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In English İnternet Notları | Notes From Internet Rethinking the Internet

Adventures in Building a Library Catalog

This entry is part 10 of 10 in the series Rethinking the Internet

Introduction

Some time ago, I wrote about the problems with Goodreads and how StoryGraph can be a good alternative for many. This is something I’m really interested because most of what I do is about books and because of my ADHD brain, not being able to track the books I have causes quite unique problems such as having multiple copies of the same book, sometimes in different languages.

This is why one of my major quests in life is having a personal library catalog in which I can track what I have. But this is not an easy task.

Chapter One: Storygraph

Although Storygraph seemed like a good alternative with many promising options, there were many problems which made it really hard to use. The most important one was the issues with finding and adding Turkish books. Most of them were not available and some were only returning the results for English editions. Which is a huge problem because if I’m going to keep track of my books and my library, I have to make sure the correct editions are logged. 

Another important issue was the limits of its social aspect. There’s no way to know if someone I know is on the platform unless they tell you. There’s no easy way to find people, no way of communicating, etc. Since I was also trying it as a Goodreads alternative, this was an important issue for me. Because I really like seeing which books other people are reading and what they think about it. 

Missing the social side plus not being able to track books in Turkish simply made Storygraph a bad choice for me. I had to move on.

Chapter Two: LibraryThing

Then I tried to give LibraryThing a shot. It seems old school and not really sure how many people actively uses it, but it seemed like a better place to keep a library catalog because of the power tools such as scanning book barcodes with the iOS app. 

At first, LibraryThing was working just fine, until I’ve decided to start adding my library at home to have a catalog I can easily search. Although LibraryThing can search the university libraries in Turkey, most of the data was either incorrect or totally missing. Yes, it was finding most of the books, but occasionally the names were wrong, sometimes the authors. Some books had Turkish character issues in their names, some showed the translator as the main author, some had completely unrelated information.

This is why I’ve returned to using Goodreads for the online and social part of the book tracking adventure. But Goodreads also has issues about Turkish book data, even though much less than the other options. Those issues mainly caused by volunteer librarians on the platform, and although I’m one of them, I don’t have the time to track every issue and fix it.

This means I still need a solution for building my library catalog. That’s when I decided to give an old friend a chance.

Chapter Three: Calibre, The Old Reliable

For those who don’t know, Calibre is a digital library software that’s mainly used for organizing your e-book library. It also has so many power tools and plugins inside, which makes it a crazy powerful software. I’ve been using it to organize my e-books for years, but it never occurred to me that I can use it for more. Until now.

You can simply use Calibre as it is, and it’ll probably work just fine but if you want to make sure that it can find anything, you can go to add-ons and search for these extensions too:

List of Calibre plugins I've installed.
The list: Amazon.com Multiple Countries, DNB_DE, Goodreads, Wikidata, Find Duplicates.

After this, all you have to do is expand the Add Books menu and select “Add Books by ISBN”. This screen will open, and you can add as many ISBNs as you want and let Calibre do its thing. If you need an easy way to separate e-books from paper ones, you can simply add a tag like I did and all the books will have this tag automatically added.

Calibre menu screen for adding ISBNs for import.

Now I can keep track of my library in one place and easily add more books whenever I buy new ones. All I have to do, write the ISBNs on my phone and then paste them inside the Calibre. While other solutions had dozens of missing books or books with incorrect information, Calibre only had two missing ones: one of them published a couple of weeks ago and one published by a small publisher. All I had to do, copy and paste book info from the publisher websites, and it was done.

Conclusion

So, this is where I ended up:

Calibre will be the tool to keep track of our household library for everything, e-books and dead-tree ones. I wish I could find a way to simply turn that into a one-person book blog, but until I have enough time to give it a shot, it’s a dream project waiting in my notes. 

For a more public facing book tracking, I’ll keep using Goodreads. But I’m thinking about other alternatives too. Maybe creating a special category on my blog and write small posts every time I finish one. I’m not sure about it yet.


This experience taught me a lot about platforms, books, ISBNs and many other things. But one common thread I’ve been facing in many online tools is how Western —and sometimes simply US— centric those tools and projects were. I can easily use many tools as long as I keep everything limited with English and/or US-based. When you step outside English, you’re on your own. Nothing fully works and most of the time you have to figure out the problems you face by yourself because most of those were never occurred to the developers or not seemed urgent. 

