Socialist Social Media for the New Days: Long Live TIKKIT! [review]

SocialMediapocalypse

annnarkehmedia.com subscribers will be aware that following the most recent social mediapocalypse, I went dark for a little while on Big Tech’s social media monopolies, while I investigated what alternatives are currently available. I’m still not posting much to the old platforms. Spending a little time away from them has been really good for my mental health. Particularly in terms of getting a better perspective on the state of it all.

This will be my second review of alternative social media platforms.
You can also read about my first week on steemit.com, here.

tikkitlogo

One of the first new platforms I joined recently was tikkit.co.uk – which was only launched about a month or so ago. If I’m remembering correctly, it’s been endorsed by the great George Galloway on his radio show, the Mother of All Talk Shows. (I’ve not been able to find the link to that endorsement yet, so could be remembering it wrong. Apologies if so. I’ll update this post if and when I find the link).

INTRODUCTION/OVERVIEW

(From tikkit.co.uk‘s ‘about’ section)
“The aim of Tikkit is to become the most used site on the web, replacing Twitter to make mobile social media a truly free experience, no data collection, no location collection, no care for whatever app or site you last visited.

The software is owned by one person and it’s use has been gifted to everyone. The owner, admin and moderators are all left wing socialists based in the UK.

Together we have the power to make this the first socialist media platform based in the UK, created by the left for us all, not just the profiteers

Zero tolerance to fake news.”

The ‘one person’ who owns the software is a chap called ‘Tony X‘, who appears to be a proper old school socialist. Tony has been very responsive to every issue I’ve raised since joining Tikkit and he’s answered every question I’ve asked regarding Tikkit.

For example. When I first joined, the site only had the traditional binary gender designations; male or female. Being a genderless, anarcho-punk emoji, I tagged Tony asking them to add an ‘other’ option, which they did almost immediately. Similarly, when selecting which nation state you belong to, I wanted the option of being a ‘Citizen of the World’ which again, Tony made happen almost instantly. They even took some time to answer a few questions for this review.* (Thanks Tony, much respect)!

Tony_X_Qs

*wiixiiw is a new video hosting platform which Tony’s also been developing.

#AdvertisingShitsInYourHead

There’s currently no advertising on Tikkit, which is of course a most welcome and r3V0_|utionary change from the big social media monopolies’ abuse of our data. For me, the advertising industry’s mass manipulation of human thought and behaviour has been one of the most pernicious aspects of Big Tech in recent decades.

Apart from a distinct absence of corporations trying to sell you ideas and material shit you don’t need, Tikkit feels very much like a facebook/twitter hybrid. There’s a top trending hashtags column which displays the current top 5 trending hashtags. Another key distinction, is that the main prolefeed looks like it’s literally just a chronological list of posts. Seemingly no algorithms silently deciding which content you get to see and which you don’t.

ECHO CHAMBERS AREN’T NECESSARILY BAD

Initially, I was concerned that Tikkit would, by definition be a bit of a ‘Leftist’ ideological echo chamber. It is, though I’ve actually come to quite like that about it. It’s been great to have a space which is overtly and deliberately ‘left’ leaning to retreat to when the post truth, post satire world gets too much for my poor little brain. I think because everybody knows it’s a left leaning platform makes it an interesting and useful echo chamber to have.

However, having only launched recently it’s still quite sparsely populated. I decided to just follow everybody who’s joined so far, to get a decent overview of how it’s doing. It looks like there’s only about 330 users there so far but new people have been joining almost every day I’ve been there. As with all the burgeoning new platforms, it seems to be a question now of how many of these new users will start actually using their shiny new accounts or not.

You can create groups and 8 have been set up already; Disability, What About The Workers, BizEpeople, memes, inforapenny, Occupy2018, Philosophy and Jineology.

tikkit_groups.png
I didn’t know what Jineology was and had to look it up. So even with a smaller user base, Tikkit is already providing me with a useful social experience, ie: teaching me about stuff I didn’t already know.

CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM OF TIKKIT

At the moment, only a small handful of people seem to be posting regularly. Most of these seem to just be ‘hit and run’ or ‘flash’ posts, or flash floods of posts. (We’ve all done it…) That said, the quality of posts has generally been higher than on the old platforms and the few interactions and discussions I’ve had there have been generally friendlier and more interesting than on the old social media.

There’s scant other information about Tikkit, on the website or elsewhere on the internet. There’s no wikipedia entry about it and no FAQ, yet. I quite like this ‘mystery’ angle about it too. I don’t know how it’s going to turn out but my gut tells me that they’re good people.

I like Tony X and team Tikkit’s style. If enough comrades migrated there (and started using their accounts) it could become a powerful Leftist space, for both networking and possibly also for organising.

Onwards comrades, to the new days!

Long live TIKKIT!

PS: Little toes ARE really weird, but essential.

WP_TIKKIT

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Is This Post-Capitalism? My First Week on steemit.com [review]

SocialMediapocalypse
annnarkehmedia.com subscribers will be aware that following the most recent social mediapocalypse, I’ve mostly gone dark on the big social media monopolies while I investigate what alternatives are currently available.

This will be the first of several reviews which I’ll be posting.

steemit.com is by far and away the most mindblowing of all the new social media platforms I’ve discovered on my post-social mediapocalypse journey, so far. It’s so much deeper than I had anticipated. I’m realising that it’s potential for positive systemic change on a global scale is incredible. Unprecedented in fact, as far as I’m aware.

I was only looking for new social media platforms but it turns out that steemit could also be part of the solution to the world’s hopelessly corrupt monetary system.

Which is nice.

*CAVEAT/WARNING* these are my personal reflections after just over a week on steemit. It’s been challenging and some of my assumptions, conclusions and advice could yet prove to be wrong. I am fast becoming a steemvangelical but steemit might yet prove not to be the glorious utopia it currently appears to be.

Any corrections, further advice and constructive criticism welcome.Steemit

INTRODUCTION/OVERVIEW

Steemit, Inc. is a private company based in New York City, headquartered in Virginia. The company was founded by Ned Scott, and Dan Larimer, creator of BitShares, and EOS. It’s been building STEEM since it launched in March 2016.

There are very few rules on steemit but the context, culture and etiquette are very different to the old social media platforms and I’m still only just starting to figure it all out.

Steemians upvote posts and comments and the authors who get upvoted can receive a monetary reward in a virtual currency token named Steem and in US dollar-pegged tokens called Steem Dollars. People are also rewarded for curating (discovering and sharing) popular content. Vote strength and curation rewards are influenced by the amount of STEEM Power held. Steemians are affectionately referred to as ‘plankton, minnows, dolphins and whales’, representing the scale of their STEEM power, (wealth) and influence.

You don’t have to ‘buy in’ to get started on steemit.com. My account‘s currently got 0.788 STEEM power. At the current market rate, that’s about 50cents for my first day’s activity. Upvotes accumulate for a week at which point you can claim them. My most popular post on STEEMIT so far has reached the current market equivalent of about $1, give or take. My second most popular post has reached the market equivalent of $2. So it’s not about how many people upvote you, it’s about who upvotes you.

$2 isn’t a lot but it’s $2 more than big data were sharing with me. And it’s $2 just for posting something that I wanted to post, that had value to me, that others saw value in.

If everybody migrated to steemit the quality of popular discourse and the value of STEEM could both rise significantly.

THIRD PARTY APLICATIONS

Steemit includes a host of third-party applications, such as d.tube, which is a decentralized video platform. It’s similar to YouTube, but instead of advertisements, it uses the built-in STEEM currency which is awarded by people upvoting other people’s vids. #AdvertisingShitsInYourHead

There are LOADS of other third party apps, up and running and in development on steemit, including front ends which I haven’t looked at yet. I’m particularly excited to explore D.live – the steemit livestreaming service. Livestreaming to the blockchain would be really useful.

