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Fighting the Attempted Murder of the Web
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My revolt against the dominance of social media and an institutional attempt to kill off the world wide web begins today. Granted the fight is in my own comfortable way, but still, maybe I'll inspire others.

Simply put I have removed the sharing functionality to Facebook and Twitter from my Battle Blog entries. From now on, in place of where those icons would appear at the end of each article when viewed as a comment or permalink, visitors will see the following tagline:

Status quo institutions are attempting to kill the hyperlink and relegate you to social media. Resist by sharing this content's hyperlink. To share this content copy the URL below to your clipboard and paste it to the medium of your choice. Never let the world forget about the World Wide Web.

That (valid and spot on) hyperbole will be followed by a pre-filled text field with the URL of the current article and a simple javascript button to copy that URL to your clipboard.

Seeing where things are going, it's safe to assume that ultimately the large browser producers will one day inhibit the easy copy/pasting of URLs as part of the appreciated effort to further stamp out the web. But for now it works, at least in Chrome. If it doesn't work for you then do it the old fashioned way by copying right from the URL bar, at least until the day URLs no longer appear in the said URL bar because, again, everyone wants the hyperlink dead and buried. It will one day be obfuscated or removed altogether.

My fight is not to kill social media. After all, the very invite to copy the URL suggests that you can then paste it to the "medium of your choice" which includes Facebook or Twitter or whatever the next big atrocity happens to be. I myself love and use Twitter and paste hyperlinks there all the time. Though, speaking of which in the context of this entry, I did recently quit Facebook as yet another stab in the fight, among other reasons.

Check My Click
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A while ago I programmed my blogs in such a way that visitors who attempt to visit my blogs via mobile devices would be "blocked". Instead of reaching my blog they reached a mobile-friendly page explainer which told them that my blogs were meant to be enjoyed with a cup of coffee or glass of wine while surfing the web from a home PC or laptop.

In essence I decided to give up running two production houses: One for the PC web and the other for mobile, favoring the former. In my mind the predicament boiled down to the problem that must have beset producers at the cusp of radio and television. You have a show to play but where do you play it? After all your show will not project the same on both mediums.

So I decided I would stick with the PC web and control for presentational bleed by programtically discouraging mobile visitors. And it worked. Without concerning myself with the endless perimeter of the visiting universe I was able to focus my development to produce faster and more in depth articles.

Still, I couldn't help but wonder why it was so difficult to serve both audiences comfortably on a platform that was designed specifically to remain open to all (that platform being the web which you've probably forgotten about if Facebook is getting its way).

I thought about it a long time and then realized that maybe I needed to re-think at least part of the problem. It's true that I didn't want the overhead of composing for two foundations, but what if there wasn't an overhead for the important part which is each blog entry itself?

Mobile visitors are not interested in a blog's larger presentation. They are darting out to content from their social media applications before withdrawing directly (and quickly) back. To them one's "blog" is nothing more than the single entry they focused on for all of a minute before getting back to LOLing party pictures in their newsfeeds.

On this angle and as master of my own blogging engine, I decided to alter it so that mobile-friendly output existed concurrent to the PC based output. I could not do this for the entire blogging engine which would essentially mean re-writing it from the ground up in unfamiliar code, but, I could do it using simple HTML and a "redirect" to output that drew directly from the same entry database. I just needed a separate entry rendering script that took the same text as that which appeared on the PC version and re-composed it in mobile-friendly HTML.

It took a day, but that's what I've done. And if I've done it right, you can view this very entry on a PC with no aggravating contortion to look good on "both" PC and mobile. Or, you can click on a link in your dang-nabbit "Facebook web" and find yourself looking at a clean scrollable article that looks great on your phone.

I draw a deep sigh, click "Publish", and sit back to see what happens.

Master of My Domain
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I left Facebook again! I must struggle to consolidate my online content into one place - a domain and hosting service that I and I alone control. I have to be congruent with the mantra of my blog after all.

I've been through the "quit Facebook" drill a hundred times already, so what makes this time different? Easy, I'm not over-thinking the decision, not contemplating the ease of the service to connect me to the most people, nor am I thinking of the informal social mandate that I be there or somehow exist as a "un-trusted" entity on the planet. I am the most searchable person on the web with one of the deepest personally generated narratives there; I don't need Facebook to vouch for me.

I will pretend Facebook never existed and for that matter rely more on my belief that the web's future is interpersonal rather than mass in substance. I am pretty sure the "lasting" version of people's web life will be spent keeping very narrow, ephemeral, and encrypted connections to people that they have tighter rather than looser bonds with. Capricious "click-to-friend" will become a thing of the past. Facebook will become Familybook, for example.

Posting my content will be much more simplified now that I don't have to try and disseminate across multiple social media channels. If I have anything interesting to say ever again you can find it here. I'm still on Twitter, one of the best supplemental apps for an independent web presence ever developed.

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