Kicks Condor

#hypertext
THE WEB IN ALL ITS FORMS

Yeah, so, this is the primary tag that I use throughout this site. Anything tagged ‘hypertext’ refers to the Web: unique personal blogs and home pages and wikis, where modern hypertext is going, surviving the Internet and searching or organizing or creating hypertext. (The other primary tags are: garage and elementary.

Common tags beneath this one are:

  • linking: Discussion about mere ‘linking’ - that direct linking suffices for ‘liking’/‘friending’/‘upvoting’, that Google has hindered it with its heuristic, and that I like TO DO IT.

  • catalog: How to catalog links and hypertext for yourself and others. Lots of discussion about link directories and wikis.

  • chain: Managing chains of links and conversations through hypertext.

18 Feb 2020

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Can This Even Be Called Music?

Seems the world has slept on this blog - which covers experimental shit, strange genres. Nice way to branch out.

When I first discovered this link, it seemed that the music became more and more unlistenable as I scrolled down the page. Now that I’ve had time to listen to CTEBCM further, there is actually quite a bit of tame music here that is just strangely genred. Such as ‘the loser’, a solo opera based on the wonderful Thomas Bernhard novel of the same name which feels reminiscent of the meandering ‘Shia LeBeouf’ storysong. Or the sometimes-metal, sometimes-harpsichord of Spine Reader’s ‘Recorded Instruments’.

But there’s ‘Experiments in Bluetooth Technology’ by Car Made of Glass. Call it music?

Can’t say how much of this will stick, but what a ballpit of music to jump into!

Also, hey, hold up - a few interesting vaporwave discoveries while you’re here:

Wish I had time to do everything in the world. But maybe it doesn’t matter. I’d still just spend all the time walking these same dank corners of the hypertext kingdom…

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Reply: Fraidy Importance

Addressing (great) comments from sphygmus and fogknife.

Some recent comments on Fraidycat’s importances.

Fogknife:
This leads to my one significant critique with Fraidycat’s current design: I don’t think that sources set to have less frequent check-ins should necessarily get relegated to separate views. Currently, each tag-based Fraidycat tab has sub-views for “Daily”, “Weekly”, and so on, as well as the default “Real-time” view. When you set a source to anything other than “Real-time”, Fraidycat banishes its display to that sub-view.

I think this plays a little too much into the program’s shyness about mixing too many sources into one list. As it stands, I tend to forget that any of the “rate-limited” views even exist, within a given tag-view. I don’t mind clicking around in between the category-tags according to my mood, but further clicking around between checking-rates doesn’t feel the same. These rates don’t denote any difference in content or quality from its neighboring sources, after all; I just want to see them presented a little less prominently.

(There is more discussion between the two of us on issue #63 on Github.)

I first want to clear up the idea of ‘rate-limited’ views, in case there is any confusion.

These importances do play a subtle role in how frequently an item is fetched. However, a ‘yearly’ follow isn’t checked once a year. It’s checked about once or twice a day. I don’t actually want these follows to go stale. (I have some plans to remove these limits entirely down the road.)

The more vital role of ‘importances’ is to move things out of view that are less… important to me. I wonder: how many follows do you have? Because I am keeping hundreds around. To have each tag on a single page would be death-defying!

Sphygmus:
About having the real-time/daily/weekly/etc all in one feed - all of my (12) feeds are set to real-time, not because I care about having them checked very often (some I might set to daily or weekly, theoretically) but because I want them all visible in that view. Given that I can set everything to real-time and not have it impact performance with only twelve feeds, though, I’ve just ignored the whole dealio.

So perhaps this is an issue with how someone uses Fraidycat when they have fewer follows? Perhaps I should make the ‘importances’ links disappear if you only have ‘Real-time’ follows under a given tab?

Perhaps detaching the concepts of “importance” and “how often the program checks the feed” would help? As it is now, importance as a way of sub-sectioning tags seems to be mixed in with the idea of “how often do I care about the feed for this being checked” and those seem like two different things to me.

I want to avoid making things more complex - and I am curious if the problem here is a terminology problem. I’m considering changing the names of the importances to something less time-concrete.

Like this:

Choose an importance.

This way the focus isn’t so much on time - but on actual ‘importance’. Do I need this thing close at hand, on my front page? Or do I just need it tucked away, saved for another time?

On the front page:

Choose an importance.

My point is that I want some things hidden. And behind a single-click has been useful for me. I struggle to think of a better way.

Perhaps the issue is that I am eager to read a lot of people. So I take on stuff of all kinds of quality. Maybe you both already have a high bar for what you will follow? Part of the point of Fraidycat was to allow me to lower my bar. I can now follow more things because they don’t create noise for me. I need them out of view until I’m sure that they are really important to me.

I will probably do a livestream soon so that I can chat and work some of these things out in conversation. Think about it - I would love to try to understand where you’re coming from more clearly.

Thank you to both of you for your suggestions and for even trying this tool out! I’m also going to tag Eli’s post, as one who has also been offering suggestions as well.

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13 Feb 2020

Notifier

Tight little tools - RSS feeds for newsletters, Telegram and web hooks.

Gotta give some respect to Kirill Maltsev for this essential set of RSS tools - simple but solid - along the lines of my beloved webmention.io and commentpara.de.

The key tool here is the read email via RSS page, which gives you a random unique email address. You can sign that email up for email newsletters, for instance, and then put the matching RSS feed into Fraidycat to track it like it was a blog.

You could even set up an alias to forward to this address and make yourself a low-key public inbox that won’t clutter up your private email.

I have a hyyyuge new release of Fraidycat coming out Monday that will support Twitch, public Facebook pages, Pinterest, Github users, Kickstarter projects and older RSS feeds. The Pinterest support is particularly juicy because it gives you direct links rather than Pinterest links. Don’t know if anyone uses that site any more, but it felt too subversive to skip out on.

Also, I’ve finally figured out how to load h0p3’s wiki without stalling the extension. Unfortunately, this required some additional permissions. The permissions situation is getting stupid. I’m sorry!!

Also don’t miss Jason McIntosh’s review of Fraidycat after a month of using it. I really appreciate this encouragement and the wonderful suggestions.

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11 Feb 2020

Reply: Arbtr

Looks cool!

People can only share one link at a time (the previous one disappears when you post a new one), in order to avoid endless spammy feeds, link fatigue.

I really like this. I’m interested to see how people like it. Can you view someone’s history?

I appreciate the offer - I don’t know, I’ll think about it. Love all your stuff on Arena.

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10 Feb 2020

Reply to tc_gumus

Thankyou, tuna paragraph. But I am only the Paul Williams of Internet. My colors will fade. Thankyou for the links: font.redcollar.co, andrewleguay.com. I am interested to find sweet Turkish hotlinks as well!

