Hello. My name is Bix.

Ongoing notes from a mediocre life.

Andy Baio reminds us that today is Blogger's twentieth birthday, per the announcement by Ev (via the Wayback Machine because Ev's security certificate expired last year) on August 23, 1999, at 3:45pm.

We just launched a cool new tool at Pyra. It's called Blogger. It's an automated weblog publishing tool. Unlike Pitas, which, don't get me wrong, is cool, Blogger FTP's your updated weblog page to your own server after each post. This means you can have everything “under the same roof,” as Jack put it the other day. You retain complete control. In fact, no one even has to know you're using Blogger. It just makes your life simplier. Check it out. (Coming soon: Automated XML channel creation.)

Not too long ago I got nostaglic and took a look back at some of my early Blogger blogs from that golden age of blogging. Mostly what this all means is that I am old, and it's very weird to be blogging regularly again, and once again on a new platform.

#Blogging #History #Web #August2019

Nate worries about not noticing the absence of a “first-rate friend” because large social networks bury us in “third-tier friends”, and wonders if the answer simply is smaller social media (although I do wonder if any platform has toyed with algorithms which prompt you to see what's up with someone who hasn't posted in awhile).

This effectively is the premise behind Darius Kazemi's how-to on, yes, running a small social network for your friends using Mastodon, especially if you use a fork which includes instance-only posts, allowing a true internal community to form. It's also something of the feel you get browsing the hand-curated discovery feed on Micro.blog.

It's definitely something a number of IndieWeb developers seem to be thinking about, anyway.

#Community #SocialMedia #Web #August2019

We maybe need to be talking more about how the Portland Police urged people to visit OMSI instead of going anywhere near a popular mobilization against fascism and then failed to protect OMSI after escorting the Proud Boys and their fellow fascist travelers across the closed Hawthorne Bridge.

While the kids played in the beautiful Science Playground, the public-address system announced that the museum was in “lockup”; no one could enter or leave until further notice. We could not see the street; none of the staff knew what was going on; no one could tell us how long the lockup would last; no one knew whether the marchers might assemble in front of the museum, making escape impossible.

In any event, the group of marchers near the museum was apparently relatively small; within a few minutes, the lockup was lifted. But the walk back to the light-rail system through a stark industrial area was, for me at least, heart-in-mouth. We had no place to hide on the street if something went wrong. When we made it back to our hotel, I felt relief, unreality, and fury.

That's from Garrett Epps, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Baltimore, over in The Atlantic, in one hell of a post about the goals of fascism and the memory of one Justice Hans Linde.

#Fascism #Police #Portland #Protest #August2019

I'd never heard of the “land value tax”, in which the land itself is taxed at a high rate while buildings are taxed at a much lower rate or not at all, until this J. Brian Charles piece for Governing, and why the hell aren't we all doing this? Tax lands that are lying fallow and unproductive, while lessening the burden on properties that are producing societal value in other ways, e.g. by attracting business, or providing housing and neighborhood amenities.

#Cities #UrbanPlanning #August2019

For what it's worth, CJ Eller, you, of course, can follow my blog wherever it ends up; just fire up ye olde RSS reader. As for where it will be moving, I'm still torn, although as I talked about last night on Twitter, it's not clear to me whether I'm actually conflicted or simply restless. That said, if Matt would implement date stamps on posts, which remains an absolutely baffling bit of neglect given that WriteFreely/Write.as URLs also don't use a date-inclusive format, so there's literally zero way for a reader to know when a directly-linked post was written, I'd be less inclined to listen to restlessness for the time being.

#Blogging #Meta #August2019

A Supermajority/PerryUndem survey released this week divides respondents by their position on abortion, and then tracks their answers to 10 questions on gender equality more generally. On every question, anti-abortion voters were significantly more hostile to gender equity than pro-choice voters.

From A new poll shows what really interests 'pro-lifers': controlling women by Jill Filipovic

#Gender #Politics #Religion #Highlights #August2019

The only way in which “in hating on influencers” am I “hating on ourselves” is in the acknowledgment that I, too, am utterly mediocre but haven't yet figured out a way to monetize that at the expense of fools. To quote the Leslie Knope paraphase I coined: “You're ridiculous, and influencers is nothing.”

#Nonsense #SocialMedia #Web #August2019

Ward added, “I’ve been in many a protest. I’ve been in some amazing community mobilizations against bigotry. I’ve not in my 30 years seen such an organic alignment, that was so celebratory, as Saturday. People felt empowered and not disempowered. And the fact that Joey Gibson and Joe Biggs are spending Monday working so hard to convince media and their followers that they were successful tells me how much they’re scrambling. They’ve never had to scramble to declare a win before. They ran out of gas in Portland. And I think it’s significant and I think other cities should take note of it.”

From Community Leaders Heartened By Portland Response To Proud Boys Rally by Saundra Sorensen

#Portland #Protest #Highlights #August2019

As I wait to see if Knock Knock WHOIS There is going to let me register a reserved domain for my (triumphant?) return to blogging like it's 1999, I've been doing due diligence again on IndieWeb blogging platforms. The presumption is that I'll simply move from my aborted Write House instance of the WriteFreely platform over to Write.as itself, but I'm spending some time checking up on the current state of Micro.blog. In the process somehow I ran into this fascinating thread about second-person versus third-person responses from one blogger to another.

#Blogging #Community #Meta #Web #August2019

Casey Newton has some pushback to a study in Nature on the “global online hate ecology”, but I'm mostly wondering if anyone covering this study has bothered, oh, I don't know, talking to any actual community managers about its conceptions of dealing with extremism and hate online?

#Community #Internet #Hate #Web #August2019