POSITIVE BEHAVIOURAL MODIFICATION

There are many subtle but profound differences between steemit and the old social media platforms, which I’m still adjusting to. At the moment they almost all seem positive, apart from the inevitable phenomenon of some (a lot) of people literally just unashamedly milking it for the sake of milking it.

So why do I think steemit is so good?

  • It’s not just that participating in the community is incentivised monetarily.
  • It’s not just that there are no advertisements constantly shitting in your head.
  • It’s not just that the preferred etiquette is for less frequent, higher quality posts
  • It’s not just that there’s no censorship, that you know everything you say and do is indelibly stored in the blockchain forever, so people are further incentivised to be more considerate and thoughtful.
  • It’s not just that there are no constant ‘notifications’ and other triggers demanding your attention and modifying your behaviour

It’s all of these things and many more which give me real hope in steemit, as a potentially paradigm shifting solution to so many of the micro and macro challenges which humanity currently faces.

THE ANCAP CHALLENGE

There seem to be quite lot of self identifying ancaps involved in and supporting steemit.com. I had always rejected anarcho-capitalism in the past, because I found the concept somewhat oxymoronic but in the context of the steemisphere and it’s relationship to actual social value I have to warmly welcome and applaud their work, and their ostensibly long sighted ethical and moral compass.

If like me you’re primarily interested in steemit as a means of keeping the internet free and escaping big data’s myopic nightmarish filterbubbles, don’t make the mistake of just sacking off all the crypto-guys as hopeless breadheads, as I very nearly did. The crypto-currency side of it is a daunting learning curve which I’m only just now, reluctantly starting. The thing I’ve come to realise though, is that for steemit to deliver on it’s paradigm shifting potential the emerging crypto-markets need to be succesful.

This is quite a challenge to accept and reconcile. It seems to me now like some sort of weird, new, anarcho-crypto, post-capitalist, Max Keiser and Jeff Berwick via Jaron Lanier and David Graeber hybrid, which I’m struggling to get my head around because it’s such a monumental challenge to all my previous assumptions about economics and society.

Dos and Don’ts

I dramatically underestimated just how steep a learning curve steemit would be. While in many ways it’s very similar to the old social media platforms, the differences are deeper and  more significant than they first appear. Don’t just dive in at the deep end like I did, don’t rush, take your time, as I’m trying to do now.

Don’t just skim the introductory material and the FAQ!
I just dived straight in and made a lot of ‘plankton’ (n00b) errors…
Again, steemit.com is way deeper than it looks at first.

Do have actual real conversations with people on your posts and on theirs. Check your replies and respond to them. This should just be standard but bears mentioning, as it’s such a cultural shift away from facebook and twitter’s incessant and addictive notifications. Steemit doesn’t send you a notification every time somebody farts, or hassle you to post something if you spend a day or two offline.

Don’t just follow back everybody who follows you, as you might have done on the old social media. I made the mistake of following back 150 odd people who followed me and had to spend a day or two trawling through removing loads of bots, dead accounts and other bods who I found disinteresting. I’ve probably got a fair bit more following and unfollowing to do before I get it right for my personal ‘niche’.

Do check out the people who have followed you and follow them back if they seem interesting and cool to you.

It’s not about how many followers you can acquire anyway, it’s about the quality of the interactions you have and the actual connections you make along the way.

RECOMMENDATIONS

If you’re interested in learning more and joining the steemit community, use the time queuing for your account to properly familiarise yourself with the white paper, the blue paper and the FAQs.  There’s a lot to digest but don’t be put off and don’t just skim through it all like I did at first. There’s way more exciting information in these documents than I can helpfuly relay here and now.

You don’t need an account to have a look around the platform and its various affiliates like Dtube, Dsound etc.

Say goodbye to being dripfed bullshit by big data’s prolefeeds. You’re responsible for how you use your time on steemit and for what content you create, curate, upvote and share.

