Why openweb projects fail

I have been developing and using #opensource and #openweb projects for nearly 40 years. For the last 20 years at the coalface of development, this is my experience.

Most #openweb projects are more than 99.9% unusable this is normal. A few come up to 5% usability; these are the “successful” ones. It’s very rare for a project like mastodon to be 50% useable – but more than 90% of the people I push in that direction still bounce – though this is more likely because of digital drug habits of the #dotcons than the UX of the project which is good itself.

Let’s be generous our #indymedia reboot project is currently 90% unusable; this is normal for openweb projects. It’s hard to build something with limited resources and training.

Our plan is to make it as simple and #KISS looking as possible to roll out to small groups of testers to develop it into being 20% useable by their feedback. While doing this we can roll out the idea of the project to bring more energy and resources into this shift from 10% to 20% usability.

We only open outreach when we are beyond that 20% level, because it would obviously be self-defeating otherwise. Then inch up the usability while shifting the social expectations of good #UX to a social harmony.

UPDATE:

If you would like to help with this process please set up a account here  https://unite.openworlds.info/indymedia/epicyon/issues and give us feedback on this test site https://indymedia.openworlds.info and this test look and feel template https://indymediadev.openworlds.info/test-css/ two versions of the UX then add an issue to the unite site with your feedback for the developers.

Living through a open/closed war in the indymedia years.

What can we learn from the battle over metadata?

The closed side were only looking to strengthen their silo by centralizing power in the name of privacy and security. This with mostly no understanding of the problem on a personal level, it was the right thing to do – total control was what they needed.

The open side were for the Dublin core as it was a standard in this they were right. But it was so far from human scale #KISS and so top down as to be utterly pointless for grassroots projects.

With this ripping inside “open” and a block from “closed” outside. Nothing good could or did come out.

Should we use tech or social to verify a news source/flow.

Looking at the indymedia reboot

It’s verified by the crowd/community as you will have text, photos etc from the event from different views with some of them by known actors. The event happened.

A single post from a unknown source needs verification. Its journalism 🙂 from a grassroots prospective based on community and trust in that community.

Of course what we lack in the contempery world is these very things. In this it’s the chicken/egg problem 😉

The indymedia reboot is the egg, we the affinity group are the chickens?

As in everything in this project we look for the solution in the social first. Then look for tech that helps to build this social.

Focus on the #4opens #PGA hallmarks and try and solve the issue with the 5 functions.

Ha! This is startling to sound like a religion. Where in reality it’s about #KISS and keeping focus on this.

Why move away from both the #dotcons and the #encryptionists now?

Lets look at trust/community building as this is what the OMN is about after 20 years of failed tech “solutions”.

 

* Link – am interested in there content flow for my community.

* Trust – i have a relationship with them, no questions.

* Moderate – we are building a relationship.

* Whoops – rollback

* Unlink – am annoyed, this is shit, waist of time.

* Bolyon logic hashtag flows – a conversation on what is important between the two groups to fine tune flows.

So for flows from a single source that dominate the instance flow. First stage moderation, more work for site crew. Second agree on a hashtag group based flow with the fast source and put them back on trust. Rinse and repeat

If it messes up rollback, if communication bracks down unlink.

An example of this would be the canary news site. Lots of low quality clickbate with acational good posts. Talk to them and get them to use a hashtag for quality post and subjects and only bring that in as flow. If they abuse this talk to them if you can’t come to an agreement then unlink or moderate. The is advantages for everyone to get an agreement and this will not affect the SEO games they play with the #dotcons

The outcome is the up quality of there SEO games getting grassroots content into the #dotcons And our communities we don’t have to see there SPAM. Grassroots news is spread wider, the communities that produce it are empowered. (And sadly likely co-opted, but that another problem for a different step)

 

Were is security?

Yes to security, people have to be who they say they are and content has to come from a place and its path has to be recorded.

Am going to joke and say we need a blockchain 😉

Trust has to have a foundation.

Stuff can’t just be made up at any level, this would brake trust.

Down the road the is a place for strong p2p identities and personal/group data stores. But not in the ” balancing” roll out of the OMN its good to plug in this stuff as the network grows. The growth stage is as #KISS as possible.

We are strongly refocusing on groups and flows and away from individuals and silos. We are not fundementism on this instead are balancing if that dose not sound to hippy… The #deathcult world is all #stupidindividualism and controlling #dotcons our mission is to rebalance this. Were the balence ends is up to the groups involved. I like the DIY anachronism of party and protest, some people like gardening, other are content with other things.. what ever rocks your boat the is space for meany paths – but the current #deathcult is not a nice one at all.

