Op 12 maart vindt in Utrecht een bijeenkomst plaats om allerlei organisaties rondom Public Tech en Civic Tech bij elkaar te brengen. Om onze gezamenlijke inspanningen te vergelijken en te kijken waar we elkaar kunnen steunen. Dit stond al een langere tijd op mijn taken- en verlanglijstje. Code for NL heeft nu het voortouw genomen om te zorgen dat het ook plaatsvindt. Rondom civic tech, technologie die het algemeen nut ondersteunt, en public tech, de technologie zoals die door onze overheden en instituten wordt gebruikt, is er wat mij betreft een nieuw maatschappelijk middenveld nodig. Omdat het kennisniveau in de Nederlandse maatschappij en het bestuur bijzonder laag ligt over wat er kan, wat verstandig is en wat niet. Organisaties die in dit gebied actief zijn kunnen door onderlinge uitwisseling en meer gezamenlijk optreden denk ik veel meer maatschappelijk impact bewerkstellingen. Als je een organisatie vertegenwoordigd die ook op dit vlak actief is, kijk dan even op Meet-Up voor meer informatie.
I facilitated two unconferences this week. On Monday with our company The Green Land we hosted a 90 minute unconference on (the future of) open government. It was a sweltering day, without much wind. Held on the rooftop of our office building, we had precisely the amount of shade needed to keep all participants out of the sun. With some 20 people from around our network we compared notes on open government, civic tech, and potential collective action. Having built the program with the group I participated in conversations on public versus market roles, what ‘sticks‘ we have in our toolbox when working towards more open government, and the Dutch Common Ground program.
Groups in conversation
(At CaL earlier this month in Canada, someone asked me if I did unconference facilitation as work. I said no, but then realised I had two events lined up this week putting the lie to that ‘no’. This week E suggested we might start offering training on how to host and facilitate an unconference.)
Björn Wijers demoing, with Dylan, Neil and Julia in the photo looking on
Most of yesterday’s participants returned today to get under the hood of their websites and build something. I didn’t attend in person, but participated remotely in the opening session this morning, and the demo’s this afternoon. The demo session has just concluded and some cool things were created, or at least started. Here are a few:
Frank Meeuwsen worked on an OPML importer for Aperture, a microsub server. This way it is possible to import the feeds from your existing RSS reader into your microsub server. Very useful to aid migrating to a new way of reading online content.
Rosemary Orchard, extending on that, created the option of sharing her geo location on her site for a specified number of minutes.
Neil Mather installed a separate WordPress install to experiment with ActivityPub, and succeeded in sending messages from WordPress to Mastodon, and receive back replies.
Björn Wijers wrote a tool that grabs book descriptions from GoodReads for him to post to his blog when he finishes a book.
That concludes the first IndieWebCamp in Utrecht, with a shout-out to all who contributed.
It’s a wrap! The first #indiewebcamp in Utrecht was a lot of fun. Thank you to all participants, @frankmeeuwsen for doing the heavy lifting (I had to bail), and Johan Adriaans for providing the shoppagina.nl venue this weekend! #indieweb See you at #indiewebcamp Amsterdam in September?
This is a quick exploration of my current and preferred feed reading patterns. As part of my activities, for Day 2, the hack day, of IndieWebCamp Utrecht.
I currently use a stand alone RSS reader, which only consumes RSS feeds. I also experiment with TinyTinyRSS which is a self-hosted feed-grabber and reader. I am attracted to TinyTiny RSS beacue 1) it has a database I can access, 2) it can create RSS from any selection I make, and it publishes a ‘live’ OPML file of feeds I track, which I use as blogroll in the side bar.
What I miss is being able to follow ‘any’ feed, for instance JSON feeds which would allow tracking anything that has an API. Tracking #topics on Twitter, or people’s tweets. Or adding newsletters, so I can keep them out of my mail client, and add them to my reader. And there are things that I think don’t have feeds, but I might be able to create them. E.g. URLs mentioned in Slack channels, or conversation notes I take (currently in Evernote).
Using IndieWeb building blocks: the attraction of IndieWeb here is that it makes a distinction between collecting / grabbing feeds and reading them. A Microsub server grabs and stores feeds. A Microsub client then is the actual reader.
Combined with Micropub, the ability to post to your own site from a different client, allows directly sharing or responding from a reader. In the background Webmention then works its magic of pulling all that together so that the full interaction can be shown on my blog.
The sharing buttons in a (microsub client) reader like Monocle are ‘liking’, ‘repost’ and ‘reply’. This list is too short to my taste. Bookmarking, ‘repost with short remarks’ and ‘turn into a draft for long form’ are obvious additions. But there’s another range of things to add about sharing into channels that aren’t my website or not a website at all, and channels that aren’t fully public.
To get things under my own control, first I want to run my own microsub server, so I have the collected feeds somewhere I can access. And so I can start experimenting with collecting types of feeds that aren’t RSS.
#indiewebcamp Utrecht off to a good start with 9 ppl on site, and me remote. Day 2 is about building things for the #indieweb, with live streamed demo’s at 15:30. Topics range from opml importers, reader syncing, federated search, visualisations for discovery, and more.
I will try to clarify my own routines on reading feeds: what is my current process, what demands does it make of my tools? How well do building blocks like Microsub and -pub map on to that?
I may also take a look at the code of the Yarns WordPress plugins, how it stores feeds. I am interested in tagging feeds (not articles). Most of my feeds are people (Frank’s blog, Peter’s blog etc), and with tags I can make subsets across feeds like “show me what indieweb folks are up to today” or “I’m visiting Vienna, let’s catch up with the Viennese in my reader before contacting them for a meet-up”.
But first, coffee!