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What is "blob"?

Blob is a way to focus our attention back on sources and contents that really matter.

Blob is an example of what we call a convivial technology. Conviviality refer to a convivial banquet, because we foster a pleasant living toghether with technologies we like.

The blob idea in a nutshell?

Take care of your website, do not work for an external platform!

Take care of your website?

Yes. Stop working for yet another social media platform!

Tech people tend to give solutions to problems by asking "normal people" to work on a platform. Want to communicate better? Login into a social media platform whatever to "solve" you problem!

Blob propose exactly the opposite. Blob promote the caring of selected sources. It's crucial to have running websites or other RSS-enabled sources to feed it. But, the content is YOUR content, or the source content you select/aggregate/filter/share/embed.

What can I do with blob?

Blob is good to select, filter and distribute contents through collection of tags. You can also share your curated selection of contents by embedding it back in your website or somewhere else - a blob is about sharing your point of view and the contents that matter four your with your communities. Try it! Install or play with the demo (only embed of Nethood curated sources).

What's under the hood of blob?

Blob rely on an old protocol, RSS feed, plus some more modern protocols as JSON feed.

UI/UX rely on a web framework Nuxt.js.

Why another social media plaform?

Blob is not a social media. It's a way to care and strenght networks, for us, for our affinity groups, for our organisations - the very fabric of our social network.

Why another social network?

Social network are not the same as social media: the first are the network of our connections, the already existing ones and the ones we're putting effort into. The people we're listening to and the people that are listening to us forms our social networks - they are about caring each other also by maintain ties. Social media are the degeneration of social networks into appearence-first, adv on steroids mediatization of every aspect of our lives.

Why another feed aggregator?

Well, feed aggregators are mainly closed source. Blob is open source and free software - blob code is here.

Secondly, feed aggregators are mainly available through apps, for iOS or Android. Why adding a layer of complexity - the app - to the web? We choose simplicity - the web, that's it. No complex app needed, just a minimal website to aggregate. Blob works not only on smartphones and tablets, but also on laptops and desktops!

Thirdly, apps development and maintance costs a lot - they imply some funder and/or a business model like freemium, adv, etc. Blob is free, as in freedom.

Ingredients for a good blob?

The best blobs are like playlists representing our point of view, showing our social networks what our favourite sources are, what content we feed on and what content we want to spread and let them taste too

Social networks have to be feeded with the right food - a generous pinch of attention and curiosity, discretion in disseminating information according to channels, attention to detail, a selection that is easy to understand but not trivial. All this always seasoned with a pinch of sobriety. It is not pleasant when friends, acquaintances and in general the people we care about shout at us or obsessively repeat what only interests them, without caring what interests us, so it is important to remember to reciprocate our networks of trust without overdoing it.

How blob works?

You mean, technically? Please have a look at the install here.

You mean, in plain language? Blob takes RSS feeds and other feeds from sources (e.g. websites) the admins put into it, and lists the contents. Users can filter these contents by tags and embed their blobs into their websites, with a code similar to YouTube / GMaps embed code.

What does it means "adding a source"?

You can add a stream of content from any website provided with RSS feed or other type of standard feeds. This website become a blob source.

How content is taken?

Content flows to a blob and blobs from selected sources thanks to RSS feed, plus some more modern protocols, such as JSON feed.

What content are taken?

The content taken from a given source depends on how a source is defined by a user with admin powers. A source can feed blob with all its content or only with part of its content. Contents will be taken accordingly to the tags specified in the source - all tags will take all the source contents to the blob, while only a few of them can be selected.

How can I become a source?

You need to implement an RSS feed, or ATOM feed or JSON feed. Wordpress websites accounts for over 40% of all published websites, and Wordpress comes with a built-in RSS feed by default. RSS feed plugins are available for all major CMS. RSS feed are easy to implement also from scratch.

How can I become a source (Wordpress)

Wordpress websites accounts for over 40% of all published websites, and Wordpress comes with a built-in RSS feed by default.

My RSS lack images! (Wordpress)

You can easily add images to your RSS feed in Wordpress - images are a basic RSF requirements. RSF stands for Really Simple Federation.

My RSS does not work (HTTPS needed)!

HTTPS must be enabled. This step is necessary in order to be able to communicate in a secure manner among federated websites

Images do not display!

We try to take any image related to an article/post, because it looks better and people are used to images coming toghether with posts.

Still, sometimes the images from the sources are not displayed in blob, even if they are well-formed in the RSS/Atom/JSON feed. A few possible reasons may include:

  • CORS issues
  • image/s displyed on top of the article/post in the source, but not connected to the article/post in a standard way
  • no image in the body of the post

How can I share a blob?

The share menu gives you the possibility to embed a blob into your website or anywhere else on the web.

  1. Select an existing blob from the list
  2. Choose between Dark Mode or Light Mode, Sidebar (no images) or Body (with images).
  3. Once you've found your preferred embedding, copy the code snippet below.
  4. Now paste the snippet into a page of your website and save.
  5. Finally, replace the string "myexample.domain" with the blob domain you're taking the blob from.

et voilà! The blob is now feeding back your website.

N.B.: In the blob 1.0 release you have four embedding style combination: Dark Mode + Sidebar; Light Mode + Sidebar; Dark Mode + Body; Light Mode + Body.

What is the code snippet?

Have a look at the share menu, choose your preferred Mode for the embedding. Below will appear the code snippet,

Something like:

<script src="https://myexample.domain/blob-share.js" async defer></script>
<blob-share blob="2" baseurl="https://myexample.domain" sidebar="true" dark="false"></blob-share>

N.B.: remember to replace the string "myexample.domain" with the blob domain you're taking the blob from.

How can I contribute?

Great! If you want to contribute to Blob, you're welcome! Spread the word, install a blob instance. Coder/debugger? Great! You need an account on codeberg, the home we choose for Blob. Then you can fork the code, make a PR or open an issue - bug report or feature request.

We'll even accept donation, coming soon!

How can I contact blob devs?

Drop us an email. Yes, old style.

have a good Blob!