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My quick thoughts, back stage, and rants as I try to Teach kids about the Web while learning how to help others build a better Web.

IndieWebRing

Come Journey Through the IndieWeb Sites

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Greg McVerry

We can move the webring to clmooc.com...technically everyone has already joined it. You folks welcome to use the site in anyway you would use a multiuser WordPress site.

My dream are bunch of creative tools that allow you to publish to your own site and/or a hub. Like @bryanmatthers @visualthinkery remixer but with micropub built in

Greg McVerry

@jgmac1106 meant this the other way around the people and not the platform matter, doesn't matter what hammer you choose to build your house, but it will always be better with your neighbors help.

Greg McVerry

@ggevalt @dogtrax you know my opinion, communities need platforms and not people, there is no need to build a new destination just help support artist and writers crafting their own space and then we network together.

Greg McVerry

@Eclectic_GRITS Check out the hashtags and bunch of us poets hang out there,

Greg McVerry

@ncte @AmyEmnett @@DrLisaPelkey5 If you are into creative writing, poetry, art, photography and all the ways to make meaning check out and our web ring https://clmoocring.jgregorymcverry.com

Greg McVerry

Seven Steps to #ProSocialWeb

6 min read

1. Begin with You

Ghandi never said "Be the change..." still doesn't mean it ain't great advice. We need to be the web we want to see.1 

In fact in  my recent efforts into (my approach to getting at ) I have focused on the words of another Yogi (correctly attributed) 

Change yourself and you have done your part in the changing the the world. Every individual must change [their] own life if they want to live in a peaceful world. Paramahansa Yogananda

The web is no different. Be pro-social if you want the web to be pro-social.

I also think beginning with you in terms of learning goals strengthens the . When you have shared goals with others in your network people learn. Humanity always worked this way.

The web is no different. Constantly model learning and reflection. Ask for help when needed and offer when asked.


YOU! flickr photo by Marcy Leigh shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

2. Create Innovation Systems

Recently I have focused my efforts on the idea of innovation systems. I remixed this concept remixed from those who take an ecological viewpoint of sociotechnical systems

According to Freeman (1987) Innovation Systems are “networks of institutions, public or private, whose activities and interactions initiate, import, modify, and diffuse new technologies.” This is usually towards a shared goal.

Massive corporate powers have quickly created market-based systems. I am not one to think these goals are diametrically opposed to (but some do) yet they are different. The goal of a corporation is the stock price. In fact in the United States it is a legal obligation for corporations to focus on profits. Sometimes, often, people suffer.

The web is no different. We need to focus on change but this change occurs at the system level only after a swelling at the agent level.


Climate Change flickr photo by garlandcannon shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

3. Use What You Build

The will only thrive when you have your own space online that you control, preferably from your own domain. The silos built for the masses and the web suffered.

I'd rather have a tent in the fields I own than rent a room is a Castle with someone else's rules....where I toil all day for someone else to profit.

Also something happens when you write from your own place. Folks are not as willing to write graffiti on their own house or shout profanities from their door step. But is more than that. People find an immersive joy in owning and shaping their own truth.

The web is no different. These tools and ways of being exist. Step one in a web is to build out your personal cyberinfrastructure. 

You will never know all the tech and we should never expect people to do the same. Instead, we want folks to know what they do not know and then how to go out and ask the right people to learn it. What Castells and Cardoza called "self programmable learners"

The web is no different. You have a goal and want to learn something just get a website or blog and start documenting the journey.

If you need help just ask us.


workshop flickr photo by martingautron.com shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

4. Keep it Purpose Driven

Find your niche and you can find your community. For many of us we hang in academic spaces or creative writing spaces ike and . Our crew, our people, our tribe.

A shared purpose unites us and this aligns with our personal goals. 

The web is no different. Network around ideas and not people.


2010113-purpose flickr photo by Chris Piascik shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

5. Focus on Diversity and Inclusion

Many find controlling and owning your space online to beyond their means "in financial cost, ability, time, and confidence."

This has always been the case with literacy. I consider literacy to be one of the great equalizers in society (up there with birth control, suffrage, expanding markets, and open borders). We need to fight for basic web literacy as a human right. A means not building FOR the most vulnerable but building WITH everyone to ensure we do not recreate the past.

Silos provide both a haven and a hell for marginalized people. When the web was born people did their identity work building the web. Now, this identity work gets sold back to us.

When we claim we can not "do tech" in communities of color or expectations of owning your content do not recognize historical inequities we end up reinforcing these equities.  

We simply can not name the problem. We must actively work to solve the issue.

Yet even today the Open Source community is the whitest and most male of the tech sector. We can not fix this in the board room or through outreach. Efforts must begin in the classroom and the community. This is where always developed

The web is no different. Make the "Community the Curriculum." We must focus on web literacy across the globe. The time is now. 

This why I think the is more local than decentralized. I keep putting in grants to bring and to local schools and libraries....where we always taught literacy.


Rainbow flickr photo by Michael M Stokes shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

6 Go gLocal

Not sure where @wiobyrne got the idea or who he lifted the meaning from but the has strong local nodes (like Antogonish) and these Local networks connect to a much bigger global one. Either with direct relationships or as allies. Go gLocal Ian says.

Creative Commons is trying this approach right now. Mozilla tried with Clubs but looked for VC like growth overnight, their more successful Reps programs and Firefox contributors, in general, reflect a gLocal approach. IndieWeb has been running camps for nine years with minimal funding.

EdCamps, as an innovation system may represent the best model. 100s of camps occur each year and 1,000s of teachers get connected

The Web is no different. Build strong local groups connected to a global movement. 