We always talk about how internet is global and open for everyone in the world, as long as you live in English. And it will seem mostly true if you’re in the US, UK, or some other Western country (although the same problems may be faced by Europeans or people in the US who doesn’t speak English). But when you try to work with another language, even if you’re using a global standart like ISBN, things change quickly. 

If the global internet starts throwing bugs at your face when you’re trying to work with a global standart, think about what kind of problems people are facing regularly when it comes to more serious issues such as content moderation.

Categories
In English İnternet Notları | Notes From Internet Not Defteri | Notebook Rethinking the Internet

Why I Keep Coming Back to Blogging

This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series Rethinking the Internet

This is part of one of the blog chains here, titled “Rethinking the Internet” but instead of using numbered titles, I have decided to continue with unique ones.

If you’re someone who writes or reads online, you know that newsletters are the hot trend for a while. While I totally understand why it’s so popular and fits better for different ideas and projects (like the one I do with NewsLabTurkey and Tuhaf Gelecek), I never managed to write my personal one regularly. I could explain why with many different reasons —not being able to plan, can’t find new things to write regularly, being over-critical of my writing, having too much work in my hand— but after reading Cory Doctorow’s recent piece “Memex Method” I know why I couldn’t write a regular newsletter: because what I actually want to do is blogging.

Since I started using internet regularly, I always had blogs. It’s my natural state of being online —even though I spend way too much time on Twitter. I feel comfortable writing for my blog and enjoy the experience in general. I can work on my half-baked ideas without much pressure, because now everyone expects newsletters to be fully finished ideas and articles. Although it’s an understandable expectation, not really what I want to do.

Quoting from Cory, this is what I prefer doing:

“Blogging isn’t just a way to organize your research — it’s a way to do research for a book or essay or story or speech you don’t even know you want to write yet. It’s a way to discover what your future books and essays and stories and speeches will be about.”

This is especially important if you consider the fact that almost all of the work I do can be summed up as “reading, researching, taking notes and writing stuff”. I know some people prefer to call what Cory describes as blogging “digital gardens” but I’m having a hard time to understand why it’s not just called blogging. For my personal practice people usually describe as digital garden are either blogging but more linked together or how I use my private Roam Research graph for. There’s a good chance I might be missing something too.

Returning back to newsletter and blog thing, Dan Hon wrote about Cory’s piece on his newsletter and said something important: “But a blog post would be different. Medium posts are different. The setting is different. The place is different. The context is different.” This is quite important because what I couldn’t manage that newsletter keep going is mainly because I wasn’t doing something unique for that setting but instead trying to blog with a newsletter. That’s why I felt limited, not really fitting.


And of course there’s the thing about making an income out of your online writing. Right now creating a paid newsletter is the easiest way to almost anyone online but because I can’t create a Stripe account that’s not an option for me. I have a Patreon that’s been going on for a really long time but because I couldn’t figure out how to use that and a newsletter together, it never really took off. But if I decide to go with a blogging focused writing, I can make more use out of it and make sure people supporting me can have something more visible in their hands. For example, I can simply turn any post here patron-only and people supporting my work can read it with one click.

What I’m trying to say —both to you and myself— is that blogging is my real home online and I’m going to be using here more actively from now on. I’m still not sure what I’m going to do with the newsletter but I’m thinking about turning that into a semi-regular announcement channel about the work and blogging I’m doing. Or maybe I will come up with an exciting experiment in the future.

Let’s end this with another quote from Cory about why blogging is important for anyone who’s job is similar to mine and his:

“There’s another way that blogging makes my writing better: writing every day makes it easier to write every day.”

PS. I’ve recently updated my RSS Reader page here if anyone is interested in that.

Categories
Ahmet Nerede | Where's Ahmet İnternet Notları | Notes From Internet Not Defteri | Notebook Rehberler | Guides Röportajlar | Interviews Türkçe

WhatsApp, Güvenli Mesajlaşma ve Gizlilik

Geçtiğimiz birkaç gün içerisinde WhatsApp’ın kullanıcılarına gönderdiği yeni sözleşme değişikliği bildirimi ile mesajlaşma uygulamalarının güvenliği, internetteki veri gizliliğimiz ve daha birçok konu beklediğimden çok daha canlı bir şekilde ülkemizde gündem hâline geldi. Elbette bu durum birtakım yanlış bilgilerin ve yanlış anlaşılmaların da yayılmasına neden oldu. Yine de genel olarak Internette ne kadar güvende olduğumuz ya da gizliliğimizin nasıl ihlal edilebildiği üzerine konuşmaya, buna dair bir şeyler yapmaya başladık.

