Twitter is all but dead for me now, I’ve been fed up and rarely even look at it. However over the last week, the API change just put the last nail in the coffin for me. Last time they did similar I was close to leaving back then.
Its clear the owner and business model has decimated this microblogging platform and its time to leave it alone. Decided not to leave only because like a few other web platform, I hold on to the user cubicgarden and ianforrester just incase.
Mastodon is part of the Fediverse, the fediverse is a number of different interlinking services using the W3C’s ActivityPub as the interlinking protocol. There has been a bunch of news stories which have highlighted this which is good, but too few are and think of Mastodon as a straight replacement without all the things which make it different.
I have seen a bunch of complaints including too much choice in which instance to join. There is a bunch of reasons why this makes sense including more robustness to take over, but I’m more interested in the fact there is friction.
Friction to encourage people to slow down, think and act with some agency. Yes its painful when you are use to frictionless centralised services which happily lead you down a path which suits their business model. Having to actually read the rules of the instances/servers, what’s not/allowed, whats the manners, etc. Is important and makes for a better solution than everyone must abide by one rules. We already know scale is the enemy of humanity (well thats my thoughts) and the fediverse allows for things I personally find vaguer and distasteful if you look for it. But also delightful things which can be joyful if you look for it.
Verification is free but you need to do some work, each instance and service will have different ways to support this. For example some of the scholar ones require you to link to different papers you have written. Others might need much more. Generally its done via the Microformats & W3C’s rel=”me”.
Get use to the email like username, its super clear who you mean. Get out of the twitter mindset.
I was so fed up of Google’s lack of real support for its tasks system, that I packed it up and went for the todo.txt system. Its simple, works well and found it works for most of my systems (Android, Linux, etc)
However in recent times I found the syncing between systems painful. At one point it was so out of sync I got so fed up and recently moved to todolist. Seems I’m not the only one… The clients sleek, todo.txt android, markor and even a plugin for Joplin; were doing strange things on top of Google Drive (I did try Dropbox too, but sync on Android needs a kick up to make it sync). Even considered using Syncthing but using Android when less things eating batteries as better, decided against it.
After looking at my options it was todolist, which at least has a reasonable free option. I also consider installing a CalDav server on the NAS or Yunohost behind my VPN. But decided I really don’t need the headache.
Of course I left myself outs, with some of the clients including Planner, which supports CalDav. Todo.txt has potential. Something to look into again in a few months maybe.
Recently scheduled messaging was enabled on the desktop app, which is wonderful for someone who schedules a lot. However I did an upgrade on my Pixel 6 phone recently and found Beeper had the option to finally send messages to all contacts (previously you couldn’t start new conversations). Only a few days later there was the option to make beeper the default SMS app. Before this, there was a bridge option which worked but this is so much better.
With Beeper as my default client for almost everything, something strange started happening.
I have found myself forgetting which network is transporting the message. Which means I’m forgetting the limitations of each network but also which one a certain person contacted me on. Luckily Beeper has got a fantastic search meaning I don’t need to worry. Of course most instant messaging apps have this but when you add the likes of FB, Slack, Twitter, Linkedin, Discord direct/msgs. Then you got something useful, but also on the desktop too making it all very useful.
I never really used Linkedin for messages but its actually quite useful, just like Twitter direct messages. It would be great to have Mastodon messaging too. Maybe this is why I need to run it myself.
I am super skeptical of any new social network claiming to be more ethical.
These days social media seems to be full of pictures that have been filtered, photoshopped or altered in some other way. But that’s not the case with BeReal, which is all about sharing an unaltered snapshot of your life in real time.
That means no filters, no editing, just an authentic look at what users are doing at any given moment. Wrinkles, messy hair, smudged makeup (assuming you’re wearing any at all) is all on show for your followers to see. The real you, in other words.
Its a interesting idea but I do wondering about the public shaming and nudging part of the app to get you to post on the app’s schedule. Something to consider…
After the long wait and some wonder if anything was going to happen. On Monday I got my invite to join a very small number of people on Beeper.
