Liked a post by Henrique DiasHenrique Dias (Henrique Dias (@hacdias))

Just published two minimal packages to help building micropub applications!

The first one is called micropub-parser and it's basically a port from @aaronpk's pk3-micropub package to JavaScript.

The second one is a small IndieAuth middleware that can be easily plugged into an Express.js app!

Read How to Get a Completely Free Website by Jan-Lukas ElseJan-Lukas Else (jlelse.blog)
In this post I want to show with which services and tools it is possible to run a completely free website. An own website not only offers the possibility to create your own professional web presence, it can also make you independent from silos like Facebook, Twitter or Medium. It is always better to...

A brief year in review of my website, domain, online identity, commonplace book, journal, diary, etc.

With this post I will have posted to my personal website every day this past year. #​​AMA

This may seem incredibly impressive in a post-blog era when some people think it’s an achievement to have written on their personal site even once this year. When the average person thinks about how they use social media in our all-new, shiny, surveillance capitalism era they’ll possibly realize that they may actually post far more. They’re just doing it in dozens or more different places generally for the financial benefit of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, LinkedIn, Amazon, Medium, Goodreads, Swarm, Youtube, Reddit, Flickr, Yelp, Pinterest, Meetup, Kickstarter, Patreon, Nextdoor, Tumblr, Mastodon, Periscope, 500px, Pocket, Flipboard, SlideShare, Disqus, FitBit, Strava, Reading.am, GitHub, BitBucket, GitLab, Last.fm, Soundcloud, Vimeo, Telfie, Letterboxd, Trakt, Soundtracking, Tripit, Conferize, Upcoming.org, Colloq.io, Noti.st, Peach, Kinja, Plurk, TinyLetter, Venmo, Beeminder, Everyday Carry, and many, many, many others.

If anything, I suspect that I may be at the low end of writers and social posters. The major difference is that I own all of my data and have it in a single place where it’s more useful and searchable for me.

It turns out I made over 7,300 posts to my personal website this year. (For comparison, just the other day, I made my 10,000th tweet–after almost 11 years on Twitter.) This year’s output averages out to about 20 posts a day and includes at least one day with 53 public posts. (Many of my posts are private, where even Facebook is unaware of them. In fact, for large portions of July-October this year I only posted privately as a personal experiment.) These posts include nearly everything I’ve read, watched, listened to, bookmarked, replied to online, and otherwise written about this year. It also includes almost all of my checkins, RSVPs, and bookmarks as well as many of the more memorable things I’ve eaten or drank and most of my major acquisitions. It’s certainly a heck of a multi-media version of how I spent 2019. Better, it hasn’t taken a lot of work to do, it’s relatively easy to use, and I refer back to a lot of it–often. As a result, I also use it dramatically differently than I do traditional social media.

Of course my site is never exactly like I’d like it to be (I’d like to have more photo collections), but it’s finally getting somewhere closer to the sort of commonplace book I’ve always wanted. I’ll keep hacking away at posting things more easily and collecting what I think are some of the more interesting data I come across on a daily basis. Fortunately while most social media platforms have broadly quit innovating to make new and interesting features, I have the ability to change things to make them the way I want them to be. This sort of agency and flexibility is incredibly invaluable.

The best part is that it’s all on a website I control, and all the data is mine in a way that a traditional social media experience has never come close to. If you have the same wish for yourself or your friends in the coming new year, do let me know –I and many others are around to help you make it a reality for yourself

