Third party services usually make it very easy to add something to your digital life online. At the same time it always means a loss of control over the material you share through, store in, collect with such third party services. If one such third party shuts down, decides to pivot, pulls up new pay walls and restrictions, blocks or deletes your account, you have no

The IndieWeb, basically an open web approach, starts with the notion that you have control over your own material. It’s your creative expression, your data. For that it’s useful to have your own domain. As long you have that, you can move whatever material you share there to other servers, services etc. Second, whatever material you share outside your domain on third party services, should originate on your domain, or end-up there as a copy. For instance I share messages to Twitter that I write here. I used to share check-ins made in Swarm/Foursquare to check-in entries on my site. In both cases whatever happens to Twitter or Foursquare, I have my own online original or copy to which I can link. When I want to link to something in a conversation I share the link to my own domain.

I treat my domain name as ‘the mothership‘ of all my online traces. It is how my blog keeps being my avatar.

These are the ways my domain(s) is / are my mothership:

  • My articles, here on my blog
  • My messages to Twitter and Mastodon written on my blog
  • My slide decks hosted and sharable on my own domains, not using slideshare/scribd
  • My photos, here, linked to my off-site copy Flickr
  • My shortened URLs using Yourls on my own domain tzyl.eu
  • My code repositories on Github have their own URL redirect from a domain I control, so I can move to another code hoster or my own and keep the same links I shared with others
  • My check-ins when I used Foursquare, copied into my blog
Posted

This page was created using my personal Micropub client. This allows me to post not only posts but also pages to my various WordPress websites. And to do so along several paths, such as directly from my local notes. This page is merely a proof of concept. My intention is to use this way of posting to better extend my publicly shared notes in my Digital Garden. For now it is just about creating new pages. A next step would be to also apply this to updating of pages.

Current status:

  • Created a working way to submit JSON formatted blogposts to this site, code on GitHub
  • Included that in my earlier scripts to create posts from my feed reading, that I now no longer then have to post by hand.
  • Created a Microsub client to replace my feed reader, in which I can respond directly from within the page I am reading.
  • Combined the same basic script with a local webform so I can very quickly post something. I don’t think I will be using this possibility much but it was a good way to add a front-end to the micropub script first and fast.
  • Can take a local markdown file written in Obsidian and post it as html to my site. This is by far the most useful to me
    • I write my blogposts in Obsidian, drafts live in a specific writing folder. They have two inline data fields, status and tags. While writing a note has status ‘writing’, when it is ready to publish I set the status to ‘draft’.
    • Within Obsidian I use the same status field to create a dynamic overview of posts being written, ready to publish, and previously published (using the DataView plugin).
    • When I’m ready to post, I hit a hotkey which launches my PHP script. It looks at all files in the specific writing folder and checks for files that changed within the last few hours and if those contain a status field ‘draft’. For those that do it transforms the markdown in those files to html, and then posts that to my site, using the tags in the other data field to tag and categorise the post. It also sets the status field in my notes from ‘draft’ to ‘posted’.
    • I could also run the script every hour or so using a cron job, so that anything posts automatically, while I go on with my other work.

Rationale:

Local first, personal, narrow band
See blogpost.

Narrow band means:
my preferences can be treated as default inputs
my tasks are predictable to me
together they are functions with parameters, aka code.

Sources:

Micropub standard
IndieWeb wiki on Micropub
Tips from Jan Boddez (in Dutch)
Jamie Tanna’s work on his personal micropub client
Jamie Tanna’s tool to get authorisation tokens manually, great for testing/development.
Parsedown, which I use to translate markdown files written in Obsidian, to HTML for my site.

I want to make it easy to publish lists of books I am reading and have read, or any other list. And do so without using centralised platforms like e.g. Goodreads (Amazon).
The route I am currently on, is to publish a machine readable list others can easily incorporate. These lists are in OPML, an exchange format for outlines. It’s the same format generally used to share lists of RSS feed subscriptions.

In 2020 I came across a posting by Tom Critchlow on this topic, and a year later I started looking into using OPML to create the lists.

I created a proof of concept, with a data format.
Using that I created a webform to update a book list by hand with a new entry.
Then I automated generating the lists (code on GitHub).
All as proofs of concept.

Currently I am able to directly automatically create the lists in OPML from my individual book notes in Obsidian.md (which I use for PKM).
In Q1 2022 I experienced that creating lists and posting them works nicely and smoothly, with no friction. I do currently only create a few lists (fiction and non-fiction in the running year, antilibrary). I’m also working through the books I’ve read in the last decade or so, and gradually creating those lists. I’m not generating those as OPML however, they currently are just a list in my own notes.

Next steps will look at how to do the federating itself: how can I ‘consume’, or even include in my own lists, the OPML, ActivityPub or JSON lists of others in a meaningful way? I think a first step is consuming one list published by someone else, treating it as a recommendation list perhaps or some other form of input, much like I’m reading feeds. It might be useful to be able to pick out mentions about books I’ve already read, are in my anti-library, match an author I like, or match my interests while being unknown to me.

The annual Tadaa! list is a posting I write listing the things that gave me a feeling of accomplishment that year. I started it in 2010, and made one every year since. The primary reason for these lists is that I easily forget things I did in a year, because I tend to move on to other things before letting something register or sink in properly. For instance one year I forgot I organised, hosted and moderated what turned out as national level conference with a colleague, because I left for an extended international work trip the day after. That made organising a conference, originally meant as a project retrospective, a thing I had to finish before I could go to the airport. The lists over the years helped me resurface things that are worth looking back on. They are unordered lists, often roughly chronological as I leaf through my calendar and notes to write them.
Here is the full list, most recent at the top.

2021
2020
2019
2018
2017,
2016,
2015,
2014,
2013,
2012,
2011
2010

A (short) list of applications that were very useful to me at one time, but then went away or astray. The question is, could one redo these in a current and useful way?

  • Dopplr: showing simple travel plans (city and dates) to facilitate serendipitous meet-ups outside your regular movements. (went away after being acquired)
  • Delicious: social bookmarking (went astray by dropping/breaking-by-redoing the social functionality, then went away). Have a project on the shelf to redo this for myself, called Linqurator.
  • Skype: p2p voip (went astray by dropping p2p in favor of centralised servers, after acquisition by Microsoft). See this and this posting asking questions about the current p2p voip space.