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06 Feb 2020

Reply to bep256

bep

have you heard of http://wiby.me? I didnt see it on http://href.cool, and thought you might find it interesting

For sure! I use it sometimes to find new links. You’re right - it definitely belongs on href.cool. Thank you for the suggestion!

I like bepbep.co so far. It seems very secure. This makes me want to spend time there.

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Reply to valstals

I’m so glad to meet you, love your purple vid. Not sure what stuff on UH is yours or Jack’s - tho the zine reviews seemed to be yours. But just a guess.

Burning question - what’s your reaction to Justin Bieber’s “Yummy”? It seems he is once again unfairly maligned?

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Reply: Ladybug Wardrobes

Anonymous

That sort of hand-drawn look reminds me of Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass. It’s not scribbly just to be ugly, but it’s whimsically hand-drawn pixel art that doesn’t much care about realism. Such a sense of humor, too.

I really didn’t see the aesthetic match here - “Jimmy” seems to have a lot of really solid art - the flamingo with piano key wings and necktie is fantastic, what a character! But I do see a match with the writing and dialogue I think.

Whatever the case, I am grateful for this link - I’ve not seen it before. Thanks for hanging out, Anon. Would be interested to hear what other obscure games you’ve dug up.

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03 Feb 2020

Unimaginable Heights

Jack and Talita’s website - THE model for couples hypertext.

That feeling when Neocities is a legit NeoGeocities.

Unimaginable Heights is a bit like a zine, a bit like the library in The Abortion, a bit like our own invention, a bit like one of those Bob Dylan songs that go on and on with crazy lyrics. It will probably be forever under construction as I learn new silly CSS tricks and shuffle things around. I expect there to be a lot of shuffling around. Hey, who decided the internet needs to be displayed as a stream of chronologically-ordered ‘posts’? This is a place to get lost, and a place to pay some attention.

I would normally wait for HrefHunt to post this, but it’s also got a sweeeeet directory of other Neocities websites that I can’t just sit on. (They even seem to have found chamy on their own! “she’s good at making up jokes about lizards.” Yeah, that’s her.)

The website went up in 2018 and most of the recent work has been focused on the zine page. Which brings me to the other discovery here (from the Winged Snail Mail zine): the ‘master list of postal projects and websites’.[1]

It would be cool if Neocities offered RSS on their site updates page, so we could follow them outside of Neoticies. Perhaps this another thing for Fraidycat to scrape.

(Aside.) Instinctually, I get why people don’t understand my blog. It’s just a feeling that somehow I am lost in my own words. I sometimes read my own stuff and can’t figure out what I’m saying. My sentences can be very unclear and I don’t realize it until a year has passed. It’s the way the words go together.

But I think that I also am just writing on a personal level - not in the Oprah sense, like about tragedy or inner turmoil - but just in that I like to talk about my interests and the people I meet. I don’t really get taken in by news or politics or pop culture - these things aren’t dead to me, they just seem pointless to me - whereas discovering unknown people and learning how to talk to them, as well as building experiments here and there, seems very pointfull. But also memes - I don’t often connect with them either. So I think I lack some language sometimes for connecting with the mainstream.

I guess I’m also thinking about the categorization of my site as ‘counterculture’ - because I don’t really see it that way. That word seems very insurgent. (“Fraidycat as Stuxnet” was serious, but it’s really just a joke idea.) I see myself as being in Jack and Talita’s community - just harmless and out-of-the-way, abdicating any cultural sway or power pronto.[2] And yeah I also see DFW as being ‘hipster bait’ too. But not condescendingly, of course.

Like they say:

Have compassion with the hipster baits of this world, but also try not to waste too much time with them. For they are just like everyone. People are like that, well-meaning, but with much less to say than they think. Maybe hipster bait has the power to reflect us back to ourselves. Hopefully, hipster bait will inspire us. Its social function is to expose the reality of making things, which is that everything is either pathetic or sterile, with very few options in between short of being one of those kooky Italian church painters. At its best, hipster bait is a celebration of both the pathetic and the sterile. And if you think about how Elijah Wood has over 4,000 records in his collection and still says his favourite band are the flipping Smashing Pumpkins (everyone’s third or fourth favourite band when they’re 14), you’ll realise that all he’s doing, all that anyone is doing, is getting up in the morning, then moving around, then going back to sleep; that no matter how grandiose the things you do might feel, they’re still just happening one after another in-between bursts of hunger and tiredness, that it will always be difficult to focus. There will be the task at hand, and there will be disorientating, conflicting impulses swirling around inside of you, always. You’ll realise that existence is much more circular than linear, and maybe your world will feel a bit simpler, and you’ll feel a bit more relaxed.

Yes! This essay is such an antidote to thoughtpieces. Thank you, our beloved Most Quality Couple of Neocities, thank you.


  1. Also an interesting related blog to look into: ‘she lives with an apple tree’ by the author of The Heart is Homebound. ↩︎

  2. Like your run-of-the-mill Draco Malfoy impersonator might feel on any day of the week. Not as Draco, of course, but inside, where they’re just happy to be in his shoes so deep that it feels real. ↩︎

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The Life of D. Duck II

From shitty website ‘Best of Bjørnar B.’

This website of scribbled art purports to have sprung from the mind of a teenage Norwegian, however I’m not buying it. It appears that this site was covered somewhat closely by Something Awful years ago - and was perhaps originally hosted there. The site mostly contains drawings and games featuring a character called D. Duck who has to deal with an unruly Uncle Jubalon and fears losing his girlfriend Dasy to his cousin Anton. (YouTube vids here, if you’re rightfully wary of downloading.)

I have not dug deeply here - the game mostly seemed to be fat jokes and funny mispellings - but I think the game is a bit more impressive work than the reviews say - and there are only like three one-star reviews out there. The animation and visual style is quite unique - there’s no doubt that some decent work was poured into this. I love hand-drawn games - this Homeward Bound game and this Hanging Gardens game come to mind as other scribbly designs that look unlike anything else. But D. Duck is so scribbly that you almost can’t make out the characters’ appearances - their bent heads and distorted bodies are almost Cubist. The soundtrack also seems too good for a teenager. Who knows tho!

In an age where so much design has become bland and smooth, or simply striving toward realism, I think we could use a lot more mess and distortion. I feel like Charlie McAlister would have made a game like this.

  1. That sort of hand-drawn look reminds me of "Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass": https://housekeepinggames.itch.io/jimmy-and-the-pulsating-mass

    It's not scribbly just to be ugly, but it's whimsically hand-drawn pixel art that doesn't much care about realism. Such a sense of humor, too.
  2. Reply: Ladybug Wardrobes

    Anonymous

    That sort of hand-drawn look reminds me of Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass. It’s not scribbly just to be ugly, but it’s whimsically hand-drawn pixel art that doesn’t much care about realism. Such a sense of humor, too.