Watched "The Great British Baking Show" Caramel Week from Netflix
With Sandi Toksvig, Noel Fielding, Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith. For the very first time on the show, it's Caramel Week, and the bakers and the nine remaining bakers are tasked with making millionaire shortbread bars, tricky Dutch stroopwafels in the Technical, and caramel cakes in the Showstopper.
Watched Meet the Press - December 29, 2019 from NBC News
Masha Gessen, Dean Baquet, Michael McFaul, Marty Baron, Clint Watts, Kara Swisher, Joshua Johnson, Susan Glasser, and Matthew Continetti
Not the episode I quite expected this week after the Rolling Stone interview, but at least a reasonable nod. Some great guests helped things along.
Bookmarked The Memory Arts in Renaissance England: A Critical Anthology by William E. Engel
This is the first critical anthology of writings about memory in Renaissance England. Drawing together excerpts from more than seventy writers, poets, physicians, philosophers and preachers, and with over twenty illustrations, the anthology offers the reader a guided exploration of the arts of memory. The introduction outlines the context for the tradition of the memory arts from classical times to the Renaissance and is followed by extracts from writers on the art of memory in general, then by thematically arranged sections on rhetoric and poetry, education and science, history and philosophy, religion, and literature, featuring texts from canonical, non-canonical and little-known sources. Each excerpt is supported with notes about the author and about the text's relationship to the memory arts, and includes suggestions for further reading. The book will appeal to students of the memory arts, Renaissance literature, the history of ideas, book history and art history.

book cover

Listened to Lecture 13: The Return of English as a Standard from The History of the English Language, 2nd Edition by Seth LererSeth Lerer from The Great Courses

This lecture surveys the history of English from the late 14th to the early 16th centuries to illustrate the ways in which political and social attitudes returned English to the status of the prestige vernacular (over French). In addition, you'll look at institutions influential in this shift, examine attitudes toward the status of English in relationship to French, and more.

cover of The History of the English Language by Seth Lerer

Listened to Lecture 12: Medieval Attitudes toward Language from The History of the English Language, 2nd Edition by Seth LererSeth Lerer from The Great Courses

Here, unpack some attitudes toward language change and variation during the Middle Ages in an effort to understand how writers of the past confronted many of the problems regarding social status and language. Many of these problems, you'll discover, are similar to those we still deal with today.

cover of The History of the English Language by Seth Lerer

Replied to Flow in WordPress for writers by Dave WinerDave Winer (Scripting News)
Flow is the writer's problem for blogging. I have been working on this since I started in 1994. I solved the problem for myself in 1997, and ever since I've been working on solving it for everyone else.
Dave has some solid points about the UI and process of writing here. Speed is key! WordPress is pretty deplorable in this way. Some of the more advanced user may simply write the word “new” in their browser and tab down once to the correct URL to begin creating. Others may have some browser bookmarklets set up to jump right to creation. Still, for the unwashed masses–and I include myself in this, things should be far easier and more direct. I’ve recently been experimenting with the Narwhal plugin that puts a writing interface right up top on my website (and only appears when I’m logged in) and provides a pretty solid experience the way Twitter, Facebook, and other social sites do.

I have played around with many of Dave’s tools over the years and appreciated his UI and particularly some of his outliner tools. Given that he’s built and tested some very strong tools and interfaces, I’d be really curious to see him implement a Micropub client back end on some of them so that they not only allow one to post to his sites, but so that one could use them to create, edit, and publish to almost any website out there. Some of his tools are already set up to post content to Twitter, why not set them up to post to WordPress and many others too?

Given that CMSs and static site services like WordPress, Drupal, Craft, WithKnown, Jekyll, Kirby, Hugo, and Blot all support Micropub either natively or with simple plugins, Dave could easily take his various publishing interfaces and make them broadly available to almost any website on the planet. How many times have I desperately wished I could use Radio3, Little Outliner, Little Card Editor, pngWriter and others to be able to post to other websites instead of just Twitter?!

He might even implement them as Micropub clients just so that he could use his own interfaces to publish directly to his WordPress sites instead of worrying about their interface. I suspect that in day or two’s worth of work he could not only have half a dozen or more micropub clients, but he might also figure out how to dovetail them all together to make something more interesting and useful than Gutenberg, which has taken hundreds of developers and a magnitude larger amount of time to create.

Perhaps some additional competition against Gutenberg would help speed WordPress (and everyone else for that matter) toward making a simpler and more direct publishing interface? Micropub seems like a designer’s dream for making better posting interfaces, especially since it’s got such broad endpoint support.