The is no securaty in tech, ecology or just about anywhere. Its very inhuman world we live in says the man sailing away in a lifeboat – as i keep saying that’s not a metaphor.

On the subject of people being who they say they are – this can be sudo anonymous if they feel like it but that “anonymous” person still has to fit into the trust web

Thus the sudo bit.

End thought

If data is the new currency, then opendata is the new communism, jumps to mind, lets see were #4opens leads.

Indymedia

We are a wide affinity group working to reboot the global indymedia network using modern federated protocols such as #activertypub. This reboot will be based on the OMN project code.What is the OMN (Open Media Network): The project is to shift power to the producers and consumers of media. It’s about good UI and simple empowering #KISS tools to move content, by categorising it with a grassroots folksonermy. This simple approach is balanced by shared site level syntax for the complex crew.
Working Project Site https://unite.openworlds.info/explore/organizations
Background http://hamishcampbell.com/index.php/tag/indymedia/
In the end it’s about bringing trust back into news.

What is the Open Media Network (OMN)

The project is to decisively shift power from the geeks and admins to the producers and consumers of media. In this its about good UI and simple empowering #KISS tools to move content by categorising it with a bootum up folksonermy. This simple approach is balanced by shared site level higher languages for the complex crew.

“This is the Internet”

GET

PUT

POST

DELETE

–MERGE–

This Odata is the #4opens #OMN project.

People can get involved at a level they feel they can add to the project to reshape there world.

Consuming content

* simply on a portal/app (aggregation top site/app)

* on there own site as a sidebar or page.

* as a part of an admin team on a middle/bootem site

*

Producing content

* from a feed from there own site or #dotcons account

* writing linking articals as a part of a top/middle/bootm site

*

Aggravating content

* as a embed on there own site

* on a bootem/middle/top site

*

For the geeks the project is based on #4opens protocols

1) For bringing legacy content in – RSS

2) For talking to the fedivers – Activertypub

3) And for internal working – OData

Lets look at the last:

OData fundamentals (from https://blogs.sap.com/2018/08/20/monday-morning-thoughts-odata)

OData is a protocol and a set of formats. It is strongly resource oriented, as opposed to service oriented. There are a small fixed number of verbs (OData operations) and an infinite set of nouns (resources) upon which the verbs operate. These OData operations map quite cleanly onto the HTTP methods

OData operation HTTP method
C – Create POST
R – Read GET
U – Update PUT
D – Delete DELETE
Q – Query GET

 

If something is important enough it should be addressable in that elements should have addresses, not hidden behind opaque web services endpoint. In the case of an HTTP protocol like OData, these addresses are URLs. And the shape of the data can be seen in the way those URL addresses are made up.

OData goes back further than you might think, its a grassroots project.

TThe protohistory of OData

OData’s origins go back to 1995, with the advent of the Meta Content Framework (MCF). This was a format that was created by Ramanthan V Guha while working in Apple’s Advanced Technology Group, and its application was in providing structured metadata about websites and other web-based data, providing a machine-readable version of information that humans dealt with.

A few years later in 1999 Dan Libby worked with Guha at Netscape to produce the first version of a format that many of us still remember and perhaps a good portion of us still use, directly or indirectly – RSS. This first version of RSS built on the ideas of MCF and was specifically designed to be able to describe websites and in particular weblog style content – entries that were published over time, entries that had generally had a timestamp, a title, and some content. RSS was originally written to work with Netscape’s “My Netscape Network” – to allow the combination of content from different sources (see Spec: RSS 0.9 (Netscape) for some background). RSS stood then for RDF Site Summary, as it used the Resource Description Framework (RDF) to provide the metadata language itself.

Atom. Like RSS, the key to Atom was the structure with which weblog content was described, and actually the structure was very close indeed to what RSS.

An Atom feed, just like an RSS feed, was made up of some header information describing the weblog in general, and then a series of items representing the weblog posts themselves:

header
  item
  item
  ...

A few years later, in 2005, the Atom format became an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard, specifically RFC 4287, and became known as the Atom Syndication Format:

“Atom is an XML-based document format that describes lists of related information known as “feeds”. Feeds are composed of a number of items, known as “entries”, each with an extensible set of attached metadata. For example, each entry has a title.”

