The Mobile Web: An Unsung Hero
The supremacy of App Store apps on mobile devices remains greatly exaggerated.
The supremacy of App Store apps on mobile devices remains greatly exaggerated.
It's taken a global pandemic for many of us to realize something profound about the web. It isn't just a technology which helps the world go around. Today, on a certain level, is IS the world.
Here I am looking like a bozo, excited about the IndieWeb Summit in #portland 2019! #openweb
Well this is something I’ve never done before! My video show “Essential Life with Jared” and my podcast “The Jared White Show” have joined forces today to bring you a special video edition of the podcast!
Higher Ground, President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s production company, will create exclusive podcasts for the streaming platform [Spotify]. Both Obamas will appear on some of the shows.
I find it utterly despicable that companies such as Spotify have taken it upon themselves to redefine the meaning of the word podcast. There is no such thing as an “exclusive podcast” because podcasts, by their very technical nature, are not exclusive and are part of the very fabric of the #openweb.
A podcast is simply an RSS feed which is downloadable from a website. The RSS feed contains items with various metadata and links to MP3 files. In theory an RSS feed could be behind some kind of HTTP auth paywall or be served via an obfuscated URL—but at the end of the day, that RSS feed can and should be playable by any podcast client.
A “podcast” that can only be played by a single client is not a podcast. That’s as absurd as somebody claiming they’ve published an “exclusive website” that’s only accessible via a single app. If the website can’t be viewed via any standard web browser on the internet, it’s not a website. If a podcast can’t be listened to via any standard podcast player on the internet, it’s not a podcast.
Spotify, and anybody else out there trying to pull a fast one like this, you do not get to redefine the terms or the technology of podcasting. They belong to the open web. They belong to us. And we won’t let you have it.
Things I’m most excited for at #Apple #WWDC 2019:
I’m currently in the process of uploading all my #vlog episodes to date to Vimeo. I’ve decided that as part of my #openweb content strategy, I’m going to post videos there and “syndicate” some of them to YouTube (and Patreon).
In this scenario, Vimeo is simply a hosting company I pay for, so ultimately the canonical home for my vlog is my own website. As it should be!
If all the people out there who complain about how “blogging/ RSS/websites/whatever” is dead and we’re all stuck with “Twitter/Facebook/whatever” — quit those services and used blogs, Mastodon, and other open web services, we’d be back to where we were before: a vibrant online content ecosystem free of aggressive corporate dominance and a data-sucking ad-tracking hellscape.
It all starts with us: we the people. Join the revolution!
Gitea is a painless self-hosted Git service. It is similar to GitHub, Bitbucket, and Gitlab. The goal of this project is to provide the easiest, fastest, and most painless way of setting up a self-hosted Git service. With Go, this can be done with an independent binary distribution across all platforms and architectures that Go supports. This support includes Linux, macOS, and Windows, on architectures like amd64, i386, ARM, PowerPC, and others.
My latest fun geek project in my ongoing quest to use self-hosted, libre #openweb apps as much as possible is installing Gitea on a DigitalOcean server. I’ve used either Bitbucket or GitHub for hosting all my code repositories (including this #website), but I’m planning to transfer them over to my own Gitea-powered server going forward. The great thing is, Netlify (which I use to publish static sites) supports custom Git servers. Simply install the SSH key they provide, add a webhook to your repository settings on Gitea, and it just works! I’m a happy camper.
A decade ago, blogging was a big deal. Web users would bookmark the sites of the blogs they liked, and would check them frequently. Sometimes you’d even subscribe to a blogger’s mailing list to be notified of a new post.
Then came Facebook, and increased centralization of content on the internet. This included sites like Medium, which aggregate and curate writers’ content, and then sell it to readers behind a paywall.
David Heinemeier Hansson’s had enough. The web developer, bestselling author and the CTO of popular project-management software company Basecamp has decided to take his popular blog, Signal v. Noise, off Medium. He’s started publishing it on his own site, for free. And yes, you can sign up for his mailing list, too.
I was very skeptical of the move to Medium when Signal v. Noise first jumped on that platform, so I’m super excited to see this classic blog from the Basecamp folks return to full independence. I love the new design as well.
Also, as someone who really, truly dislikes long tweetstorms (honestly, if you have more tweets to convey a singular thought than you can count on one hand, start a blog!), I can’t welcome this trend wholeheartedly enough.
DuckDuckGo has spent the last few years making the case that it’s the search engine that can protect your privacy, and now it’s trying to bolster that claim with a new partner: Apple. It is announcing that Apple Maps will now power its local search results on both desktop and mobile web browsers. Apple Maps will be the default provider for address and local searches, and it will also be the map you see when you click for more results. DuckDuckGo says that it will now have “improved address searches, additional visual features, enhanced satellite imagery, and continually updated maps.”
Initially this appears to benefit DuckDuckGo more than #Apple, due to the fact that you already have to be using DDG in order to utilize this feature. It’s not the kind of earth-shattering news that Apple switching the search default in iOS from Google to DDG would be. However, I feel like this is simply the opening statement of a much deeper collaboration. The relationship between Google and Apple is strained to say the least, and after this announcement about Apple and DuckDuckGo working together on search functionality, I feel much more confident in postulating that Google’s days as iOS’ default search provider is numbered.
In recent years, the story of how to make money online as a content creator has become a whole lot clearer. The answer is remarkably simple: subscriptions are eating the world.
I don’t have time to do a whole write up, so here’s the gist of it: since I’m no longer using #Facebook to share family photos, I wanted to find a way to create a password-protected photo gallery. After some research, I tried out SmugMug. It works great! For only a few dollars a month, I can upload and present photos far more beautifully than I ever could on social media, it’s secure, and it’s ad-free. Simply perfect and just in time for the holidays. Now I can email or text the link & password to family and friends, and we’re off to the races. 👍
We are Google employees and we join Amnesty International in calling on Google to cancel project Dragonfly, Google’s effort to create a censored search engine for the Chinese market that enables state surveillance.
We are among thousands of employees who have raised our voices for months. International human rights organizations and investigative reporters have also sounded the alarm, emphasizing serious human rights concerns and repeatedly calling on Google to cancel the project. So far, our leadership’s response has been unsatisfactory.
The magnitude of this statement cannot be overstated. I’ll have a lot to say about this on my podcast later this week, but at the moment, this is the biggest story in tech. I highly recommend you read through it. It’s short and it’s powerful. Well done Googlers. #privacy #politics #openweb
The “business model” (if any) and development model of Mastodon vs. App.net (may it rest in peace) is radically different…however I see them as both fulfilling the same important need on the web: aligning the goals of a social network with the needs of its community, rather than the actual paying customers of nearly all proprietary social networks: advertisers.
Mastodon is nothing without the community. And I love that.
So I’ve been on Mastodon, the #openweb federated social network, for a while now. I’ve seen it grow and grow, and lately with all the wackiness with Nazis and other unsavory characters on Twitter—combined with the mind-numbing lack of awareness on the part of Twitter’s top brass—I’m seeing a ton of “influencers” in the tech/geek crowd migrating over to Mastodon. It’s very exciting. What’s also exciting is I decided to set up my own instance of Mastodon! It’s called (oh how I love that I was able to snag this domain name): OpenWeb.social. The link above lets you see my account there, and you’re welcome to sign up on the instance if you want to try out Mastodon yourself. I’ll be happy to show you around!