Konuya dair Twitter’da yazdıklarım büyük ilgi topladı ve farklı platformlarda da konuyla ilgili görüşlerime başvuruldu. Bunları herkesin istediği zaman erişebileceği bir arşive dönüştürmenin iyi olacağını düşündüm. Bu sayede Twitter’da yazdıklarımı başka yerlerde daha kolay bir şekilde paylaşabilirsiniz.

Yeni gelişmeler oldukça burayı güncelleyeceğim. O yüzden konuyu merak ediyorsanız arada bir burayı ziyaret edebilirsiniz.


Uygulamaların Arasındaki Güvenlik Farkı

WhatsApp gizlilik sözleşmesi değişikliğinden sonra tekrar mesajlaşma uygulamalarını tartışmaya başladık. Ama ortalıkta çok fazla yanlış bilgi ve kötü tavsiye var. O yüzden bu thread ile olabildiğince hepsini temizlemeye çalışacağım.

Önce bir üçlü kıyas yapalım. Linkteki görseller Signal, WhatsApp ve Telegram’ın gizlilik konusundaki seviyesini özetliyor. Bariz bir şekilde Signal daha iyi.

Telegram’la ilgili çok fazla yanlış bilgi var. Örneğin kendilerini Rusya’ya kafa tutuyor gibi göstermeyi çok seviyorlar ama bu haberi asla konuşmazlar. Ya da Rusya’nın Telegram yasağını durduk yere kaldırmaya nasıl ikna olduğunu. (Telegram’a dair çekincelerimi biraz daha detaylı olarak buradaki tweetlerde anlattım.)

Hepsini geçtim güvenlik anlamında Signal ile hiçbir şekilde karşılaştırılamayacak kadar kötü durumda. Uçtan uca şifreleme gizli sohbet dışında yok ve tüm konuşmalarınızın yedeği sunucularında var. Üstelik şifreleme için kullandıkları yolun ne kadar güvenli olduğu da şüpheli. WhatsApp bile bu sözleşme değişimine rağmen Signal’in şifreleme protokolünü kullanıyor ve en azından görüşmelerinizi uçtan uca şifrelemeye devam ediyor. Ama bu değişimi bir süredir bekliyordum zaten. Facebook sadece parayı düşündüğü için satın alma sonrası kaçınılmazdı. (Sözleşme değişikliğine ve bunu neden yaptıklarına dair ek bilgileri burada bulabilirsiniz.)

Signal ise her anlamda maksimum güvenlik ve gizlilik odaklı tasarlanıyor ve buna rağmen her özelliğe sahip. Bilgisayardan video görüşme bile yapabiliyorsunuz. Üstelik size dair hiçbir şey bilmiyor ve veri toplamıyor. Signal protokolü, şifreleme sistemi, her açıdan düzenli olarak test edilen ve endüstri standardı hâline gelen bir protokol. Güvenliği ve gizliliğe verdiği önemi tartışmaya açmaya bile gerek yok. Şu anda en iyisi bu.

Tüm bu örnekler varken Telegram daha güvenli veya iyi demenin akıl alır bir yanı yok. iMessage bile her şeyi uçtan uca şifrelerken Telegram gibi bunu yapmamakta ısrar eden bir uygulamayı tercih etmenin de anlamı yok.

WhatsApp her ne kadar mesajları güvende tutsa da gizlilik konusunda çok kötü bir duruma geldi. Üstelik az kişinin fark ettiği kimi ufak değişiklikler de durumu daha kafa karıştırıcı bir hâle getirdi.

Sonuç olarak eğer daha iyi bir mesajlaşma uygulaması kullanmak istiyorsanız en iyi seçenek Signal. Bu kadar basit. Eğer FB zaten her şeyimi biliyor şifreleme yeter derseniz WhatsApp yine kullanılabilir. Telegram kullanıyorsanız da hiçbir şekilde güvenli değilmiş gibi kabul edin.