    I really didn’t see the aesthetic match here - “Jimmy” seems to have a lot of really solid art - the flamingo with piano key wings and necktie is fantastic, what a character! But I do see a match with the writing and dialogue I think.

    Whatever the case, I am grateful for this link - I’ve not seen it before. Thanks for hanging out, Anon. Would be interested to hear what other obscure games you’ve dug up.

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Reply: Mystified Exec

azinman2

Can you help me understand what this is? I read through it all and I couldn’t decipher what’s actually happening or what it’s about. It felt like word soup to me – I’m possibly far outside the intended audience.

And from the user’s bio:

Now at Apple. Formerly CEO/Founder of Empirical, Ginger.io, Google, IBM Research. PhD from the MIT Media Lab.

From what I understand, Tim Cook is ordering all the execs to wander around this blog - and which ever one can make sense of it first gets a ‘biscuit’. I’m your hedge maze, bitches.

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31 Jan 2020

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30 Jan 2020

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Reply: Vias and HTs

Chris Aldrich

I’ve been fascinated with this idea of vias, hat tips, and linking credit (a la the defunct Curator’s Code) just like Jeremy Cherfas. I have a custom field in my site for collecting these details sometimes, but I should get around to automating it and showing it on my pages rather than doing it manually.

Links like these seem like throwaways, but they can have a huge amount of value in aggregate. As an example, if I provided the source of how I found this article, then it’s likely that my friend Matt would then be able to see a potential treasure trove of information about the exact same topic which he’s sure to have a lot of interest in as well.

All the concentrated salience contained in a single offhanded link.

My level of fervor for these kinds of links has gone way up since reading Rebecca Blood’s simple comment in The Weblog Handbook (2002):

I would go so far as to say that if you are not linking to your primary material when you refer to it—especially when in disagreement—no matter what the format or update frequency of your website, you are not keeping a weblog.

These are really strong words! But I kind of think she’s spot on. Blogs become less bloggy when they don’t have blogrolls, linking back, linking to - this is the stuff of hypertext. She goes on to explain how these links are more than just attaching a URL for mere credit - you’re basically attaching an entire conversation and history.

And if we look at the state of the Web in the present day - I think we need to be much more generous with our links if we’re going to survive. The more links, the more we’re connected and intermeshed. It’s a bond.

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28 Jan 2020

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Reply: Href Hunt No. 9

Chad Moore

@kicks This is great, thanks for creating this list!

(and @bradenslen) Glad to encourage all this great work - so it’s a nice bonus to have you both check it out. My hope is that it’ll spark some fantasies for other new websites in the minds of anyone who passes by.

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Legible News

A wish comes true: a single-page world newspaper.

I’ve been wishing for many years that someone would start a newspaper called ‘one-line news’ or something, that would sum up the day of world news in a single (perhaps longish) sentence. I get behind on mainstream culture, but I don’t want to lose track of it completely.

This link (via Joe Jennett) is my dream page!!! Culled from Wikipedia’s Current events portal, this is a highly readable plain HTML page-per-day for the news. In addition, someone has made an RSS feed for it - though I’m having some troubles getting it to work.

Other news outlets have plain-text link lists:

However, I prefer the daily digest. And this being sourced from Wikimedia is also a mark in its favor. (See also: Sijmen J. Mulder’s directory to text-only websites.)

  1. that media query ✨
  2. Looks really interesting. Thx!
  3. @kicks This is a great, first thing in the morning scan for news. Where I don't want to get too distracted from other tasks but still be aware what's going down.

  4. Thanks to Kicks Condor I too have discovered Legible News, which is a great way to scan the previous day's events. But seriously, why did it need someone else to build the RSS feed? I imagine that creating the daily Legible News is fully automated anyway. How hard would it have been to add the microformats to make it an h-feed?
  5. @kicks Great recommendation! I even learned that the Slovenian prime minister has resigned, a piece of news that isn't covered today in The New York Times app as far as I can find.

  6. @sarcassem Oh, I’ll be checking out Winno. The closest I’ve seen to the old Breaking app that was the best news app I’ve ever seen.

  7. @bix yeah, Winno has been very thoughtfully designed too! It puts itself on DND at regular points each day.

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  1. @kicks This is great, thanks for creating this list!

  2. Reply: Href Hunt No. 9

    Chad Moore

    @kicks This is great, thanks for creating this list!

    (and @bradenslen) Glad to encourage all this great work - so it’s a nice bonus to have you both check it out. My hope is that it’ll spark some fantasies for other new websites in the minds of anyone who passes by.

  3. @kicks I’m definitely inspired! I’ve been dangerously close to tinkering with image manipulation with Processing. Consider me one step closer. I’m particularly interested in manipulating images with sound. Especially the sounds of laughter...

  4. @kicks I'll never be able to put together a Apple Newton looking site, but one of these days I'm going brush off my old school HTML to put together a retro Geocities type site - because GIF's!

  5. @kicks Hey, thanks for the mention! I'm having fun digging into those other blogs too.

  6. thanks for mentioning my website man, I love your work and your lists!

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24 Jan 2020

Temper

Create a single page of text with a certain brutalist aesthetic, an alternative to pastebins.

I stumbled upon this tool by Jonas Pelzer, after encountering the Planet Ujou website. This is exactly the kind of writing tool that I like to collect in href.cool’s Web/Participate category. A simple way to create HTML that you can then slap up to Neocities or 1mb.site.

I think it’s really cool that this is such a small, limited (but focused) tool - it can be polished to near perfection because it is so narrow in its function. I wish there were more little websites like this. It makes me wonder if a directory-building or link list tool could be made along these lines. Or perhaps there already is one! Now - how to find it…

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07 Jan 2020

Reply to syxanash

You have a really great collection, syx! And your website is fantastic too. I so appreciate your email - I have much to dig into here. (You should also look at Nathalie Lawhead’s Electric Zine Maker or her games, if you haven’t already.)

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Reply: Paperclypse

Shawn Kilburn

@kicks a link to my blog: paperclypse.com I like to think of it as probably the oldest, least read weblog. 😄

Ok wow - impressive that you’ve kept it all collected for so long and persevered through the dark ages of blogging. It looks like it landed at paperclyse.com in the mid-2010s. Have you been on Wordpress for a long time? I’m curious what kind of effort it has taken to blog continuously from 2001 to now. And thankyou for saying ‘hi’.

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From “Worker-in-the-loop Retrospective”:

Still, the most common question investors asked us while developing a worker-in-the-loop scheduling service was “how long until the humans are gone?”