Don’t be put off by the ‘trending’ ‘new’ and ‘promoted’ feed being mostly drivel, as it is on big data’s platforms. Don’t be put off by the mountains of posts about cryptocurrency and markets if they’re mostly illegible to you, as they are to me.

Go straight to the ‘View all tags’  link (at the bottom of the trending tags bar) and have look for stuff you’re interested in. If what you’re looking for isn’t in the long top trending list, use the searchbar. This takes you to a google search – set that to ‘by date’ to find the most recent posts and discussion about what interests you.

Tags I’ve personally found interesting on steemit.com so far include:

#anarchy #eco-train #earthdeeds #earthtribe #informationwar * #news #nature #science

*Important note: the ‘informationwar’ account and tag is not affiliated with Alex Jones and his hatemongering crew of alt-right wrong uns. Thanks to @sloe for pointing this out and to @informationwar for confirming.

infowardisclaimer

CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM OF STEEMIT

From my perspective, it’s a bit of a shame that so many people on steemit are currently there just for the purpose of making money. At the same time, I fully respect how much effort those same people have put into making this potential utopia a reality. Given all the other benefits of the paradigm shift that steemit represents for the digital space and the material world, I’m prepared to suspend my disbelief and challenge my preconceptions.

One of the only two criticisms on the wikipedia entry about steemit.com, is from Joe Lee, co-founder and CIO of digital currency trading platform Magnr, who told CoinDesk:

Whether Steem succeeds as a digital currency will be more a reflection of Steemit’s success as a platform as opposed to the economics of the coin itself. This is a good example of a digital currency whose value will be closely affiliated to its utilitarian value as a social networking and sharing platform.”

So, the ‘whales’ and the ‘planktons’ successes on the platform are inextricably intertwined. Community cohesion and monetary value are inextricably and immutably connected. If the steemit community absorb this criticism constructively steemit could save the internet which could help save the world!

A mass migrate to steemit could improve the quality of the steemit platform, the diversity and quality of the content there, the cohesion amongst the community and at the same time raise the living standards for everybody, rapidly.

It could lead to an actually grassroots-led third sector that could be infinitely more effective than the current one, (which rewards it’s CEOs six-figure salaries while leaving the problems themselves unsolved for decades on end)…

A mass migrate to steemit could be just the r3V0_|utionary paradigm shift we need.

Could steemit.com be Post-Capitalism?

It certainly looks promising to me!

Reviews of all the other social media platforms I’ve been investigating will be posted very soon.

steemitbanner_1350X275.png

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Secret Trick to Help Choose Your Page’s Best Content!

If you manage a progressive, radical or otherwise r3VOLutionary page on facebook, you may have noticed the words ‘boost unavailable’ appearing on your posts with increasing regularity recently.

A ‘boost’ is when stupid people with more money than sense pay facebook to spam other users with their content. Stupid rich people ‘boosting’ their posts means they get to force their worldview on everybody else. As everyone knows, the richer you get, the stupider you get and as the social media algorithms hand increasing amounts of control to stupid rich people, the stupider our culture becomes.

In this landscape, the words ‘boost unavailable’ appearing under your post probably means that it’s the most radical stuff your page has to offer and that some shady corporate-governmental Bond villain types have arranged for such content to be D-noticed down the old memory hole.

Conversely, if fb is letting you pay them to ‘boost’ certain content, then your content is probably, well..stupid in some way. (Sorry not sorry).

Therefore, the ‘unboostable’ content is likely the most radical and revolutionary your page has to offer and therefore you should probably focus on sharing that information by other means; via other platforms; your own website if you have one; or why not go old school – text, phone, even (shudders) face to face? 😮

Does anybody have another explanations for why fb might be making certain posts ‘unboostable’ (even for their preferred clientele, the stupid rich)?

BoostUnavailable

*This particular ‘unboostable’ article can be read at Baroness Jenny Jones’ website, here.