Bir görselle özet.

Bu arada Bip konusuna hiç girmedim ama orada durum çok daha kötü. Mesajlarınız için uçtan uca şifreleme veya ek gizlilik özellikleri yok. Üstelik her şeyiniz sunucularında ve parola dışında bir koruma yok. Özetle Bip’i kullanmak için mantıklı hiçbir gerekçe göremiyorum.

Son olarak Teyit ekibinin bu tablosunu ekleyeyim. Çok güzel bir şekilde özetlemişler.


Güvenlik ve Gizlilik Neden Hakkımız?

Bu konu üzerinden özellikle görebildiğim cevaplarda dijital güvenlik algımız ve beklentilerimiz üzerine kimi sıkıntılar olduğunu gördüm. Uzun zamandır bu alanda bir şeyler yapmaya çalışan birisi olarak bu sıkça karşılaştığım sıkıntılara dair birkaç not düşmek istiyorum.

Öncelikle güvenlik ve gizlilik konusunda bir beklentinizin olması sizi potansiyel kötü birisi yapmaz. Aksine, bu her insanın sahip olması gereken normal bir arzudur. Nasıl ki evlerimizde perde, kilit gibi temel şeylerle bir gizlilik sağlıyoruz dijitalde de bunu istemek normal.

Hepimiz artık farkındayız internetin ve kullandığımız cihazların hayatımızın kaçınılmaz bir parçası olduğunun. Pandemi ile bu daha da bariz hâle geldi. Bu büyük tepkinin sebebi de bu aslında. Çünkü birçok insan WhatsApp’ı gizlilik konusunda iyi kabul ediyordu. Bunu küçümsemenin ya da “2016’dan bu yana böyleydi” demenin o yüzden pek de katkısı olacağını düşünmüyorum. Evet doğru ama şu anda karşılaştığımız tepki daha çok insanların önkabulleri ve mevcut kullanım seviyeleri ile alakalı.

10 yıldır dijital güvenlik konusunda yazan, eğitim ve danışmanlık veren birisi olarak öğrendiğim şeylerden birisi de her insanın farklı bir güvenlik ve gizlilik beklentisi veya ihtiyacı olduğu. Bu yaptığı işten yaşadığı yere kadar birçok şeye bağlı olarak değişen bir şey. Bu yüzden de en önem verdiğim şeylerden birisi insanlara ihtiyaçlarına göre bu konuda yardım etmek. Bu yüzden geçtiğimiz aylarda kendi güvenlik ihtiyaçlarınızı anlamanıza yardım edecek bir yöntemi rehber olarak yazmıştım.

Ancak başa dönecek olursak, güvenlik ve gizlilik hepimizin temel seviyede beklediği ve istediği bir şey. Bunu da ancak belirli alışkanlıklarımızı değiştirerek ve daha iyi alternatifleri tercih ederek yaygınlaştırabiliriz.

Bu konudaki algının değişmesi için (özellikle dijitalde) güvenlik ve gizlilik konusunda temel seviyeyi olabildiğince yüksekte tutmamız lazım. Bunun yolu da bu seviyeyi sağlayacak araçların yaygınlaşması. Ne kadar çok kişi Signal kullanırsa o güvenlik seviyesi normalimiz olacak.Tam aksi şekilde ne kadar çok kişi “aman neyi gizliyoruz sanki” diyerek daha az gizlilik sunan alternatiflere yönelirse, o zaman herkes için daha fazla güvenlik ve gizlilik isteyenler azınlık hâline gelip dışlanacak. Yani amacımız toplumsal algıyı değiştirmek olmalı.

Bu yüzden iyisiyle kötüsüyle şu an bu konuları konuşuyor olmamızdan memnunum. Çünkü dijital güvenlik artık hayatımızın mecburi parçalarından birisi ve maalesef internette bu gizlilik haklarımızı ihlal etmek isteyen çok farklı gruplar ve şirketler kol geziyor. Eğer biz bu konuda güçlü bir minimum seviyede ısrarcı olursak ve bunun normalimiz olmasını sağlarsak, daha güvenli ve keyifli bir internet kullanabileceğiz. Kendi verilerimizin nasıl ve ne şekilde kullanılacağına karar verme hakkına sahip olmak da bunun ilk aşaması.

