Rebooting the Blogroll or Something Similar

created Jun 22, 2017

I call it bookmarks, which is not the same as a blogroll. I remember blogrolls. They helped readers find other bloggers. I assume that a blogroll still means that only links to blog sites get listed. My bookmarks page lists bloggers and other types of websites, articles, and resources.

June 2017 links

IRC discussion includes blogroll talk

Naturally, people launch into over-think mode and discuss the differences between blogroll, bookmarks, following lists, favs, etc. Yuck. Some things don't need to be hashed over.

I don't consider a blog site. It's my notes or journal or personal publishing site. It's an E/N site. Whatever.

By the definition listed at the top of this page, would not or could not appear in a "blogroll". That's why I prefer bookmarks. I can list blog sites and even IndieWeb users under different headings, but everything that interests me gets listed on one page and not multiple pages.

My bookmarks page has nothing to do with the sites that I might follow in a feed reader, assuming that I use one. I have been using/testing the feed reader lately, but its squirrelly behavior at times is frustrating. For some reason, woodwind will display posts from a year ago between posts made hours ago, and all of the posts were created by different authors.

I like woodwind because of its IndieWeb integration. Now that I have the Micropub create spec working in my Wren code, I can make posts, including webmention replies through the woodwind interface. It's slick. The post goes to my Wren website, and since it's an in-reply-to, then my code makes the webmention post to the target site.

I don't think that blogrolls in the olden days meant those were the sites that the blog author followed in an RSS reader. Sometimes, it's nice to engage in a "pull" action and visit the sites directly, instead of waiting for a "push" action and receive new posts within a feed reader.

We all visit numerous sites throughout the month. Some we visit daily, others a couple times a week or weekly and still others maybe monthly. But if we consider them a part of our reading routine, then those sites might appear in a blogroll or a bookmarks page, making it easy to find and visit our favorite sites of the moment.

Over time, new sites get added to the list. If the list gets too big, then we prune the blogroll or the bookmarks page, especially if we don't visit those sites anymore.

Old links

May 30, 2017 German post:

July 2008 - Blogrolls, RIP

From the Jun 22, 2017 IndieWeb IRC log:


[kevinmarks] the whole xfn model was for marking up blogrolls/follow lists with more information

[kevinmarks] blogroll <<

[kevinmarks] "Delusions of Grandeur XFN provides the basis for a world-wide distributed network of personal connections. "

[colinwalker] The whole thing with blogrolls and discoverability is why I did my webmention directory. It's almost a blogroll in reverse - not people I necessarily follow but people who have interacted with me.

This is interesting:

Here's good advice about implementing IndieWeb features:

[kevinmarks] Kongaloosh - reading that it sounded like you felt that you had been gamified and doing things for list completion (extrinsic) rather than personal need (intrinsic) which is a potential problem with and maybe even with

I've been following the IndieWeb since the summer of 2013 when I first learned about their ideals.

In the fall of 2013, I added the ability to RECEIVE webmentions to my Junco code.

In 2016, I created my Wren SSG web app. I added more microformats to my Wren-based posts.

Late in 2016, I added the ability to RECEIVE webmentions to my Wren code.

In the spring and early summer now in 2017, I've added the following IndieWeb functions to Wren:

I need to figure out how to support updates for Micropub clients. And I'm about to enable posting to a Twitter account by sending a webmention to

I've taken about four years to get this point. I've accelerated my IndieWeb support only within the past few weeks. This recent post got me more interested in these advanced IndieWeb functions.

Microformats, Webmentions, IndieAuth, Micropub, and more are NOT required to be considered an IndieWeb site.

One only needs a domain name a personal website at that domain name, hosting content created by the author. Notes, articles, photos, quotes, bookmarks, and more. That's it.

The IndieWeb is about owning your domain, using it as your primary identity to publish on your own site (optionally syndicate elsewhere), and owning your data.