 

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extinctionsymbol

The Extinction Symbol represents extinction. It is quite important to raise awareness of the 6th Mass Extinction, particularly as corporate power invests so much pretending that it isn’t really happening…

Tell Cuadrilla to #FrackOff…

Against the will of the people, fracking monsters Cuadrilla have started drilling in Lancashire. Reclaim The Power made this statement regarding the odious corporation’s move.

Why not get in touch to gently remind Cuadrilla that #WeSaidNo and still, #WeSayNo!

Here’s their contact details:

cuadrillasdeets2

Tina-Louise graciously called off the last blockade after winning her court case just before Christmas last year.

If they don’t #FrackOff once and for all, we’re going to

#BankruptCuadrilla!

That is all.

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KEEP CALM AND FIGHT CENSORSHIP

Hello internet.

This will hopefully be my last update on the digital censorship mullarkey for a while. Investigating #GhostBanning has distracted me and taken up a lot of time that should have been better spent getting on with making and doing new stuff and things.

First of all I want to say massive thanks to all the randoms who got in touch to feedback and discuss my previous #GhostBan investigations and conclusions and to help distribute my other doings. In particular, thanks to the nice person who contributed £2  yesterday – very much appreciated. 🙂

Secondly, I want to overemphasise the usefulness of just Keeping Calm. It’s easier to focus if you’re calm. This neo-McCarthyist chilling effect only works as long as the majority of people are too scared to speak out, or too angry to be understood.

I was bouncing between angry and despondent about the situation for months before I properly stepped back from it all and took time to calm down, focus and reflect. If everybody speaking out is confused and self censoring or angrily ranting and raving, it makes the conversation that much harder to have. We need cool heads to prevail if we are to overcome.

GCHQ are bragging about the army of ‘PREVENT’ snoopers they’ve trained to monitor UK society, but then they would brag about it wouldn’t they? They’re projecting a terrifying, all powerful Orwellian superstate. Perhaps it’s bullshit, to frighten those of us with a conscious conscience into shutting up? Perhaps it’s all true and the dream of a free future is actually lost already…*

Regardless, nobody should be bullied into self-censorship or freaked out to the point that they can’t articulate themselves. Whether the snooper army reports are true or not, the fact that they’re publicly gloating about the omnipotence of their (public) surveillance programs and that they’re using this program to vilify peaceful activists; anti-capitalists and anti-frackers is an assault on our capacity for critical thought and freedom of self expression.

But as Hate and Fear are contagious, so are Love and Courage!

Don’t buy into the SHOCK! PANIC! HYSTERIA! 

I’m of the opinion that the ‘fedbook security’ story is/was almost certainly ‘viral misinformation’ – smoke and mirrors to freak everybody out and thereby further divide us online and out there in the ‘real’ world…

Thanks to Jay Gonzo from Fucking, Austria for sharing this neat summary of how the story spread.

facebook-sec fedbooksecurity

3monkeysghostbanning

 

 

 

 

 

 

#GhostBanning on the other hand is definitely a thing though…

Since my last report, I have figured out a few more useful things about #GhostBanning and digital censorship which should have been obvious to me sooner really.

Continue reading KEEP CALM AND FIGHT CENSORSHIP

Seize The Memes of Production!

In the current Orwellian, TrumpistaniPost-BREXIT, Post-Truth, Post-Satire, Post-Apocalyptic socio-political cultural landscape, it is vital right now that we netizens of all backgrounds and persuasions engage in rational, truthful discussion with each other – as difficult as this can often be.

Humanity has been gifted the most awesome communications tool ever created, but thus far we have been using it mostly to share pictures of cats and other funny but pointless memes…

meme

/miːm/

noun

noun: meme; plural noun: memes
  1. 1.
    an element of a culture or system of behaviour passed from one individual to another by imitation or other non-genetic means.
  2. 2.
    an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations.

Memes (especially funny ones) are powerful.

The internet offered us all the ability to express ourselves with unprecedented nuance, which we were woefully underprepared for. This new technology has revealed an overwhelming plethora of beliefs, ideas and perspectives, challenging everything we thought we knew about the human condition.

