Editorial | 2023.07.02

Blog feed link query database platform design
I didn't put in enough effort to make either a good graphic or an ironic napkin graphic.

I implemented a new feature for this site, the footer of each new post is going to have three of these guys:

Post
2007.09.24

Firepower and horsepower

An example post preview element using my static site generator.

Minor detail: I don't show them in full-month view to keep things a bit cleaner. Autogenerating sneak peeks of other posts felt kind of dirty since that's what all the commercialized sites do, but it helps with navigating similar subjects.

You may have noticed that I just mentioned a feature but my post title is "Feature request". We've now arrived at that part. I want to do the post preview thing I just mentioned, but with other websites, especially from the so-called indieweb.

Rule 34 of internet development says this thing already exists and that's probably true, but I haven't found it. The closest analogue: a lot of sites provide links to content "around the web" that are just advertisements with context-adapted titles. I want this notional feature, but I want the other end of the href to be real content that is not selling anything. Two more asks:

Architecture

Referring to the diagram above, the bottom half shows what I want to integrate into my publishing process. I submit my post information in one or more standards that already exist:
The service gives me a few links to put at the bottom of my post that are timely and relevant (more on this later).

The top half of the diagram shows the service: a database of content aggregated via user submissions (e.g. indieblog.page) and subscriptions (e.g. RSS). In the diagram there are two partitions: community content and mainstream content. The latter isn't critical to this design, but when I was thinking about Reddit replacements and how accessible commercial feeds are, adding Associated Press links is a short putt. Similarly, with my recent geopoliticsposting, anyone that survives to the end of the post might want to see what legitimate information sources have to say.

As a publisher, I want:

As a reader, I want:

That's it

It really is. It's a basic database, some undemanding subscription/discovery services, and some simple clientside html to have the whole thing going soup to nuts. Everything south of this sentence is just expanding on the 'why' and the 'how'.
SWOT

Silicon Valley SWOT let Blaine die

I was going to use this ironically but then ended up following the format.

Strengths

Weaknesses

Opportunities

Threats

The bigger picture and Web 1.1

nunez [Twitter putting up a login wall] killed nitter.

Fuck.

I guess I'm done with Twitter.

Reddit is in Eternal September. Twitter is login-walled. If HN is next, I'll probably be mostly done with the Internet.

This version of the Internet is starting to suck. :(

"Let's go back to the old web" is a common refrain amongst geeks and people burned out on social media, engagement capture, SEO, influencers, astroturfers and all the other commercial nonsense. We're never going to actually go back though, the best we can do is branch and hope the old-new thing is better than the current thing.

Recapping the internet, from 14.4 to present day:
I've rolled the indiepage die more than a few times and can tell you that the blogosphere isn't all gold. Some notable issues:
Last year I read a post about the indieweb being a dark forest; its issues are visibility and navigation. Quality and variety aren't an issue. LinkedIn hasn't gobbled up all of the off-hours posting by credible professionals. Hacker News is like 25% links to blogs or niche sites where people know what they're talking about. Just yesterday after a few blogroulette spins I saw an amazing, tongue-in-cheek, disappointed review of Far Cry 4 because it was a ten minute walking simulator. Many such cases!

Since this post started with the solution and ended with the problem, I needn't now recap why my humble feature request solves the dart board problem, the linking problem, and the discoverability problem. Fundamentally, the internet is about navigation and connections, the old web just lost some of that when Tom and Zuck took over.



Related - internal

Some posts from this site with similar content.

Post
2023.09.23

Small web

Kagi sees an opportunity to index the indieweb.
Post
2023.12.20

Rim worlds

Visiting and connecting the fringes of the web.
Post
2023.09.27

Enwebbed

Parsing RSS feeds to find peers.

Related - external

Risky click advisory: these links are produced algorithmically from a crawl of the subsurface web (and some select mainstream web). I haven't personally looked at them or checked them for quality, decency, or sanity. None of these links are promoted, sponsored, or affiliated with this site. For more information, see this post.

404ed
dangillmor.com

Why the Indie Web movement is so important - Dan Gillmor

Suppose you could write in your personal blog and have a summary of your post show up on popular social-media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook - and then have responses on those sites show up as comments in your blog? You can, and if some talented programmers have their way you'll soon be...
404ed
davidyat.es

Untangling the IndieWeb

Ive been peripherally aware of the IndieWeb movement for a few years now mostly because they seem to like RSS almost as much as I do but Ive only recently dug into it.
indieweb.org

Posts about the IndieWeb - IndieWeb


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