Tags: publishing

The Slow Web | words from Cole Henley, @cole007

We become obsessed with tools and methods, very rarely looking at how these relate to the fundamental basics of web standards, accessibility and progressive enhancement. We obsess about a right way to do things as if there was one right way rather than looking at the goal; how things fit into the broader philosophy of what we do on the web and how what we write contributes to us being better at what we do.

How future-safe are your ideas?

Will the Big Think piece you just posted to Medium be there in 2035? That may sound like it’s very far off in the future, and who could possibly care, but if there’s any value to your writing, you should care. Having good records is how knowledge builds.

An Alphabet of IndieWeb Building Blocks: Article to Z - Tantek

Twenty-six letters of independent publishing building blocks.

The ethics of modern web ad-blocking – Marco.org

Yes! Yes! YES!

Marco makes the same comparison I did between the dark days of pop-up windows and the current abysmal state of bloated ads and tracking on today’s web.

This won’t be a clean, easy transition. Blocking pop-ups was much more incisive: it was easy for legitimate publishers to avoid one narrowly-useful Javascript function to open new windows. But it’s completely reasonable for today’s web readers to be so fed up that they disable all ads, or even all Javascript. Web developers and standards bodies couldn’t be more out of touch with this issue, racing ahead to give browsers and Javascript even more capabilities without adequately addressing the fundamental problems that will drive many people to disable huge chunks of their browser’s functionality.

Amen!

I have one more thing to add to this list…

But publishers, advertisers, and browser vendors are all partly responsible for the situation we’re all in.

…developers. Somebody put those harm-causing script elements on those pages. Like I said: “What will you be apologising for in decades to come?”

In a few years, after the dust has settled, we’re all going to look back at today’s web’s excesses and abuses as an almost unbelievable embarrassment.

Designing for Performance by Lara Callender Hogan

Lara’s fantastic book is now available online in HTML for free. Have a read and then order a copy of the print book for your library.

No one will ever read this but

There’s something so beautifully, beautifully webbish about this: readings of blog posts found through a search for “no one will ever read this.”

Listen to all of them.

Publishing Versus Performance: Our Struggle for the Soul of the Web by Jeffrey Zeldman

Jeffrey weighs on the post I wrote about The Verge. I still feel like there’s a false dichotomy being presented here though: either performance or advertising. But advertising can be performant too. There’s a competitive advantage to be had there.

Declaring performance bankruptcy | Vox Product Blog

It’s really good to see that Vox are taking measures to fix their atrocious performance problems. The Verge in particular is a case study in how not to serve up text and images on the web. There have been times in the past when I’ve wanted to link to an article there but then thought “I can’t in good conscience put a fellow human through that.”

IndieWebCamp 2014 Year in Review — This Is A Movement - Tantek

Tantek posts a belated round-up of indie web activity in 2014:

2014 was a year of incredible gains, and yet, a very sad loss for the community. In many ways I think a lot of us are still coping, reflecting. But we continue, day to day to grow and improve the indieweb, as I think Chloe would have wanted us to, as she herself did.

The Internet That Was (and Still Could Be) - The Atlantic

A fantastic piece by David Weinberger on the changing uses of the internet—apparently in contradiction of the internet’s original architecture.

Some folks invented the Internet for some set of purposes. They gave it a name, pointed to some prototypical examples—sharing scientific papers and engaging in email about them—shaping the way the early adopters domesticated it.

But over time, the Internet escaped from its creators’ intentions. It became a way to communicate person-to-person via email and many-to-many via Usenet. The web came along and the prototypical example became home pages. Social networking came along and the prototype became Facebook.

adactio.com on Huffduffer

I recorded audio versions of some of my favourite blog posts.

Jeremy Keith wrote 100 words for 100 days - Colin Devroe

I’m quite touched by this—I had no idea anyone was paying that much attention to my 100 words project.

Web Typography – a handbook by Richard Rutter — Kickstarter

You’ll want to back this—you’ll want to back the hell out of this!

Writing for Yourself (& the Power of Absolute Positioning)

We should write for ourselves, we should write about whatever we want to. Not just about the web either. Our twitter feeds don’t need to be a highlight reel of our best moments and not every blog post needs to be a stinging critique of the latest javascript framework. They just need to reflect who we are and what we think about and with any luck, when we look back on them, we might learn something about ourselves.

