Replied to a tweet thread by John Mark TroyerJohn Mark Troyer (Twitter)
Framing things as just using a “blog” in reverse chronological order is a tough one. I might recommend having a website that does much more. It could be a business card, have a blog, have a portfolio, it could have collections, series, etc. The real key at the end of the day is having a website you own and control to put on it what you’d like. This way you can decide not only how to represent yourself on line but how you communicate.

Perhaps another interesting place to start thinking about this is Mike Caulfield’s post The Garden and the Stream: A Technopastoral, which also looks closely at wikis as a separate framing?

Other than a blog, another common pattern is to have a /Now page which describes what you’ve been up to lately. (The problem with this is keeping it up to date on a frequent basis, and you might get back to the problem of having a blog which hasn’t been updated in a while.)

Of course, why not take back control of all of your social presence and put that on your site too? That way your social stream on your site will more frequently be up to date. This is roughly what I do on my site at /blog. It’s not just a stream of longer articles, but of all my social posts, photos, checkins, and other interactions. Of course if you just want the longer form stuff, that’s available too.

For some examples on portfolios, perhaps try the IndieWeb wiki which has some examples and links to other resources.

I like John Mark Troyer’s idea of mini-ebooks and collections of projects. I’ve got a collection of some of my IndieWeb experiments with WordPress that touches on his idea, but eventually I’ll roll some of it up into a book of some sort.

I’ll also indicate another idea being that of having a site that acts like a digital commonplace book, which is roughly how I use my website. I keep a lot of the content primarily for myself, but it does have some social interest for those who may appreciate that I’ve aggregated it in one place.

While the conversation has (temporarily?) shifted to social platforms, I don’t think that it’s always going to stay there. The barriers and issues with owning, controlling, and maintaining a website are coming down every day. Why would one want/need dozens or more social sites to communicate when they should be able to do it in one place–on their own site? Just like I can use my phone and phone number with AT&T service to call you on your phone number with Sprint service, I should be able to use WordPress on my domain to chat/@mention you on your domain running any other CMS. Eventually social media will decentralize, though there still may be a place for aggregation hubs for discovery. I’ll mention passingly that individual websites can also act as stand-alone members of the Fediverse. While not the prettiest thing at the moment because of limitations of the Fediverse, you can follow my website here @chrisaldrich@boffosocko.com from Mastodon and other Fediverse instances. Simultaneously feed readers are improving to better allow users to read what they want without relying on social services to control it for them.

In the past, many people have indiscriminately syndicated material from one social site to another, but it generally never looks good unless it’s done very carefully. Naturally none of the corporate silos make this type of syndication easy because it’s not in their financial interest to do so–they’d rather you used their services exclusively. This is part of what makes it look like one is dropping off fliers. However, I would suggest that with a more IndieWeb approach that syndicating via POSSE and using appropriate backfeed via webmention, that one can have not only a reasonably organic experience, but you can add a lot more to a much bigger (and hopefully more substantive) conversation. POSSE is a temporary bandaid until we’ve been able to reshape the web the way we want to consume it rather than being forced into consumption on social media services’ terms.

Hopefully this post itself is an example of a response to a larger stream of content that provides a bit more space than Twitter’s 280 character limit would have otherwise allowed. This post might also indicate that a conversation online doesn’t need to be so forced and linear or crammed within Twitter’s restrictive confines. Twitter forces us into a stream as a means of getting us to scroll endlessly rather than think, mull, and respond. It’s not unnoticed by me that the tweet that started this thread has branched off into half a dozen different, but related conversations. This makes even Twitter’s UI difficult to navigate and respond to appropriately. We definitely need (and deserve) something better. If they won’t do it for us, then why not take the means of production and do it ourselves.

You’ve asked some excellent questions. I can’t wait to see your experiments and what you end up making John.

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Chris Aldrich

I'm a biomedical and electrical engineer with interests in information theory, complexity, evolution, genetics, signal processing, theoretical mathematics, and big history. I'm also a talent manager-producer-publisher in the entertainment industry with expertise in representation, distribution, finance, production, content delivery, and new media.

6 thoughts on “”

  1. Dr. Guy (@rhiaro) Has used a blog-like reverse chronology with a “CV” tag to create a c.v.: https://rhiaro.co.uk/tags/cv. This could be considered a form of collection for research purposes. I wonder how we might do this with other small pieces and customize it?

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