Frank, in case you haven’t come across it yet, there is a stub page on the IndieWeb wiki about using our websites as digital commonplace books. Hopefully it will have some useful information, articles, and examples for you to use as you continue hacking. Feel free to add your own thoughts to it as you experiment.
While I do like the way that WordPress makes it easy for one to create link previews by simply putting a URL into the editor (as in your example), I’ve generally shied away from it as it relies on oEmbed and doesn’t necessarily put the actual text into your site. (Not all websites will provide this oEmbed functionality either.) I mention this because a lot of the benefit of having a commonplace is the ability to easily search it. If your post only has a title and a URL, without careful tagging it may be much harder to come back and discover what you were searching for later.
I’ve started an article on how I’m using my website as one, but still have a way to go before I finish it. A big portion of my workflow relies on the Post Kinds Plugin and its available bookmarklet functionality. There are also a lot of nice Micropub clients like Omnibear that making bookmarking things quick and easy too.
In the erstwhile, I ‘ll note that on my own site, I tag things relating to my own commonplace (thinking about and building it) as “commonplace book” and for examples of other peoples’ commonplaces, I usually use the plural tag “commonplace books“. These may also give you some ideas.
With respect to the Medium article which you linked, I’ve seen a recurring theme among bloggers (and writers in general) who indicate that they use their websites as “thought spaces”. Others may use similar or related phraseology (like “thinking out loud”) but this seems to be the most common in my experience. Toward that end, I’ve been bookmarking those articles that I’ve read with the tag “thought spaces“. Some of those notes and websites may also give you some ideas related to having and maintaining an online commonplace book.
The single best thing I ever did for my career was start a blog on my own website.
— Brad Frost (@brad_frost) January 18, 2019
Writing on your own website associates your thoughts and ideas with you as a person. Having a distinct website design helps strengthen that association. Writing for another publication you get a little circular avatar at the beginning of the post and a brief bio at the end of the post, and that’s about it. People will remember the publication, but probably not your name.
Another great reason for Why to IndieWeb.
I like the idea of a blog without a publish button. I do roughly the same thing with lots of drafts unpublished that I let aggregate content over time. The difference is that mine aren’t immediately out in public for other’s benefit. Though I do wonder how many might read them, comment on them, or potentially come back to read them later in a more finished form.
I immediately thought of a post from Mike Caulfield (Hapgood). Interesting to see that Tom has already read and referenced it in his prior post.
In addition to collecting the quote above, I’ll also note that Devon’s site now has an RSS feed (which I’m positive it didn’t before), so one can now follow her writing there directly.
I’ve had an idea in my task list for a week or so now, and I just haven’t made the time to write about it, at least not as I originally intended when I read the post that inspired it. J…
Some ideas worth chewing on here. Paul almost uses the phrase “thought spaces” here and though he doesn’t, he’s certainly dancing around it.
The independent blog has been in decline for years. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s why you should start a blog in 2019—and host it yourself.
A great argument here for the IndieWeb, and his second in probably as many weeks. Even better, it sounds like he doesn’t yet know some of the cool new things that blogs are capable of doing now that they couldn’t do in 2006.
I’ve primarily relied on WordPress.org for ages and have and have often used WithKnown, but I also have a few sites using Drupal. While I wouldn’t suggest non-technical folks using Drupal, whose technical requirements have rapidly been increasing over the past several years, I would recommend taking a look at a fantastic Drupal fork called BackDrop CMS.
While it still has a lot in common with Drupal, it has reconfigured the core to include some of the most commonly used and requested plugins and they’ve done their best to make it prettier and easier to use for hobby-ists and bloggers as well as small businesses and non-profits that don’t need all the additional overhead that Drupal brings. It’s also got a small but very dedicated community of developers and users.
I’ve also been hearing some great things about Craft CMS, which you highlight, as well as Perch by Rachel Andrew and Drew McLellan.