Şu an WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram vb ekseninde konuşuyoruz ama bu tüm interneti kapsayan bir mesele. Uzaktan eğitim, evden çalışma, devlet işlerinin dijitalde yapılması, sağlık verileri gibi birçok konuda temel seviyede bir güvenlik ve gizlilik hakkımız ve normalimiz olmalı.


Konuyla ilgili görüş verdiğim, soruları cevapladığım ve kaynak gösterildiğim yayınlar:

Categories
In English İnternet Notları | Notes From Internet

RSS is not dead?

It looks like people are finally waking up to the fact that RSS was never dead. I don’t know why people claimed that just because a tech overlord decided something is not profitable for them. People are still using it and it’s as good and alive as it’s always been.

At the end of 2019, Jay Springett told people they should start a blog. This year Matt Webb created a really good website to introduce people to RSS and Tom Critchlow put out a really good idea about how to use RSS in creative ways, which I talked about it earlier. Plus, Substack started a beta for their RSS reader —which is mainly for their newsletters, I know it’s confusing— and Sara M. Watson declared the return of RSS readers.

I think calling it “people are returning to RSS” is more accurate but that probably won’t make people click on a link. But that’s what actually is happening and I think that’s heavily related to something I talked about earlier.

After all this chatter and seeing how Matt decided to put out his OPML file online, I thought maybe I should do something like that too. Especially because there are more and more people wants to start using RSS readers again but don’t know where to start. If you enjoy the kind of stuff I talk about, my list can help you to start filling your reader.

There are some notes about the list at the page but I also recommend checking Jay’s blog post about how he uses his reader.

And finally, if you want to share feed recommendations you think I —or people visiting here— might enjoy following, comments are open.

Categories
Blogchains In English İnternet Notları | Notes From Internet Rethinking the Internet

Rethinking How I Use Internet: 8

This entry is part 8 of 10 in the series Rethinking the Internet

Goodreads today looks and works much as it did when it was launched. The design is like a teenager’s 2005 Myspace page: cluttered, random and unintuitive. Books fail to appear when searched for, messages fail to send, and users are flooded with updates in their timelines that have nothing to do with the books they want to read or have read. Many now use it purely to track their reading, rather than get recommendations or build a community. “It should be my favourite platform,” one user told me, “but it’s completely useless.”

Why Goodreads is Bad for Books

Goodreads is one of those platforms people really hate but feel like there’s no other option. Especially with Amazon buying it years ago and only adding Kindle integration and not dealing with anything else (such as their major spam account issue and not even being able to report them) it’s turning more and more into a website which is used by Amazon for selling more stuff.

There has been some discussions I’m following about what could be done about it. Tom Critchlow‘s “Library JSON“. Decentralized projects always gets me excited but at the same time I know that it’s practically impossible to turn it into something adoptable by everyone. Mostly because decentralized projects generally think about people who are technically more capable.

This doesn’t mean that I’m not going to test it when Tom makes a more robust version of Library JSON. I’m sure I will. But right now I have a new possible favorite called TheStoryGraph. There are many things I like about it and it really solves a lot of the personal problems I have with Goodreads.

From there, The StoryGraph recommends books, marked by thematic tags and length and accompanied by well-researched synopses. But beyond the design and descriptive tags, there is one major difference Goodreads users will notice: ratings are almost unnoticeable, deprioritised to the bottom of the page.

Why Goodreads is Bad for Books

TheStoryGraph is definitely more social but not like Facebook or Twitter, which are focused on playing you with their algorithms and not actually caring about what you want from these platforms. They’re actually focused on helping people to find new books.

Of course there are things TheStoryGraph has to be careful about while growing up. Tom’s quote on this summarizes it beautifully:

But Tom Critchlow argues that a “better Goodreads”, with functionality such as The StoryGraph offers, must avoid falling for the “seductive and imaginary ideas about social networks” that doomed a long list of previous competitors, including his own. “So many people dream of disrupting Goodreads,” he says, “[but] focus on the wrong things, myself included.”

Why Goodreads is Bad for Books

So far it seems like they’re not going to fall into it and I hope I’m not wrong.

Right now I moved all my Goodreads data to TheStoryGraph and will be using it actively. You can check my profile and see how it works and looks like, you can do it from here.

