Welcome to this blog’s inaugural link roundup. I needed a space to brain dump the books, stories, videos, podcasts, articles, and other media I’ve discovered while researching the social internet, the education system, and more. Hope you find it useful!

Freeing the Internet with Open Protocols

  • This week I discovered BookWyrm, a decentralized social network for readers, reviewers, and book lovers. BookWyrm allows users to join small, trusted communities that connect over an open protocol (ActivityPub in this case). If you’re looking for a federated and decentralized alternative to Amazon-owned Goodreads, BookWyrm could use your interest and support. And speaking of books…
  • Libro.fm was a nice discovery I made while hunting for DRM-free e-book publishers. Purchases made through Libro.fm support local bookstores, and unlike with Amazon-owned Audible, you own the titles you purchase through Libro.fm. Transport them with you to any listening app you prefer, or use Libro.fm’s own apps to listen.
  • I’ve noticed an uptick in smaller online social communities moving toward decentralized, protocol-driven networks like Matrix in the wake of Twitter’s demise, shifting consumer attitudes toward and wariness of companies like Discord, and the privacy dystopia being introduced by certain players in the generative AI space.

Consumer Protection & Education

  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is taking a long-overdue look at data brokers and is proposing new rules to limit the amount of sensitive consumer financial information that can be exchanged between credit bureaus and data brokers.
  • term tabs: “a tool for querying definitions of tech-related terms in social media legislation introduced in the United States Congress and in enacted federal laws in the United States related to social media.” I’ll be spending more time here in the future.

Books & Upcoming Reads

  • The Internet Con: How to Seize the Means of Computation by Cory Doctorow. This book is coming in early September; back the Kickstarter to get your DRM-free copy upon release.
  • The Information: A history, a theory, a flood by James Gleick. An expansive romp through information theory, quantum mechanics, the history of human communication, and more. Dense, and worth it.
  • The Idea Factory by Jon Gertner. A book about Bell Labs and the rise and fall of the research arm of AT&T. Lots of good questions here centered on innovation and the lightning in a bottle caught during the early days of digital communication.