It's our world too... flickr photo by tim ellis shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

7. Post Positive 

We all struggle with what to write. The tyranny of the blank screen can drive many into the welcoming arms of social silos. Yet the simplest way to support a is to Post Positive

Be a good person. Say nice things. Document the good you and others do. The lesson we learned in preschool can still teach us much.

The web is no different.


A Balance of Healthy Words flickr photo by Carol (vanhookc) shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

1. h/t to Tantek for pointing out the misattribution of Ghandi and sending me into a months long rabbit hole into famous misquotes.

2 To read more check out the hashtags , , and  .

Syndicated to Indie News

Greg McVerry

@tutormentorteam @nomadwarmachine I see you joined the site but do not see you joined the werbring. Once you joined the site you should be able to click "join" on the web ring and add yourself.

Greg McVerry

Hey and check out these poetry tools: https://www.poetrygames.org/poetry-machine/

Greg McVerry

@nomadwarmachine if there is an official twitter account we can connect https://clmoocring.jgregorymcverry.com to it and then send out Tweets from the web ring. Not sure who controls https://clmooc.om but we can easily move the ring to a subdomain off main one

Greg McVerry

Why I chose Known over WordPress #IndieWeb

6 min read


Creative Growth 2013 Home show and fashion show (72) flickr photo by origamiguy1971 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Plurality stitches a beautiful quilt of complex choices, and each person adds their own unique spin on the  . As long as you wrap yourself in the warmth of building blocks you sew together new connections free of corporate control.

So the correct answer will always remain the one you choose. For me Known provided the solution to my path.

Personal Growth

I am beginning to look at spaces like as an innovation system. Change can only occur with a constant focus on personal growth and learning through agentive apprenticeships.

Recently I moved on from WordPress to Known on my path. This continued my growth as I began to spin up sites on  my school's CMS blogging as a teacher from 2002-2006. I then picked up the patterns of commercial blogging and went to Blogger in 2007.  Then in 2013 I began to weave meaning on WordPress, and then started on Known in 2015.

At first I kept a WordPress as my canonical "digital hub" and just spun up Known instances for different identities like CLMOOC and .

In fact, if you include all my kids' websites I am currently running thirteen instances of Known.

But really it came down to WordPress making it too hard for me to things I knew were quite simple to do in HTML. So I decided to throw up a few static pages on the canonical url https://jgregorymcverry.com and then use Known as my social stream of thought. 

I loved what WordPress enabled me to do but felt to constricted. I wanted to rip off the warmth of such a robust CMS and see how I could do on my own. 

Some Drawbacks

I still get annoyed sometimes at Known for making things complicated. It is a powerful CMS and over time I will probably fold some functionality into my main website but this provides a nice bridge for my knowledge growth.

Known works better on the IndieWeb than WordPress out of the box but it is a really hard box to open. Currently installing and updating Known takes specialized knowledge but plenty of us to help each other learn. Still, if the idea of GitHub, Terminal, Databases scare you then go with WordPress. 

The most friction-free WordPress approach is SemPress. You add that, Classic Editor, IndieWeb plugins and good to go. Everything will auto update.

I still add a page builder on top to get the visual control of pages I want (see main reason I left WordPress I want to control my design). 

How I Roll

It's not just the technical. Known fits my personal goals for growth as a writer and teacher. Out of all the tools out there it makes the best system for a Common Place Book. I set up to-do list, a , have private, public, and member-only posting. The syndication to Twitter works for now (eventually I assume Twitter pulls the plug on all the POSSE fun). 

If you want a private social network (multiuser breaks some functionality around logging in with your own Domain) it is still the best CMS out there. I have really only one question I use when judging my pre-service teachers, "Do I want my kid in your class?" I use Known with all three of my children (6, 7, 10). Known fits the way I teach. I have used Known in the classroom since 2014-2015.

Some Drawbacks

It doesn't always fit my mobile lifestyle. Mainly because of the way TinyMCE, the what you see what you get editor,  is styled, but this is fixable. I need access to source code. 

The status updates have some awesome features that auto converting hashtags and unfurling links but this also means HTML gets sanitized or ignored. Sometimes I just need a box to enter HTML. The current status update doesn't allow this and this messes up some micropub clients. 

Governance Model

Known also has a governance model more aligned to what I want in open source. I love what WordPress does for the web but in the end the ultimate direction of the project relies on a "benevolent dictator for life" model of leadership with Automattic sitting at the top.

This has created great sustainability but just not my style.

Some Drawbacks

Known is now just transferring to an open collective. Who knows what will happen. Still this excites I think we need new economic in the public space.

No structure exists, beyond IRC/Slack for quality control of community plugins. Many malfunction (especially the ones I build).

Predictable and Interesting Road Map

Known has a strong commitment to only using open APIs and protocols. They publish and share the roadmap. I can reliably predict when features get added and bugs squashed. 

I may not know that with WordPress. The WordPress community relies heavily on committed volunteers. The upcoming changes to WordPress as it restructures will require some major retooling. Seemed like a good time to jump ship.

Some Drawbacks

Like WordPress Known development relies primarily on two people: Marcus Povey and Ben Werdmüller but an Open Collective was created and support has started to trickle in. New community members have created plug-ins and PRs.

I am seeing a ton of folks start to spin up a site. Who knows maybe all those who have the PHP  experience and feel abandoned by WordPress may find Known an attractive home.

Choose Your Path

For me means to own your content and control your data, preferably on your own Domain. Everything else after that is extra and a deeply personal choice. 

You can not go wrong with WordPress or Known or so many of the other new blogging tools that include the building blocks to connect to the modern social web. 

 

CLMOOC

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