Categories
Ahmet Nerede | Where's Ahmet İnternet Notları | Notes From Internet Not Defteri | Notebook Türkçe

Sosyalkafa’da Özgür Hocamı Andık

11 Temmuz, benim için çok önemli insanlardan birisi olan ve “Özgür Hocam” olarak andığım Özgür Uçkan’ın ölümünün beşinci yıldönümüydü. Bunun anısında 17 Temmuz akşamı Sosyalkafa ve Türk-İnternet.com ortaklığında çok değerli bir canlı yayın gerçekleştirildi. Özgür Uçkan’ın ailesi ve eski arkadaşlarının yanı sıra internet aktivizmi ve hak mücadelesi alanında beraber çalıştığı birçok isim de yayına katıldı ve hem Özgür hocayı hem de birlikte geçirdiğimiz süreçleri, yaptıklarımızı ve anılarımızı paylaştık.

Dürüst olmak gerekirse, böyle önemli bir ismi bu şekilde anabilmemiz fazlasıyla önemliydi. Ayrıca turk-internet.com’un bu yıldan başlayarak her yıl vereceği “Türk İnternet’ine Katkı” ödülünün ilkini de Özgür Uçkan’a bu yayında vermesi, Türkiye’deki internet kültürüne ve alanın gelişimine katkılarını anmanın güzel bir yolu oldu.

Kendisine ve bizler üzerinde bıraktığı etkiye dair söylenecek çok şey var. 2 saatlik bu yayında bir kısmını anabildik ama bunları unutmamamız ve üzerine daha fazlasını inşa etmemiz gerektiğini de hatırladık bu yayın sayesinde. Umuyorum ki bu yayın güzel bir ivme yaratacak.


Bir de küçük duyuru ekleyeyim. Geçtiğimiz aylarda Özgür hocamın kişisel sitesinin bir şekilde kaybolduğunu ve alan adının alakasız kişilerce satın alındığını farkedip üzülmüştüm. Alternatif Bilişim Derneği’nden arkadaşlar sitenin arşivini derleyip orjinal hâliyle tekrar yayına aldılar. Bu değerli arşivin tekrar internete döndüğünü görmek çok mutlu etti beni. Çok teşekkürler emeği geçen herkese.


Daha Önce:
Categories
In English İnternet Notları | Notes From Internet Not Defteri | Notebook

The Need for Private Digital Places

Today Jay Owens wrote a really good Twitter thread on the problems of blaming private social places like Facebook and WhatsApp groups for everything.

Which already explains so many of those problems but I want to focus on two specific sides of it. One of them is the fact that those who claim that private groups are causing the fake news/extremism/everything wrong with the internet are not aware of the privilege they’re living in. Thinking that we can fix everything if we make it public can easily traced back to early 2010s anti-privacy argument “I have nothing to hide.” Most of these people never been in a situation which they needed a safe and/or private space to talk and discuss about their world views and ideas and it clearly shows.

Also thinking that we can solve everything if all of these groups are public (which because of my MA thesis I read similar arguments a lot), means that we can track and analyze what everyone is talking and detect the ones causing the problem early. Which is not just a really bad remake of Minority Report but also taking the side of the surveillance capitalism and one of the main reasons behind these problems.

Which brings me back to the recent discussion in Turkey related to “evil social media”. As a tradition we’re now discussing once again how to control these platforms and people doing evil things online from the government’s perspective. Which boils down to several options such as:

  • Track everything and everyone
  • Make platforms delete everything government doesn’t like
  • Ban all of them
  • And my personal favorite (and this is real), make a law forcing everyone to enter these platforms with their national ID numbers.

If you’re one of those people who’s against the private channels and groups, you should think that these are all amazing ideas, except banning them. But most of the people writing those pieces would think these proposals are authoritarian, anti freedom of speech etc. Because that’s what they actually are.

So let me just ask, how do you think that making everything public will solve these problems you’re aiming to solve? Do you really think that all of these are happening just because it’s private, or what you really want is some authority to control everything people are doing online? If it’s the first one, you should do some actual research about those issues you’re dealing with and then start writing only after that. And if it’s the latter, thanks for helping many governments around the world to feel like they’re doing the right thing by surveilling and censoring their people all the time.