This sucks. There is no concept of the value of a human perspective. There is no sense of human skill. Humans are seen as just low-quality fuel.

This makes me wonder if it’s best to treat investors as unshackled AI that already threaten humanity. Their behavior seems to match up with soulless robotic resource acquisition.

It’s wild to me that even the writer (who is trying to advocate the value of a human worker in the algorithmic process) doesn’t ever cite the benefits of human intellegence! It’s as if there are none.

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25 Dec 2019

Reply: An Uncanny Lurker

Anonymous

The lack of a meaningful directory to access the vast wonders that the internet possesses is a travesty.

A directory fan? How long I have travelled to find one such as you, Anon! You should join the few of us gathered here: The Tiny Directory Forum.

If you like to continue lurking, I understand the comfort of those shadows and I’m sure I will happily join you there one day when I can hang up my hat and return to just reading. Thankyou for your ‘hi’ - thankyou for taking the time.

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Reply: Piranesi and His Prisons

Vega

I suppose Clarke is the only author out there who’d conceivably write a whole novel about Piranesi and his Prisons. I look forward to reading it!

Oh wow - didn’t realize the backstory on this! Thank you for taking the time to fill us in and sharing your essay/portrait. This amps up my (already considerable) excitement. And now I have something to read before Piranesi hits!

I’m not a fantasy reader at all - I have a difficult time connecting with the genre - I can’t seem to make it through Lord of the Rings even. (I enjoyed The Chronicles of Amber when I was a child.) But I actually view Jonathan Strange as literary fiction. It feels more like a pastiche of Dickens, Austen and other 19th Century literary fiction (probably Henry James, too) rather than fantasy. (I’m also a big fan of Don Quixote and J.L. Borges - so perhaps I am a fantasy fan in a way.)

Anyway, this comment of yours gets my hopes up that she has another pastiche in store, because she has to be one of the most talented stylers of this rare art that the world has ever encountered. (I guess it’s funny that I should say this off the strength of only one book - but it’s a mighty long book and one of the few that is entitled to such thickness.)

  1. I think you hit on it: Clarke’s fantasy is more literary than genre.

    These days, my taste for fantasy/speculative fiction has become more refined; straight-up, empty-calorie genre fantasy no longer satisfies. I find spec-fic authors like M. John Harrison and Gene Wolfe (if the spec-fic/SF genre can lay claim to a “literary” label, Wolfe has certainly claimed it) much more engaging to the mind. If Clarke is anything like them, then I think my reading taste has now matured enough to appreciate her.

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24 Dec 2019

Y. Kiri Yu 余依笛

A blog can be both lovely carcass art and marker reviews.

Blogs are piling up everywhere. I need to do another HrefHunt. (If you have a blog, let me link to you.) In the meantime, I don’t want to sit on this one. A Wordpress blog that is very clean and colorful.

While much of it is art (and art supplies), there are also some good essays about blogging, such as “The Only Way to Beat Algorithms is to Retrain Your Audience”. I appreciate articles like this because it has become very common to litter criticism everywhere without any concept of a way forward. I really don’t think an RSS resurgence is going to happen with the mainstream - but it could continue to happen down here in the wilds - and we can definitely benefit from the mindset of bringing your node on the network back under your control.

Anyway, I think Wordpress is still an excellent way to participate. So it’s good to see blogs that use it well.

  1. @kicks a link to my blog: paperclypse.com

    I like to think of it as probably the oldest, least read weblog. :D

  2. Reply: Paperclypse

    Shawn Kilburn

    @kicks a link to my blog: paperclypse.com I like to think of it as probably the oldest, least read weblog. 😄

    Ok wow - impressive that you’ve kept it all collected for so long and persevered through the dark ages of blogging. It looks like it landed at paperclyse.com in the mid-2010s. Have you been on Wordpress for a long time? I’m curious what kind of effort it has taken to blog continuously from 2001 to now. And thankyou for saying ‘hi’.

  3. @kicks Let's see... I think I started on Blogger (or maybe something even more obscure and gone) and then moved to MovableType and then moved to Wordpress. I had a brief stint on Squarespace but realized I preferred having my own thing.

    It hasn't taken much effort. :D I go through long periods of "loving neglect". I'm thrilled to see what seems like a reviving interest in blogging (a word I've always hated, btw hahaahha).

    Also, weirdly, "paperclypse" came to me in a dream.

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Fraidycat as Stuxnet

Fraidycat 1.0.7 is out (in the browser and on desktop), major performance improvements.

My appreciation to all of you out there who have been helping with Fraidycat - this last week has been very busy. There are now releases for Mac, Windows and Linux. These don’t sync between computers yet - but I have spent quite a lot of time polishing them up, to prepare for that. The web extension has been running kind of heavy, so I have now made some major improvements to its performance.

If you use Fraidycat in Firefox, the update is already available. I don’t think the Chrome extension will make it through their store until the end of the week.

I haven’t spent much time trying to spread the word on Fraidycat just yet. I am still clawing along until I can reach a quality that I am happy with. I am close. I think I just want to improve the appearance a bit over the next week and see if I can offer something a little less bland.

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23 Dec 2019

Anna Malina

These GIFs seem pretty haunted to me. Pretty much the opposite of ‘cinemagraphs’.

Don’t know that I’ve seen many GIFs using collage, paint and such in this way. (Also, I guess they are part of this mini-site—at cargo.site, which is a very interesting directory of artists. I’m finding some good things there!)

Anna also has a channel of short films on YouTube. Discovered her on Warren Ellis’ list of feeds (the “Blog Diet”.)

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12 Dec 2019

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Reply: Blog Like Mad

Brad Enslen

I say, blog like mad when the inspiration hits you, for as long as it hits you. Then hold back when you have nothing to say. Something like that.

Yes, for sure! Writing is totally personal. Aaron has a similar comment. (Don’t know if micro.blog will include the link…)

I think some people get around the Web like crazy and make all kinds of connections and observations - and I would hate to discourage that ethic! I’m only trying to discourage following these crazy high frequency recommendations just because that’s the prevailing advice. A relaxed pace works fine still.

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Reply to poeticStupid

Oh wow and you’re on Neocities too, correct? Do you have a page that explains how you edit and publish? Also very interesting that you use DuckDuckGo for your search.

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Reply: The Hyperchat Modality

Chris Aldrich

[wrt to my conversations with philosopher.life] I’m curious what modality you use to converse? Am I missing some fun bit of something about that wiki?

How do you converse with a wiki?

Yeah—it’s quite hidden. We’ve been calling it hyperconversation. It’s very informal and fluid. It’s completely simple: just leaving messages for each other on our sites. No Webmentions necessary or anything like that.