Tech geeks, such as programmers and designers, may enjoy implementing the more advanced features because some people like the challenge. Whether it proves useful for the person's personal website might be a different story, but it opens the door to possibilities in the future, such as posting a comment to another person's website through the feed reader.

sknebel [colinwalker]: "consider a page part of the IndieWeb if it has a microformats2 class or advertizes a webmention or micropub endpoint."

Zegnat That seems to be what people think the true definition is (pushing the IndieWeb tech stack). But I don't agree with it. I don't have a better oneliner yet though

I agree. I understand what colinwalker is saying, but that's not the IndieWeb definition. Many people have posted to social media for years, yet they have never had a blog site nor a domain name that points to a blog site. Some people blogged in the aught years, and then they stopped, focusing all their time on social media.

The IndieWeb is trying to get the former bloggers to restart their personal websites again while still engaging with social media. And the IndieWeb is trying to encourage new people to buy domain names and create personal websites for the first time.

Maybe months or years down the road, these bloggers of today will add more advanced IndieWeb functions. That might mean migrating from Blogger to WordPress or something else.

This explains the IndieWeb ideals and goals in more detail.

Zegnat My favourite indieweb site:

[kevinmarks] see also

More about implementing IndieWeb functions from another user:

08:09 Kongaloosh I started with indiemark and indiewebify me
08:09 j12t joined the channel
08:09 Kongaloosh and used those to startup my site
08:09 Kongaloosh but I rarely use webmentions, or even linked-data notifications
08:09 Kongaloosh I think implementing them taught me a lot

09:21 Kongaloosh tbf, indiemark was a guiding star that helped me find a path forwards
09:21 Kongaloosh like, it was the one page I referenced a lot when I started a lot
09:21 Kongaloosh because it helped me come up with requirements
09:21 Kongaloosh and it extensively links to the other parts of the site
09:22 [kevinmarks] right, that was the goal, but the points system is a bit awkward.
09:22 Kongaloosh I guess that's the case
09:22 [kevinmarks] is a clearer path, but a lot simpler.
09:23 Kongaloosh I think it's because if you're new, maybe you should focus on functionality and personalization before you add a system to post, say, audio

Uh, oh, over-thinking blogroll, bookmarks, etc.

22:08 [chrisaldrich] Mostly to keep the concept of blogroll separate from bookmarks and the intentions of what those do. Though perhaps using categories on them would be a reasonable separator

I think that they have discussed implementing blogroll/bookmarks with programming code. Were blogrolls in the olden days created automatically by code? I don't think so.

Blogrolls in the early aught years appeared in a sidebar at least on the blog authors's homepages. I maintained my list of links manually back then, like I do now. I'm certain that's how others maintained their blogrolls.

For my bookmarks pages of recent years, sometimes I organize the list of links by categories within one page. Sports, nature, politics, art, news about the media, technology, and other bloggers.

The bookmarks page could be organized simpler by blogroll, reference material, media websites, message boards, etc. I don't think that it needs a standard.

In today's IndieWeb IRC log, a discussion about microformats vs

22:37 M-podviaznikov gRegorLove: yeah, I think I mostly use for search engines. I don't really care about comments. I wonder what you mean by easier to consume microformats? Are there tools that use microformats except search engines?
22:37 ben_thatmustbeme, Known, Mastodon, GNU Social,, Friendica, Hubzilla, all publish microformats
22:37 ben_thatmustbeme not all consumer them yet though
22:37 aaronpk M-podviaznikov: here's some of my thoughts on it. tl;dr is being pushed by google and likely they will recommend something else in a couple years

And microformats celebrated its 12th birthday this week. Longevity, like DW's RSS.

About implementing and using IndieWeb concepts:

22:39 tantek M-podviaznikov: I think you'll find that folks here support you using whatever you want on your own site, not to the exclusion of anything else

Still, the main thing is to publish at one's own domain name.