What was magic, though, was that in addition to this format, there was a fledgling protocol that was used to manipulate data described in this format. It was first created to enable remote authoring and maintenance of weblog posts – back in the day some people liked to draft and publish posts in dedicated weblog clients, which then needed to interact with the server that stored and served the weblogs themselves. This protocol was the Atom Publishing Protocol, “AtomPub” or APP for short, and a couple of years later in 2007 this also became an IETF standard, RFC 5023:

“The Atom Publishing Protocol is an application-level protocol for publishing and editing Web Resources using HTTP [RFC2616] and XML 1.0 [REC-xml]. The protocol supports the creation of Web Resources and provides facilities for:

  • Collections: Sets of Resources, which can be retrieved in whole or
    in part.
  • Services: Discovery and description of Collections.
  • Editing: Creating, editing, and deleting Resources.”

Is this starting to sound familiar – OData is exactly this – sets of resources, service discovery, and manipulation of individual entries.

AtomPub and the Atom Syndication Format was adopted by Google in its Google Data (GData) APIs Protocol while this IETF formalisation was going on and the publish/subscribe protocol known as PubSubHubbub (now called WebSub) originally used Atom as a basis. And as we know, Microsoft embraced AtomPub in the year it became an IETF standard and OData was born.

Microsoft released the first three major versions of OData under the Open Specification Promise, and then OData was transferred to the guardianship of the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) and the rest is history.

Something that humans could understand, as well as machines. The resource orientation approach has a combination of simplicity, power, utility and beauty that is reflected in (or by) the web as a whole. One could argue that the World Wide Web is the best example of a hugely distributed web service.

OData has constraints that make for consistent and predictable service designs – if you’ve seen one OData service you’ve seen them all. And it passes the tyre-kicking test, in that the tyres are there for you to kick – to explore an OData service using read and query operations all you need is your browser.

Have a quick look at an OData service. The Northwind service maintained by OASIS will do nicely. Have a look at the service document and, say, the Products collection.

Excerpts from the service document and from the Products collection

Notice how rich and present Atom’s ancestry is in OData today. In the service document, entity sets are described as collections, and the Atom standard is referenced directly in the “atom” XML namespace prefix. In the Products entity set, notice that the root XML element is “feed”, an Atom construct (we refer to weblog Atom and RSS “feeds”) and the product entities are “entry” elements, also a direct Atom construct.

Today’s business API interoperability and open standards are built upon a long history of collaboration and invention.

Food for thought #OMN

Nourishment for action

A metaphorical view of tech and society

The data soup

Mobs do not have minds, but they do have lots of tasty cultural bits bubbling and stirring that make a good humane soup we feed and grow on.

Experts/individuals have small minds and little/narrow incite into wider social truths they build single view expert solutions to universal mob swirling problems. These are cold bowl of moldy soup in no time, #fashernistas see steaming bowl for a moment tasty and nice to eat before moving onto the next leaving it forgotten cold and then decaying into dry mold.

  • Facebook is a expert created system for feeding/off mobs and privatizing there energy into private profit and social (mob) control. Its about taking all the tasty bit out of the data soup and feeding them to a tiny minority of “experts”.
  • Archive.org is a out of date fragile (#geekproblem) expert system for holding/keeping “mobish” data into the open future. Its the right project done in the wrong way but fine as a handle for the iron cauldron that contains the OMN data soup we need to build.
  • OMN is a non expert system to empower a diversity of expert/ish that bubbles out of mobs. Its a diversity of ladle in the never ending data soup cooked in a big iron cauldron. It’s Jesus and the fishes and wine, the “religious” power of #4opens.

#KISS and #4opens

The Witches Cauldron open activist archive

Published Date 12/23/16 1:26 PM

The Witches Cauldron

The open activist archive is a data “commons” based on the #4opens and motivated by the #PGA hallmarks.

We are aiming to create a data soup of metadata enriched digital items hosted on redundant federated network of hosts/servers around the world. The project will start by hosting the majority of the content from the expo on http://archive.org

Anyone can be part of this federated network which will be built out using the tools of the Open Media Network #OMN and #KISS to facilitate DIY is at the core of the project.

In this as a general statement we REJECT arrogant “expert’s” and “better” technological solutions that move us away from this core #KISS and #DIY ethos of The Witches Cauldron project. Simple and human scale or we will #FAIL should be in our minds as new people grow the project.