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# 2013-07-30 Politics

Looking back at how things have gone in the last year I’d say that all my RPG conversation has moved to Google+ and this wiki-blog has turned into a repository of things I don’t want to loose when Google+ is shut down. All my political thoughts are on Twitter: and I’m almost exclusively expressing myself via retweets. I’m also more than happy to talk about it on Twitter.

I post my pictures on Flickr at kensanata for myself and cross-post them to Facebook and a protected Twitter channel for the various family members out there.

# 2012-12-23 Social Media this Year

I’m looking back at my blog and trying to remember the things that happened.

Google+ replaced Twitter, for all my talk about role-playing needs. For a while, my tweets were all about gaming. These days I use Twitter as an alternative to RSS for the kind of news that I might want to look into every now and then without wanting to read everything.

1. EFF
2. BoingBoing
3. Techdirt
4. Anonymous

(Although I’m following Ars Technica on Google+, so perhaps everything will end up on Google+, eventually.)

I also have a few friends on Twitter that aren’t very active elsewhere.

I’m not sure how long I’ll be hanging out on Twitter and Facebook. I heard somebody say that Facebook is for the important people you know and Google+ is for the interesting people you don’t know. 2012 was also the year I stopped using identi.ca (a free, federated Twitter alternative).

I think that in general this blog has had few readers to begin with and has lost some. There are less comments because I write less about Emacs and tech issues. I guess I get a few comments on Google+ every now and then. I have never been one to try and maximize comments, however. I’m getting what I’m aiming for, I guess.

In general, therefore, the blog has also lost a bit of urgency. I no longer post little one-paragraph posts talking about the movies I saw. (Before yesterday it was Cloud Atlas which was nice, but not mind-blowing; yesterday it was The Hobbit part one, which was very beautiful; I could spend hours in Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth. Today I saw Beasts of the Southern Wild which reminded me of one of the best movies in recent years, Winter’s Bone. But then it started to stretch and had some surreal elements I didn’t like, so in the end I wasn’t as happy with it as I was at the beginning.)

No longer true, apparently?

At the same time, with the ads and the privacy issues of Facebook and Instagram, operating my own blog has become more important. I still host my pictures on Flickr and I’m happy I never stopped doing that. I pay their hosting fees and hope this means I don’t need to suffer ads and privacy violations.

My blog still uses Oddmuse. It’s a Perl script that I’ve been maintaining for over a decade, now. It still works! I use the same software for Emacs Wiki. Since many people are used to the many editors of Wikipedia and the features of MediaWiki, they criticize my choice every now and then. 2012 was no different. This time, however, I wrote a longer reply: How Emacs Wiki Works. (In fact, a separate wiki called WikEmacs was created using Mediawiki. I’m not sure how well it does.)

One of the benefits of the services I no longer like that much was that they allowed me to keep in touch with my family. My sister, my cousin and my mother in law are on Facebook. My mother, my half-sister and my half-brother are on Twitter where we all have private accounts linked to each other such that it occasionally feels like a family chat. I’ve started using Instagram as a way to tell people that I’m alive and invite the occasional comment by automatically uploading the pictures to this family chat on Twitter and to Facebook. I think it worked really well and now I’m not quite sure what I should be using instead. Rely on IFTTT?

The use of Instagram and all the ironic hipster hate online has revealed that I had already been a hipster long before it was cool!

There was also a tiny flash of activity on Community Wiki. A Facebook group for the wiki got created. Fierce editing did not resume. Wikis as a discussion medium seem to have gone the way of the Dodo. When I look at MeatballWiki, I don’t understand what’s going on. The wikis I was interested in as a discussion of social media are no longer active. Perhaps social media must be discussed using itself. I wonder where Instagram gets discused. Using screenshots?

Comments on 2012-12-23 Social Media this Year

Ugh, Meatball Wiki is full of spam.

AlexSchroeder 2012-12-26 13:30 UTC

Well, you already know but I still think wiki has a future, as pointed to by Smallest Federated Wiki. There are some flaws / issues with SFW, mainly I think because not enough people are working on it, but it’s still the signpost for how wiki could evolve.

Would still love to see you and other UseMod / OddMuse people look at ways to engage, even if you don’t switch over.

2012 is the year when it just became more and more clear that we need our own space and shouldn’t be dependent on Fb / Tw / G+ etc.

Fb / Tw / G+ offer two compelling things : 1) an aggregate river of stuff from people we care about, 2) really easy transclusion from various rich media sites.