Hence cat pics, trolls, meme wars and now, ‘Fake News’…the latest phase of the establishment resisting our rising consciousness.

The difficult conversations which need to happen right now are being made yet more difficult by the phenomenon of ‘ideological echo chambers’. Harmonious group of people developing tunnel vision by virtue of social media marketing algorithms. filterbubbles

Overall awareness suffers when people have a narrow information base. The longer we spend in our safe little bubbles reinforcing our beliefs about the nature of reality, the harder the conversations which we urgently need to have outside those bubbles become; the more entrenched and dogmatic we become in our beliefs and the more we resist engaging in anything but vitriolic expressions of fear and hatred towards those who would dare disagree with us.

As Adam Curtis puts it, people have come to thinking that the point of it all is to simply agree or disagree with things.  So, we either hide in our ‘safe spaces’, or argue with people who disagree with us, within prescribed parameters of a controlled debate.

Constantly.

Meanwhile, multiple apocalyptic, extinction level crises are still converging.

***If you’d rather keep your head in the sand, stop reading now***

 

Continue reading Seize The Memes of Production!

Technical [List of Freeware for Digital Creatives]

UPDATED 3.8.18

For anybody that’s interested in what kit I’m using, or who just wants to find FREE tools to express themselves with.

I’m immeasurably grateful to all the open source, freeware developers and communities for providing all the FREE tools I use.

Much respect to you all.

These days, I’m using a laptop which a generous comrade gifted me, using Windows, Android and Linux Ubuntu.

Graphic Design/Image Editing

pixler

pixler is a FREE basic image editor that runs from your browser (no need to install).

 

mon

 

I’m mostly using GIMP at the moment.

GIMP is a much more powerful, FREE open source image editor.

 

1001 free fonts is an excellent resource, with over 30, 000 FREE custom fonts.
1001-free-fonts

Giphy is another cool tool which runs from your browser. I’ve been using it to learn how to make .gifs (web animations) . Which is much fun.

giphylogo

Video

I’m currently using kdenlive – which is FREE open source video editing software.

kdenlive

Previously, I was using a FREE month’s trial of camtasia, sadly that expired. Camtasia is excellent software, but unfortunately quite expensive to buy.

For sourcing, I refer mostly to wikimedia, the Prelinger archives, creative commons and of course, youtube.

I use the FREE 4k video downloader and YTD Video Downloader to rip video.

4kdownload

Sound/Music

I was using an ancient, FREE trial of Cubase SX since 2003, with a bunch of FREE open source plugs and softsynths, but it’s too old to install on my current laptop, so I’m currently without a DAW. Opensource, freeware recommendations would be most welcome.

I was particularly fond of greenoaks’ FREE Crystal softsynth, which is/was awesome.

For voice synthesis, I’ve been using from text to speech , which is a FREE service which runs from your browser. It creates mp3s which don’t sound too lovely, but are workable once beefed up a bit.

Livestreaming Video

I used to stream quite regularly to my bambuser channel using the giffgaff network but their free community streaming service is sadly now offline. To their credit, I agree with their farewell statement in which they claimed to have accomplished their mission to bring live video technology to the mainstream. Well done team bambuser, thanks for everything you accomplished, I wish you well.
bambuser

I’ve roadtested some of the contemporary free livestreaming services. Predictably facebook was the most reliable technically. Youtube also works but was much more glitchy. I haven’t properly tested twitter’s live service yet. Both facebook and youtube have a track record of redacting videos whereas bambuser had a track record of never having doing that. As far as I’m aware.

Contracts?

£20 buys you one month of unlimited data on a giffgaff no contract, pay as you go sim.

giffgaff offer monthly ‘goodybags’ from as little as a fiver and FREE calls and texts to other giffgaff phones, so long as you top up once every three months. If I was a breadhead I could be earning points to use as phone credit or cash out by plugging them but I’m not a breadhead…yet.
giffgaff.jpg


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