I am impressed…
I thought I had a blog post about Beeper but I didn’t write one. So in short this picture sums up Beeper in one go.
Imagine if you could use one client to access all these different networks, but unlike pidgin or trillian which needs software plugins to connect to them all. Beeper is actually a Matrix client which connects to specific Matrix bridges (server based, instead of client based) to other messaging networks.
Matrix is open source and you can run it on your own infrastructure (we will get back to that soon). You can even install your own bridges.
In short Beeper is the Matrix dream in a managed service which you pay $10 a month. You can self host it and its something I may do after a while but right now I’m happy to give some money to get use to things
First thing I did is install the appimage for Linux, set it up using the code I had received via email. Then setup a few networks. Within a few minutes I was replying to friends
I tested Slack using Storyteller United and was quite impressed, although I ended up disabling it due to the amount of channels and how busy the slack can be.
I may enable it again for a few slacks I am part of but don’t want the whole of slack on. Currently I have the Slack app on my laptop and work phone but I like the idea of the messaging parts without the heavy slack app.
I noticed you can input Gifs, emoji’s, attachments, etc in almost every single message in a unified way. I haven’t hooked up my SMS yet (mainly because there is no RCS bridge yet which I would miss). I also would like to see scheduling as I’m so use to it now.
Of course the phone interface for beeper is similar, Gif and all. You can use the unified inbox which puts everything in one timeline. The spaces cuts everything by network.
To be frank, Beeper is impressive and if I could change a few things they would be.the ability to have multiple accounts. For example I would love to be able to finally have one client for the multiple Signal accounts (I have one for my personal and work mobiles). This might be a limitation of Signal, but it would be great if I could spin up 2 bridges. I say this as I added 2 slack accounts and could add more with ease.
Right now Beeper is very much work in progress, but its got most of the key features. I don’t feel like I have fully added the networks yet as I hold on to apps like Android messages due to RCS and scheduled messages. I could add Twitter and Discord but I’m quite happy with my Mastodon clients and cross posting to Twitter. Although I might hook up my ianforrester account on twitter just to see what its like in beeper. I even consider setting up Telegram, i-message, etc accounts just because I can now without the stress.
, meaning when I finally hooked up Android messages, I can still send scheduled messages and RCS from the app. But reply and send general messages from Beeper.
The network diagram at the very top is actually slight wrong because Beeper sits within the Matrix network and once I understood this via the support channel. It became clear I could easily share things between all my mobiles and laptop with ease. Bit like how I use Signal’s personal space/notes to yourself. I haven’t tried connecting to any of the Matrix systems I’m part of like publicspaces, sdeps or redecentralise. But I’ll give it a try over the next few days.
I like Beeper, but do long to setup my own bridges in a docker container or rasberrypi in the near future. Is 10$ a month quite a bit expensive for this? Maybe but only because I am still getting use to it and not fully using it. I think if I was using it for everything, 10$ a month would great value. Its a good business model, as most won’t or can’t run their own bridge server. (I have already looked to see if Yuno host has support or not)
I look forward to the regular updates and seeing it mature into something unique.
Funny enough I heard Beeper on Twit.TV’s all about android too. The person who wrote in didn’t blur any of his conversations and contacts which I would say is super brave or not thinking things fully through? However its interesting to see someone else also using Beeper and the reaction to it from people not fully aware of
The other day a good friend mentioned a birthday invite to me. I was confused, I knew it was their birthday but it wasn’t clear what they were talking about as I asked what they were going to do in UK lockdown number 3.
The key seems to be getting access to the old facebook page, which I have tried and tried to get access to, but can not get anymore.
This means all my friends who invited me to events and all my volleyball events will no longer appear on my calendar, unless I see it then export it as a ical. I always thought of Facebook as a massive walled garden but this is getting stupid.
The reasons to be on Facebook just got a lot closer to zero!