We could have a distributed river architecture if we took RSS and some kind of pubsub architecture (eg. RssCloud) seriously. SFW has made transclusion protocols central to its philosophy. If we pick up on both, figure out how to get the most important things we get from the mainstream working smoothly, we can create a compelling alternative on our terms. And one of the interesting, overlooked, facts about G+ is that it showed that significant numbers of people are still willing to experiment with alternatives. As long as you can get a critical mass of around 20 people you care about to use it, G+ is as valuable as anything else. You don’t need 1 billion users. You aren’t trying to take over the world at this point, just to have a syndication / discussion architecture which isn’t owned by THEM.

PhilJones 2012-12-26 14:03 UTC

take it serious

MattisManzel 2012-12-26 20:52 UTC

The state of MeatBall is indeed sad. Since it seems inevitable that groups disperse, I am inclined to agree with Phil’s statements favoring SFW. At least that way, ones’ content persists. DaveWiner seems to be doing some interesting stuff with what he calls Rivers. I haven’t decided to try to set that up yet because I personally just don’t have the need and so I would rather allocate my time to the Tiddly* way.

HansWobbe 2012-12-26 22:37 UTC

I started a new wiki this year: http://lansingwiki.org/ With some help there from the people behind http://arborwiki.org and http://toledowiki.net/ offering advice on starting local wiki.

SamRose 2012-12-27 01:23 UTC

Social media is indeed the place where people are discussing social media. Maybe a small subset using some version of etherpad. Google docs (drive) have taken over where wiki once was strong. People have heard the siren song of services hosted and payed for by someone other than themselves.

I’ve gotten more into RDF/SPARQL myself, and thinking about how to incorporate that into online activity.

SamRose 2012-12-27 01:27 UTC

I did not know LocalWiki, with interesting minimalist look and interesting features (special about maps?).

Lately, people made good wikis with python (HattaWiki)

JuanmaMP 2012-12-28 14:46 UTC

Some of the discussion happened on the Facebook group, and I copied extracts to Community:SocialMedia and related pages.

AlexSchroeder 2012-12-29 23:04 UTC

# 2009-01-17 Creepy Followers

I have twice as many followers than I’m following myself. This is creepy. I will block them. Apparently some people sign up based on automatic searches, others seem to be spammers – and not just politicians but also software projects and the like, apparently. That’s not how I want to be using those microblogging services.

My current setup:

1. Send my current status to the Identica bot using Adium. I have Adium configured to run an Applescript whenever I do that.
2. The script waits a few seconds and determines the current status by checking the Identica RSS feed.
3. Then the script posts the status to Twitter using the Twitter API.
4. Then the script tells the Adium application to use the status.

Applescript for Mac OS 10.4 / Adium 1.3.1:

delay 5
set myStatus to do shell script "~/bin/identica --nick kensanata"
do shell script "~/bin/twitter " & quoted form of myStatus
repeat with theAccount in accounts
go online theAccount with message myStatus
end repeat
end tell

The script that fetches my current status:

#!/usr/bin/perl
use LWP::UserAgent;
use Getopt::Long;

my $verbose = undef; sub get_feed { my$url = shift;
my $ua = LWP::UserAgent->new; my$response = $ua->get($url);
print $response->code, ' ',$response->message, "\n" if $verbose; return$response->content if $response->is_success; die$response->code, ' ', $response->message, "\n"; } sub get_status { my$url = shift;
my $rss = new XML::RSS; my$string = get_feed($url); print$string if $verbose;$rss->parse($string); return$rss->{items}->[0]->{title};
}