Jaime Caballero on Instagram: “Live blogging by @adactio. He almost didn’t make it for his 100 words challenge.”

When you’re out celebrating at the end of Responsive Day Out and realise it’s just a few minutes to midnight and you haven’t published your 100 words yet.

Live blogging by @adactio. He almost didn't make it for his 100 words challenge.

A photo posted by Jaime Caballero (@jai_cab) on

Paul Ford: What is Code? by Paul Ford

It seems grossly unfair to refer to this as an article. It’s a short book. It’s a very good short book; lucid and entertaining in equal measure. A very enjoyable read.

It is, unfortunately, surrounded by some distracting “enhancements” but perhaps you can use your cleaner-upper software of choice to route around their damage: Instapaper, Pocket, Readability, whatever works for you.

‘That pig was a good influence’ with Jeremy Keith and Jeffrey Zeldman on Unfinished Business on Huffduffer

I had a lot of fun recording this episode with Andrew and Jeffrey. It is occasionally surreal.

Stick around for the sizzling hot discussion of advertising at the end in which we compare and contrast Mad Men and Triumph Of The Will.

Grant Morrison | Starting Over

Grant, like Emma, has recently started blogging again. This makes me very, very happy. And he’s doing it for what I consider to be all the right reasons:

But this is mostly a place for me to capture my thoughts, and an excuse to consider them, and an opportunity to understand them more fully.

The Web is the network

The Indieweb approach has a lot in common with Ev’s ideas for Medium, but the key difference is that we are doing it in a way that works across websites, not just within one.

Seveneves

The next Neal Stephenson book sounds like it’s going to be great.

Indie Web

Bastian sums up his experience of attending Indie Web Camp:

But this weekend brought a new motivational high that I didn’t expect to go that far. I attended the Indie Web Camp in Düsseldorf, Germany and I’m simply blown away.

Nicholas Lindley: 100 Words: Day 1

This is nifty—Nicholas is also going for the 100 words exercise that I’ve been doing.

Future Library – Framtidsbiblioteket

Here’s a lovely project with an eye on the Long Now. Trees that were planted last year will be used to make paper to print an anthology in 2114.

Margaret Atwood is one of the contributors.

Writing for everyone.

Slides of really great practical advice on writing clearly.

IndieHosters

Sorting out hosting is a big stumbling block for people who want to go down the Indie Web route. Frankly it’s much easier to just use a third-party silo like Facebook or Twitter. I’ve been saying for a while now that I’d really like to see “concierge” services for hosting—”here, you take care of all this hassle!”

Well, this initiative looks like exactly that.

Line Mode | Parallel Transport

Worth remembering:

The Web is the printing press of our times; an amazing piece of technology facilitating a free and wide-scale dissipation of our thoughts and ideas. And all of it is based on this near 20-year old, yet timeless idea of the Hyper Text Markup Language.

A Long Journey Reaches a Happy Conclusion: The Uncertain Web is Out In All Formats

Rob Larsen was published a book with O’Reilly called “The Uncertain Web: Web Development in a Changing Landscape”. I like it:

A refreshingly honest look at the chaotic, wonderful world of web development, with handy, practical advice for making future-friendly, backward-compatible websites.

Internet Under Fire Gets New Manifesto

There’s more than a whiff of Indie Web thinking in this sequel to the Cluetrain Manifesto from Doc Searls and Dave Weinberger.

The Net’s super-power is connection without permission. Its almighty power is that we can make of it whatever we want.

It’s quite lawn-off-getty …but I also happen to agree with pretty much all of it.

Although it’s kind of weird that it’s published on somebody else’s website.

Adaptive Web Design: Crafting Rich Experiences with Progressive Enhancement

You can now read Aaron’s excellent book online. I highly recommend reading the first chapter for one of the best descriptions of progressive enhancement that I’ve ever read.

Revision 200: The Indie Web on Working Draft on Huffduffer

I had the great honour of being invited to speak on the 200th edition of the Working Draft podcast (there are a few sentences in German at the start, and then it switches into English).