Obviously in the middle of a pandemic, it would be a awful idea to bring together a bunch of people from different households to spend 2 days and a night together. Lucky as we all are, we have the internet.
The bright sparks running BarCampManchester decided it could work online and they made it happen with some custom coding for the session wall and a clever setup of Discord.
I haven’t been a fan of discord but was surprised once I downloaded the Flatpak version for Linux, how effective it was. Before long I was barcamp as usual. Except I had some things I needed to do in the morning. I left a note saying save me a spot on the session wall, knowing how they fill up in the afternoon. Chris pointed out, its all virtual, it would be trivial to create another space/room. Of course I mistakenly was thinking with my physical brain, welcome to the virtual. It was like Eames in inception to Arthur
You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.
Once back I threw myself in with a number of other people not just from Manchester but around the UK. Why limit yourself to just Manchester right? Old friends showed up and we had a good old natter. The sessions were good and even ran a couple myself (one about adaptive podcasting and the other about my gratitude habit).
Of course at the end after the end talk, some diabolo time, some food and a catch up with my family. There was still enough people to play werewolf on werewolv.es with discord.
I got to say it was all good, ok its not going to beat a physical in person barcamp but once I got use to discord it worked quite well. I enjoyed it and as potentially we are looking at another 12-18 months of this pandemic, this could potentially be a good community way to run barcamp.
There was talk about a BarCampManchester11 during winter and if there was, I certainly would get a ticket and make sure theres nothing clashing. Its tricky for sponsorship but I was thinking maybe if people paid between £2-10 maybe that could really help if you were able to get upwards of 50-100 people? This could be done with Eventbrite too, making things less friction.
Could you run a conference this way? Potentially but it would depend on what kind of conference. Good luck getting the public to install discord I would think.
Because of this I’m switching away from Gmail and deleting lots of archived emails. I’m also going to start using encryption more with google drive. I have been a bit lazy with this all, weighing up the balance of convenience and effort. Google provide a lot of useful things to me, but I think its time to move some more critical parts way, starting with email.
We recently fixed a vulnerability within Twitter for Android that could allow a bad actor to see nonpublic account information or to control your account (i.e., send Tweets or Direct Messages). Prior to the fix, through a complicated process involving the insertion of malicious code into restricted storage areas of the Twitter app, it may have been possible for a bad actor to access information (e.g., Direct Messages, protected Tweets, location information) from the app.
We don’t have evidence that malicious code was inserted into the app or that this vulnerability was exploited, but we can’t be completely sure so we are taking extra caution.
We have taken steps to fix this issue and are directly notifying people who could have been exposed to this vulnerability either through the Twitter app or by email with specific instructions to keep them safe. These instructions vary based on what versions of Android and Twitter for Android people are using. We recommend that people follow these instructions as soon as possible. If you are unsure about what to do, update to the latest version of Twitter for Android. This issue did not impact Twitter for iOS.
We’re sorry this happened and will keep working to keep your information secure on Twitter. You can reach out to our Office of Data Protection through this form to request information regarding your account security.
Jack talks a good game about a decentralised twitter but lets be honest, its not going to truly happen. Their company interests are too tightly wound up in this all. Of course theres already standards for this, just that twitter refuse to support micropub, activitypub, etc… Rosemary mentions this on a twit recently.
Then today I saw there is a fork of Corebird called Cawbird. I installed it and its working (currently). However I don’t trust Twitter to not mess with things making it impossible for such a linux app to work without constant changes.
Talking about desperate, I happened to see this in my newsfeed. I usually don’t look at my newsfeed at all but something has happened with a friend which means I had to browse a bit (don’t worry it won’t become a habit).
Facebook is so full of crap, and stuff like this confirms it to me. Facebook couldn’t give a flying crap about me spending time with friends and family. I was so insulted by this notice I almost laughed out loud.
I almost wanted to look around to see what other treats (nonsense) they had planned for a user who gets in and gets out; only looking at a few groups for events. But theres so much more important things to get angry about right now.