Jared White
Expressively Publishing on the Open Web Since 1996

All About Jared
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#openweb


Jared White

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!
#openweb

Jared White

Gitea - Git with a cup of tea

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.

Jared White

Move over, Facebook and Twitter: it's time to bring back the blog

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.

#writing #openweb

Jared White

DuckDuckGo will use Apple Maps for local searches on the web

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.
#openweb #privacy

Jared White

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. 👍
#openweb #lifehacks

Jared White

We are Google employees. Google must drop Dragonfly.

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

Jared White

@jared@openweb.social on Mastodon

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!

Jared White

Big news! I purchased the domain name openweb.social, which I’m simply thrilled was still available. I’m mulling over a few ideas of what to do with it. One possibility is that I’ll install Mastodon to power a new #openweb themed social network where people can discuss building a better community of content publishing and engagement via open protocols.

Another possibility that I’m just starting to tinker with is starting a what-if #website that deep-dives into the question of what it would take for #Facebook to adopt open protocols. What if you could take your “social graph” to another service (even one you built yourself!) and post content there, and your Facebook friends could still see your posts? And you’d still see your friends’ Facebook posts and even reply to them? It would make social networking more akin to email, where all email clients and servers are compatible even though they’re run by different companies and on different infrastructure.

Got any thoughts? Just click Message above (or reply to this email if you’re reading my newsletter) and let me know what you think I should do with openweb.social!

Jared White

‪It dawned on me today that I’ve been writing for and publishing on the #openweb — aka blogging — for 22 years now. I literally started when I was 13.

While the underlying technologies, as well as the ways that content gets disseminated, has changed dramatically over the decades, I feel like the magic and the promise of the web and what it enables for humanity is as exciting and amazing as it ever was.

It’s also as important to cherish and protect now as it ever was. We must resist the temptation to cede control over to a few large corporations, media conglomerates, and governments. The web flourishes only in its diversity, and it advances only because of innovation from countless numbers of creative individuals.

Jared White

Don’t forget, next week’s podcast episode is all about Share ‘n’ Tell — specifically, I’ll be sharing YOUR stories about when and how you first encountered the World-Wide Web. Just email me (jared at jaredwhite dot com) and include your first name and optionally your website, and provide a paragraph or two about what you found inspiring or amazing (or confusing!) about the web when it was first introduced to you. I’ll be sharing my “origin story” as well, so it’ll be quite a fun episode about the history of the #openweb!

Jared White

Interview with Dave Winer on the Open Web, Blogging, and More

Dave Winer has been called the godfather of a lot of things. The godfather of blogging. The Godfather of Podcasting. One of the key people involved in the development of RSS. But as you’ll hear in this great and wide ranging chat, Dave Winer is just a software developer who has never stopped tinkering, never lost his interest in coming up with new tools and new technologies.

If you’re around web publishing or general online news or blog-related tech long enough, Dave Winer is a name that keeps popping up. He’s been a strong proponent of the #openweb and highly skeptical of proprietary networks such as #Facebook long before it became fashionable to do so (like right now, apparently). I think a few years from now when we look back at the evolution of news and of the web, we’ll realize that the concepts underlying RSS (and hence blogging and podcasting ) were far more powerful, more useful, and more resiliant to commercial attacks than we’ve given them credit for.




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