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Converged Thoughts Seven

Jay Cuthrell
January 4th, 2017 · 3 min read

Looking Back & Looking Ahead

Cleaned my desk area and found this relic of 2010... my how time flies!

Cleaned my desk area and found this relic of 2010… my how time flies!

I’ve maintained a website of some form or anther for more than 20 years. My blogging (when that term was coined) has been sporadic depending on what I was doing career wise at the time.

As the Web developed, so did the distractions of namespace on properties I did not control. Sometimes it just seemed easier to make it another platform’s problem to manage. Thankfully, I never had an animated glitter background on MySpace. whew!

Still, even as I tap this update into Revue I’m reminded of how many years I’ve been making updates as an annual event. For example, I’ve provided updates on my roles with the company that is now a part of Dell EMC.

600x200 My Sixth Year at VCE and My Sixth Week at Dell EMC

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600x200 1 My Fifth Year at VCE

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600x200 2 My Fourth Year at VCE

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600x200 3 My Third Year at VCE

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600x200 4 My Second Year at VCE

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600x200 5 My First Year at VCE

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What hasn’t changed is the experimentation with different ways to present the blog. In fact, I’m still considering what I’ll do for 2017 with the rendering side of the workflow. We’ll see.

Jpc0KbFA 400x400 I just got my $1.11 bill from @cloudfoundry and I’m wondering how much it will be to move over my blog from @github pages completely.

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That tweet was from 2015. So, clearly I’m a bit behind on this goal. Then again, I’m sensitive to the ongoing monthly cost of maintaining a blog. Hence, using my GitHub repository as a means to accomplish already paid for blog hosting.

I’ve flirted with Ghost, Hugo, and a few other approaches but I keep coming back to the low cost and near bulletproof use of GitHub Pages. At this point, all of the features are gems and allowing the flat file rendering to be done without my involvement.

One thought I had was to crowdsource or use AMT / Upwork (Elance) / et al to “hire” editors to clean up all the spelling and formatting issues by simply having them do pull requests. Yet, that hasn’t happened.

WordPress was probably one of the worst experiments I’ve tried in maintaining a blog. Partly, this is because I derived more pleasure from maintaining the LAMP stack and WordPress than I did actually writing.

That notion of avoiding the maintaining has made me reconsider but not actually make a move to Medium.

0 TI4jG1LaX3sdrYlg Jay Cuthrell – Medium

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When I think about the convergence of all the publishing and collecting and curating I’m trying to achieve (with any blog or microblogging format) it all boils down to how do I aggregate and how do I guarantee I have some control over my published materials. This, however, is easier wished than found as a toolset or methodology.

One method is to commit to a single CMS and then leverage plugins or syndication to funnel all third-party updates into a consistent stream. Yet another approach is to set up an IFTTT recipe for everything and agree upon a lowest common denominator for central collection. Unfortunately, each of these has warts.

So, will there be a convergence of activity streams? Will this be mere aggregation? Will there be annoyances as different services cooperate then decide to break embedded media conventions?

It is difficult to say in these feisty times. Yet, I do think that convergence will come to our publishing and data creation. Partly, I’m encouraged to see articles that place the computing power closer to the person as a long term outcome.

608376187 1280x720 The End of Cloud Computing on Vimeo

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“I’m going to take you out to the edge to show you what the future looks like.” So begins a16z partner Peter Levine as he takes us on a “crazy”…

On the other hand, there will also be unique and fierce independent views on how personal computing can be made personal once again. A few that I find interesting are Diaspora, SeaFile, and Keybase.

293207 Release diaspora* 0.6.2.0 · diaspora/diaspora · GitHub

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diaspora - A privacy-aware, distributed, open source social network.

1948782 GitHub - haiwen/seafile: File syncing and sharing software with file encryption and group sharing, emphasis on reliability and high performance.

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seafile - File syncing and sharing software with file encryption and group sharing, emphasis on reliability and high performance.

chalkboard 900 630 Keybase

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Public key crypto for everyone, publicly auditable proofs of identity.

Convergence in the space of activity streams will be fascinating. On the one hand, an “it just works” outcome is usually associated with very tightly integrated hardware, software, and services. On the other hand, much of the activity stream today crosses boundaries of services, devices, and even software specific “verbs” where sharing and publishing have very silo specific meaning.

So, to wrap up, what convergence will mean in the future is a way to look back very quickly an easily with rich context and a way to project or look ahead. If there is AI or ML put into place it will be behind the scenes from a user experience point of view. Brittle meta data of today will simply not be of as much consequence due to the richness of enclosures that conform to an agreed upon standard that is universally demanded by everyone.

In short, the future may already be here… and eventually consistent.

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