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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.


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Greg McVerry

Not sure how I feel about @digitalpromise taking over @edcamp....kinda the opposite goals of an unconference ie start working in credentialing and teacher prep....the entire point was old PD was broken.

Greg McVerry

@schug_dennis You, your staff, and your students are welcome to join us for @indiewebcamp NYC I see you organize fact edcamps are based on barcamps and IndieWebCamp started by co-founder of barcamp

Greg McVerry

Seven Steps to #ProSocialWeb

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

7 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 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

@ajpodchaski I did see @eddiehinkle organizing an @IndieWebCamp-Online (history note @t an founder also started barcamps..which as we know became ) I think all of us folks should go. Hit me up for deets

Our model of teaching is in Our DNA

Greg McVerry

really got its roots as @indiewebcamp when another conference in PDX didn't happen. Founder had helped to get barcamps going which in turn became edcamps. Homebrew website Club name super nerdy h/t to group of even older super nerdy dudes making stuff.

Greg McVerry

#RIPTwitter? Fanatical Fans need a better Funeral

The end of the chronological timeline means nothing for most people complaining about the change. For those who may not know last week the Internet

3 min read

The end of the chronological timeline means nothing for most people complaining about the change. For those who may not know last week the Internet blew up when rumors swirled of an algorithim based timeline over at Twitter.

It came out today. For those loudest during the protest please stop talking. You have not been to the Twiiter web applciation in years. You do not use the official Twitter app on your phone. This change is not meant for you.

In fact your home feed has been pretty much useless since 2009. You may dip your toes into the stream when you have a second, but when you follow more than a few hundred people the stream is too fast.

You should not care about changes to the Twitter Timeline because you use tools like Tweetdeck or Tweetbot. You have 37 columns open and use 13 lists of of the different "-ists" you follow.

The changes to Twitter are for new users. To those complaining have you actually tried to onboard someone to Twitter?

Twitter Onboarding. Its Hard.

I have introduced and trained literally hundreds of new users to Twitter. I can firmly say for most people the onboarding sucks and they will abandon Twitter soon. 

At and different conferences around the country I have run Twitter 101 and Twitter 102 sessions (except the year when I presented, "Why Google+ Kicks Twitter's ass a PLN" that one wrong). We take never before users and turn them from eggs into active accounts.

And we have it easy. EduTwitter comes with community baked in. There are hundreds of well established hashtags and dozens of weekly chats that occur on a regularly scheduled basis. We  tell users follow ideas not people. Ignore follower counts and find hashtags.

Now think about a normal user. Someone who saw a hashtag on the Super Bowl and wanted to jump into the conversation. They sign up in their living room. They go through the "onboarding" process provided by Twitter. Then the user is lost. They are introduced to a blank timeline or followed a few celeberties suggested by Twitter. Maybe a friend or two. 

They will log into Twitter every day but rarely Tweet. To most norms Twitter will be a source of news and entertainment and not a community platform. For these users and the future of Twitter an algorithmic timeline makes sense.

For the rest of us there is Tweetdeck.

So you want a place to direct your rage? How about the lack of a mobile Tweetdeck client. I am "forced" to use third party clients because the Twitter app is useless for power users.

Maybe that should be the point. Let an ecosystem of thrid party developers resetablish itself to support Power Users. Open up the API even further. License (and profit from) access to the full firehose. We will, just like when Twitter was created, find interesting new ways to push the boundaries of what Twitter can do.

I personally welcome the algorithmic change to Twitter mainly because I know I will never see it and it was never meant for me.


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