Personal Publishing Design Options

created May 6, 2017

Before 2010, on my blog, I could have long and short items. I could use HTML. Link to as many places I wanted, where ever I wanted. There was no character limit, so the short items could grow if they needed to. The same format could accommodate post-length bits with titles that were archived on their own pages.

Every item appeared in the feed, regardless of length, regardless of whether it had a title. I could shuffle the order in a given day, easily, because the text was on rails, edited in an outliner. It was great. I didn't know how good I had it at the time.

In my opinion, that sounds similar to the way many Indieweb proponents use their websites today. And some Indieweb advocates have managed their websites this way for many years.

More from DW:

When Twitter became popular it threw a monkey wrench in my blogging act. Where to put the short items? So I stopped posting small items on my blog. And everything needed a title to make Google Reader happy.

Twitter and Google didn't create the monkeywrenches. DW allowed himself to be swayed too much by a changing digital landscape.

There was a gap, items that were longer than 140, or had multiple links, but were too short to get a title. There was no place for them. So much work for something small. I'm just writing this evening to say I want my old blog back. I liked the freedom. My ideas flowed better.

Examples of DW's style of blogging from last decade. His older website design mixed notes and articles on the same homepage stream.

A few Indieweb people:

Their homepages are a mix of notes, articles, photos, bookmarks, and more. They programmatically syndicate their posts to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Medium, and elsewhere.

Even comments, likes, shares, and other interactions that occur with their syndicated posts on social media get sent back to their personal websites.

It appears that Indieweb people are using Twitter by being logged into Twitter or using a Twitter app, but that is not happening. Their Twitter "app" or client is their personal website. Ditto for other social media services.

At post creation time, the Indieweb users decide where if anywhere else they would like their posts syndicated to.

I think that medium.com influenced DW's current blog design the most. Medium became known to the public around September 2012, and a lot of websites, publishers, media orgs, writers, designers, and developers were influenced by the design of medium.com articles. I was.

In Indiweb land, a note does not have a title, and article has a title. Notes could be long, and articles could be short. But notes are viewed as quick-thinking, short posts, while articles might take hours or days to finalize.

The Indieweb users categorize their posts into numerous areas, and their CMS apps permit filtering by post type.

Post types listed at Aaron Parecki' Indieweb site:

All post types are displayed together on his homepage stream. But posts can be filtered with simple URLs, such as

Post types at boffosocko.com by Indieweb publisher Chris Aldrich:

Here are only a few of the different stream views or display options that Aldrich provides at his website:

Whew.

Over the past few years, DW has complained about many issues with Facebook, Twitter, Medium, etc., and how those sites related to blogging. To me, it seems that most of his complaints could be resolved by adopting Indiweb principles.

The Indiweb concepts began around 2010, but some of the ideas are based upon old standards. The Indieweb is a modern twist on the old ways of personal web publishing.

Ironically, I first learned about the Indiweb in the summer of 2013 after reading a comment by another user who posted at one of DW's blog posts when DW used Discus for comments.

Strangely, DW has dismissed the Indieweb with a condescending, insulting attitude.

I'm sure that Indieweb proponents would love to have Dave blog in support of Indieweb ideas and have Dave create or modify his software to support Indieweb concepts. But despite Dave's insults, the Indieweb people keep forging ahead, gaining no converts every week.

DW has called Indieweb people or ideas spam. It's a bizarre attitude. Rather than implementing solutions, DW would prefer to complain.

Microformats is a big part of the Indieweb ideas. A few Indieweb publishers do not produce an RSS feed because their homepages and article pages use microformats, and a feed reader than can understand microformats can display posts like an RSS reader.

https://woodwind.xyz is a web-based feed reader that understands RSS and microformats. It relies on IndieAuth for logins. IndieAuth is one of the many interesting Indieweb concepts. Webmentions is my favorite.

I have not done a detailed analysis, but in my opinion, it seems that most Indieweb users support one or more of the following feed types on their personal websites: RSS, Atom, and microformats.

DW shouldn't be a single issue, blogging ideologue. The Indieweb and the open web are bigger than only RSS. Not supporting RSS is not a deal-breaker for adopting something new, in my opinion.

But DW may take it personally, since he helped to create the RSS standard.

If DW adopted the Indieweb ideas, however, then he could blog like he did last decade by mixing articles and notes on the homepage while also interacting with followers on social media, all from his scripting.com website.

DW could add other post types as he desired, such as photos and bookmarks. And he could modify his publishing app to use Brid.gy, which would allow him to syndicate easily to social media. Brid.gy would enable social media interactions by others to get posted back to DW's blog site if he wanted.

Brid.gy:

Got a web site? Want replies and likes on your site? Want to post and tweet from your site? Bridgy is for you.

Bridgy pulls comments, likes, and reshares on social networks back to your web site. You can also use it to post to social networks - or comment, like, reshare, or even RSVP - from your own web site.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so here's a screenshot of comments, likes, etc. that Bridgy sent to a post on my own site:

example post that contains replies and feedback by social media users

I think that this about page could help DW resolve some of his concerns about publishing on a personal website while also interacting with others on social media.

https://brid.gy/about

DW is aware of micro.blog, which opened to Kickstarter backers in late April and early this month (2017).

micro.blog uses several Indieweb ideas, including IndieAuth, MicroPub, Webmentions, and microformats. micro.blog uses RSS too.

Microformats existed before the Indieweb formed as an ideal, but the Indieweb advocates have expanded microformats usage.

The informational pages at micro.blog mention the Indieweb often. I wonder if DW will finally acknowledge the value in the Indieweb concepts? Doesn't matter. micro.blog and the Indieweb will not be deterred by detractors.

More users who mix notes and articles on their personal website homepages.

I found those users at micro.blog.