I had a lot of fun talking about indie web building blocks (rel=me, indieauth, webmention, h-entry, etc.). Best of all, while I was describing these building blocks, one of the hosts started implementing them!

as days pass by — Enabling Webmentions

Stuart has implemented webmentions on his site, which is great. It’s also fitting, as he is the inventor of pingback (of which webmention is a simpler reformulation).

Enabling Webmentions in Jekyll, From the Notebook of Aaron Gustafson

Aaron documents the process of adding webmention support to a static site. He came with an ingenious three-tiered approach:

It’s been a pretty fun mini-project. In the end, I created a useful bit of kit that provides three distinct experiences:

  1. Static webmentions collected when the site was generated form the baseline experience;
  2. JavaScript-enabled browsers get any webmentions that were published since I last generated the site; and
  3. JavaScript-enabled browsers with WebSockets support get real-time updates with any webmentions that are published after the page loads.

What Do We Own?, From the Notebook of Aaron Gustafson

Aaron raises a point that I’ve discussed before in regards to the indie web (and indeed, the web in general): we don’t buy domain names; we rent them.

It strikes me that all the good things about the web are decentralised (one-way linking, no central authority required to add a node), but all the sticking points are centralised: ICANN, DNS.

Aaron also points out that we are beholden to our hosting companies, although—having moved hosts a number of times myself—that’s an issue that DNS (and URLs in general) helps alleviate. And there’s now some interesting work going on in literally owning your own website: a web server in the home.

The Web Is Read/Write

The transcript of Owen’s talk at The Web Is. It’s a wonderful, thoughtful meditation on writing, web design, and long-term thinking.

One of the promises of the web is to act as a record, a repository for everything we put there. Yet the web forgets constantly, despite that somewhat empty promise of digital preservation: articles and data are sacrificed to expediency, profit and apathy; online attention, acknowledgement and interest wax and wane in days, hours even.

Happy 1000th, Bridgy

The magnificent Brid.gy has 1000 accounts. Mazel tov!

This is probably single most important piece of software I’ve used this year: it has allowed me to turbo-charge my site, and feel truly independent. Thank you, Ryan (and Kyle), sincerely.

The Online Memory

This fracturing of context is, I suspect, peculiar to these early decades of online writing. It’s possible that, in the future, webmentions and the like may heal that up to some extent. But everything from the 90s to today is going to remain mostly broken in that respect. Most of what we said and did had ephemerality long before apps started selling us ephemeral nature as a positive advertising point. Possibly no other generation threw so many words at such velocity into a deep dark well of ghosts.

Why I Joined the IndieWeb Movement - Wingin’ It

I hope that many of you will watch me on this journey, and follow in my wagon tracks as I leave the walled cities and strike out for the wilderness ahead.

Blogging Known Style

Companies go out of business, get bought and change policies, so what if you had one place to originate all of your content then publish it out to those great social services? And hey, why not pull comments from those services back to your original post?

That’s the idea behind Indie Web Camp: have your own website be the canonical source of what your publish. But right now, getting all of the moving parts up and running requires a fair dollop of tech-savviness. That’s where Known comes in:

It’s similar to the WordPress model: you can create a blog on their servers, or you can download the software and host it on your own.

This post is a good run-down of what’s working well with Known, and what needs more work.

15 Lessons from 15 Years of Blogging - Anil Dash

I’d go along with pretty much everything Anil says here. Wise words from someone who’s been writing on their own website for fifteen years (congratulations!).

Link to everything you create elsewhere on the web. And if possible, save a copy of it on your own blog. Things disappear so quickly, and even important work can slip your mind months or years later when you want to recall it. If it’s in one, definitive place, you’ll be glad for it.

Lillian Karabaic: The Indie Web is the new Zines

I really like this comparison:

As a zinester and zine librarian, I see the Indie Web as a pretty direct correlation to 1980’s and 1990’s zine culture. The method of production may be completely different (photocopiers and direct mail vs web posts and servers) but the goals are almost identical – controlling the way in which your message and identity are displayed, crafted, and stored while avoiding censorship that corporate media might impose. The end goal of both zine and indieweb technologies is ownership of your own identity without a filter.

But there also challenges:

The key issue right now for diverse populations utilizing the Indie Web is accessibility. As long as the tools for creating & controlling your own identity online are still relatively obtuse & technical to implement, we won’t have great diversity within the Indie Web.

