Spent a chunk of the afternoon working on the book for NaNoWriMo. I’ve pushed out 1,214 words in sections on rel-me, themes, and added some additional outline material. It’s coming along at a nice clip. I’ve also worked on \label{key} and \ref{keys} for cross referencing things a bit more nicely to make the editing portion next month go more smoothly.

It dawns on me I ought to update my totals to date on the NaNoWriMo website. (Oops!)

I’ll come back later tonight to (hopefully) add some additional material, but here’s the count:

Currently: 1,214 words.
Total: 18,528 words

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I did manage to eek out about a thousand words today somewhat related to the book for NaNoWriMo, but since none of them will actually end up in it in the end, I’m going to count it as a zero. I did manage to do a good bit of additional reading, research, and thinking however, so it felt like a good day despite the low number.

I am still at 1,574 words per day on average for the month, so I am relatively close to the 1,667 average I’m supposed to be keeping up. This doesn’t seem bad to me given the amount of time I’m putting into testing out some pieces and research I’m doing along the way. I think is only the third day with a total of zero words for the day too, so I don’t feel as bad.

Today: 0 words
Total: 17,314 words

Blarg!! It would have been a much better day, but somehow, after listening to a podcast this very morning in which they dispensed the advice “Don’t write in the CMS” I managed to do just that and lose about 1,500 words! I bounced back after wasting an hour trying to do some recover and churned it all out again–this time in my editor as is fitting and proper.

Today: 1,607 words
Total: 17,314 words

And Shazam! Take that NaNoWriMo! This is the kind of day I need to be doing more of… The research and work is paying off. I once heard a quote in which Mozart described how he wrote music. It entailed something along the lines that he worked on it in his head and then dumped it all out on the page much like a cow urinates. Today I know how that feels.

Today: 3,667 words
Total: 15,707 words

A meh day for my NaNoWriMo project as I’m turning in a goose-egg for the day. I feel a bit bad that this update post is more words than I manufactured for the main project. I did do a bit of reading/research and fixed a relatively large \LaTeX error I was having for the last two days, so that is something I suppose.

Some of the research and work will actually result in some physical changes to my site later this week to, so that’s a bonus I suppose! (I’m not counting any lines of code toward the book though.)

Today: 0 words
Total: 12,040 words

An okay NaNoWriMo day, but I’m falling behind on word count as I occasionally stop for some research and reading. I suppose I should be glad that I’m typesetting most of this as I go, so when the editing portion is done, I’ll physically have a book! The number of chapters and material I want to add is growing as I write too which makes the finish line continue moving as I write.

Today: 909 words
Total: 12,040 words

I wrote in the morning again with one or two small snippets later in the evening. I focused mostly on the topic of rel=”me” for profile equivalence and identity-consolidation with about 1,882 words.

I added a couple of new chapter ideas that will need to be fleshed out as well–I’m surprised I’m still coming up with outline pieces.

Today: 3,115 words
Total: 6,532 words

At the end of NaNoWriMo day 1, I’ve added 2,859 words, most of them written in the early morning. A chunk is in the introduction, but the biggest part includes a relatively solid 1,800 words on the topic of microformats.

The power company decided to turn the power off at the home office today, so I had to migrate over to the local Starbucks for an impromptu write-in.

It’s probably going to take me a few weeks of heaving editing when the whole thing is said and done, but overall it felt like a terrifically productive first day. I am managing to get a bit of light editing done as I go through, particularly to try and make sure I don’t miss anything too significant. I’m going to need to spend a few days on screen captures when this is all said and done.

The best part is that even with a short section of code, the whole \LaTeX file compiled on the second run! And this was without putting any real effort into it as I was writing.

Hopefully in the coming week, based on output versus the scope of the outline I’ve set, I’ll have a better idea about how much of the book I’ll be able to finish within the month. I’m presently a tad concerned that it’ll take a few additional weeks to properly cover all the introductory topics I want to touch upon.

I keep having to remind myself of the likely technical level of the audience, but I feel like I’m keeping it simple enough to be clear while hopefully encouraging people to want to learn more about eventually learning to write some code themselves when they’re done reading and working through the book.

I’m happy that it feels like it’s almost writing itself, but the couple of dozen sites I’ve built in the past few years and a relatively solid outline are helping a lot.

Today: 2,859 words
Total: 3,417 words

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IndieWeb: The Book

For a quite a while I’ve been thinking about writing a book about the IndieWeb to provide a broader overview of what it is philosophically, how it works, how its community functions, and most specifically how the average person can more easily become a part of it.

Back in January Timo Reitnauer wrote Let’s Make 2017 The Year of the Indie WebI agree wholehearted with the sentiment of his title and have been personally wanting to do something specific to make it a reality. With the changes I’ve seen in the internet over the past 22 years, and changes specifically in the last year, we certainly need it now more than ever.

In large part, I’ve been inspired by the huge number of diverse and big-hearted developers who are an active part of the growing community, but specifically today I came across a note by Doc Searls, an email about the upcoming NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and then a reminder about the 100 Days of IndieWeb project. This confluence of events is clearly my tipping point.

As a result, I’m making my 2018 IndieWeb resolution early. For the month of November, as part of NaNoWriMo, I’m going to endeavor to lovingly craft together a string of about 2,000 words a day on the topic of the IndieWeb to create a book geared toward helping non-developers (ie. Generation 2 and Generation 3 people) more easily own their online identities and content.

IndieWeb Generations Diagram by Amber Case (Caseorganic.com) as depicted on the IndieWeb Wiki

Over the past year, surely I’ve read, written about, or interacted with the IndieWeb community concretely in one way or another on at least 70 days. This sprint of 30 days should round out a 100 days project. To be honest, I haven’t necessarily posted about each of these interactions on my own site nor are they necessarily visible changes to my site, so it may not follow the exact requirements of the 100 Days of IndieWeb, but it follows the spirit of the creator idea with the hopes that the publicly visible result is ever more people adopting the principles of the movement for themselves.

I’ll focus the book primarily on how the average person can utilize the wealth of off-the-shelf tools of the WordPress content management system and its community–naturally with mentions of other easy-to-use platforms like Known and Micro.blog sprinkled throughout–to own their own domain, own their content, and better and more freely communicate with others online.

If you haven’t heard about the movement before, I’ll direct you to my article An Introduction to the IndieWeb, portions of which will surely inform the introduction of the book.

If you’ve recently joined the IndieWeb, I’d certainly love to hear your thoughts and stories about how you came to it, why you joined, and what the most troublesome parts have been so I can help direct people through them more easily–at least until there are a plurality of one-click solutions to let everyone IndieWeb-ify themselves online.

As a publisher who realizes the value of starting a PR campaign to support the resultant book, I’m also curious to hear thoughts about potentially launching a crowdfunding campaign to support the modest costs of the book, with profits (if any) going toward supporting the IndieWeb community.

I’m happy to entertain any other thoughts or considerations people have, so feel free to reply in the comments below, or better yet, reply on your own site and send me a webmention.

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