22:40 tantek turns out microformats, mf2 in particular, combined with /Webmention has become the simplest way to interact cross-site on the indieweb
22:40 tantek if that user-feature is important to you on your own site, then you can consider adding that support
22:40 tantek none of this requires you to "remove" anything
22:41 tantek that's part of the point of indieweb, you deploy what you want on your site

More about the growing interest in the IndieWeb ideas:

22:43 [chrisaldrich] I suspect that with consumer-facing things like lately that we're already starting into Gen2 and I see bits of Gen3 already looking at the bleeding edges.

Yes, I think that has inspired me to support more aspects of the IndieWeb, such as IndieAuth and Micropub.

22:43 [chrisaldrich] I suspect that with consumer-facing things like lately that we're already starting into Gen2 and I see bits of Gen3 already looking at the bleeding edges.

And it caused DW to make a post about the IndieWeb. Even a negative post by Dave Winer has exposed the IndieWeb to more people because he linked to the IndieWeb from within his blog post. That helps.

This year, the IndieWeb and its functions have been mentioned more within Hacker News threads.

22:44 tantek indeed, and different efforts (e.g. Known vs WordPress + plugins vs are at different levels in terms of accessibility to generations
22:45 [chrisaldrich] Or even core committers from WordPress thinking about adding pieces into core are positive signs.

22:45 tantek M-podviaznikov it's not that "any standard is supported" per se, but rather your ability to choose for your own site is supported

That's more proof that the IndieWeb is inclusive. tantek's above statement refutes DW's claim that the IndieWeb is exclusive and only supports part of the web. DW's claim was absurd. He based his opinion on how the IndieWeb promotes microformats and h-feed over XML even though many IndieWeb users still produce RSS feeds because RSS is not going anywhere.

Website authors should support microformats, regardless of what, if any, feeds their sites produce. microformats have far more uses than producing h-feeds.

22:47 tantek e.g. I support ActivitiyStreams1.0/Atom on my site which I chose to support at some point in time, but as far as I know no other indieweb site (people here) supports or supports consuming or does anything with. It's my choice to support AS1/Atom on my site, and I don't have to get any agreement to do it

Bingo. And that applies to any technology, protocol, standard, or feature.


Early aught years

I started my first blog in Aug/Sep 2001 at I uploaded and used the web-based, static site generator blog tool called Greymatter that was created by Noah Grey.

In late 2002, I created another Greymatter-powered blog at hypermart. Around 2004 or 2005, hypermart ended their free hosting service.

I saved my posts from those two hypermart sites to DvDs. I need to get them uploaded to here.

I found this December 2004 snapshot at, showing the blog post titles that I created between Nov 2002 and Sep 2003 on the 2nd hypermart site.

The home page that contains a long list of my "favorite" websites.

Screenshot of my munger blog from the fall of 2003:

enlarge image

I referenced Dave Winer's blog posts often back in the early aught years on my blogs, since Dave helped to create RSS, and because Dave was a huge advocate for blogging.

Back around 2000 or so, I became enamored with blogging both personally on the public internet and professionally within a company on the org's "intranet" or on the company's public internet server. I followed businesses that promoted business blogging for different reasons.

In 2001-2002, I maintained a Greymatter-backed blog on my server at work. It was my internal work blog that I used as my knowledge management system, storing meeting notes, useful email threads, and work functions, such as software changes, upgrades, and installs. It was my digital notebook. When I left, I handed it over to my boss in case the info proved useful.

In the early aughts at work, I maintained our company's internal portal system that came from Plumtree. I wrote "gadgets" for the system. These were like plug-ins or add-ons, which added additional functionality to our Plumtree install.

Plumtree provided many default gadgets for functions like file uploads. Plumtree had a core system, but most functions were gadgets that needed to be added.

I think that Plumtree also provided gadgets that had to be purchased. We paid for the software, which was expensive. And then we paid a monthly or annual per user license fee.

I advocated for the Arsdigita Community System, the one based upon AOL Server and TCL, which was embedded into the AOL Server web server.

In November 2000, I spent two weeks in Cambridge, going through an Arsdigita programming bootcamp. I spent many 14 hour days at AD during that time, hacking our projects.