Hello, Again — Craig Mod

Craig has redesigned and pulled various bits of his writing from around the web into his own site, prompting some thoughts on the indie web.

The Personal Blog – AVC

There is something about the personal blog, yourname.com, where you control everything and get to do whatever the hell pleases you. There is something about linking to one of those blogs and then saying something. It’s like having a conversation in public with each other. This is how blogging was in the early days. And this is how blogging is today, if you want it to be.

Here I Go Again On My Own : Elizabeth Spiers

In the days before comments on blogs, you could generally have a thoughtful conversation online without everything degenerating into madness and chaos simply because responding to a post required that you wrote a post on your own blog and linked back. This created a certain level of default accountability because if someone wanted to flame you, they had to do it on their own real estate, and couldn’t just crap all over yours anonymously.

The shoebox - a manifesto for transmat.io

Glenn eloquently gives his reasons for building Transmat:

When I was a child, my brothers and I all had a shoebox each. In these we kept our mementoes. A seashell from a summer holiday where I played for hours in the rock pools, the marble from the schoolyard victory against a bully and a lot of other objects that told a story.

A Ficly Farewell on The Writer’s Room - Official Ficly Blog

Now this is how to shut down a service: switch to a read-only archive, and make the codebase (without user credentials) available on Github.

Tantek Çelik - The once and future IndieWeb - YouTube

Tantek’s great talk on the Indie Web from Web Directions Code in Melbourne earlier this year.

Ind.ie Summit - Video 8 - Jeremy Keith on Vimeo

Here’s the very brief talk I gave about Indie Web Camp at Aral’s Indie Tech Summit here in Brighton a little while back (I was in the slightly-demeaningly-titled “stop gaps” section).

If you like what you hear, come along to the next Indie Web Camp—also in Brighton—in just over three weeks.

On Blogging - Plausible Thought

If you enjoy writing, or want to enjoy writing, just do it. You’ll probably worry that you have nothing to say, or that what you write is terrible, or that you couldn’t possibly write as well as Neil Gaiman. But silence those voices, get your head down and hit publish on something. Anything. And then do it again. And again.

Jeremy Keith - Pencil vs Pixel

I met Cesar at An Event Apart in San Diego earlier this year. We had a nice lunchtime chat and he suggested that I come on his show, Pencil vs Pixel. I was, of course, honoured and I accepted his invitation immediately.

MORNING, COMPUTER | Warren Ellis on Pacific Daylight Time

If you were in any doubt that Warren Ellis is going to blow the roof off the Brighton Dome at dConstruct, this is what happens when he decides to write a little something every day.

Twelve Tomorrows | MIT Technology Review

This year’s collection of twelve sci-fi stories from Technology Review features three dConstruct speakers: Lauren Beukes, Cory Doctorow, and Warren Ellis.

A Brief History of Bloggering - The Morning News

An alternative history from a parallel timeline.

He started coding his own just weeks after Tim Berners-Lee, a tunnel engineer helping to build the STERN protein collider, discovered ancient scrolls buried in the Swiss soil that revealed the secrets of HTML.

Jeremy Keith on progressive enhancement - YouTube

Almost six minutes of me squinting in the sun and sharing my reckons while seagulls squawk in the background.

Tantek Celik, “Why We Need the IndieWeb”, #PDF14 - YouTube

Tantek’s talk at the Personal Democracy Forum on the past, present, and future of independent publishing on the web.

New section: Reading | susan jean robertson

There are many services out there for keeping track of what you’re reading. Susan has found the best one:

Slowly, ever so slowly, as I realize how things come and go on the web, I realize that this is my home. Because this is my home, I want all the things that matter to me to reside here.

The web idealists have a point: content can’t truly blossom in walled gardens

A great little piece by Russell Davies on the Indie Web movement.

Known: taking a big bet on the #indieweb

When I’ve been banging on at conferences about digital preservation, personal publishing and the indie web, I’ve been at pains to point out that there are huge opportunities here for startups looking to build valet services to help people publish on their own domain.

Ben and Erin at Known are doing just that, with some backing from KQED, PRX and the Knight Foundation instead of the usual short-sighted Silicon Valley venture capitalism.

One of the jobs of a startup is to look at where the world is going, extrapolating from current trends and domain knowledge, and meet a future need with a product at exactly the right time. We think the time is right for an independent web that is owned by content creators and readers alike.

