Seasons

To bloom and wilt
It’s just the way
That flowers have been built.
But also made are many a seed
To fly and float away
From now’s limits they’re freed.
One season at a time
In our temperate clime
No limit of “today”.


Writing words can be an oddly interactive activity. My rhyme here is a response to a response to a response involving at least three writers.

witchhazel

Poetry is engaging and inspiring for me. Having a “conversation” of poems adds an enjoyable twist to part of my interaction with others. Blogging my rhymes here is part of the process. It is nice to get notices that someone has seen and liked a particular post.

Blogging here does not seem to engender much conversation, though. Not a complaint, just an observation. This platform seems designed for presentation of one person’s “stuff”, and I’m content with that, I guess.

This particular poetic “exchange” occurred in “The Fediverse” which is an eclectic mix of interconnected people who follow one another across the world. It’s a little bit like Twitter™, but has no corporate backing. A variety of individuals have created a network of interconnected servers which are termed “instances”. Other people choose to join an instance and set up an account at one of the servers. Then, they begin connecting with each other. The most interesting feature of the network is that I can connect not only with others on my instance, but with other people on other instances. There is not a single “hub”, so the cost of operation is spread out. Individual users choose to give the instance admin financial support. It is even possible for an individual to install the required software to run a single-user or “friends and family” instance.

There is similarity to blogging, as here on WordPress, but with “small” as a factor. It is microblogging. The typical post needs to fit in 500 characters. That makes for quicker, interactive exchanges than might be common with blogging. Less preparation, more off the cuff, more conversational.

Should you feel an urge to interact that way with me, I’m @Algot@mastodon.art. To get involved, you will need an account on a server which is part of the federated network. There are lots of them. Some, like mastodon.art where I’ve set up shop are focused and require an invitation. Writing.exchange is another focused option which might appeal to those who have followed this blog (perhaps for its rhymes).

Other instances are open for general registration. You can even start with one instance and get your bearings and then can easily migrate your account to a different server/instance.

Maybe you will enjoy a video introduction to Mastodon/The Fediverse is here: https://youtu.be/IPSbNdBmWKE (the official one) and another, a little longer one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S57uhCQBEk0

An effective way to start is to go to https://joinmastodon.org/ and look around. I also strongly recommend finding an instance other than Mastodon.social the one run by the developer of one popular fediverse server suite. There is nothing wrong with that instance. It is just huge with no particular focus. Like most instances, it has a set of rules. I think it is wise to read the rules of an instance you consider joining. Rules are social norms with which we should agree before diving into the federated network. You want to feel comfortable in the community, right?

Illustrating an Idea

I grab ideas wherever I can. Today, I was inspired to try to make a flame by seeing a toot on the federated social media using Mastodon’s web interface. I do most of my random short posts there. It is a more friendly environment than the ones at Facebook or even Twitter, and it has the extra benefit (from my perspective) that it is not run by a corporation whose purpose is to track my online activities in order to make money from analysis of my behavior.

I’m signed up as @algot@mastodon.art and I share my creations there as I also do here. There are servers set up all over the place and are run and paid for by the participants, not a controlling company. People on an “instance” agree to a code of conduct and that leads to supportive, civil, engaging conversation instead of rude, harsh attacks. People get banned for bad behavior. Moderators of mastodon.art have done a great job, in my opinion.

I don’t know which “platform” gets more views. I’m not sure if I really care. After all, doing the work comes first. Sharing comes second. Getting seen is mostly out of my hands. I do hope that others sometimes enjoy what they see.

Today, I saw a post which included a very effective flame image.

crime

I felt the immediate urge to make my own version of the flame so that I could use it in my own illustrations. I launched Inkscape and set to work. I think I’m happy enough with my version to move ahead to create a useful illustration incorporating the clipart. I’m happy.

flame  question-burning

So, in addition, I will ask the burning question, “How is Saturday going for you?”