sub main {
my $nick = ''; GetOptions('nick=s' => \$nick,
'verbose' => \$verbose); my$url = "http://identi.ca/$nick/rss"; warn "No nick specified.\n" unless$nick;
binmode STDOUT, ':utf8'; # I assume?
my $status = get_status($url) . "\n";
$status =~ s/^$nick: //;
print $status; } main(); The twitter status posting script: #!/bin/sh if test -z "$*"; then
echo "Status is missing" 1>&2
exit 1;
fi
CODE=curl --silent --output /dev/null --write "%{http_code}" \
--user kensanata@gmail.com:mypassword --data status="$*" \ http://twitter.com/statuses/update.xml if test "$CODE" != "200"; then
echo "$CODE: Posting failed" 1>&2 exit 1; fi Add Comment # 2008-05-14 Pidgin and Twitter I was trying to use twitter.pl from pidgin-twitterstatus according to a blog post by Daily Gian but had some problems. Here’s how I solved them. I’ve sent this stuff to the plugin maintainer; I’m not sure what he’ll do with this. Anyway… Gian says the following: 1. Install Pidgin. Done. 2. Install Perl. Done. Twice. 3. Install XML::XPath. Done. But as it turns out, not ok. 4. Launch Pidgin and check Help → About, scroll to the bottom of the page. You should see a line saying Perl: Enabled. 5. Download twitter.pl and put it into your Pidgin plugins folder. 6. Restart Pidgin and go to Tools → Plugins. There will be a new plugin named “Twitter Status Feed”. Enable it and click on Configure Plugin. Enter your twitter user name in the dialog box that pops up. 7. Done. Soon you will find that your Pidgin status bar reads the same as your last Twitted message. When I check my Pidgin About box, I see that Perl is enabled. I have a Cygwin Perl and an ActivePerl installed. When I run perl from the command line, I get Cygwin Perl. I don’t see the Twitter plugin in my list at Tools → Plugins. When I switch to C:\Program Files\Pidgin\plugins and try to run Perl on twitter.el (just to check that everything works fine) I get the following problem: C:\Program Files\Pidgin\plugins>perl -I ../perlmod twitter.pl Can't load '../perlmod/Purple.dll' for module Purple: No such file or directory at /usr/lib/perl5/5.8/cygwin/DynaLoader.pm line 230. at twitter.pl line 1 Compilation failed in require at twitter.pl line 1. BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at twitter.pl line 1.  Try again: C:\Program Files\Pidgin\plugins>set Path=C:/Perl/bin;%Path% C:\Program Files\Pidgin\plugins>perl -I ../perlmod twitter.pl Can't load '../perlmod/Purple.dll' for module Purple: load_file:The specified mo dule could not be found at C:/Perl/lib/DynaLoader.pm line 230. at twitter.pl line 1 Compilation failed in require at twitter.pl line 1. BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at twitter.pl line 1.  Plus I get a message box about failing to start because libglib-2.0-0.dll was not found. I find that Gimp comes with this library. Try again: C:\Program Files\Pidgin\plugins>set Path=C:\Program Files\GIMP-2.0\bin;%Path% C:\Program Files\Pidgin\plugins>perl -I ../perlmod twitter.pl  Same output but now I get a message box about failing to start because libpurple.dll was not found. This one comes with Pidgin! Try again, this time in the same directory as purple.dll: C:\Program Files\Pidgin>perl -I perlmod plugins\twitter.pl  Same output but now I get a message box about failing to start because perl.dll was not found. This one is in the plugins directory. Try again, adding all the paths: C:\Program Files\Pidgin\plugins>set Path=C:\Program Files\Pidgin;C:\Program Files\Pidgin\plugins;%Path%  Now we’re getting somewhere: C:\Program Files\Pidgin>perl -I perlmod plugins\twitter.pl Can't locate XML/XPath.pm in @INC (@INC contains: perlmod C:/Perl/lib C:/Perl/si te/lib .) at plugins\twitter.pl line 4. BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at plugins\twitter.pl line 4.  I probably installed XML::XPath for the other Perl installation. Using ppm3.bat to install XML-XPath and trying again… Now I finally get no output. So now I’m prepending this to my system’s Path environment variable: C:\Program Files\Pidgin;C:\Program Files\Pidgin\plugins;C:\Program Files\GIMP-2.0\bin;C:\Perl\bin And I get a Twitter Status Feed 0.1 plugin listed! I configured it by setting my Twitter name, added myself as my own buddy just to double check, waited for a minute, but apparently my latest Twitter status is not showing up. I check http://code.google.com/p/pidgin-twitterstatus/downloads/list again and find that there is a 0.2.1 version listed that doesn’t match what I downloaded. Weird. I close Pidgin, copy the new one into my plugins directory, delete the existing twitter.pl, restart Pidgin, reenable the plugin, check the configuration (my name is still there), and it works! My Pidgin status message is changed to my latest Twitter status message. Comments on 2008-05-14 Pidgin and Twitter I could add twitter in gtalk and aim without much problem. Did you try that? http://twitter.com/devices v 2008-05-14 20:52 UTC Well, I don’t use separate clients for GTalk and AIM. I use Pidgin on Windows (at work) and Adium on a Mac (at home) for all my instant messaging needs. Both are multi-protocol clients based on libpurple (formerly libgaim). AlexSchroeder 2008-05-14 22:52 UTC Apparently this no longer works with the latest Active Perl which uses 5.10 – I wasted way too much time on this other Windows box trying to get it to work. Gaaah! Also note pidgin-identica-status – which I also can’t get to work on this Windows box. Damn. After tracking down all the stuff I still get this: c:/Programme/Pidgin$ perl -I . -I perlmod plugins/identica.pl
Can't find 'boot_Purple' symbol in ./libPurple.dll
at plugins/identica.pl line 1
Compilation failed in require at plugins/identica.pl line 1.
BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at plugins/identica.pl line 1.


