I just watched this video about using the Map View plugin in Obsidian, which allows you to visualise the existence of notes grouped by geo-location on a map. The Map View plugin allows viewing and organising notes along a dimension that is currently missing in my notes, geographic location. I do have an overview of all my travel since the late eighties in my notes. The creator of the video, Zsolt is the creator of both the Obisidian Excalidraw and Brain plug-ins, which I both enjoy using and recommend. So when he suggests a plugin by someone else, it piques my curiosity.

Now I am of course thinking about integrating that with my check-in forms for this site enabling individualised Plazes. Specifically it may play a role in determining venue or location.

Would it be doable to, like I’m already posting from my notes to the site, automatically create an optional check-in record here when I create a geolocated note in Obsidian? Or the other way around, to have a check-in made through the webform also create a note in Obsidian?

Following up on “How to federate like our business ecosystem” I went ahead and created a Mastodon-instance for my company. It’s at m.tgl.eu. Next to me and a generic ‘team’, three colleagues have created an account, but it remains to be seen whether they’ll be active or not.

Some observations:

  • The distinction between separate accounts can cause confusion. On Twitter one is conditioned to see one account as ‘all of me’. On e-mail however we have different mail addresses for different contexts, of which work and private mail addresses are the most common two. To make the distinction visible between my personal and company account I used different avatars.
  • Some of our team have been hesitant about the context collapse between work and private life. E.g. sharing phone numbers, or posting work related material on your personal social media accounts. This is completely understandable (even if for me personally all work has come from personal interests so there’s an almost complete overlap between work and private, even if not the other way around: almost all of my work would fit in my private context, not all of my private context would fit in my work context.)

Having company accounts could help, as having different accounts for different contexts works as a sort-of category filter for the types of content that are being shared. I notice that from my work account I now do follow organisational accounts, whereas from private accounts I usually avoid doing that.

That’s all on the individual level.

The actual experiment here is to see a) what occurs if everyone in the team has an individual voice in their professional context and b) how that works out across organisations in our ecosystem. Does it lead to different types of interaction, more low threshold casual interaction, between people from organisations we regard as part of our ‘scene’? It’s a type of collectiveness that is impossible on global platforms like Twitter. It’s based on a locally more dense network between specific groups of people. As yet, this is still entirely theoretical, as it depends on other organisations also having such instances, from which people connect to us. Having at least our instance makes it possible to start the experiment if there’s at least one other. Maybe having ours helps that second one to start.

Bookmarked What IndieBlocks Does, and Why by Jan Boddez

I really need to start testing Jan’s IndieBlocks plugin, to see if it allows me to switch to WordPress Gutenberg. If yes, I think it will allow me to also do a few things with my site to make it less blog-centric. Because from what I’ve seen from E’s work on my company’s site, Gutenberg makes that easier than writing a theme from more or less scratch which I’ve been balking at for some time, aka 2 years.

I probably will need to set-up one of my test WP sites (nicknamed proto and meso) with IndieBlocks. A key thing to test will be if interacting with the site through my Micropub client(s) needs to be changed. I now push everything into a raw html text that gets submitted to the site, and I don’t know in what ways that would need to be different in Gutenberg blocks, and how it might change how I need to talk to the micropub end-point.

Because nearly everything in IndieBlocks is configurable, it will be possible to keep using the other IndieWeb plugins beside it. Simply disable the bits you don’t need!

Jan Boddez

In antwoord op Name Pronunciation And Spelling Mistakes van Wouter Groeneveld en Over het verhaspelen van namen van Max Roeleveld

