of their artefacts, made them searchable in the beautiful Rijksstudio website (where you can also remix stuff), and release them as re-usable open data. So the number directly links to a photo and description of the artefact.

Most material in Rijksstudio you can download and re-use for e.g. t-shirts, your own postcards or posters, game, video etc. This also allows you to pick any artefact or piece of art from the Rijksmuseum from their online collection and order a Rijkswachter wooden robot, where Dutch artist Annemiek van Duin used part of what you selected to decorate your unique robot, bringing this beautiful project full circle.

This morning I attended the first board meeting of Open Nederland, the membership organisation that forms the Creative Commons Chapter Netherlands. I was elected as treasurer last month. As a first meeting we spent most time on discussing our ideas for how we want to help shape this newly created organisation.

After I moved my Mastodon accounts from a general server to a self-run instance last week, I was curious to see how many of the followers I had on the old account would make the move to my current Mastodon account. After all the ‘cost of leaving’ is always a consideration when changing course in social media usage, in this case specifically the portability of your existing network. Last week I had 43 followers on the old account, and I now have 11 on my new account, so that is about 25%. Let’s see if it grows in the coming days. Likely some of the followers I had no longer use Mastodon. So another question is when I reach the same number of followers by engaging in new conversations.

In the past weeks I’ve enjoyed using a bot that turns my blog’s RSS feed into an Activity Pub stream. That stream I follow from my Mastodon account, and that way I can ‘retweet’ any of my postings in an easy way. You too can follow my blog on Mastodon through the account @ton@bots.tinysubversions.com.

The bot that turns RSS into Activity Pub was created by Darius Kazemi, a coding artist and art creating coder. In the context of musing about my ideal RSS reader, I started running my own Tiny Tiny RSS instance. Tt-rss is not only a feed reader but can also create feeds, e.g. from the things you bookmark or like while reading. So I thought if you’d mount the bot that Darius created on the back of Tt-rss, you could publish curated feeds of what you read not just as rss but as activity pub streams. I pinged Darius Kazemi to hear if the code is available.

Screenshot of me resharing a blogpost on Mastodon.

A week with diverse activities.

  • Worked on our open data program for a province
  • Visited the Dutch Coalition for Humanitarian Innovation annual event as a jury member for their awards.
  • Got my own Mastodon instance up and running
  • Went to BredaPhoto festival with Elmine and the little one
  • Worked on a project proposal for a Belgian NGO with a few colleagues from my work in Moldova six years ago.

This looks as the first potential replacement for Evernote I’ve come across. It is called Standard Notes, and comes open source and with full encryption. It allows for the server to be self-hosted to sync stuff across devices (stand alone everything is stored locally), and use your self-hosted cloud as the place for storage of attachments. They sell subscriptions to extended functionality, but those extensions you can also self-host. I’d have to take a closer look at how I might replace some of the key Evernote functionality with it, or arrange some of my additional wishes. See my earlier list on what I’m looking for. At first glance it looks like a thing worth testing. How about you Peter?