Thursday, July 2nd, 2020
Monday, October 3rd, 2016
This crystallises something I’ve been thinking about for a while. There’s a fundamental philosophical idea underpinning CSS reset or normalise boilerplate that feels at odds with the belief that it’s perfectly fine for websites to look different in different browsers and devices.
Tuesday, July 12th, 2016
Monday, December 28th, 2015
A useful primer on which combinations of attributes and values work best for which form fields:
Monday, May 26th, 2014
I was in Düsseldorf last week, alas just a little too late to catch any of the talks at Beyond Tellarrand …which is a shame, because it looks like Maciej’s talk was terrific. Fortunately, I did get to see a lot of people who were in town for the event, and myself and Maciej were both participating in Decentralize Camp the day after Beyond Tellerrand.
Decentralize Camp had a surprisingly broad scope. As Maciej pointed out during his presentation, there are many different kinds of decentralization.
For my part, I was focusing specifically on the ideas of the indie web. I made it very clear from the outset that was my own personal take. A lot of it was, unsurprisingly, rooted in my relentless obsession with digital preservation and personal publishing. I recapped some of what I talked about at last year’s Beyond Tellerrand before showing some specific examples of the indie web at work: IndieAuth, webmentions, etc.
I realised that my motivations were not only personal, but downright selfish. For me, it’s all about publishing to my own site. That attitude was quite different to many of the other technologies being discussed; technologies that explicitly set out to empower other people and make the world a better place.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I must admit that one of the reasons why I write and talk about the indie web is that in the back of my mind, I’m hoping others will be encouraged to publish on their own websites instead of (or as well as) giving their creative work to third-party sites. As I’ve said before:
…on today’s web of monolithic roach-motel silos like Facebook and Twitter, I can’t imagine a more disruptive act than choosing to publish on your own website.
That said, I’m under no illusions that my actions will have any far-reaching consequences. This isn’t going to change the world. This isn’t going to empower other people (except maybe people who already tech-savvy enough to empower themselves). I’m okay with that.
At Decentralize Camp, I helped Michiel B. de Jong to run a session on IndieMark, a kind of tongue-in-cheek gamification of indie web progress. It was fun. And that’s an important factor to remember in all this. In fact, it’s one of the indie web design principles:
Have fun. Remember that GeoCities page you built back in the mid-90s? The one with the Java applets, garish green background and seventeen animated GIFs? It may have been ugly, badly coded and sucky, but it was fun, damnit. Keep the web weird and interesting.
During the session, someone asked why they hadn’t heard of all this indie web stuff before. After all, if the first indie web camp happened in 2011, shouldn’t it be bigger by now?
That’s when I realised that I honestly didn’t care. I didn’t care how big (or small) this group is. For me, it’s just a bunch of like-minded people helping each other out. Even if nobody else ever turns up, it still has value.
I have to admit, I really don’t care that much about the specific technologies being discussed at indie web camps: formats, protocols, bits of code …they are less important than the ideas. And the ideas are less important than the actions. As long as I’m publishing to my website, I’m pretty happy. That said, I’m very grateful that the other indie web folks are there to help me out.
Mostly though, my motivations echo Mandy’s:
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.
Tuesday, April 1st, 2008
A new WOW hero class has been unveiled: the bard! "direct damage effects like "Epic Solo" that will rock foes into oblivion while powerful Indie debuffs such as "Tape Jam" and "Shoegazer" keep them in check."
Thursday, October 11th, 2007
A series of infographics comparing Chinese and German culture. Amusing and astute.
Saturday, May 19th, 2007
Whoosh! That's the sound of productivity being left behind. After ten years, Starcraft 2 is finally here. Simultaneous release for Mac and PC.
Monday, June 19th, 2006
Participating in a card-sorting exercise for the AIGA redesign.