Home/Tag: tech

Someone else’s computers.

cloud, the (n) – Servers. A way to keep more of your data off your computer and in the hands of big tech, where it can be monetized in ways you don’t understand but may have agreed to when you clicked on the Terms of Service. Usually located in a city or town whose elected officials exchanged tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks for seven full-time security guard jobs.

From how to speak techbro.

2019-12-18T09:52:56+11:0030th December, 2019|Tags: culture, tech|


Another study found that “in order for the performance of black service providers to be rated equivalent to whites, blacks had to amplify and fake positive emotions to override those negative racial stereotypes. In other words, to be seen as good as white employees, black employees need to perform more “emotional labor”, a concept introduced by sociologist Arlie Hochschild.”

“Though putting on a smile might seem like a small price to pay to get ahead at work, research shows that keeping up a friendly façade is a path to job burnout, a state of complete exhaustion linked to a desire to quit and health issues. Recognizing this situation is a first step to improving conditions for black employees and customers alike.”

Are we as digital professionals designing a service-based world where huge numbers of mentally stressed service workers are forced to fake-smile their way through the day while they beg for ratings from their rich, pampered customers?

Gerry McGovern on smiling gigs.

(I mean. Yes, yes we 100% are…)

2019-12-18T09:52:56+11:0027th December, 2019|Tags: culture, tech|


The argument for removing websites (specifically personal websites) from Google search.

I haven’t totally blocked Googlebot from, through this post did make me rethink my approach and severely limit what Google is allowed to see; basically, it can index the “commercial” portions of the site, but none of the personal ones. (And for some of my other, smaller, exclusively personal sites, I’ve blocked Google entirely…)

2019-12-18T09:52:56+11:0025th December, 2019|Tags: google, tech|


So I was thinking about how building my website feels like building myself, and I thought… hasn’t this been true since I first started building websites in 1995? I got my first personal domain in 2001, and building an online space to represent myself has always meant choosing what I want the world to know about me, who I want to seem to be, and by defining who I want to seem to be, am I not defining who I want to actually be?

Kimberly Hirsh on the self.

Identity construction is a trope that pops up again and again and again in my own work, and to read Hirsh linking it to the late ’90s/early ’00s personal web scene is… illuminating.

2019-08-28T15:03:07+10:0018th December, 2019|Tags: culture, tech|

Small social.

On the subject of the small, personal web: how to run a small-scale social network. (It’s not as hard as you think!)

For what it’s worth, I ten to think the approach described in the link is a bit too small, with the risk that the resulting networks are too cliquish/insular, and can lead to both disenfranchisement of marginalized people (who don’t fit the right “party mold”), as well as can foster an environment of hyper-vigilance where everyone is policing everyone else and/or feeling policed (think, e.g. every dysfunctional apartment block/small town you’ve ever lived in or, worse, been on some kind of management body for).

The approach I take for for example is a bit more open while still being relatively small (we sit at around a hundred active users a week as I’m writing this), and it’s been working fairly well so far…

2019-12-18T10:13:49+11:0017th December, 2019|Tags: fediverse, social media, tech|


Do you need to tell someone to fuck off but don’t want the hassle of doing it the old fashioned, manual way? Not a problem! There’s now an API for that.

2019-08-27T15:08:21+10:0016th December, 2019|Tags: tech|

The personal web.

There is one alternative to social media sites and publishing platforms that has been around since the early, innocent days of the web. It is an alternative that provides immense freedom and control: The personal website. It’s a place to write, create, and share whatever you like, without the need to ask for anyone’s permission. It is also the perfect place to explore and try new things, because, as Seth Godin likes to say, we now live in a world of “unlimited bowling”. It is totally up to you what you create and because you have unlimited shots on the Web, you can try out different formats, different styles, different topics. Regardless of what other people might think and although it might not work. Creation is free.

Matthias Ott on home.

Obviously I’m biased but, honestly, if you’ve never experienced the quiet freedom of developing your own personal websites, I’d strongly recommend trying it (and Ott gives a bunch of places to start if you’re curious, to boot).

2019-08-27T15:05:21+10:0015th December, 2019|Tags: tech|