21 Dec 2022 @ 2:50 PM 

Since Twitter continues to be a source of drama, and the formerly obscure Fediverse has become prominent enough to be front-page of the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, maybe the current shakeup will continue for a while longer. This will inevitably lead to some issues with growing pains, including issues around a “business model” for social media sites or platforms.

There are a lot of perspectives regarding social media, including some who advocate for essentially moving back to a standards-based individualized model, akin to the RSS reader era, with everyone maintaining their own blogs on their own sites but interacting through RSS and web rings and such. That was clunky in 1998, and it’s clunky today. I think this is a bit of a non-starter in 2023.

The next big option is to run your own personal Fediverse server. Let’s pretend that federating your blog was easy (I’ve tried, and it’s not). If I’m running my blog here at my own site, and I federate with a hundred or so other individuals, I’ll be able to see them and interact with them in one interface, let’s say Mastodon but it could be Friendica or CalcKey or one of the other members of the Fediverse. But, finding other interesting people would be a chore, and more importantly, most people have no interest in being a system administrator, even for a site with only one user.

That leads to the currently trending approach – join an existing Fediverse instance and let someone else handle the maintenance and moderation tasks. Yes, every user can individually choose how and with whom they’ll interact, but if your local feed ends up being filled with spam, that’s a task for a system guy and not for the users. This seems to be working pretty well for most of us who are trying to build communities and communicate across the Fediverse. So far, this is mostly being funded by donations. People donate to Eugen Rochko to support the Mastodon software, and donate to Mastodon.Social (one of the biggest servers) to pay for the servers and administration. Can we truly count on voluntary donations to make all this work? DreamHost (my web host) does not work on a donation model, nor does Amazon Web Services (where many Fediverse servers store their static content). It’s not how we usually do things in real life or online – we have structure, not charity.

But, the Fediverse has a bit of a culture of being anti-commercial. That isn’t to say people cannot promote their own work, but that people don’t want to see advertising in the feed. I’d wager that any instance that started trying to support itself with ads would get de-federated by nearly every other instance, and would end up as a disconnected blog site. So, if ads are not going to work, what will? Would you pay a monthly fee to be a member of your local Mastodon or Friendica group?

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 21 Dec 2022 @ 02:50 PM

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Categories: Copyfight, Geek, Musings
 21 Dec 2022 @ 2:44 PM 

A consortium including Porsche has built an installation that can make gasoline out of water and air. The process used “wind power to electrolyze water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is then combined with carbon captured from the air or industrial sources to synthesize methanol, which in turn can then be converted into longer hydrocarbons to be used as fuel.”

Porsche plans to use the initial output to fuel their race cars, but eventually scale it up to industrial levels. It’s wildly expensive now – about ten times the cost as producing petroleum-based fuels.

The big problem with converting CO2 into fuel is where to get the CO2 – it’s all around us, but not in easily convertible forms.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 21 Dec 2022 @ 02:44 PM

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Categories: asides
 13 Dec 2022 @ 6:43 PM 

I tried to use the official WordPress app to post, and it claims the XML ROC endpoint throws a 403 error message. Strangely, I can access them XML ROC PHP file just fine, even from the exact same device. Magic. Meh, not worth tracking down the bug.

Then I tried to post via email (a feature that I do remember working once). The post showed up with only a title and no body. Very strange.

Anyway, it looks like posting to AndySocial.com will remain something I do manually at home. Like an old man.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 13 Dec 2022 @ 06:47 PM

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