Seeing Peter install a doorbell we already contemplated ourselves, I followed his lead this afternoon. Now we have a wifi/camera doorbell that also keeps the original one ringing when pressed, which pops up on our phones and computers. Only glitch during set-up was that this US device isn’t accustomed to the EU wifi channel range at 2.4GHZ (EU has a channel 12 and 13), so I had to briefly switch my router from auto-selecting a channel to one below 11, before updating the doorbell’s firmware to deal with EU standards. As Peter says, we can discuss these devices in more detail during our upcoming event Smart Stuff that Matters. (In related news, I went out for a new electric toothbrush today, and upon returning home with I unexpectedly found it has bluetooth connectivity…..)


Me, attaching the door cam while having the camera running

When I link to another blog or site that has enabled webmention, my server log should record that it received a 20* response when trying to reach a webmention end point.

Assuming this is indeed in my server log, then it should be possible to have a script that pulls the successful webmentions from the server log. From that a growing list of IndieWeb sites can grow. Especially if you’d share that list, and others do too, so you can compare and detect new additions to the list. An incremental way of mapping the IndieWeb. Might even become a new, indie Technorati of sorts. At the very least it’s a discovery vehicle to find others interested in the distributed web and outside the silos and media sites.

Or does something like that already exist?

Austin Kleon blogs that in his diary writing he tries to start with writing down the best thing that happened yesterday. Calling it ‘cheerful retrospection‘ Judging by his post he writes his diary by hand.

For the past 3 years I have had a survey hosted on my laptop to do self reflection. It contains that same question. When I started using the survey, which I named self-pni, I wrote that the survey has

three distinct question blocks. A block asking questions about what happened during the day and stood out, and why it stood out for me. A block with more mindfulness oriented questions on how I felt in the here and now. A block about my current outlook. All in all a mix of qualitative and quantitative elements.

The survey hasn’t changed in 3 years, but I also haven’t used it much either. Long periods go by without filling it out. Only when I feel stressed or otherwise feel there’s something that needs to change, it is that I return to the survey. I also as yet haven’t tried to do anything with the database, other than browsing my responses occasionally. I know from others that for them part of the benefit of asking those questions of themselves lies in doing it in handwriting on paper. Writing it down brings an impact even if you don’t look back at it at all they report. For me answering the questions without ever looking in the database has effect as well: it makes me stop and reflect. I imagine writing it out takes a bit more time, and makes that ‘stop and reflect’ moment longer.

Sometimes the universe aligns nicely. The day after our own “Smart Stuff That Matters” unconference on August 31st, in Amsterdam one can join the “Stupid Hackathon“, with a URL that has WTF as TLD. 😀

The event is “a one-day, small-batch artisanal event where participants conceptualize and create projects that have no value whatsoever“, and this is the 3rd edition.

Organized by Nienke Dekker and Stephanie Nemeth. They seem to be opposites when it comes to brutalist webdesign: nienkedekker.com/blog close to the Brutalist checklist, and stephanie.lol most definitely not.

Dave Copeland advocates for “brutalist web design” (found via Kevin Marks)

There’s much to say for this. Although minimalist may be more apt, I get why he calls it brutalism, as it calls for some brutal choices if you start from an over-produced website.

Summarised it means

  1. Content is readable on all reasonable screens and devices.
  2. Only hyperlinks and buttons respond to clicks.
  3. Hyperlinks are underlined and buttons look like buttons.
  4. The back button works as expected.
  5. View content by scrolling.
  6. Decoration when needed and no unrelated content.
  7. Performance is a feature.

I think this blog got points 1, 2, 4, 5 covered, and fails at underlining hyperlinks (3), and has no specific steps taken for performance (6) (e.g. this site isn’t static)

The upside is he saysif every website adopted these guidelines, the web would be fast and readable, our batteries would have much power at the end of the day…

Then again, brutalist architecture such as the Belgrade Western Gate below, only looks good in a certain light and from a certain perspective. Such as the brief few minutes on a hotel balcony when I took that photo. Otherwise it is often grating and dehumanising. In other words, every metaphor fails at some point.

Belgrado