AlexSchroeder 2008-08-13 10:20 UTC

You can check my current status message on a website (and this post used to transclude the text back into Oddmuse again).

The status itself was sent to a Twitter Bot via GTalk, who posted it to Twitter, which got picked up by TwitterAdium and set as the status message for all my accounts in Adium, which in turn was picked up by a JabberLand bot I had added to my contact list, and included on that first page I linked to. Scary.

I’m sort of looking for the way to set all my status messages from a single place. This seems to work!

I still don’t get the Twitter craze, but perhaps I need some more friends on Twitter to appreciate “it”.

This reminds me of LJ Bot (Frank) – if you send him a message using your Talk acount, the message will turn into a LiveJournal blog post.

A long time ago I had a proof of concept using a programmable bot that did the same thing for Oddmuse.

Bots rule.

If you want to add more friends, I recommend using Twubble. It scans your friend’s freinds and lists those that occur in more than one of your friend’s lists. The idea is that if several of your friends like what they say, chances are you will to. And you know what? It works

I picked up around 100 new folks to follow using Twubble, and a fair percentage of those followed me back in return too. Which is nice. The sheer noise of 300 people actively tweeting is terrific!

GreyWulf 2008-04-22 19:06 UTC

And you didn’t think bots checking your contact lists was creepy? I guess I’m still under the influence of events in the Internet dark ages where friends discovered services that kept contact info up to date and started out by sending an email to all your contacts. That was very creepy.

AlexSchroeder 2008-04-22 19:10 UTC

That’s one of the (many) things that makes twitter so cool. When everything is public, privacy doesn’t matter.

GreyWulf 2008-04-22 19:46 UTC

Ah… I tried it and now I get it. Not creepy. Plus you’re my only friend on Twitter so Twubble doesn’t find any friends of two friends.

The creepy part is “We can check if anyone in your email contacts already has a Twitter account” – you just provide your email adress and your password… Oops!

AlexSchroeder 2008-04-22 20:13 UTC

Yeh. I’m unsure of those too. There are far too many services requesting your gmail username and password these days. In an ideal world, gmail would provide an rss feed of all your contacts. Now, that would be cool…….

GreyWulf 2008-04-22 21:51 UTC

Ok, it seems that today a friendly American idiot discovered that I have joined and is registering the feeds of a gazillion American politicians as “follower”. Twits, all of them!! If I don’t block them I’m in fact increasing their pagerank. How do I deal with this? I don’t want spammers!

AIM was great in the old days: If somebody did something annoying, the mere doing of the act enabled recipients to give you a “warning” – and that automatically prevented you from adressing anybody whose warning level was less than yours (ie. almost everybody else except for the very people that you warned instead). That meant that as long as you were polite to strangers you had zero warnings and no problems.

I don’t want to just block spammers. I want to block them and deny them the use of the service for a while. That’s true Web 2.0 Spam Protection!

AlexSchroeder 2008-04-24 21:44 UTC

Spammers are the only reason I think guns are a good idea. Them, and politicians. And old people in queues. And…. hmmm. I better stop now.

In twitter, I just ignore the spammers. They’re welcome to follow me, but I won’t do the same back so I don’t get to see what they’re trying to peddle. I don’t care if it gets their pagerank up; that’s Google’s job to fix an abuse of their system.

GreyWulf 2008-04-24 23:12 UTC

Grrr. The blocking cycle requires way too many clicks. Click on the list of followers, wait for reload, click on the block button, click on the ok button, and repeat.

AlexSchroeder 2008-04-26 08:40 UTC

Also strange: Several total strangers have started following me. One appears to be a D&D player. Another appears to be a journalist in Zürich. They have no apparent spam agenda, so I’m not blocking them.

AlexSchroeder 2008-04-26 22:58 UTC

Hi Alex, I’ve read this and checked if you are already on Twitter. Doing so, I accidently sent you an invitation by e-mail. I hope you don’t mind.

Stefan Bucher 2008-05-04 15:04 UTC

Of course not.

AlexSchroeder 2008-05-04 19:29 UTC