This was posted on pump.io, because I don’t have spigot set up, and sometimes ramble on in other places, rather than where I should (this here site).

Since we’re just chatting, and I apparently sleep like a zen monk (without any of the advantages), the thing that has been keeping me awake: I am going to build a crowd-funding platform specifically for stuff going into the commons, such as free cultural artifacts (CC-0 stuff) and FOSS projects, as well as supporting the personal lives of folks that participate in such things (replacing broken laptops, making airfare to LibrePlanet/Wikimania/wherever).

That is exciting, sure. But it is a lot of work, and I need to get org stuff in place, yadda yadda. The part that is making my brain crank is how I am going to fund ongoing web services via the clever use of perks.

Basically, I want to make services that are accessible to lots of folks, regardless of ability to pay, while also being transparent about the cost. A lot of the stuff I host isn’t open registration, in part because dealing with spammy accounts and volume is difficult to do when one isn’t offsetting the cost by being creepy (ie tracking, serving ads, selling user info, etc.). So, each web service will have an annual fund-raiser, explaining how much it is used, and aiming to to support itself for the next year. The tiered awards will include a “perk”, which is one from a list.

What are the perks? Essentially an account on some service, and different extras on subsequent choices (the latter are shown after the forward slashes).

  • A jabber account for you/for a friend
  • ownCloud account for you/for a friend, more storage
  • WordPress hosting
  • Federated social net account for you/for a friend

The idea is that those accounts are lifetime affairs, and this also makes it so once a year we can have an intake of new users for our services, making it more manageable (the other ways to get accounts will be local, in-person mentoring, special programs, stuff like that).

This way of funding and increasing usage free web services corresponds to my ideas on human scale (hey, I wrote that a almost exactly a year ago!). And the possibilities are astounding. Right now is a golden time to point out how big companies treat customers as products, and to cater to a growing number of folks that care about how theirs services are configured. It also means that I can support the free and open web by mentoring others and supporting individuals behind projects (whom I’d much prefer run updates and configure these services than myself!).

So yeah, that is why I only sleep 4 hours a night, which itself contributes to the delirious smile I wear these days. ^_^

I am having a moment of clarity, and suddenly I know what I want to do.

Some folks are disruptive and say crazy-sounding or stupid things. They shouldn’t be discounted. In my experience, there is a lot of truth in their words, it just lacks a filter to which I am accustomed. In time, it makes sense, and I am often at an advantage for listening.

I only have a handful of miniature characters, and I more often than not play without them, so it never occurred to me how awesome 3D printing them would be!

The recent Ryuutama update shows characters from its book, created by Makoto Kanetsuki. They are adorable (the samples above taken from the update), and make me want to get into minis more, especially since Clover loves playing with them, too!

Move full throttle into Live Word Oakland development, but first I’ve go to break apart my repos into blocks for easier maintenance. This should be fun! ^_^

Better UX

May 5, 2014 — Leave a comment

When all a person has used is Facebook, Facebook might seem like a good idea. It has a bunch of useful things that a person being introduced to the web may take for granted once their are no longer in awe. Sharing stories and other cultural artifacts across time and space, wrapped in gamified dopamine hits, that’s some good stuff.

Of course it obfuscates the indignity of the user experience: illusion of privacy, constant tracking, personal investment in a corporate product, and no protections from harmful events such as harassment. Doesn’t sound so great, now.

For a long time I thought that we could replace Facebook with something that worked just like it, but was built on the principals of freedom and openness that I’ve seen power my favorite parts of the web. But in the process I’ve seen truth spoken to power, and that power is by and large a behemoth of a capitalist machine that feeds itself by slurping up the most vulnerable members on the web, folks that haven’t developed their technical skills yet.

I am going to try something different, something that makes sense to me, something that I can do well, and something I think folks around just may use. Something that will respect folks, educate them, and show them an alternative to corporate-sponsored social networks and tools. Maybe it will work. ^_^

The Fantasy and Abuse of the Manipulable User, by Betsy Haibel | Model View Culture

Bad movies

April 30, 2014 — Leave a comment

In an attempt to get my schedule back to one that works for me (hypomania aside, I tend to operate best when I slept from around 3AM to noon), I’ve decided to watch movies that I don’t have to pay particularly close attention, and that I probably wouldn’t want to see with Susan.

Wikipedia has me covered: list of box office bombs. Let the bad movies begin!

I’ve been back for longer than the trip to Boston, and I am almost at jetlag zero. At the Hub insanely early in the morning, because apparently spending one day in the frozen north is enough to solidify that timezone into my brain…

California ID

April 12, 2014 — Leave a comment

My license has been expired for a couple years, now. Twice someone brought it up, but since I rarely drink and I drive even less, having a license hardly comes up. Except a week and a half ago I have a phone interview, and realized I may need to travel for a follow-up. The next day I went and stood in line at the DMV.

Turns out I need to take the written test. I was received at 4:30, the cut-off for taking the test. Since if things work out, I won’t need a driver’s license here. I asked about just an ID, which got an odd look (I suppose folks roughly twice my age are seemingly punished by “downgrading” to non-driver). I found out that the temporary ID isn’t really that, as it doesn’t have a birthdate or other identifying info; it is basically a receipt. However, a license gets a temporary piece of paper with enough info on it that hopefully I would be able to board a plane with it.

Since I would only have a temp license, but the ID would be sent in 2 – 4 weeks, I got both. More odd looks.

Less than a week later and I have been invited for an in-person interview. Sweating bullets. How much would it suck to get to the airport and not be able to fly?! Fortunately, I ran into the host on their way out from the Hub today, and they let me know I had mail… my ID arrived (just over a week later)!

It is ugly for multiple reasons. First, the new CA ID is just ugly, a weird medley of holograms and embossed lettering (my signature is raised plastic!). Presumably, it is to prevent anyone capable of copying it from doing so out of sense of aesthetic self-respect. Also, I had a sinus headache, so it is basically me trying to not look pained. My last two pics had me smiling ridiculously wide, with shiny barrettes in my hair. Meh.

But I feel very relieved. I can’t hold a lot of things in my head and and function daily, so I just think ahead to the first roadblock, and with that out of the way, now I just have to be an honest person. I have a lot of practice with that. ^_^