We’re actually trying to really push this concept right now. So there’s this sprawling group chat going on between my blog, philosopher.life, sphygm.us and wiki.waifu.haus for the last few weeks, going through December. The master thread is right here.[1]

You might be tempted to say that using Webmentions would improve the chat because it would give us notifications. But I’m not so sure! The great thing about doing a chat like this is that you really have to keep up on each person’s wiki (or blog), because messages could be hidden anywhere. With Webmentions, you would read their reply and move on. (Think of how, in your reply, you had to reference this article for me—but there is probably a lot more relevant material on your site—I know this is true, just because you do a lot of metadiscussion about blogging and online conversation.)

If you and I were to chat this way, we basically mutually agree to dig deep into each other’s blogs. Think of how this contrasts to ‘the temporality of social media’ that you mention.

Chris:
We’re being trained to dip our toes into a rapidly flowing river and not focus on deeper ideas and thoughts or reflect on longer pieces further back in our history.

Taking this a level deeper, social is thereby forcing us to not only think shallowly, but to make our shared histories completely valueless.

This is absolutely what we’re trying to figure out too, in our own way. Here’s a summary of what this group (the ‘public self-modelers’) is doing:

  • Cross-wiki chats get compiled and placed in permanent pages so that they can be referred back to and built upon.
  • Each individual works on writing master pages for specific concepts (Find The Others has been a topic that we’ve fleshed out together) or even for specific people (such as h0p3’s page on Sphygmus or my page on h0p3.) These personal pages are just good fun - a reminder that the point of our conversation isn’t just to explore a topic, but to get to know each other and goof around.
  • Because conversations and chats span months and months (compared to a Twitter thread, which may last only a few days,) even the ‘ephemeral’ threads are pretty solid, because a lot of thinking and back-and-forth have gone into them.
  • Since we’re not using a rigid protocol (like ActivityPub or microformats,) we can shape the conversation however we want. (For example, at one point we decided to start using each other’s colors when quoting - I think this was Sphygmus’ idea - so we worked on ‘whostyles’ - you can see them on my Hypertext%20%20 page. So we don’t really care about protocols. We care about messing with the hypertext. They’ve each done a lot of work tweaking their wikis. So there’s an aesthetic component.) So we’re not just work on permanent writing - but long-term design/art projects, too.

People seem very focused on technological solutions to online communication (ActivityPub, Indieweb, this absurd BlueSky idea), but the hyperconversation approach is trying to prove that the problem is a human problem. If you read and listen to each other and try to respond thoughfully and carefully - and try to find your own style and wee innovations along the way - you start to feel like you don’t need anything more complicated than a TiddlyWiki!

That’s been a very stunning realization for me. (As I’ve been an Indieweb zealot as well, of course.) Thank you for your curiosity and for your excellent blog and for your work on improving the Web! You are one of the main writers that I feel has been keeping the Web healthy. You connect a lot of people, Chris. That’s human work.


  1. Right now you have to weed through it all, but I will be publishing a finalized, edited chat on my home page when it’s over. ↩︎

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10 Dec 2019

Twilight Sparkle’s Voice Compromised

Brony AI seizes cartoon vocal chords (via @gwern)

The Pony Preservation Project undertakes to model (with machine learning) the voices of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic characters, thus granting them immortality. And, for Twilight Sparkle, the decorum of a sailor.

I don’t know if linking to 4chan is considered bad form - Gwern did the footwork on this, though, so who am I to say? Audio deepfakes, but for cartoon ponies. I’m just going to yank the text from 4chan, since I never know when these pages will disappear.

Pay particular notice to the Google Doc below - it contains rough instructions for training. You need a transcript for each audio clip that you’re processing, so a long-running series like Friendship is Magic is helpful, as you have a wide-ranging corpus to begin with. Background noise also needs to be removed from clips, there is a ‘sorting’ process - which also involves assigning ‘moods’ it seems - and there is also some reference to using Praat, which is used to annotate the files, identifying specific sounds.[1]

TwAIlight welcomes you to the Pony Voice Preservation Project!
https://clyp.it/qrnafm4y

This project is the first part of the “Pony Preservation Project” dealing with the voice. It’s dedicated to save our beloved pony’s voices by creating a neural network based Text To Speech for our favorite ponies. Videos such as “Steamed Hams But It’s Trump & Obama” or “RealTalk Joe Rogan” have proven that we now have the technology to generate convincing voices using machine learning algorithms “trained” on nothing but clean audio clips. With roughly 10 seasons (8 soon to be 9 seasons and 5 movies) worth of voice lines available, we have more than enough material to apply this tech for our deviant needs.

Any anon is free to join, and many are already contributing. Just read the guide to learn how you can help bring on the wAIfu revolution. Whatever your technical level, you can help. Document: docs.google.com

We now have a working TwAIlight that any Anon can play with: Instructions

>Active Tasks
Create a dataset for speech synthesis (https://youtu.be/KmpXyBbOObM)
Test some AI program with the current dataset
Research AI (read papers and find open source projects)
Track down remaining English/Foreign dubs that are missing
Evaluate cleaned audio samples
Phonetic dictionary/tagging
AI Training/Interface

>Latest Developments
https://clyp.it/xp4q1bru [Yay!]
Anons are investigating Deepvoice3, Tacotron2 with GSTs, SV2TTS, and Mellotron
New tool to test audio clips
New “special source” audio
Several new AInons

>Voice samples (So far)
https://clyp.it/2pb4bp05
https://clyp.it/s0klxftk
https://clyp.it/samzm4sk
https://pastebin.com/JUpDRsiw

>Clipper Anon’s Master File:
https://mega.nz/#F!L952DI4Q!nibaVrvxbwgCgXMlPHVnVw

>Synthbot’s Torrent Resources
In the doc at end of resources.

Gwern also found a larger directory of clips, same voice.

Predictions:

  • Fanfic will gain a serious boost when AI-generated voices can simply be fed scripts to generate audiobooks.
  • Couple this with animation networks (also via gwern) and The Simpsons may never need to end.
  • The power of the novel in previous generations was due to the fact that a single writer could produce one without relying on anyone else - finding collaborators in close proximity is a luxury some don’t have. This technology could make cartoons and film largely the domain of lone writers with no staff.
  • It will be a long time before this ever catches up to human voices and hand-drawn frames. In fact, this could increase the value of those artworks. (In the way that algorithms have really helped us see the value of human curation.)
  • Someone who is able to use the tech with a clever flair will have an edge. (As has been the case with CGI.)

I’m still not too hyped by machine learning, though. It seems pretty weak given the empire frothing around it. But these small iterations are cool. And you have to love when it comes out of a random subculture rather than the military. Who can’t respect this kind of insanely determined fandom? Impressive work for one week.