Index cards | A Working Library

A truly wonderful piece by Mandy detailing why and how she writes, edits, and publishes on her own website:

No one owns this domain but me, and no one but me can take it down. I will not wake up one morning to discover that my service has been “sunsetted” and I have some days or weeks to export my data (if I have that at all). These URLs will never break.

N’existe Pas by Bruce Sterling on The Dissident Blog

A short story set in a science-fictional future that just happens to be our present.

Singularity&Co. — Save the Scifi!

The campaign to restore out-of-print pulp sci-fi books in electronic formats.

Antisocial Networking by Tyler Finck

A decisive Indie Web move:

This site has become the place that I’m ready to host almost everything I make.

The Once and Future IndieWeb

Slides from Tantek’s recent talk at Web Directions Code about the Indie Web.

Why the Indie Web movement is so important

Well, this is pretty bloody brilliant—Dan Gillmor has published an article on Slate about the Indie Web movement …but the canonical URL is on his own site.

We’re in danger of losing what’s made the Internet the most important medium in history – a decentralized platform where the people at the edges of the networks – that would be you and me – don’t need permission to communicate, create and innovate.

This isn’t a knock on social networks’ legitimacy, or their considerable utility. But when we use centralized services like social media sites, however helpful and convenient they may be, we are handing over ultimate control to third parties that profit from our work, material that exists on their sites only as long as they allow.

The Indieweb | Parallel Transport

or: how I learnt to stop worrying and love the blog.

This is a really nice introduction to the basics of the Indie Web …with nice illustrations too.

Mediating Music by Rudiger Meyer

A thoughtful in-depth piece that pulls together my hobby horses of independent publishing, responsive design, and digital preservation, all seen through the lens of music:

Music, Publishing, Art and Memory in the Age of the Internet

Rise of the IndieWeb - Amber Case - FutureTalks - YouTube

A great talk by Amber on the history of personal publishing and the ideas and technologies driving the Indie Web movement.

Learning about, and deploying IndieWeb tools | Dan Gillmor

Well, this is pretty nifty: Dan Gilmour is at Indie Web Camp in San Francisco and he’s already got some code up and running on his site.

Y’know, I’m not missing South by Southwest in the slightest this year …but I’m really missing Indie Web Camp.

Mosaic - Wellcome Trust

I did some consulting with the Wellcome Trust on this new magazine-like project, and it’s great to see it go live—excellent stories of science, all published under a Creative Commons licence.

Frank Chimero × Blog × Homesteading 2014

I’m with Frank. He’s going Indie Web for 2014:

I’m returning to a personal site, which flips everything on its head. Rather than teasing things apart into silos, I can fuse different kinds of content together.

Homesteading instead of sharecropping:

So, I’m doubling down on my personal site in 2014.

This is a Website – Jeffrey Zeldman

I had a lovely dinner last night with Jeffrey, Tantek, Cindy and Daniel. A combination of nostalgia and indie web chatter prompted Jeffrey to pen this beautiful ode to independent publishing.

We were struggling, whether we knew it or not, to found a more fluid society. A place where everyone, not just appointed apologists for the status quo, could be heard. That dream need not die. It matters more now than ever.

A Book Apart, New store discounts and bundle options

This is a great idea from A Book Apart—the more different books you buy at the same time, the more of a discount you get.

Got to get ‘em all!

The Hole in Our Collective Memory: How Copyright Made Mid-Century Books Vanish by Rebecca J. Rosen in The Atlantic

Copyright correlates significantly with the disappearance of works rather than with their availability.

Kill All Your Darlings - Learning - Source: An OpenNews project

Some good advice on how to mothball (rather than destroy) a project when it reaches the end of its useful life. In short, build a switch so that, when the worst comes to the worst, you can output static files and walk away.

In all your excitement starting a new project, spend a little time thinking about the end.

Good Content Is Too Valuable To Die

A heartfelt response from Vitaly to .net magazine’s digital destruction.

The Web Ahead 56: The Nature of the Web with Jeremy Keith on Huffduffer

I had a lot of fun chatting with Jen on this week’s episode of The Web Ahead. Wind me up and let me loose; I ended up rambling on about blogging, the indie web movement, progressive enhancement, and just about everything in between.

