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.
For creators & fans of independent digital media
A new blog by our friend Richard MacManus has not only hit the digital presses, but there are several posts up already. Like most of what he writes, this looks like it will also be required reading. I suspect it’ll also be of interest to the broader IndieWeb community as well.
Seeing this also reminds me to finish compiling a list I had started based on one of our conversations about topic-specific indie blogs.
I wrote just shy of a hundred blog posts in 2018. That’s an increase from 2017. I’m happy about that.
Here are some posts that turned out okay…
I’m thinking I should sift through my 2018 and highlight a few things as well.
The website's content means everything to the publisher, but it could mean nothing to the rest of the world.
Back in the 1990s and maybe even in the early aughts, some websites were called E/N sites, which meant Everything and Nothing. E/N may have predated the term "weblog", which also began in the...
An interesting differentiation of type for a personal website. I like the ideas here and how they might contrast to both blogging and commonplace books.
As an interesting aside, I’ll note that just a few months ago that YouTube allowed people to do embeds with several options, but they’re recently removed the option to prevent their player from recommending additional videos once you’re done. Thus the embedding site is still co-opted to some extent by YouTube and their vexing algorithmic recommendations.
In a similar vein audio is also an issue, but at least an easier and much lower bandwidth one. I’ve been running some experiments lately on my own website by posting what I’m listening to on a regular basis as a “faux-cast” and embedding the original audio. I’ve also been doing it pointedly as a means of helping others discover good content, because in some sense I can say I love the most recent NPR podcast or click like on it somewhere, but I’m definitely sure that doesn’t have as much weight or value as my tacitly saying, “I’ve actually put my time and attention on the line and actually listened to this particular episode.” I think having and indicating skin-in-the-game can make a tremendous difference in these areas. In a similar vein, sites like Twitter don’t really have a good bookmarking feature, so readers don’t know if the sharing user actually read any of an article or if it was just the headline. Posting these things separately on my own site as either reads or bookmarks allows me to differentiate between the two specifically and semantically, both for others’ benefit as well as, and possibly most importantly, for my own (future self).
Earlier this week, Glenn Reynolds, known online as Instapundit, published an op-ed inUSA Today about why he recently quit Twitter. He didn’t hold back, writing:
“[I]f you set out to design a platform that would poison America’s discourse and its politics, you’d be hard pressed to come up with something more destructive than Twitter.”
What really caught my attention, however, is when Reynolds begins discussing the advantages of the blogosphere as compared to walled garden social media platforms.
He notes that blogs represent a loosely coupled system, where the friction of posting and linking slows down the discourse enough to preserve context and prevent the runaway reactions that are possible in tightly coupled systems like Twitter, where a tweet can be retweeted, then retweeted again and again, forming an exponential explosion of pure reactive id.
As a longtime blogger myself, Reynolds’s op-ed got me thinking about other differences between social media and the blogosphere…
Cal has some interesting thoughts on blogging versus social media which I’ve been seeing more and more about in the past several months. In addition to the major efforts by the people taking up the IndieWeb philosophies (of which I recognize several people in the comments section on the post, though they all appear as pingbacks because Cal apparently doesn’t yet support the prettier webmention specification), I’ve been seeing more people I don’t know directly talking about these ideas in the wild. I’ve only recently begun to tag some of these occurrences on my site with the tags slow social and blogosphere revival though many other examples are assuredly hiding untagged this year and last.
He almost lays out an interesting thesis for the idea of “slow social” which is roughly something I’ve been practicing for nearly 4+ years. While I maintain my personal website mostly for my own benefit as an online commonplace book, I also use it as a place to post first everything I write on the web and only then syndicate it to social media sites. The little extra bit of friction keeps my reposts, likes, and other related micro-posts (or is it micro-aggressions?) to a relative minimum compared to the past.
I’ve also noticed a lot more intentionality and value coming out of people who are writing their own posts and replies on their personal websites first. Because it appears on a site they own and which is part of their online identity, they’re far more careful about what and how they write. Their words are no longer throw-away commentary for the benefit of a relatively unseen audience that comes and goes in a rushing stream of content on someone else’s social site.
I hope this blogging renaissance continues apace. It also doesn’t escape my notice that I’m serendipitously reading this article right after having seen New Clues by David Weinberger and Doc Searls
I have personally been been doing something similar to this for several years now, so I’m obviously a big fan of this idea. My website is my social media presence and everything I post online starts on my own website first (including this reply).
I’m excited to see so many people in the comments are into the idea as well, but it seems like several are having problems knowing where to get started or where to go. I’d suggest many spend some time to check out IndieWeb.org and the resources not only on their wiki, but within their online chat. There are a lot of us out here who have experience doing just this and can help kickstart the process, not to mention we’ve built up a huge wiki with details, tools, and processes to help others out.
Asha, if you’re game, perhaps we could set up some video chat time to help folks out?
The best part is that the old school blogosphere has been growing again and adding some cool new functionalities that make having and using a personal website a lot more fun, useful, and even simpler. Let me know how I might be of help.