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#Domains 19 Day 2 Breakout Session 2: Weaponizing Your Website

Speakers: Jennifer Hill

Abstract: There is a war a raging in our cyberworld and it is time for you to join the resistance. Cambridge Analytica stealing Facebook user’s data, white supremacists getting verified on Twitter, and child pornography on Instagram. The list of atrocities continues. We as technologists know the inner workings of social media platforms more than anybody. We see the hypocrisy and the evil of social media platforms in a way that most people do not. It is time for us to awaken from our passivity and take a stance against our corporate social media overlords. Weaponizing Your Website will give you ideas, or ammunition, to fight against our broken social media world. This bootcamp will include learning how to utilize the strongest weapons in your stockpile; your voice and your website. With me, Jenn Hill, a University of Mary Washington student, at the helm I will prepare you for taking up arms and battling the corporate social media tyrants.

My Notes

tl;dr: Social media is killing the personal website.

Hill argues that we need to become less reliant on social media by using our own websites to host our voice. This ties into the POSE (publish once, syndicate everywhere) idea that Jim and the Domains community has been pushing.

Avowedly ironic twitter embed:

In Q&A: what kind of reception do you get for this message? Hill said that freshman in digital identity workshops take FaceBook and other social media at face value. It takes work to help students see the ways in which their data is being sucked up.

I didn’t get a chance to ask, but I’d like to hear more about the differential impact of having a student like Jennifer advocate for students to make their own web spaces as opposed to having staff or faculty make the same types of arguments. I really like the model UMW is using with their students, and I would love to see some discussion / analysis of their peer-to-peer work.

#Domains 19 Day 2 Breakout Session 1: HAX Chaotic Good

Speakers: Bryan Ollendyke

(Not really an) Abstract:

YOU SEE, I’M NOT A MONSTER… I’M JUST AHEAD OF THE CURVE

Unbalance, unrest, and chaos can be brought with one simple act: Giving away everything. It’s a notion I explored in my MS thesis via open source; because, edtech systems are build on power. Power and control technology is largely codified through institutional history. Collapsing control, we can restore a greater order. I want to take you into the philosophy and madness that drives me and inspires the team behind HAXTheWeb.

#HAXTheWeb at its core is a new way of creating and remixing content. Think of it as a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) built for the future. When I say WYSIWYG, you probably think text. But when I search YouTube, responsively embed it and save in ~10 seconds, all without leaving HAX or seeing HTML; it becomes clear this is not normal. This is just one massive time saver among many and why people in IndieWeb and OER communities are getting excited. Because HAX doesn’t live in just one platform. HAX is a platform that is portable and embeddable in many platforms, with all materials produced able to work in any other platform on the web.

Technology needs to focus more on why and less on how, especially now that Web components is THE way to build the web going forward! That focus on the why positions my team as villains in the edTech / LMS world. Like complex villains though, we have a competing vision of the world which is largely seen as chaos. Through this talk I’ll force you to challenge one critical idea: Why do you need platforms to publish?

CHAOS = SUPER VILLAIN

“You said you were a man of your word”

“I’m only burning my half. All you care about is money.. This town deserves a better class of criminal, and I’m going to give it to them..”

The establishment understands money. They won’t pursue what is best for education unless it prints green. There’s a lot of great things that have come out of this pure capitalist approach to edtech but rampant complacency via oligopolies has ensued. We must shake up the industry by pulling ourselves up through decentralization; otherwise, we’ll never see the change needed. HAX is distributed, decentralizes power, is flexible, portable, slick, fast, the best of HTML without knowing it, future proof, and.. free. “I’m only burning my half” in order to establish a new market place that serves us, not the other way around.

I once had strings, but now I’m free

HAX can be used in HAXcms, Drupal (6, 7, 8), BackdropCMS, GravCMS, and WordPress; today. All capabilities in all places. Content produced in HAX, no longer requires HAX to render afterwards.

What happens to our towers when their functionality provides equal Authoring Experiences (AX)?

What happens to Gutenberg (a WordPress only editor that is terrible for OER / open web) when we improve the AX of ALL solutions?

We will set you free.

My Notes

Bryan launched with a ferocious attack on LMS & CMS’s editor UX, noting amongst other things the lack of accessibility or even care about accessibility in Gutenberg (see the Gutenberg accessibility audit from WPCampus).

Bryan’s (not really tongue-in-cheek) goals is to collapse the publishing industry and the broken parts of education. I tend to get confused looks when I say that the publishing industry is evil, so Bryan’s comfort with, and the audience’s lack of pushback against, these goals was great to see.

Bryan’s argument against the current web, is that we need to simplify back to standards and use js Web Components <script type=”module”>.

BYU is already using this to unify branding. They no longer need to rely on a particular CMS, but can just use the components on any site. Check out their sites.

These web components can work across projects – a micro-service architecture.

This presentation was really exciting. I still don’t know how much of that excitement was Bryan yelling at us, and how much of it cashes out, but this might be the first thing I work on when I get back to campus. I want to build some stuff using web components and see what happens. I also want to stand up HAXeditor (now available in a one-click install on Reclaim) and see how it uses the Web Components.

#Domains 19 Breakout Session 1: The New Old Web

Speaker: Ilya Kreymer

Abstract: This talk will present innovative uses of Docker containers, emulators and web archives to allow anyone to experience old web sites using old web browsers, as demonstrated by the Webrecorder and oldweb.today projects. Combining containerization with emulation can provide new techniques in preserving both scholarly and artistic interactive works, and enable obsolete technologies like Flash and Java applets to be accessible today and in the future. The talk will briefly cover the technology and how it can be deployed both locally and in the cloud. Latest research in this area, such as automated preservation of education publishing platforms like Scalar will also be presented. The presentation will include live demos and users will also be invited to try the latest version of oldweb.today and interact with old browsers directly in their browser. The Q&A will help serve to foster a discussion on the potential opportunities and challenges of containerization technology in ‘future-proofing’ interactive web content and software.

My Notes

The presentation focused on how to both create and display archived versions of both websites and web browsers, so that we can emulate the experience of browsing the web for various historical sites. We can recover/preserve flash and java applets in a shareable way. The presentation featured two tools:

This presentation fit into a larger conversation about preservation and ephemerality of the web. Internet sites break over time as browsers and our expectations of the css, php, js, and other code change. These tools use containers to preserve the web, both retroactively and proactively.

The tools fill a gap that we stumbled into at OU when we were playing with archiving over the last couple of years. In terms of ease of use, open source, and broad applicability, the tools seem great. However, there are larger questions about why we would want to preserve things, who decides what to preserve, who owns the copies, etc.

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