  1. A good start on this is “Analyze Your Voice” video by Prof Merryman. ↩︎

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09 Dec 2019

Blogging Less in the 2020s

How frequently should you post to keep pace with the next decade?

Posting every day — multiple times a day — is indispensable. This is one of the main factors the Instagram algorithm uses to determine how much they are going to expose you to the public (via the “explore page”). Posting every day, especially at “rush hour” times, is much harder and more monotonous than you might think. Most people give up on this task after a few weeks, and even missing a day or two can be detrimental. So, I automated the content collecting and sharing process.

— Chris Buetti, “How I Eat For Free in NYC Using Python, Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Instagram”

Facebook posts reach their half-life at the 90-minute mark, nearly four times longer than Twitter.

— Buffer’s “Social Media Frequency Guide”

Consistency. Asking friends who work in social media and marketing, this is the current dominant advice - for both ‘influencer’ types and DIY creators. This word seems to be everything right now.

The implication is that you should post frequently, with as much quality as you can muster, to stay relevant. Otherwise, you’ll drop off the end as new ‘content’ crowds it out. And this is happening all day.

The fact that they only post twice a week sheds light on their poor performance. While Nike is a cool brand, their social media content’s infrequencies are taking a toll.

— Dash Hudson, “The Truth About How Often You Should Be Posting on Instagram”

This is an artifact of how social media platforms are constructed. It doesn’t benefit the writer to need to focus on consistency over quality, does it? So does it benefit the reader?

It benefits the platform. And, at this point, there are many different platforms, all demanding your ‘consistency’.

Post to Twitter at least 5 times a day. If you can swing up to 20 posts, you might be even better off.

Post to Facebook five to 10 times per week.

Post to LinkedIn once per day. (20 times per month)

— Buffer’s “Social Media Frequency Guide”

So, minimum 47 posts per week on these three networks. Recommended: 157.

Last year I decided to begin posting only on Tuesday Friday. (Since changed to Monday and Thursday.) I might post a couple times on each of those days. Even worse: I’m posting on a blog in the middle of nowhere, not on a platform that has the benefit of an existing network of users. (Unless you consider the Web itself an existing network of users.)

Convention dictates that I should now show a bunch of statistics demonstrating that posting biweekly had a great statistical benefit and led to ‘success’. However, I believe that would be a cold comfort.[1] I don’t keep traffic statistics - my favorite novels don’t have tracking devices inside, do they? And articles that statistically show ‘success’ are what have led us to ‘consistency’. I don’t think my social media friends are wrong about what is working in 2019.

Most weblogs are unfunded, spare-time ventures, yet most webloggers update their sites five days a week, and some even work on weekends!

— p. 127, Rebecca Blood, The Weblog Handbook (2002)

Does anyone really want ‘likes’? Or do they want ‘followers’? Or ‘visits’ or ‘impressions’? These are numerical decoys for something else.

When I think about writing online - I really just want to add something to someone’s life. To introduce them to a link, in the same way that Andy Baio introduced me to HIGH END CUSTOMIZABLE SAUNA EXPERIENCE. Or to write something they enjoy, just as Nadia Eghbal did with “The Tyranny of Ideas” - an essay I keep coming back to. Or maybe I meet them and can’t even sum it up with a single link, as with h0p3 (at philosopher.life) who I just like to converse with and keep up with throughout my week.

In this way, I feel successful. I might get a nice e-mail from someone. Or I might hear from someone I linked to, saying, “Hey, I had a few people find me through you.” Or I might just not know at all - most people just read and move on, which is totally understandable. And it might be several years later that they say thanks in some blog post that I stumble across.

I think that, even if you do play the ‘consistency’ game, you have to come to terms with not knowing. Why not start there then?

There are lots of strategies out there for gaming the system: posting at optimal times on a regular schedule, using hashtags and keywords, etc, but algorithms change and update as quickly as users adapt, and a battle where you can only react to your opponents moves isn’t one that can be won.

— Y. Kiri Yu, “The Only Way to Beat Algorithms is to Retrain Your Audience”

If I could statistically show you the good memories - the ones I will hold on to - from the past two years, I would show that graph here. I think that would be a useful statistic!

I can list some advantages to working on the Monday Thursday schedule:

  • There is no burn-out. This should be self-apparent.
  • If I drop a week, no big deal. Missing two days of posts rather than seven.
  • This benefit is given to the readers, too! If they miss a week, it is easy to catch up.
  • Blogging returns to being something of a ‘deadline’ rather than a schedule. In fact, I tend to think of Monday as being more serious. I work towards Monday. And, if I have extra things, I may save them for a Thursday.
  • Showing restraint improves the quality of individual posts. There are many times that I’ve crafted a post and then deleted it. I only have a few posts per week - I don’t want to spend them senselessly. (Of course, quality is subjective - I speak only of my own sense of quality.)
  • In the long-term, I can sustain this for decades if I decide to. That can’t be said for daily posting. (Barring personal disaster or loss of interest.)
  • The focus becomes less on winning a single viral post to cash in on. It’s more about finding friends and trying to find useful stuff to bring value to my regular reader’s lives.
  • And, finally, another great benefit to the reader: they have more time to spend reading others! (Who perhaps also post in a fashion that is simple to track.)

There are some difficulties:

  • Ensuring people know the schedule. But I feel like this just becomes apparent over time.
  • Some weeks I feel like posting A LOT more. I’ve always been glad I restrained.
  • Of course, it is incompatible with social media. I don’t get much contact through Twitter, for instance.

Aside from my own experiences, though, I can point to many other blogs that are following sleepy schedules: Nadia Eghbal, who posts every month or two with great effect. Subpixel.space, similar schedule, also high quality. Ribbonfarm seems to be twice-a-week, but has a strong base of readers. things magazine, once or twice per week. Phil Gyford posts maybe a bit more frequently than that. And Andy Baio, who blogs infrequently, but does so when he really has something that you don’t want to miss, is possibly the most important blog to me of all-time.

I don’t want to come off as too negative about frequent posting. There are many people that I enjoy following who post constantly, at all hours of the day. And it suits their personality. It’s cool that they have a lot to say.

For anyone else who may want to pull off a low-key blog (or TiddlyWiki[2]), I wrote this to encourage you! It has worked well for me - and I’m satisfied that all is not lost.

And I will gladly link to you if you make an attempt at this. Come on - let me link to you. I do a monthly hrefhunt, listing blogs and websites that I discover. It’s well worth it, to discover obscure or neglected blogs that haven’t fit into social media’s rapid pacing.

Perhaps we can get away from that in 2020.


