1. for a twitter bot: snarky sarcastic favstar

    “Looks like 5 people ★ed your tweet. That’s, like, the most anyone’s ever ★ed one of your tweets. IT’S DOWNHILL ALL THE WAY FROM HERE”

    “Congratulations on your 10★ tweet. Bet you feel real big about that”

    “Your tweet got to 15★! Here’s an alternate version of your profile photo with a medal on.”

    “20★ for a tweet with that many spelling mistakes? You people are idiots”

    “Congratulations, you got to 50★! Get to 100★ and I may decide not to kill this adorable puppy”


    “Congratulations, your 250★ tweet has inflated your ego sufficiently to enter the upper atmosphere!”

    “500★? How much did that cost you?”

    “Who do you think you are with your 1000★ tweet, Obama?”

    “1,000,000,000★ are there even enough people in the world for that to be a thing”

  2. Working on I’m coming to realise that there are at least two usefully distinct levels of semantic data on the web:

    There’s the basic “object” level at which microformats act, defining simple, basic-level objects like posts and people with properties like name, phone and content.

    Then there’s the level at which HTML works, marking up blocks of text and creating a tree of elements, each of which gives context to the text it contains, for example blockquote elements for containing content from another source, code elements for “computer code” (might be some space to make that more useful — who’s up for adding the type attribute to code?) and so on.

    So what? So these are the two sufficiently standardised levels at which content on the web can be made portable, and mutually understood by many parties. Any additional undefined semantics introduced by author-defined classnames and the meaning communicated by their default styling is unportable, and will be lost when that content is viewed elsewhere (for example shown in a reader or as a cross-site comment.

    So how can you tell if your content is sufficiently portable? For the object-level (microformats) a validator like indiewebify.me can be used. Strangely, there aren’t as many tools for the markup level, but one surefire way to check is to disabled CSS in your browser. Is your content still understandable using only the default styles? If so it’s probably pretty portable.

  3. Erin Jo Richey: This is relevant to my interests. "Share: the icon no one agrees on." https://bold.pixelapse.com/minming/share-the-icon-no-one-agrees-on

    @erinjo perhaps the difficulty in creating an effective icon stems from the fact that the physical metaphors associated with “share” do not map well to the online behaviour associated with the term, allowing the word to be used successfully but making giving it an image a challenge.

    My theory: the most basic usage of “share” generally refers to organising mutual access to some resource between pre-determined, consenting participants (he shared his food with him, she shared her connection with her coworkers, the schools shared a playing field). This holds for more abstract non-physical use of “share”, as in “she shared her story”, ”they shared a secret”.

    In some cases (e.g. private messaging [where the verb “message” or “send” would more often be used] or posting to a group) the “known participants” facet holds up, but not so much the pre-determination and/or mutual consent/awareness present in the physical examples — unless for example the context is an online group set up explicitly for the sharing of links to resources about a topic.

    In the common case of “sharing” as it’s characterised online (posting a short text post containing a link and optionally some comment, typically with a link preview, broadcast to a wide audience on a whim with no mutual pre-determination), not much of the original metaphor holds up, and I’d argue that “post” is a more suitable term (“publish” less so as its use connotes posting of a thought-out original work).

    None of this is backed up by actual data though — I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on it.

  4. There’s something incredibly satisfying, if a little masochistic, about poring over PIC datasheets and manpages, and tinkering with low-level code you only half understand, when it all actually works and you get two devices to talk to each other (in this case a PIC16F886 and a Raspberry Pi, via I2C)

  5. Idea: geek-styled boy band called “Unified Trajectory”. Who’s up for it?

    Edit: s/Single/Unified a) because it’s more jargoney and b) because geek == single is an inaccurate generalisation which hardly needs further perpetuation

  6. Just booked a trip on a flying metal box, then spent two minutes saying “ineliminable” over and over because it’s so fun to say.

    Yep, totally a responsible adult. Totally.

  7. Bret Victor: How can you call the web a publishing medium when your bookshelf can just vanish? URLs and HTTP are a disaster. Doesn't have to be this way.

    @worrydream “bookshelf” is completely the wrong mental model. A “list of links” is like a list of postal addresses of places (hence web “address”) as a physical analogy, or the contents of their authors brains as a human analogy. Complaining about their contents changing/disappearing is as complaining that space/time/humans are “a disaster” (which admittedly may broadly be true).

    “your bookshelf” is whatever personal archives you make of your favourite things (analogies: photos, notes, physical books), and therefore the solution is better personal archival tools. I’ve made a start — my website automatically takes an archive of every page I link to and stores it as HTML+HTTP headers in the filesystem, which has proven to be a quite robust format.

    Of course if you actually have a practical idea about how to improve on the infrastructure of the web, speak up and/or build it :)

    Edit: reflecting on this, “completely the wrong mental model” is incorrect, and better expressed as “a mental model which is inconsistent with reality”. There are no “wrong” mental models, only a variety of co-existing metaphors with varying levels and areas of consistency with reality.

  8. Ben Werdmüller: 21st century politician to watch: @stellacreasy (whose icon is her dressed as Boba Fett), v actively engaging on social media. The future.

    .@benwerd talked to any politicians about Known? I realised recently that politics is, broadly speaking, the battle for ideas, fought with language on the field of mass media. I’d much rather the field was platforms which belonged to citizens, rather than states or corporations. Social media is a start, but principals can go much further.

  9. Spotted on google.com: people searches return rich contact data in autosuggest box:

    Predictably, it only works for people with Google+ data.

    Turns out that selecting that option and pressing return doesn’t navigate to aaronpareki.com, or even a Google+ page, but adds a weird state indicator and a “this option does not exist” warning:

    (just in case anyone’s wondering, the reason I was searching was to attempt to reproduce this)