What’s an influencer, anyway? This is the question that rings out in my mind as I attempt to internalize the fact that I have been named one of the Top 100 UK Open Source Influencers for 2022 as part of their 2023 honours list #OpenUKHonours23. It’s definitely an “honour” to be recognized by OpenUK for my work in this way. But when we think of internet “influencers,” open source usually doesn’t come to mind. What I think and hope it means to be an open source influencer is that people are listening to what I have to say, be it on social media, in blog posts, videos, or whatever channel. But with great power comes great responsibility, right? So what can I use this currency, this influential authority, for?  I hope that I’ve influenced people to pay attention to ethical technology development, to the importance of privacy and personal dignity, and to the importance of building diverse and inclusive communities as we build tools, services, and applications for people. I also hope I’ve influenced people to understand the importance of community efforts, open source, and open standards in helping to build a technology ecosystem on the internet that is sustainable and exists to build people up and support society, starting from supporting marginalized groups. Halfway through 2022, I changed jobs, joining Snyk as Open Source & Open Standards Strategy Director. One thing that attracted me to Snyk was its stance on workplace flexibility. I hope to influence in 2023 by banging the drum a little about the importance of flexibility in the …

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Today, as reported in the Guardian and elsewhere, Twitter suspended accounts of several journalists who had reported on Elon Musk and have also suspended accounts related to Mastodon as well as banning or “shadow-banning” people who talk about or link to their Mastodon profiles. Everyone should now be “reconsidering” their engagement with Twitter at this point. Personally I’ve stopped Tweeting. I’ve been removing links to my Twitter from across my other identities on the web. I’ve also been encouraging the organisations I’m involved with to move their social media engagement to the #Fediverse / Mastodon / ActivityPub and away from being Twitter-centric. By the way, I’ve been on Twitter since 2006. For context the iPhone debuted in 2007. I’ve spend a significant portion of my social media energy on Twitter. So it’s painful for me to say this, but Twitter is now dead – dead to me, at least. I’ve been on Mastodon since 2016. After witnessing the migration of people to Mastodon and other open federated platforms over the past months and how well the federated approach has been working, I’m more convinced than ever that this is the way forward. I think closed services like LinkedIn can also continue to play a role in the social media landscape but when it comes to filling the hole Twitter leaves, the #Fediverse is the way forward.

This blog is now a part of the #fediverse. I was inspired by the recent migration user growth on Mastodon and other federated social web sites to get the ActivityPub WordPress plugin installed here and start federating out any posts I write here. For more info on how to get this working on your own WordPress site, see The Fediverse beyond Mastodon | Fedi.Tips – An Unofficial Guide to Mastodon and the Fediverse. I also had to muck around with my .htaccess file and this post was very helpful.