Archives For StatusNet

Capturing knowledge

October 27, 2013 — Leave a comment

I like some buzz terms and phrases. Some just resonate with me, even if they turn out to be hyperbole. In fact, I think it is important to hold on to them even when the implementation isn’t what I thought it could be. Federated social network. Information worker. Knowledge capturing.

That last one is what keeps me reading on when I browse the feature list of proprietary wikae products. They are these monstrosities that include a wiki, code repo, mailing list, blah blah blah. But they claim that it will help your group/tribe/community/company capture knowledge.

For me, it conjures up ideas of AI learning how people write, and creating well-formatted documents that are linked in a sane way. But it really means search boxes or copy/paste buttons.

I don’t have an AI, or a lab to make one. But I do have the passion of an editor, someone who sees communication and often thinks it could be presented better. My analytics for the year is a testament to that: most traffic was generated from folks trying to set the hostname in Fedora 18, find Rackspace’s DNS nameservers, configure the folders in k9mail, and anything about ownCloud. I write to be helpful, and for my reference, but also because I like answering questions that are asked over and over again.

One of the missing features in those knowledge management systems is an incentive for people to use them. Sure, if your only channel for offering support is through your ticketing/forum/live chat thing, they you may think people like using it. They don’t. I hate you for it. So what would that feature be? Facebook. Or Twitter, maybe.

There was hope that StatusNet (the company) would figure out how to navigate the corporate communications waters, but that seems like a mess that we should just let die (it runs in the face of radical transparency, anyhow).

Obviously I don’t endorse those social networks. They are crap. But if I wanted to compete with those other corporate services, I would build a Facebook app that could turn a wall message (or whatever they are called) into a group/public editable page.

And that is what I am going to try as an experiment, in a smaller capacity that Facebook, but still large enough to be interesting and valuable to me.

Sunset on Denotes

July 16, 2013 — 2 Comments

This is the message I sent to Denotes users, posting here as well.

Heya folks. I am shutting off in a month or so. switched to software, and has mostly punched a huge hole in the StatusNet community, and I don’t think it will recover. Meh.

I could deal with that, since I love running me some software, but I just received notice from another site admin with a security patch. The driving force behind StatusNet was Evan, and since all his energy is behind now, we don’t have a centralized way to push out security patches (since I sent this email out Evan patched the code, so I was just confused by getting a message from the person that created the patch). That is too much of an expense to run software that I am not going to actively use.

It was a good run. I will help anyone get their content exported, if they want.

I am not giving up on a federated social network, but I am changing how I think it should be done. In the coming months I will lay out how I think WordPress could be the platform that folks could use for their public social network needs. Fortunately I don’t have time to just lay it out, because work is plentiful! ^_^

Feel free to ping me if you have any questions.


June 13, 2013 — Leave a comment

Updated to PuSHPress, networks-wide. That means we has a PuSH hub built-in, and services can use your normal feed (i.e. to subscribe. This functionality had either been broken in past versions, or didn’t work on a WordPress network, but now it is working. I am using it to mirror this site into my StatusNet account.

Eventually I am planning on getting the parts of OStatus working that allows for replying directly to the site, but even more interesting is resurrecting some of the plugins that the OStatus suite was based on, and making WordPress talk to a lot of different federated systems. Of course we still don’t have an interface for reading the streams from other systems… but it isn’t a bad idea!

I think PuSHPress is working correctly, which means this should be push from my WordPress site to StatusNet.

Federation is hard

February 4, 2013 — Leave a comment

Federation is hard. Especially on the social web.

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Thinking in wiki

December 30, 2012 — 2 Comments

I’ve been really into wikae lately, as is apparent by how much I written about it. A wiki is a particular set of features and workflows, and it has its own mindset.

I am thinking in wiki.

This site is becoming more of a journal, where my posts are either about flash in the pan events, or part of longer thought out articulations. The frequency of posts has gone down, because I am doing more mind-mapping in other places, like text files in git repos, and in various wikae.

It has brought a few things to light for me, about how I write, and what I am trying to create. Here are a few examples:

  • Temporality – A lot of the things (most?) I blog about are not important to me after a few months. That means I have old announcement posts and tons of broken links that have no value, but I keep them to provide temporal context. I am not convinced it is that useful.
  • Anti/Social – I think blogging is very important, but it does bother me that blogs are essentially silos. This isn’t really a critique, just that instead of loading up blogs with like buttons and allowing people to leave comments with their social network credentials, it is probably more worthwhile for the majority of bloggers to assess what collaboration looks like for them.
  • Our tools are aging – The software that runs some of the most important spaces on the web, like MediaWiki and WordPress, were developed a long time ago. It is easy to find feature requests from years ago, still being pleaded for. Again, not a critique, just an observation of what popularity does to software, and how dominance affects the culture and motives of the community that supports it.

These aren’t new, obviously. It is just me glancing at the gap between two software projects/workflows (WordPress/blogging and MediaWiki/wiki). Then I think about StatusNet, and how it looks like it could be practically abandoned for other projects. In one sense, that is a bummer, and I’ve invested a lot of time in it. On the other hand, maybe it isn’t so bad for things to get torn down and built back up, especially considering the transient nature of status updates, almost all of which are unimportant to me a few days afterward.

I’ve really pushed MediaWiki hard in the last couple of months. I’ve bumped up against a lot of walls, and some of them stopped me. But overall, I am happy with the result, which is a system to collaborate with those that want to, and a relatively decent way to create bodies of useful content. I am rushing as fast as I can to configure all the extensions I think I will need, so I can eventually just focus on creating. That will be the real test.

I think that instead of running my own StatusNet instance, I am just going to use instead.

Diaspora didn’t have a clear problem to solve. Who else is working on something like this?

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I am sure # will have something in place. I know "favorite-ing" things federates across #, so that might happen! And also, I love eir crafty eyes! ^_^

I would like to see more development on very specific parts of # I want to make it less enterprise, and encourage people to make more micro-apps. And getting export/import working would be dope. Where do we start? Is there an org out there that we can tap for crowd-funding specific improvements? I don’t code, so I don’t know how projects work that out. But I am willing to try!