I loved the TCL programming language. I used it a lot at work in the late 1990s and early aught years. I worked as a Sys Admin, but I was one of the few in the company who knew how to create web programs.

In 1996, I learned HTML and web CGI programming in C. I later wrote web programs at work in Java Server Pages, TCL, and Perl.

In 1999, I created a web app that we used to manage a custom survey project for Microsoft.

For the Plumtree portal system in 2001-2002, I wrote gadgets as Active Server Pages, using Perl, instead of VB Script or whatever the Basic script was used for ASP.

I installed Active State's Perl interpreter for Windows on our NT servers, including the NT server on my desk.

I wrote Perl Server Pages, combining Perl code and HTML within the same file. I created PSP Plumtree gadgets for blogging and a message board, in addition to other gadgets.

I used the blogging and message board gadgets in the portal. Gadgets could be assigned privileges. Some gadgets could be personal and others could be community-based.

I made the message board gadget be a community one, obviously. And I made the blogging gadget be a personal one that could be installed on a user's homepage or dashboard or whatever it was called. I think that personal gadgets could not be viewed by other portal members.

It was an interesting system, but I liked ACS better. It was free, it had a lot of functions, and it was easy to modify and create new programs.

Man, I'm swerving off-topic.

In the early aught years, I preferred a two column display on the webpage over a three column display.

For that fall 2003 screen capture, my right sidebar had two sections that contained links: Communities and Favorites.

I was interested in community sites before I got interested in blog sites. I liked Slashdot, kuro5hin, MetaFilter, evolt, and Fark.

Obviously, my interest in community sites led me to buy the domain name in Sep 2001. In the fall of 2002, I began writing my own message board code to power Toledo Talk, and I patterned the look and functionality after MetaFilter.

MetaFilter had a subsite called MetaTalk. I couldn't think of a name for my Toledo, Ohio-focused message board. Toledo Filter sounded strange. Hence Toledo Talk, borrowed from MetaTalk.

I launched Toledo Talk in January 2003, and it's still going, 14.5 years later.

I've been writing on the web since September 2001, and I have all my postings that were scattered across multiple blog sites at, Blogger, and my own sites that I have created in recent years that use the multiple web publishing apps that I have created.

I would like to gather the many thousands of web postings that I have made since 2001 and store them all at That would include all of my posts from Toledo Talk and JotHut, which would house most of my content.

I started posting to other message boards in late 1990s, but I don't think that I have any of that content saved.

Here are the links that I displayed under Communities in the fall 2003 version of my munger blog:

My fall 2003 blog - sidebar "Communities" links

Chuck Palahniuk
Perl Monks
The Well

My fall 2003 blog - sidebar - "Favorites" links

37 Signals
A List Apart
Andrew Sullivan
Arts Journal
Banshee Studios (writing)
BBC World News
Black Swamp Birding
Boing Boing
CGI Resource
CMS Watch
CSS @ Glish
Dane Carlson
DayPop Top 40
Dotcom Scoop
Drudge Report
Dylan Tweney
Editor and Publisher
High Context
How Stuff Works
Internal Memos
Intranet Focus
Intranet Journal
Jeremy Allaire
Jeremy Zawodny
Jim Romenesko
John's Jottings
Jon Udell
Knowledge Center
Liberal Slant
Linux Daily News
Little Green Footballs
Microcontent News
Mitch Kapor - OSAF
Ohio Birding
Opinion Journal
O'Reilly Network
Radio Free Blogistan
Reading and Writing
Real Beer
Real World Style
SE MI Raptors
Signal vs Noise
Smart Mobs
Spam Assassin
Stating the Obvious
Step Two
Steven Johnson
The End of Free
The Note
Traction Software
Trellix Tech
Use It
Washington Post Forums
Web Standards
WorldNet Daily
Yahoo! News
ZD Net News

November 2017

A Following Page (aka some significant updates to my Blogroll)

The humble blogroll is long overdue for some updates in form and functionality on the open web.

January 2018 - nearly 100 comments - Jan 26, 2018