It must have been somewhen 2009 that I had my first account with Twitter, Inc. I was not really sure what to do about it. How can you have a serious conversation or share useful information when you are limited to just 140 characters? Somehow this service still felt relevant.
Over the years, it became increasingly valuable. It enabled me to follow amazing people, to read enriching discussions, and to benefit a lot from the shared knowledge, opinions, and all the useful pointers to stunning resources on the Internet. Not only for me personally, but also on a professional level. At some point in time, I came to the conclusion to close all other social media handles – namely orkut, StudiVZ, Facebook, LinkedIn, Xing – as compared to Twitter, the output was close to zero and I wanted to focus on what became helpful to me.
Yet, my own contribution to the dialogue remained little. I tweeted about new additions to my online presences, took part in a few conversations, and mostly re-tweeted quite some stuff that I either considered worth getting the required attention or which I just appreciated to being pointed at.
All the time I did not feel that comfortable of the fact that I am the actual product, as its service remained free of charge. Is a “Like” already way too personal, so they’d be able to precisely profile me?
I highly value everything that the Twitter staff has done to make the platform the way it came to be … was.
Now is time to move on. The Fediverse is in every dimension much more close to what I was originally looking for. And I have found my way to get there.
So long, Twitter – Inc. and its community … thanks for the amazing ride, you definitely made history!
The current circumstances also forced conferences (those gatherings with really large audiences) completely into cyberspace. Some sticked with traditional approaches to stream talks via off-the-shelf videoconferencing applications and built upon the integrated very limited interaction features offered by these poor proprietary tools. Others have gone complete new ways and brought fascinating and well working concepts on how to still successfully connect the crowds to enable lively conversations and facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experiences in a distant environment.
Let’s start with rc3 and its virtual conference venue in form of rc3 world, implemented with Work Adventure. In a pixel-2D-adventure-style you could walk around the area and as soon as you are approaching other characters, a live audio and video stream with those humans or other live forms controlling the character would open. Limited to 4-5 persons at a time, it allowed you to talk directly with each other – face to face. Due to the limitation of participants you were still able to have a working conversation.
Somehow you needed to get used to having an unexpected and sudden interaction with one and another – on live video, but still it brought back the heavily missed opportunity to get in personal touch with other participants who are sharing possibly similar interests.
The FOSDEM 2021, the worlds biggest conference on Free and Open Source Software usually taking place in Bruxelles, had for me a very convincing overall concept. The organizers and infrastructure artists have done a tremendous job that allowed for the most impressive conference experience so far and for long. Naturally and purely based on Free Software, at its core matrix, element, and Jitsi.
How did it work and what was so great about it?
Presentations of specific areas of interest had been summarized in virtual rooms with a fixed agenda, like in most physical conferences. Participants logged into a chat infrastructure which represented the rooms by group conversations. You would simply join the room(s) that you are interested in and could start texting with each other and the speakers like on IRC. Talks had been recorded beforehand and where automatically started – by the computer (systemd) – at their scheduled time. Its audio and video were streamed right above your chat window. When the talk ended, the Q&As were streamed live for a fixed amount of time within that room until the next talk started auto-playing according to schedule. During that first part of the Q&A session of a talk, moderators where clarifying upvoted questions and comments from the chat and interacting realtime with the presenters. Those interested could then continue discussing with the speakers and further extend their conversation by switching to a separate room. So per talk you had a dedicated room for the second part of the Q&A that would open shortly after and even allowed anyone there to interact live via audio and video.
In sum that meant that you could check the schedule for topics you are interested in, connect at the announced time and be sure to really listen to that talk instead of watching tech staff doing mic checks or heavily delayed earlier talks whilst being unsure about if and when the one you came for would actually start.
In addition the highly valued Q&A and following backstage (and off the record) conversations could still take place without interrupting or being interrupted by the subsequent talk.
Just impressive and so useful! Thanks a lot to all who made this happen and work that well! These concepts are now here to stay, even when conferences will hopefully resume soon back in the physical world.
Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.
We have no elected government, nor are we likely to have one, so I address you with no greater authority than that with which liberty itself always speaks. I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us. You have no moral right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true reason to fear.
Die Bundestagswahl steht kurz bevor (diesen Sonntag, 24. September 2017) und Ihr habt immer noch nicht alle Wahlprogramme durchgearbeitet? Kein Problem, neben dem altbekannten Wahl-O-Mat der Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung/bpb gibt es eine Vielzahl an ähnlichen, vergleichenden Hilfestellungen.
Sobald es um IT-Sicherheit bzw. genauer gesagt, den Schutz der Privatsphäre bei der Nutzung von Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologie geht, hat der Laie kaum eine Chance den Rat der Experten zu folgen. Die zu Grunde liegende Technik ist an sich schon recht komplex. Bei der Aufklärung bedienen sich Experten am liebsten Ihrem Fachjargon, während den unbedarften Nutzern beim Zuhören nur die Ohren flattern. Sobald diese dann noch jäh aus Ihrer heilen Welt gerissen werden, durch Whistleblower die von einer omnipräsenten Überwachung durch repressive Regime, Geheimdienste und andere kriminelle Organisationen berichten … mag man am Ende nur hoffen, dass alles nicht so schlimm ist und man selbst ja eh nichts zu verbergen hat … und man macht weiter wie bisher.
Erinnert sich noch jemand an das Video “Du bist Terrorist” von 2009? Darin hat Alexander Lehmann die drohende Gefahr durch eine Vorratsdatenspeicherung überzeugend animiert. Die große Angst war damals, dass man durch die geplante Einführung der Vorratsdatenspeicherung in Deutschland früher oder später in einem Überwachungsstaat leben könnte.
Wie jeder spätestens seit Snowden weiß, sind wir heute bereits deutlich weiter. Aus diesem Grund mit passendem Titel “Wir lieben Überwachung” das neueste Video von Alexander Lehmann: