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22/03/2021

2021/03/22#p1
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Good morning.

I realised last night that I hadn't cross off a few days on the challenge sheet and couldn't work out where I was. I've written something every day but just not marked it as done. I had to go back to my post on the 8th when I completed the first sheet just so I could count forward from there.

I looked at my notes for chapter 10 before work this morning but couldn't bring myself to actually do anything with them — I'll need to find some time later today to get some words down.

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2021/03/22#p2
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I remarked to my family that yesterday was Twitter's fifteenth birthday, or at least the fifteenth anniversary of Jack Dorsey's first tweet. Some, however, contest that it should really be 15th July when the site actually went live and that Dorsey's tweet was like a baby kicking in the womb. Is this going to be like the Queen having two birthdays — her actual birthday in April then the official celebration in June?

After my saying something dismissive like "oh well, good for them" my daughter replied "you used to love Twitter!" It's true, I did. I wrote on numerous occasions in the early years how I could elder Twitter's potential very early on. I joined in December 2006 and by early 2007 was already posting links to my blog — I knew it would be a good means of distribution and a facilitator of conversation.

Sadly, Twitter made a lot of poor choices, at least in my opinion, and were exceptionally slow to innovate and build on what they had with too many false starts and changes of direction when they did decide to act. There were many times when the next move(s) seemed blindingly obvious but the Twitter powers that be were just blind, focusing solely on MAUs and ads rather than actual, useful functionality.

Still, ask a hundred people what they want a service to do and you'll get a hundred different answers. I'm not saying that my ideas were inherently better than anyone else's but, as far as I was concerned, they made sense and fit with how the company was trying to position itself. I suppose I became jaded which is why I placed so much focus on to Google+ when that launched. The damage had already been done so, when things started to get toxic, it was relatively easy for me to say "enough!" and quit.

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2021/03/22#p3
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Liked: blogging and the blogosphere – Snakes and Ladders...

"blogging, when done in this fashion and in this spirit, is also seriously dialogical, and I think there is a close connection between a dialogue-friendly medium and a forgiving medium" 1

I have enjoyed watching this "conversation" unfold and, once again, am reminded of the good old days when such blog-based dialogue used to be commonplace.

Alan's thoughts on vendoring as opposed to dependencies (also part of this dialogue and riffing on the topic as relates to coding) are interesting so allow me to reframe for blogging purposes:

When you vendor someone's words, instead of making a link to point to that external post, you copy those words directly into your own post ... You become responsible for them ... If you are willing to take on that responsibility then you really get to know that person's thoughts and may incorporate them into your post and also into your thinking.

This is obviously not recommending we plagiarise the words of others but that we quote them and take them to heart, build on them, imbue them with fresh insight and opinion.

Open source code relies on the giving of attribution when re-used — the same goes for blogging. A link to a post, sending someone away from your own post to read something else, acts just like a software dependency, the difference is that you have no guarantee of them actually coming back. That's why blogging is this hybrid beast where we do both.

Sometimes we are generous with our words and our time wanting nothing more than to point others towards the work of someone else, we link freely and expect nothing. Other times we must be a little more reserved, maybe even selfish, with an emphasis on quoting, so that our writing can be consumed as a whole without the distraction of making remote calls.

There is no truly right way to blog but there is a best way, one that connects our words to those of others, that shares as much as it borrows such that we are all the richer for it.


  1. see Austin Kleon's post Blogging as a forgiving medium that I have also mentioned before 

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2021/03/22#p4
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Although I haven't gone back to look at comment webmentions again (I'm going to let my thoughts on that ferment for a while) I did decide to make the replies to comments feature live. It's still only one layer deep but it's better than nothing and, at least, allows a bit of structure.

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cdevroe says:Reply to cdevroe

@colinwalker I saw this and thought “isn't he using WordPress?” I went to your Colophon and was immediately corrected on the matter! :)

colinwalker says:Reply to colinwalker

@cdevroe Not for a while now 😉 I have to work this all out for myself now instead of using plugins.

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2021/03/22#p5
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I know I said I was going to let this ferment ... but ... I just looked at the old WordPress Webmention for Comments again (which has since been absorbed into the main webmentions plugin) and it suddenly dawned on me how it works. The plugin sets up a comment pseudo-page which is checked by a remote endpoint but auto-redirects to the actual comment in situ. I was trying to do it all in place.

Sneaky!

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Colin Walker
Colophon. Content: CC BY-NC 2.0 UK
Colin Walker Colin Walker colin@colinwalker.blog