Bij mij wordt van Ton nog wel eens Tom gemaakt, juist ook als ze al een Tom kennen want dan zit dat meer in hun vingers als ze typen (en de n en m zitten ook naast elkaar). In gesprekken wordt er wel naar gevraagd (twee- of driepoot?). Mijn achternaam levert meestal de vraag op of het met een korte of lange ei/ij moet. Tenminste in Nederland. Buiten NL gebruik ik als voornaam wat vaker Anton, dat geeft helderheid. Zijlstra spreekt men liever niet uit, het wordt geregeld “Mr Anton”. Bij het schrijven van mijn achternaam eindigt vooral vaak, ongeacht het land, een l midden in de ij. Vandaar ook de y in mijn blogadres (en omdat zijlstra.org niet beschikbaar was in 2002). Als buitenlandse contacten een vliegticket voor me boeken is het daarom oppassen, dat gaat makkelijk mis. Dan probeert Mr Zijlstra te vliegen als Mr Ziljstra en kom ik niet altijd aan boord. Het ergst wordt mijn achternaam verhaspeld na meervoudige transliteratie, zoals eerst naar het cyrillisch (op een event) en dan weer naar latijns schrift (in de Engelse vertaling van het Russisch-talige verslag van het event). Dan herken ik mijn naam niet terug.

Flemish and Dutch businesses, teachers, governments, and shops seem to have a very difficult time correctly spelling my name…

Wouter Groeneveld

Wouter blogt over naamsverhaspelingen waar hij zoal aan is blootgesteld. Sommige daarvan zijn, eh, creatief. … Hoe zit dat met mijn lezerschap?

Max Roeleveld

“Антон Зильстра, senior expert on open data, Netherlands”. Image license cc by nc sa.

It seems some 50.000 people created a Mastodon account since Musk captured the blue bird. Twitter has about 400 million users, and some 200 million daily active ones, so that’s about an 1/80th percent versus 2/80th percent of the total. For Mastodon 50k users represent about 7/8th of a percent, considerably more, and significant change for a single day, but still a small number. It feels more massive in my Mastodon timeline though. This can be a sign that the networks I’m part of are heavily skewed (most likely true), or that it’s more active Twitter users making the switch (not an unreasonable assumption). Some 10% of Twitter users make up about 90% of messages. If the 50k migrants come from that 10%, than as those 10% come by definition from the active users so that they represent 20% of those active users (40 million), they add up to 1/8th of a percent of those.

At those rates, and seeing the peak migration is behind us, it means what passes for #twittermigration is indeed just a wavelet. Especially as those new account holders have not deleted their Twitter accounts. I’ve been an active user of Mastodon for 5 years, and haven’t deleted my handful of Twitter accounts either. I still use them, almost only for broadcasting though, while most of my conversation is indeed on Mastodon.

So if anything this is at the moment less a #twittermigration than a sort of self-induced netsplit (common in the days of peak IRC), which may turn out to be as temporary as the netsplits of old were. Unless the momentum keeps up, for instance because the bird trapper‘s public statements and actions drive more people away. After all bird traps aren’t mostly non-lethal.

And we have of course seen these wavelets of account creation in the Fediverse before, with little in terms of active retention. This renewed wavelet has led me to re-assess whether my own website can serve usefully as a ActivityPub (the protocol behind Mastodon/Fediverse in general) actor. WordPress, through plugins, can ‘speak’ ActivityPub, just not in the way yet I want it to (two issues: current plugins expose my username on my site, and don’t allow for selective sharing of posts on my site through ActivityPub). ActivityPub is just a protocol, and my site should be able to speak it in the way I want, meaning that my presence on Mastodon is likely temporary, even if me communicating through ActivityPub isn’t.

Bookmarked Welcome to hell, Elon by Nilay Patel / The Verge

Such a fantastic phrasing, in an otherwise entertaining read about the issues with Twitter and large social media platforms. Those issues center on how to moderate mostly (this in turn is why I never saw those platforms as communities, as maintaining a fine balance between safe space, to feel at home, and excitement, to make you return, and a balance between internal and external perspective is important there, yet severely lacking in those platforms). The quote centers on what drives engagement on Twitter, and who feeds that engagement in order to be able to feed off it. A group that includes Musk.

Twitter, the company, makes very little interesting technology; the tech stack is not the valuable asset. The asset is the user base: hopelessly addicted politicians, reporters, celebrities, and other people who should know better but keep posting anyway. You! You, Elon Musk, are addicted to Twitter. You’re the asset. You just bought yourself for $44 billion dollars.

Nilay Patel