Kirby – Let’s build a better web

A rallying cry for the Indie Web.

Let’s build this.

The Best Thing I Ever Created by Jeremy Keith on The Shutterstock Blog

Shutterstock are running a series on their blog called “The Best Thing I Ever Created” and they asked me for a contribution. So I wrote about The Session.

Meet the Hackers Who Want to Jailbreak the Internet

A profile of the Indie Web movement in Wired.

Go! Fight! Win!

If this sounds like your kind of hackery, be sure to come along to Indie Web Camp UK in Brighton right after dConstruct.

Galaxy Zoo Quench

This is quite remarkable. Now that the Galaxy Zoo project from Zooniverse has successfully classified all its data (already a remarkable achievement), its volunteers are now collaborating on writing a scientific paper.

There’s something going on here. This isn’t just a “cool” or “cute” link—this is the first stirring of something entirely new that is made possible by network technology.

The House Of Lockwood

The Internet, day one. A sad tale of data loss.

From Beyond the Coming Age of Networked Matter, a short story by Bruce Sterling

H.P. Lovecraft meets James Bridle in this great little story commissioned by the Institute For The Future.

Declaration of Content Independence

I approve of this message.

Wrong. — Medium

This is a great piece of writing by Lance Arthur. It breaks my heart that I have to read it on Medium instead of Glassdog.

The Problem With Medium

A good article on Medium on Medium.

Words

I love this. I love this sooooo much! The perfect reminder of what makes the web so bloody great:

You and I have been able to connect because I wrote this and you’re reading it. That’s the web. Despite our different locations, devices, and time-zones we can connect here, on a simple HTML page.

‘Kitten kitten kitten kittens’ — I.M.H.O. — Medium

This is what Medium is for.

If you want to read some of Dan Catt’s lesser thoughts, he has his own blog.

Break the Page

A lovely site with thoughtful articles on the long-term future of the web.

There’s audio too, which is unfortunately locked up in the unhuffduffable roach motel that is Soundcloud, but I’m hoping that might change.

Onword

This is nice lightweight writing tool, kinda like Editorially without the collaboration. Just right for working on a blog posts.

It authenticates with Twitter and doesn’t ask for write permissions. Bravo!

A Book Apart celebrates its third anniversary

Aw, my l’il ol’ book is three years old!

To celebrate, you can get 15% off any title from A Book Apart with this discount code for the next few days: HAPPY3RD.

MATTER and Medium

The news is finally public: Bobbie’s Matter has been bought my Ev’s Medium. Fingers crossed that they don’t fuck it up.

Ideas of March — All in the head

A wonderful rallying cry from Drew.

The problem:

Ever since the halcyon days of Web 2.0, we’ve been netting our butterflies and pinning them to someone else’s board.

The solution:

Hope that what you’ve created never has to die. Make sure that if something has to die, it’s you that makes that decision. Own your own data, friends, and keep it safe.

Control your own content

Honestly, if you value the content you create and put online, then you need to be in control of your own stuff.

The Vanilla Web Diet by Christian Heilman

I like the sound of the book that Chris is writing for Smashing Magazine. It sounds like a very future-friendly approach to front-end development.

Offscreen 4: I got what I paid for by Jeff Porter

A really nice write-up of issue four of Offscreen magazine, wherein I was featured.

Owning your own words – is it important?

A fascinating discussion on sharecropping vs. homesteading. Josh Miller from Branch freely admits that he’s only ever known a web where your content is held by somone else. Gina Trapani’s response is spot-on:

For me, publishing on a platform I have some ownership and control over is a matter of future-proofing my work. If I’m going to spend time making something I really care about on the web—even if it’s a tweet, brevity doesn’t mean it’s not meaningful—I don’t want to do it somewhere that will make it inaccessible after a certain amount of time, or somewhere that might go away, get acquired, or change unrecognizably.

When you get old and your memory is long and you lose parents and start having kids, you value your own and others’ personal archive much more.

Issue 4 — Offscreen Magazine

There’s an interview with me in the new issue of Offscreen Magazine. Some of sort of clerical error, I’m guessing.

Olaf Stapledon

The out-of-copyright books of Olaf Stapledon are available to download from the University of Adelaide. Be sure to grab Starmaker and First And Last Men.