  1. I don’t think ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ are useful metrics — see, for instance, Instagram star with 3 million followers can’t sell 36 t-shirts. ↩︎

  2. See sphygm.us. ↩︎

  1. @kicks I say, blog like mad when the inspiration hits you, for as long as it hits you. Then hold back when you have nothing to say. Something like that.

  2. Very nice post. Makes me feel less bad that haven't posted anything since September.
  3. Personally, I post when I get the chance. I am therefore probably failing.

    I do try and complete something of a monthly review, but even that could be more regular.

  4. One post every three months is cutting edge. I would suggest five year intervals, but I love my beautiful nostalgia-saturated Box Vox posts. 🤤
  5. Reply: Blog Like Mad

    Brad Enslen

    I say, blog like mad when the inspiration hits you, for as long as it hits you. Then hold back when you have nothing to say. Something like that.

    Yes, for sure! Writing is totally personal. Aaron has a similar comment. (Don’t know if micro.blog will include the link…)

    I think some people get around the Web like crazy and make all kinds of connections and observations - and I would hate to discourage that ethic! I’m only trying to discourage following these crazy high frequency recommendations just because that’s the prevailing advice. A relaxed pace works fine still.

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Omniscience and Indexing

(Draft.)

I don’t know if I can explain this quite right - but I’m feeling as if “omniscience” has an indexing problem - and that is the source of quite a bit of amusement. It’s also somewhat tied in with our memories.

This thought occured when we were out of cheese at my place - and someone said, “I wish we could call up how many blocks of cheese we’ve used.” And we all guessed at what the number would be.

But if you think about a computer passively monitoring you 24/7 - XKeyscore, for instance - I can’t help but wonder how it could productively sense each new cheese entering the house (via grocery shopping) and leaving (via shitting).

Omniscience comes up quite regularly. People speak of “their life flashing before their eyes” when they die - or the ability to rewind and call up memories in some post-death review. But there are also characters such as “Janet” from The Good Place or the precogs from Minority Report, who are aware of everything and can be queried like a database. The concept of “The Singularity” often is meant to refer to a superintellegence that approaches omniscience.

So, could I ask an omniscient source: “Bring up all my conversations where Nicholas Cage is mentioned?” Given that sometimes I may be referring to National Treasure or other times I may be mentioning “Nouveau Shamanic” acting with him in mind. The index needs to include references to my conversation history, my context for understanding Nicholas Cage, and a many-to-many join between them.

To what degree does that query return every conversation I have? Am I constantly alluding to Nicholas Cage?

If humans have difficulty agreeing on an exact weight for a racist tweet or extracting the true meaning of any given pull-quote from the Mueller Report, how does an omniscient source ultimately mine all possible meanings from a given conversation? Couldn’t it become stuck on one sentence, infinitely paralyzed during indexing?

It seems an insurmountable problem that an omniscience could track everything as time continues. This makes me wonder if the inate desire of an omniscience would be to slow or stop time, rather than to accelerate it out of some voracious appetite.

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Notes: The Weblog Handbook (2002)

Quotes and marginalia from my 2019 reading of Rebecca Blood’s blogging advice.

(This is a draft. I am still in the process of reading this book, currently on page 149.)

After putting together Notes: We’ve Got Blog (2002), I checked out this book through the interlibrary loan, on the strength of Rebecca Blood’s quotes in that book. This book is not quite as rich at that one - the subtitle here is “Practical Advice on Creating and Maintaining Your Blog” - so there are sections on how to choose a host, how to decide the name, blog conventions - and this is all geared toward an absolute newb, and much of what I’m looking for is outside of that.

None of that is criticism, I just mention that to explain why I might be skipping large sections in my notes.

p. 9. “Webloggers understand that people will regularly visit any website that reliably provides them with worthwhile content, even when that content is on another site. As counterintuitive as it may seem from an old-media perspective, weblogs attract regular readers precisely because they regularly point readers away.” (This is one way that I feel blogs have returned to an ‘old-media’ perspective - people are much less likely to link externally in 2019. Most Medium posts or recipe blogs or coding tutorial posts - you don’t see so many links any longer. I think this a combination of a lot of things - links now have a decent monetary value due to affiliate linking and they also became a liability due to SEO rules. (See Linkfarmville.) As a result, I don’t think we can call this an ‘old-media’ perspective any longer. I think you could even safely call it the ‘new-media’ perspective! 😂)

p. 11. “The new information space includes a website devoted to the adoration of Converse’s popular ‘Chuck Taylor All-Star’ sneaker, a site detailing the exploits of two friends who photograph each other attempting to match the appearance of strangers they happen to see, and one that seeks to elucidate an artist’s curious obsession with young women holding celery.” Okay, had to track these links down! They are: The Chucks Connection (still up), Dean & Nigel Blend In (defunct), and The Art of Frahm (also, still there, just as it was!) It’s interesting to me though, that the conceit of these websites would probably still work in 2019 - so though the ethic of ‘new-media’ in the 2000s has died, the creative concepts haven’t. In fact, I’m sure that they’ve cannibalized the ‘old-media’ creative concepts.)

p. 12. “For everyone, the great task of the future will not be to gain access to more information, but to develop avenues to information that genuinely enhances our understanding, and to screen out the rest.” (Yes, ok, here we go. I think we can all agree with this. And this makes me think of the ‘layers’ I mentioned in Notes: We’ve Got Blog (2002) - layers of reading, layers of writing. Social media is too raw - it’s all random snippets of text, no summaries. I need high-level views of the information, then the ability to zoom into the details. A ‘layer’ is a level of detail - and it includes both a measure of polish and quality, as well as a measure of intimacy with the topic or person.)

p. 12. “Even the man who turns first to the Sports section of the paper version of his hometown newspaper is exposed, however briefly, to the front news page; and an interesting headline in the Living section may catch his eye when he puts down the rest of the paper.” (Ok, here we see the value of directories when compared to a search engine. Even ‘awesome’ directories are this way - you start to wonder, “What else is in here?” I think that even social media and Reddit give you this adjacency exposure - but perhaps it’s too random. The underlying assumption of this analogy is that the man values the newspaper as a whole.)

p. 12. “Read a good filter-style weblog for even a few days, and you will never doubt the value of an astute human editor. Because he evaluates content rather than keywords, a human editor provides his readers with more relevant information than the most sophisticated news aggregator ever can.” (This has definitely been my experience with Andy Baio. He has plugged me into better links over the years than any algorithm has. I mean algorithms have done some good work, too, but I think that they owe a lot to human editors downstream who initially bring some attention to a link that then gets picked up by an algorithm. So the algorithm relies on Andy Baio, too!)