Aside from the fact that forcing every conversation into public and making it available to surveillance and censorship, this whole argument just dismissed many of the real reasons behind the current problems we’re facing online. I know those people will probably won’t change their minds or think about these issues in a more nuanced way because, like Jay said, no one wants to publish those. Who has time to think about the complex problems in a nuanced way when you can blame one thing and get the clicks.


There’s also another problem with this approach to private groups. Thinking that people only go to private places because they want somewhere to spread their “dark” ideas is just dismissed the problems platforms causing. Just think about how algorithmic timelines, forced interactions, surveillance based ads and economic models, context collapse and doomscrolling affects people.

While all of these happening, it’s more than normal for people to look for a place which they can have more control over. A Facebook group which includes only the people interested in a specific topic, WhatsApp groups for family/friends/neighbors, locking their social media accounts, returning to newsletters and blogs to have a conversation about the topics you want with only the people interested in it. Even Discord just recently changed their branding because there is a big wave of people who creates channels to talk about things other than gaming.

It’s clear that whatever is motivating people to be more private online is something much bigger than any scapegoating attempt we see. It’s also getting more and more clear that people want more control on their digital interactions and want private spaces to talk about things which they want to keep inside a smaller group. If people who can’t (or don’t want to) fully understand what is really going on will have the power to influence how to act on this, I don’t think anything good will come out of it.

Categories
In English İnternet Notları | Notes From Internet

Start Select Reset Zine #001: Your Attention is Sovereign

Jay (previously) has a new digital zine out, which includes his writings and podcast transcriptions about the internet, social media and attention economy. He talks about many things such as multitasking, how we’re using our devices, productivity and how he changed his social media use and more. I’ve finished it in one sitting and already waiting for the new issues.

I am also deeply suspicious of the term productivity in general. It has its origins on slave plantations and the British Empire, and it makes me uneasy how management consultants and the wider business world just throw the term around.

SSRZ – 001 – Your Attention Is Sovereign

On a related note: This format —PDF collections of writings either as a zine or a book— is something I’ve been thinking about lately. Seeing good examples like this one motivates me more to experiment with it. Maybe not right now but definitely in the near future.

Categories
In English İnternet Notları | Notes From Internet Not Defteri | Notebook

#CoveringClimateNow Week is Here

From the project website:

Our initiative includes more than 250 outlets worldwide, and dozens of institutional and independent partners, with a combined audience of more than 1 billion people.

From September 15-23, our partners have committed to emphasizing climate stories. The goal is to maximize coverage of the climate crisis and its impacts in the lead up to the United Nations Climate Summit on September 23.

Many major outlets such as The Guardian, The Nation, BuzzFeedNews, Bloomberg and Gizmodo joined as a partner to this project. Which is quite important considering the issue. Seeing that journalists taking it seriously and using their tools and power to cover the climate crisis as powerful as possible to create a pressure over the UN Climate Summit is something we really needed.

We’re also part of it as NewsLabTurkey and our aim for this week to help Turkish journalists and media people to have a wider perspective on climate crisis and climate journalism and help them to reach new tools to cover this issue. This is the least we can do.

Helping this project and coverage put out during this week to reach as many people as possible is really important. We don’t have much time left to take some serious action and we should be in support of any attempt in that direction. So go visit the partner outlets, share their stories and use the hashtag #coveringclimatenow so more people will learn about it.

Categories
In English İnternet Notları | Notes From Internet

‘Ralphing’ and Compass Memes

Last week I talked a bit about compass memes on my newsletter. It was something came out of nowhere but the more I think about it, I feel like there is more to think and talk about it.

Jay, who introduced me to the compasses, also recently wrote about it on his blog. Including a good amount of reading and some connections to ‘Ralphing.’

One of the things I think is clear about this form of compass media object is that they rapidly open up new cognitive territory. But they also seize and claim the new territory the moment that you realise that it has formed in your brain. Like laying tarot cards of a kind you have never seen before on the table, and before you can read the spread shouting SNAP and pulling them back.

In the meme theory back channels I frequent this is known as “Ralphing”.

095 :: Half formed thoughts On ‘Ralphing’ and Compass Memes

If this whole conversation sounds interesting, you should read the whole thing. And then start writing your own thoughts or making your own compasses.