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Checking in with FeedLand users, is there interest in: Mapping a FeedLand category to a Mastodon account.

Not loving FeedLand because it uses Twitter for identity is like not loving a friend because they had a baby with someone you don't like. Or not loving NetNewsWire, for example, because it runs on Macs and iOS and Apple does crazy shit that fucks everything up. (I use Macs, lots of them, despite what I think of Apple. I also own a bunch of Apple stock yet I am aware of how Apple is not a force for good.) Or you find out some app is running in Google's cloud and Google is destroying the web. I have another one. I use Digital Ocean for hosting and S3 for storage. You might want to check out who owns those services and decide if you still like me. (I use DO because they have great docs and good prices. I use S3 because it was a breakthrough product when it came out and I totally needed what they offered and I loved what they were doing, and now I'm pretty well locked-in.) And I chose Twitter for identity in 2014 because identity is a human-intensive bitch and they were offering to let me use theirs for $0. I solved the problem long ago and baked it into my system. I could bake something else in, and I would, quickly if they broke us. But so far I've been able to spend my time on more productive and fun development work. Maybe I'm giving something up. Yeah, there are a lot of choices in life. You never know what was down the road you didn't take.

We all have to hold our noses. Users too. To think you haven't been doing that and aren't still, is a delusion.

Everyone who uses a silo (e.g. Substack) should ask their owners what assurance they can give they won't sell out to Musk or someone like him. Journalists and financial analysts should include in their valuation of tech companies, their political value, translated to dollars.

This is a brilliant point. Kanye has twice as many followers as there are Jews in the whole freaking world.

Falling in love

I allow myself to fall in love with other developers' products.

I've been reading a lot about the history of rock and roll in the last couple of years.

That's the thing music does that we don't do in tech.

They listen to each other and love what they do.

Mastodon is like email and twitter got married and had a baby.

Last night I posted a message to both Mastodon and Twitter saying how great M's support for RSS is. Apparently a lot of people on Masto didn't know about it and the response has been resounding. And the numbers are very lopsided. The piece has been "boosted" (the Masto equiv of RT) 1.1K times, yet I only have 3.7K followers there. Meanwhile on Twitter, where I have 69K followers, it has been RTd just 17 times. My feeling was previously that Mastodon was more alive, it's good to have a number to put behind that.

For my friends Geraldine and Peter, this is a chat system where you ask an AI that really is amazing to write stories for you, or answer questions, or even develop software. Everyone, including me, is smitten by this invention. I asked it to write a story about Donald Trump admitting he is a troll and tells everyone to just ignore him, and it'll be good for everyone including him.

It would be smart if there were a lefty Elon type to invest a billion or two in a big hub in the fediverse so we can't get "concentrated" on Twitter into an online "camp."

I need help testing a new important app -- it's the first one that hooks RSS directly up to Mastodon via the Mastodon API. I am reluctant to promote it until it's had been validated. So if you know how to run a Node app, and have a few minutes to help out, please give it a try, and let me know, in this thread, whether it worked. A link to one of the Mastodon messages it created would be helpful too. Thanks!

Having fun with AI. I asked the OpenAI chatbot to write a story about the demise of bloggers now that OpenAI can do all the writing. It added journalists all on its own. I assume some pundit can use this in an op-ed for the NYT or Washington Post about the dangers of AI. Which I then asked OpenAI to write. ??

If you use FeedLand you can follow my Mastodon posts via this feed. Just click the Subscribe button and you're in. Mastodon, unlike Twitter, provides an RSS feed for each user. A huge advance in the state of the art. I hope Twitter takes note and adds this feature.

Users as advocates

This is how users advocate in their own interest.

Mastodon adds a feature that users value, demonstrably, by RTing the call to action and subscribing to the feeds in their favorite feed reader.

Now we find out which readers do it well and which do not. The ones who don't will be motivated to catch up. Once users make it an issue.

And other social platforms will be motivated to follow Mastodon's lead.

So when Mastodon supports RSS, and there's demonstrated user support, Twitter must add the feature. It's a fundamental law of tech.

