A Domain of WithKnown

A Domain of WithKnown

TL;DR Version: I'm launching a new section of this website using withknown at tldr.wiobyrne.com where I'll be sharing curated content, and commentary. Read more about the genesis of this below. I'll discuss how I made this happen, and iterations over time in upcoming posts.

I’ve been increasingly drawn to the notion of the #indieweb movement. This is primarily due to a couple of factors. First, as I continue to work with educators to build their expertise in teaching and learning with technology my students often want to host and maintain their own content. They want their name at the top of the website, and the URL. Second, in my work with the Mozilla Web Literacy Map, it is increasingly important for me to understand and develop my own infrastructure in online spaces. Finally, although I use and love Google Apps/Google+/Twitter, I’m concerned that we just give away this content for free. If Twitter, Google+, Facebook goes down, I’ve lost the digital trail of footprints that I’ve left behind.

What is the Indie Web?

The gateway for me getting into the Indie Web movement was the following segment from This Week in Google. Please keep in mind that I’m very much an initial, naive member of #indieweb. Right now I’m mucking about and trying to learn. 🙂

After this interview, I immediately created  an account at withknown. I also started adding as many WordPress plugins as possible for #indieweb content (more on that in a subsequent post).

For me, I need to think about what I want these spaces to be for me. I reach out to others online to see what they do with their spaces, and figure out what I want to build. My main concern is that I daily send out about 3 to 6 links on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook talking about literacy, technology, and research. Most of this includes little if any content. It is basically a firehose of information. From this sharing I had some comments, re-sharing, and favoriting across the various social networks.  What I wanted to accomplish with this new space was to begin curating, and editorializing on the content I was sharing. I wanted to provide a little more value than just me sharing content out and letting it exist in the ether.

A domain of one’s own

There is a lot of good work happening online surrounding the notion of a domain of one’s own. I believe there are many parallels between #indieweb and this group that was building up their own places online. Much of what they were discussing resonated with me.

With my own space, I wanted to provide a spot that was different than this WordPress blog (wiobyrne.com), but somehow connected. I wanted a lightweight spot to share links that I would normally just share out. I wanted to provide a short burst of commentary, and the link to continue on if the reader was interested. I didn’t want to irritate readers with extra clicks, but wanted to provide some value. Ultimately, I wanted to build in a structure that would allow a visitor to quickly read a synthesis/synopsis of content that I curated, and click to the longer link if they so choose.

I also wanted to share more content than I typically would post to the social networks. I wanted to share photos that I took, or things happening in my work & life. In short, I wanted to share a stream of what I was thinking, doing, and working on.

In looking for this new space, I chose withknown. I received a ton of support from Ben Werdmuller and Erin Jo Richey. I cannot thank them both enough for the time and support they have provided. I also hassled Doug Belshaw a lot to figure out what to build, how to build it, and make sure that it all makes sense.

I also had a couple of exemplars that I wanted to follow. Daring Fireball from John Gruber, Stephen’s Web from Stephen Downes, and Kottke.org from Jason Kottke all provided a guide for what I wanted to build.

Too Long, Didn’t Read

What I’ve been building and testing for the past couple of months is now going live. Truth be told, it’ll always be in beta. You will always notice changes as I iterate over time. Using withknown, I’m launching a parallel thread to this website that I’m calling TLDR, which is short for Too Long; Didn’t Read. TL;DR is Internet slang for a shortcut, or synthesis provided for readers before they jump into longer content. I frequently share a TL;DR version at the top of longer blog posts that you find here.

tldr.wiobyrne.com will offer all of the content that I previously shared out on the various social networks. I’ll still share these links out, but this one site will also offer some commentary on the content that I’m curating. I will try to keep the links, synthesis, and commentary short and succinct. The idea is to provide you with some context for what I’m sharing. This site (wiobyrne.com) will continue to offer longer form blog posts and all of the work that I have been publishing here for years.

Thanks again. Feel free to head on over and connect with me there.

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5 Comments A Domain of WithKnown

  1. Laura Gibbs

    This was a good read, +Ian O’Byrne ! I’ve been doing something similar (rethinking my content across spaces), although my goal is really more curatorial; I’m totally ambivalent about platforms at this point. As I see it, platforms come and go, software comes and goes, but the real problem I have is short-term curation (i.e. something I shared a few weeks or a few months ago that I need to find again). So, for me, Inoreader is providing that solution by automatically aggregating all the platforms where I publish into one space (Google+, Twitter, my blogs, Diigo, and Pinterest). I’m then curating one stream out from that space which shows up here so that my curation efforts can be useful to others (although the real value I know is for me.. other people are busy trying to keep up with their own stuff, ha ha):http://mythfolklore.net/So far, it has been working really well. The only snag I have hit is that Pinterest RSS is buggy and may disappear (Pinterest tech support told me this week that they don’t really provide RSS at all… but the feeds are there!). No real worries, though, since PInterest is the least important of the spaces I am using, it’s no big deal to me if the Pinterest part drops off. What I am pinning at Pinterest is 99% of the time content I already have shared elsewhere already.Anyway, I am really glad to have tackled the curation question. I’d been good about archiving my blogs locally as backup… but the ephemera of Twitter and Google+ were passing me by. Inoreader has saved me by automatically aggregating that in one place for me, and I can then curate as needing (tagging, saving at more stable platforms as necessary, etc.). I still feel info-frazzled, but less so than before!!! 🙂

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