POSSE Tools In WordPress

Since starting my experiment with IndieWebCamp and POSSE (Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere), I’ve learned quite a lot about syndicating content from my own website out to Facebook and Twitter and receiving comments back from those services. I thought it would be helpful to share some of this information and the tools that make it possible. [Read more...]

Also on:

Escape From the Walled Garden

I’ve started a little experiment here on gregfalken.com, in an attempt to gain some independence from the Facebook and Twitter data silos. This work is inspired by the folks at IndieWebCamp.com, who are building tools that allow website owners to host their own data, while also sharing it on other social media networks. The goal, as stated on their website:

Your content is yours
When you post something on the web, it should belong to you, not a corporation. Too many companies have gone out of business and lost all of their users’ data. By joining the IndieWeb, your content stays yours and in your control.

You are better connected
Your articles and status messages can go to all services, not just one, allowing you to engage with everyone. Even replies and likes on other services can come back to your site so they’re all in one place.

You are in control
You can post anything you want, in any format you want, with no one monitoring you. In addition, you share simple readable links such as mywebsite.com/ideas. These links are permanent and will always work.

You’ll see that the top menu now has a “Notes” item. Posts in this category contain items that I would normally put on Facebook or Twitter. By posting them here, I can both maintain ownership of my content and better control what it looks like. I’m using the Social plugin by MailChimp, to publish these posts on Facebook and/or Twitter too.

Other IndieWeb enhancements to the site that aren’t visible include IndieAuth, Microformats, and Webmention (thanks to Andy Sylvester for the helpful Webmentions video). I’ll report more on these as I gain more experience with them.

I have kept the Notes posts separate from more fully formed posts like this one, by excluding them from the “Blog” page and the main RSS feed of the site. They also will not trigger an automatic email to people who have subscribed to my mailing list. They are meant to be an online collection of tidbits that I find of interest.

How my Notes posts appear on Twitter and Facebook is still something of a work in progress. If you see anything there that looks odd, please leave me a comment here. Speaking of comments, you can still leave them anonymously or you can sign in using your Twitter or Facebook account, thanks to the aforementioned Social plugin. Let me know how if you find this feature useful too.

Primal Ice Cream – Healthy frozen dessert goodness

Primal Ice CreamAs I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been eating primal lately. While my intake of sugar is probably lower than it’s ever been in my life, I still sometimes enjoy something sweet. This recipe was adapted from one I found on Born Fitness but I have to say that I’ve improved on it. It’s now close enough to deserve the name Primal Ice Cream.

Servings: 2

Ingredients:

2 Tbs. almond butter
1 Tbs. coconut butter
1 Tbs. cocoa powder
1 scoop protein powder
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
1/2 cap vanilla extract (optional)
6 Tbs. almond milk

Directions:

1. Add butters and dry ingredients to the small bowl of a food processor. Pulse 3 or 4 times until ingredients are combined.

2. Add vanilla, then turn processor on and add almond milk through the feed tube one tablespoon at a time. Let blend for about 30 seconds.

3. Freeze for 30-45 minutes for ice cream like consistency.

Nutrition (per serving):

Calories – 204
Carbs – 11g
Fat – 13g
Protein – 17g
Sodium – 138g
Sugar 3g

An Update On Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality is one of those things that I care about and think is important, yet find a bit too large to grasp. Since it has been in the news recently, with a new Notice of Proposed Rulemaking from the FCC (see why it’s hard to grasp?) and related editorials about the threat to the Internet as we know it, I thought it would be a good time to review.

First, a definition of Net Neutrality from Wikipedia:

Net neutrality (also network neutrality or Internet neutrality) is the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging deferentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication. The term was coined by Columbia media law professor Tim Wu.

Net NeutralityWhy should we care? Take a look at the scary infographic to the right.  Do you doubt that your ISP would jump at the chance to boost its revenue by charging à la carte for popular services? There are obvious conflicts between an ISP that also provides content (*coughComcast*) and content providers like Netflix and Amazon Prime, who rely on the ISPs to deliver their data. There is no conclusive evidence today that content providers are being throttled (and Verizon strenuously denies it) but that may be because the FCC hasn’t issued any rulings that have been upheld in court.

The FCC has tried to come up with rules that will enforce the principals of Net Neutrality but hasn’t been able to get it quite right. In January, a federal appeals court ruled that the FCC had exceeded its authority, writing:

Even though the Commission has general authority to regulate in this arena, it may not impose requirements that contravene express statutory mandates. Given that the Commission has chosen to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers, the Communications Act expressly prohibits the Commission from nonetheless regulating them as such. Because the Commission has failed to establish that the anti-discrimination and anti-blocking rules do not impose per se common carrier obligations, we vacate those portions of the Open Internet Order.

What this means (I think) is that the FCC doesn’t have the authority to apply these rules to the class of companies that they were trying to. They would need to classify companies like Verizon and Comcast as common carriers, as they do phone companies. The FCC has decided not to appeal this ruling but rather to propose new rulemaking called “Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet.”

The FCC states:

The DC Circuit recognized the importance of the Open Internet Order’s ban on blocking Internet traffic, but ruled that the Commission had not provided sufficient legal rationale for its existence. We will carefully consider how, consistent with the court opinion, we can ensure that edge providers are not unfairly blocked, explicitly or implicitly,from reaching consumers, as well as ensuring that consumers can continue to access any lawful content and services they choose.

So, the FCC is rewriting its rules and hoping they can codify agreements like those that they have in place with Comcast, which were made as part of its acquisition of NBC Universal. However, as ReadWrite points out:

The problem with that approach: The primary reason the FCC’s ability to regulate net neutrality was shot down by the DC Circuit appeals court was in how the Commission classifies broadband providers like Time Warner Cable, AT&T, and Comcast. The FCC does not classify these companies as public utilities (like water or power companies) but more as content and media companies.

Activist groups and Democratic members of Congress have asked the FCC to reclassify the Internet providers in a way that would make them subject to more government regulation and oversight, but it has not yet done so, which strikes us as puzzling, given that a court has shot down its ability to regulate these companies as things stand.

Will the FCC’s new rules make a difference in net neutrality, or is the Commission just attempting to assert its relevance on a topic that it believes it should have the power to enforce?

The FCC is seeking public comment and expects to have the new rules written by early summer. We should expect to hear more then.