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I've been thinking a lot lately about federated platforms and the tools users need to manage their online presence when it's spread over multiple apps and instances, instead of consolidated into a single Facebook profile.

The challenges seem to boil down to how to manage, for a given "post" (a unit of content that a person would like to share), what other people should see that post. By extension, that means that the other thing to manage is what other people a given person wants to communicate with and how those people can be reached.

One of the biggest lessons that was hammered into me in my college writing courses was to always consider my audience. I think we do far too much "shouting into the void" where we either post in public to nobody in particular, or worse, we post on public content that was created with a much more limited audience in mind. (Yes, I see the irony—hypocrisy even—of posting that sentence to my Mastodon account.)

I also have a very strong tendency to avoid starting on anything until I can see how it would be completed, which leads me to start few things and therefore finish few things. I also tend to think more about digital tools that are polished enough for my mother to use, which is also a high bar to clear.

To combat that, what I'd like to do in this case is start working on a set of tools for publishing content that I create. They'll be very rough and specific, because I'll design them only to solve my immediate problems. But I do hope to write about them, and hopefully over time they can morph into something more socially beneficial.

For what it's worth, the writing that I do here is mostly done from my iPhone, in markdown using the Pretext app (itunes.apple.com/us/app/pretex). I keep a copy of what I write in a git repository (using the Working Copy app to push it to GitLab), which should give me the option to do things with it later if I want.

I think the next step, as I alluded to yesterday, is creating some kind of basic app for iPhone that will allow for sharing content via the activity hook. I don't know anything about iPhone development, so I might need to recruit someone for that.

I also have in mind the creation of scripts or utilities that could run on a Raspberry Pi and do some publishing type work (like tweeting my Mastodon posts) automatically. We'll see how far I get: it's not as though I have copious amounts of spare time.

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