Fortunately there’s a back-up on the Internet Archive, but this tale of Google’s overnight destruction of fourteen years of writing is truly infuriating.
When we use their services, we trust that companies like Google will preserve some of the most personal things we have to share. They trust that we will not read the fine print.
When you pitch your tent in someone else’s walled garden, they can tear down your home whenever they want.
Two weeks ago, writer and artist Dennis Cooper was checking his Gmail when something peculiar happened: the page was refreshed and he was notified that his account had been deactivated – along with the blog that he’d maintained for 14 years.
This is why the Indie Web exists.
His advice to other artists who work predominantly online is to maintain your own domain and back everything up.
Nudibranchia or other opisthobranchia compared to the various looks of David Bowie.
Mike’s blog is back on the Indie Web.
As someone who designs things for a living, there is a certain amount of professional pride in creating one’s own presence on the internet. It’s kind of like if an architect didn’t design their own house.
Painters and Hackers: nothing in common whatsoever, but this are classical painters depictions of software engineering.
Blogging through Venn diagrams.
A fascinating insight into some of Tumblr’s most popular accounts:
Some posts get more than a million notes—imagine a joke whispered in biology class getting a laugh from a city the size of San Francisco.
It’ll be a real shame when Tumblr disappears.
That’s “when”, not “if”. Remember:
In 2013, Yahoo bought Tumblr.
I got a little verklempt reading this.
Well, this is rather lovely!
I nodded along with host Jen Simmons and guest Jeremy Keith saying some very smart things about the web and its roots as the El train cut across Philadelphia. But at the 48-minute mark things got weird, because Jen and Jeremy basically started writing my column for me while I listened.
Read on for some great advice on conquering your inner critic.
A great walkthrough of setting up a Service Worker for a blog. The code is here but more importantly, as Brandon says:
I wouldn’t be able to implement this myself if it wasn’t for some of the awesome people I mentioned earlier sharing their experience. So share, share, share!
You read a lot and like the idea of writing. You know the best way to get better at writing is to write, so write!
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.
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.
I recorded audio versions of some of my favourite blog posts.
Dividing the world in two.
Orde liveblogged every single talk from Responsive Day Out 3!
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.
‘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, 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.
Marcy’s Tumblr blog of examples of accessibility in action on the web.
You might want to keep an eye on what the Clearlefties are doing here for the next hundred days.
One down, 99 to go.
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).
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.
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.
I’m not quite sure why this is funny, but I am quite sure that it is.
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.
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.
Modern pop songs retold as Shakespearian sonnets.
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.
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.
The image-stitching algorithm is trying its best.
Kubrickian pictures taken by the Google robot wherein it captures its own reflection.
This Tumblr blog has the grandiose ambition of being “a showcase of the hottest hamburger icons on the web”, but amazingly, they’ve actually succeeded in documenting every single example of a cool hamburger icon.
We better get used to them…
Okay, this might just be my new favourite blog:
This site is dedicated to all aspects of movie and TV typography and iconography as it appears in Sci-Fi and fantasy movies.
The first post is all about 2001, and the writing is just the right shade of fun.
I’m already looking forward to future posts. (See what I did there?)
There’s something very satisfying about this televisual sleuthing:
Images of the computer code appearing in TV and films and what they really are.
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 blog covering the conservative dinosaur readiness movement.
Usually I find these kinds of name-and-shame collections to be unnecessarily mean-spirited. In this case, the sites being named and shamed are themselves guilty of far worse rudeness.
Some examples to illustrate the UK Border Agency’s latest campaign.
Data visualisations that make no sense.
‘Sfunny, I was talking about just this kind of thing at An Event Apart today.
The internet never forgets? Bollocks!
We were told — warned, even — that what we put on the internet would be forever; that we should think very carefully about what we commit to the digital page. And a lot of us did. We put thought into it, we put heart into, we wrote our truths. We let our real lives bleed onto the page, onto the internet, onto the blog. We were told, “Once you put this here, it will remain forever.” And we acted accordingly.
This is a beautiful love-letter to the archival web, and a horrifying description of its betrayal:
When they’re erased by a company abruptly and without warning, it’s something of a new-age arson.
You can’t demo a digital product without a cup of coffee on a wooden table.
Yet another cautionary tale on why you should be homesteading instead of sharecropping.
There’s something quite lovely about this: pairs of tweets that are anagrams of one another.
This is what Medium is for.
If you want to read some of Dan Catt’s lesser thoughts, he has his own blog.
Corridors in science fiction films.
This is a breath of fresh air: a blogging platform that promises to keep its URLs online in perpetuity.
Yes! Yes! YES!
Tom is spot-on here: you shouldn’t be afraid of writing about yourself …especially not for fear of damaging some kind of “personal brand” or pissing off some potential future employer.
If your personal brand demands that you live your life in fear of disclosing important parts of your life or your experience, the answer is to reject the whole sodding concept of personal brands.
Do things I write about my personal life threaten my personal brand? Perhaps. Are there people who wouldn’t hire me based on things I write? Probably. Do I give even a whiff of a fuck? Absolutely not. I wouldn’t want to work for them anyway.
The accidental beauty in Google’s autosuggest algorithm.
These are mostly just mean …but kinda funny.
Job postings that only use male pronouns.
See, this is why using “they”, while technically incorrect, can often be the least worst option.