Once Twitter has a competitor, all kinds of things are possible that weren't before.

Poll: I subscribe to HBO, Netflix, AppleTV, Hulu. Guess which is the only one I ever watch?

My first Mastodon-empowered app is Radio3. You can now share linkblog posts to Mastodon, Twitter, Slack, RSS and a static HTML page. I use Radio3 to do the Links page on scripting.com.

This is a huge deal. If I type a web address in a tweet, Twitter figures it out and hots it up in the rendered tweet. All of a sudden a tweet can link out to lots of places. Let's hope next up is Markdown support, optional titles, unlimited length and podcast enclosures and then you better believe WordPress and Tumblr will have to do it, and that will provide impetus for Mastodon. Here we go. Please keep going Twitter.

2014: "The great thing about the web is/was that I could create any feature I could implement without getting permission from anyone. Before the web, with compuserve or applelink, only employees of those companies could. Here we are again."

Micropayments is such an awful term. Let's say I buy a Metrocard to ride the NYC subway. Every time I slide the card through a turnstile, what is that called? Is it a micropayment? Or I have an EZ-Pass responder on my car, so I drive through where the toll booths used to be without even slowing down. I don't know how much that costs, but I assure you there's nothing micro about it! One of the reasons business people at pubs must be tired of this discussion is it's their job to get MACRO payments for their employer, not teeny little micros. As I envision it, I would probably spend $100 a month on various pubs, and maybe more and more over time. When fluidity is added to the economics, how can you help but pay more. It's only because of the attitude about this at publishers that we can't have more news (and they get more money). Right now I only pay three pubs -- NYT, WP and Consumer Reports. My money should be spread around a lot better than that.

I'm definitely starting to see breakage in Twitter. Things that used to work that now are obviously broken.

Perhaps we should try exterminating Nazis now that they're voluntarily decloaking. They owe us approximately 6 million lives.

My parents were children in Europe as the Holocaust was brewing. Their parents, my grandparents, got them out in time so that they could meet in Brooklyn, get married and have children, including me of course. My paternal grandfather told me, when I was a little kid, in his heavy Russian accent "Daveeed, when the Nazis come (he was sure they would) you get a gun and go on the roof and you shoot them!" My parents were horrified. I thought he was just a crazy old man. But he was a lot smarter and wiser than we gave him credit for.

Welcome to December. Here's the OPML archive for November.

Feeds in the Fediverse

These are the goals for the software I am about to release.

  • The network of RSS publishers and readers should be part of the Fediverse. This software enables the flow of RSS content into the Fediverse.
  • To provide good simple working code for the Mastodon API. I had to do too much work to figure out how to get what amounts to a Hello World script up and running. Now you don't have to do all that work.
  • You should be able to build feed-based utilities without giving any thought to reading feeds. Reading a feed should be as easy as reading a JSON file. This app illustrates how that works, using the reallySimple package.
  • I want to get some code out there into the Mastoverse, to start building a rep in the community.

They're not micro payments

Micropayments is such an awful term. Let's say I buy a Metrocard to ride the NYC subway. Every time I slide the card through a turnstile, what is that called? Is it a micropayment? Or I have an EZ-Pass responder on my car, so I drive through where the toll booths used to be without even slowing down. I don't know how much that costs, but I assure you there's nothing micro about it!

One of the reasons business people at pubs must be tired of this discussion is it's their job to get MACRO payments for their employer, not teeny little micropayments. As I envision it, I would probably spend $100 a month on various pubs, and maybe more and more over time. When fluidity is added to the economics, how can you help but pay more. It's only because of the attitude about this at publishers that we can't have more news (and they get more money).

Right now I only pay three pubs -- NYT, WP and Consumer Reports. My money should be spread around a lot better than that.

The scope of the Fediverse, 2022

This picture is very informative.

I asked on my Mastodon account what apps other than Mastodon and micro.blog are on the ActivityPub network. I had heard of many of these, but in the newbie fog, I hadn't retained the memory.

I don't see any feed readers.

We need to fix that.

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