Project Tapestry

    One thing about getting away from traditional Big Tech social media is that you probably end up with using more services than before. Mastodon, Pixelfed, Micro.blog, RSS feeds etc. Would be great to have them all in one app.

    And that’s exactly what the team of The Iconfactory is aiming for with project Tapestry. I just backed them on Kickstarter, and can’t wait to see the first betas. More details on http://kck.st/4bksD3J

    Random thought : is internet advertising even working?

    Some thoughts on internet advertising. Or should we call it add-spam?

    Adds interrupting what you are doing

    When looking at internet advertising I often think, “do they really think this is working?” OK, if you are searching for a race bike, and you get some advertisement based on that search behaviour you might click on it. But when watching a youtube video about creating an Indian aubergine dish, and you get interrupted with an add for hair implants or home improvement tools (both real life stories) It irritates. What are the chances of changing interest at that moment from cooking to hair implants?

    Adds following you

    Same goes for getting adds long time after a specific search. Or adds following you everywhere. A few years ago I was googling for specific summer trousers. Found them and bought them. For at least two years I got adds of a Dutch trouser brand everywhere. At least 10 times a day on Instagram, Facebook and everywhere I got these adds. I really got to hate that brand so much. Even when they would give me their (expensive) trousers for free, I wouldn’t wear them.

    But why?

    If we hate it & it’s not working, then why is every company doing it? Because there is no alternative? Because everybody does it? Or are companies like Google and Meta that convincing in selling their advertisement? Don’t think that’s the answer. So maybe it is working after all.

    The spam-effect

    I think the reason it’s working is what I call the spam-effect. Spam email often looks very dumb. You always think “who would fall for this?” However it’s cheap to send out 100.000 emails. And if only 1 or 2 people respond it pays out. With internet advertising, advertisers pay per click (or other activity measures) but not for the 100.000 time the add is presented without effect. So as advertiser you are basically paying Google or Meta to spam on your behalf. So while Google is pretty good at preventing spam from landing in your inbox, basically spamming us with advertisement is their business model.


    Are there alternatives? I notice how I enjoy apps like Mastodon or Pixelfed. And happy to pay a subscription for Medium. All without any advertising. But for things like search there is no alternative yet. Maybe the future is in paying for services.

    Back to the RSS

    I am back to using RSS and I am loving it.

    What is RSS

    For those not familiar with RSS (Real Simple Syndication) it basically is a protocol to follow updates on websites. Many websites have RSS feeds, and if you follow a RSS feed you get the updates in your RSS reader. So if you follow the RSS feed of your favorite newspaper, every time they add a new news item, you will see it in your reader.

    RSS up & down

    RSS was created at the beginning of this century, but became really big when Google introduced Google Reader, a free tool for following RSS feeds. That was also the time many websites added RSS feeds. Unfortunately Google stopped with Google Reader in 2013, that was also the moment many people (including me) thought RSS was dead, and social media like Twitter had overtaken the role.

    RSS never died

    However RSS never died. Other RSS apps & rss services like Feedbin, Feedly, Reeder, Inoreader and many more filled the gap. Some of them with very advanced options and some simple and straightforward. But for many years RSS has been a bit of a niche play for people consuming a lot of information or wanting to be on top of specific topics. For the majority of people social media had taken over the role.

    Now is the time for RSS again

    Now, with all of the discussions around X, information algorithms, mis-information etc. I think there is a new place for RSS. Following the sources you trust gives you information you can rely on. No algorithm that is pushing specific info. No advertisement. It’s just the headlines of your favorite newspapers and magazines that are presented. Most news sources still offer RSS. Also ActivityPub applications like Mastodon have RSS built in.

    My use of RSS

    I am using a free program called NetNewsWire. It has apps for Mac, iPad & iPhone and syncs all information across the devices using iCloud. I use it on all 3 devices, and I am happy to have my clutter free and advertising free feeds always at hand. You can group your feeds in categories, and easily share interesting articles on your socials or other ways. If you are looking for more advanced use of RSS, a paid service like Feedly is worth looking at.

    Starting to use micro.blog as my social hub and from there federate to other networks

    Amazed by how well documented micro.blog is. There is help.micro.blog with loads of information. But also book.micro.blog which is a complete book about the Fediverse

    Great work by @manton

    .blog hvandenbergh.com

    Starting to use micro.blog as my social hub and from there federate to other networks

    Amazed by how well documented micro.blog is. There is help.micro.blog with loads of information. But also book.micro.blog which is a complete book about the Fediverse

    Great work by @manton

    #fediverse #micro.blog

    Really enjoyed listening to the DotSocial podcast with @mike and @tchambers this morning


    Trying to verify my website with the Mastodon server


    For me 2024 is going to be the year of the Fediverse. Moving away from X, Instagram, Facebook, Threads & BlueSky to focus on Mastodon, Micro.Blog, Pixelfed and other ActivityPub / Fediverse based media.

    Will write about my experience. Did already a Medium post about starting on Mastodon last year as well as a post on the Social Web which is another term for the Fediverse.

    More to follow later