These are like chindogu, but they’re all available from Amazon with accompanying reviews.
Armchair travelling to Ballardian locations.
Documenting history through photography.
Celebrating 125 years of National Geographic, this Tumblr blog is a curated collection of photography from the archives. Many of the pictures are being published for the first time.
A collection of those appalling doublespeek announcements that sites and services give when they get acquired. You know the ones: they begin with “We’re excited to announce…” and end with people’s data being flushed down the toilet.
A wonderful rallying cry from Drew.
Ever since the halcyon days of Web 2.0, we’ve been netting our butterflies and pinning them to someone else’s board.
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.
A blow-by-blow account of the Responsive Day Out by Orde Saunders who liveblogged the whole thing.
Dispatches from the disturbing town of Scarfolk, where it is permanently the 1970s:
Scarfolk is more than its famous sewage treatment works, it’s more than its high security mental facilities; it’s more than its world renowned covens; it’s more than its fine reputation which it rebuilt after a spate of grizzly serial killings…
It’s funny and creepy in equal measure. Actually, the creepiness may be the larger measure.
Another Tom Scott project:
I had to take one more quick, cheap shot — and I think a Tumblr blog is the quickest, cheapest shot it’s possible to take.
I think there might be some subliminal messages hidden in these album covers.
Ostensibly about gaming (and written by Matt Colville who works in the games industry), this blog actually has a lot of interesting observations on sci-fi cinema. I like it.
I heartily concur with Chris’s sentiment:
I wish everyone in the world would blog.
A part-time postman documents all the cats he meets on his round:
Includes long haired mogs, short haired mogs, lazy mogs, active mogs, bashful mogs, brash mogs, brushed mogs, grand mogs, great mogs, wee mogs, twee mogs, affable mogs, unsociable mogs, mean mogs, clean mogs, smelly mogs, incarcerated mogs, liberated mogs, liberal mogs, loud mogs and quiet mogs.
Laura explains the problems with hiding content for small screens, and uses this as an opportunity to elucidate why you should blog, even if you’re think that no-one would be interested in what you have to say:
The point I’m trying to make is that we shouldn’t be fearful of writing about what we know. Even if you write from the most basic point of view, about something which has been ‘around for ages’, you’ll likely be saying something new to someone. They might be new to the industry, you might just be filling in the holes in someone’s knowledge.
Documenting all the ways you could die in a choose-your-own-adventure book.
Celebrating the work of the tireless men and women who shorten headlines so they’ll fit on your iPhone.
Excellent! Scott has his own URL now. If you haven’t read everything he has written so far, start from the start and read every single post.
Amen, Scott, A-MEN:
You are not blogging enough. You are pouring your words into increasingly closed and often walled gardens. You are giving control - and sometimes ownership - of your content to social media companies that will SURELY fail.
I quite the look of Medium, but Dave Winer absolutely nails it with this feature request:
Let me enter the URL of something I write in my own space, and have it appear here as a first class citizen. Indistinguishable to readers from something written here.
I think it might get a tattoo of this:
There’s art in each individual system, but there’s a much greater art in the union of all the systems we create.
Quadrants created by two crossed lines in an X formation. Hardcore.
The Old Aesthetic. It’s eighties-tastic!
A cautionary tale from Dave Winer of not considering digital preservation from the outside. We must learn the past. We must.
Nine years and five months after he began publishing every entry in Samuel Pepys’ diary, Phil Gyford posts the last entry.
I’m sure there’s a theme connecting all of these pictures. I just haven’t figured out what it is yet.
I’m in St. John’s right now. Once you start perusing this excellent photoblog, you’re going to feel like you’re there too.
This is wonderfully random: illustrations used to illustrate patent applications but without the context.
Inspired by the recent .net magazine article on “20 leading web designers’ desks for your inspiration”, here’s a blog dedicated to the place where the real web design magic happens: the designer’s poostation.
I am very disappointed that the internet didn’t tell me sooner that Steve Albini has a food blog.
So just in case you didn’t already know: Steve Albini has a food blog.
These lovely doodles from Carla give me Fernweh for Germany.
There’s two years(!) of doctored headlines here. Yes, it’s puerile but it’s also very funny (to my puerile sensibilities).
You can’t have a zeitgeisty internet meme without cats.
Yeah, it’s an easy target …but the cumulative effect is very funny.
Holy sh!t. Did you see that interstitial? That was dope. Refresh, refresh!!
Beautiful, funny, and disturbing Gilliamesque animated .gifs.
Existential ennui delivered through interface copy.
It’s a blog. It’s a bookmark. It’s a magazine.
A twitter for the Long Now from Russell Davies. You can submit an answer to the question “What are you doing, you know, more generally?” to:
Dawdlr, c/o RIG, 32-38 Scrutton Street, London, EC2A 4RQ
Sometimes the good folk at HTML5doctor.com get asked questions that might be better suited for a real, medical doctor. These are those questions.
A lovely sound blog from Steve Bowbrick (one of the curators of the sadly decommissioned Speechification). Here, he gathers found sounds of all kinds together: great audio grist for the huffduffing mill.
There’s something zen-like about these banal stories of celebrity encounters.
Funny but creepy. Freepy.
Where men meets moustaches meets hair meets moustaches meets hair meets MOUSTAIR.