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I have removed all the Disqus-based comments sections from Fogknife, only six weeks after starting the experiment. I wrote at the time that I’d keep them up through December at least, but not only have I grown disillusioned with the idea, I’ve since envisioned and applied an alternate approach to ✨social engagement✨ that I already like a lot better.
Please understand that I do value and appreciate the Disqus comments that I did receive, which in their entirety comprised my friend Doug shouting “First!” on the post where I announced the availability of Disqus comments. However, last month I got the idea to adjust the scope of my experiment to allow the addition of the Reply to this post on Twitter! hyperlinks currently visible on a few recent posts.
I’ll see how those links feel for the remainder of the year, instead. If I find myself really enjoying them, I may add Twitter-based back-links as a permanent Plerd feature. But in the meantime, I just felt bad about how crowded my posts looked with all that complicated Disqus-branded stuff lounging across a fat stripe of vertical space — all of it utterly inert, despite Doug’s best efforts. The humbly sized Twitter links, conversely, look exactly as I want them to, and do just what they say they do. And they do it all off-site, and I have to admit to myself I just like that better.
And here I must pause to genuflect in the direction of feeling just as complicated about Twitter, lately, as every other inveterate Twitter user I know. At a local event recently, I reprised a talk about blogging that I first wrote in 2015, and all but tripped over my own tongue when I encountered my own scripted line “I love Twitter!” Well… a lot can happen in two years, I suppose. I have a small pile of half-written ruminations exploring this more, and I hope to finish one someday soon.
A couple of weeks ago, I made like Marissa Meyer and designed myself a Fogknife logo. It replaces the found-art drawing of a physical fog knife by one “K. Sullivan” that I used on this blog’s rechristening announcement, and which I subsequently used as a default image for social-media metadata.
While I feel prepared to perform any rhetorical gymnastics necessary to defend the first instance under Fair Use, seeing Sullivan’s drawing (often automatically and painfully cropped) in Twitter or Facebook card-style summary-links made me wince. And since I quite deliberately added greater metadata support to my blog software recently, I felt reminded of my appropriative sin more than ever. So, I did this instead.
I created the logo using the same technique I used to design the IFComp logo, which is to say: I opened up Pixelmator, amused myself for a while by pushing letters around in a big square, and then added a single color to the square and called it a day. I still think it looks kind of cool, and so I judge it not half bad and leave it as it is.
Experimentally enabling commentsUpdate, October 2017: I’ve shut the experiment down early. The comments section described here no longer appears on Fogknife posts. More information here.
Announcing two new IndieWeb modules for PerlThe modules implement metadata techniques that help authors publishing on different websites meaningfully link up their respective work.
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