p. 17. “With the addition of a comment system, many weblogs actively solicit ideas and opinions from their readers.” (This is one line that really struck me as being in stark contrast to today. Blog comments are seen as being synonymous with ‘cesspools’. I have not personally had that experience - but I have never had many readers and I am not a target for some reason. Large websites are obviously a target because they give a random commenter a large audience. Nevertheless, there is no question that people want feedback. For some, I think they would be happy with just measuring ‘likes’. But I think this is what the Indieweb gets soooo right - there are no ‘comments’, only blog posts interacting with each other. However, it’s clear that there are ‘readers’ who just want to send an e-mail, rather than having to write, edit and publish a blog online.)

p. 18. “I would go so far as to say that if you are not linking to your primary material when you refer to it—especially when in disagreement—no matter what the format or update frequency of your website, you are not keeping a weblog.” (What a prescient, clear-headed sentiment! This is something we still need to integrate into our ethic today.)

p. 29. “Writing short is hard—and very good for you. Seeking to distill your thoughts to the fewest words, you will find out what you really think, and you’ll work even harder to find the precise term to express your meaning. Paradoxically, writing short also spurred me to write longer pieces. Finding that I sometimes had more to say than I could comfortably fit in a weblog entry, it was natural to turn my comments into an essay. Rather than distill my thoughts, this longer form required that I flesh out my ideas and more fully support my conclusions.”

p. 30. “The weblogger is privy to the entries she posts and those that she does not: I think I’ll blog that! followed a moment layer by No. . . . Acutely aware of what she does not type, the weblogger more clearly defines her own boundaries. Reviewing what she has written, she catches glimpses of her less-conscious self.”

p. 40. She doesn’t mention how to set up any specific services, saying, “Even if I had a favorite, software of this type comes and goes.” It makes me very grateful that she wrote this book, despite the trouble with keeping it current.

p. 48. “When I look at an unfamiliar weblog, I always take note of the names listed in the sidebar. The first question I ask (still) is ‘Am I listed?’ Pathetic, isn’t it? I don’t think you ever outgrow it.” 😉

p. 56. “I knew of one weblogger who told no one he knew about his site. His audience developed when the sites he linked found him and linked back.” It’s interesting to see my blog explained in two sentences. It’s cool that this still works twenty years later. (This section of the book focuses on the value of using a psuedonym. Kind of like with blog comments, I think people have rested on making generic claims (i.e. the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory) and dismissed the valuable tradeoff that they offer.)

p. 68. “Write some linktext or a personal entry in the voice of another weblogger, using your own material. Then try using that technique once a day for a week or two to whether it suits you.” (I’m unsure as to whether this suggestion is a kind of A/B testing or if it is merely a game. I’m noticing in these next sections that there are some sales and marketing type strategies discussed. This fits inline with the idea that bloggers had to adopt the roles of editor and publisher. And promoter I guess. While I feel like there is discussion of ‘old-media’ vs ‘new-media’ writing approaches - but not so much ‘old-media’ vs ‘new-media’ publishing and promoting (whatever that may be.))

p. 69. “The audience of one is the single most important principle behind creating a website—or anything—that is fresh, interesting, and compelling. Consult your own taste, and then consult your audience—but only in regard to your presentation of the material.” (This seems a misnomer to me. I would think this would be ‘a creator of one’ rather than ‘an audience’. Look: this book, these notes I’m writing, every blog, every thread comment on the Internet, is written to the audience of humans out there. So I don’t think it’s useful to say that your audience is just yourself - if so, it would change the voice of the writing. For instance, you wouldn’t feel a need to explain anything. You wouldn’t take the time to write out your background on a topic. Even h0p3 sometimes writes in an explanatory voice and other times in a shorthand - like in link logs, where there are often short, cryptic comments in bulleted lists. Perhaps these varieties of voices also play into hypertext ‘layering’ - need a better name for it…)

p. 70. “Take your time. Think as you write, and be willing to rewrite until each sentence of each entry says exactly what you want it to.”

p. 72. “You will most enjoy writing your weblog if you approach it as your private sandbox. If, after writing and rewriting an entry, you can’t quite articulate your objection to current foreign policy, post it anyway. You’ll have another chance to try tomorrow or next week or next month.” (Again this is where ‘layering’ - ‘hypertiering’, ‘tearing’, ‘funneling’ - gaaa I don’t know what to call it - this is where it comes in. Having parts of your site that are less accessible and more personal and rough, alongside more public surface material.)

p. 74. “I would encourage you to embrace all the elements at your disposal. Experiment with different forms of linktext, different lengths of entries, much commentary, no commentary. Write short. Write long. If you are so inclined, play with the design of your site. If you love to code, your site can be a project that expands as your skills grow; if you don’t know anything about coding, your site may become a fantastic impetus to learn a little bit about HTML or cascading style sheets. Add photographs. Write essays. Hone your Web searching skills and publish the results. Tell stories. Be willing to experiment. Play.” (This is a photograph of the feeling towards one’s blog in 2002. This seems very basic now. However, most people have lost access to this freedom I think.)

p. 75. Linked article: “Adding value to your links.” This is still a solid bit of advice for writing directory entries.

p. 80. “GLBT bloggers…” (Didn’t realize this acronym had some shuffling occur. Good to see the lesbians prevail. Makes sense to me.)

p. 85. “You may choose to follow and participate in only one or two threads a day or week; you may find that you gain more from the community by lurking than by actively posting; and you must always remember that your words are the only measure other members have of you.” (There is good advice in the etiquette section here, but I am sure that anyone who needs the advice won’t take it.)

p. 87. “Some webloggers regularly provide coding tips, free postcards, or desktop wallpaper. If you feel that you are an expert user of a particular weblog tool or other commonly used software, consider offering tutorials on your site or providing advice in user forums.” (We’re past this, right? I think we’ve moved past this.)

p. 90. “[Linking to others] is probably the single most effective strategy for politely announcing your presence as a new member of the community.” (It’s interesting how this has changed subtly with @-mentions becoming the primary way on social media sites. I like how Webmentions have cleaned up this ‘strategy’ and allowed mentioning to become more nuanced. I wonder if ‘likes’ are a good way to announce your presence. Like I wonder if people generally check their likes for ‘others’.)

p. 92. (wrt to ‘cross-blog socializing’) “Be aware that if your weblog largely consists of comments to other webloggers—even two or three a day—you will severely limit your potential audience.” (Again, funneling.)

p. 95. “Every experienced weblog reader knows that the best way to find good weblogs is to follow the links from the sidebar of their favorites.” (The lost art that ‘friending’ killed!)

p. 102. “Weblog clusters emerged as webloggers converted their sidebars from more general lists of ‘other weblogs’ to ‘other weblogs like mine.’” (I don’t connect with this portrayal of the blogroll sidebar AT ALL! To me, it’s a chance to advertise my favorites - the tultywits. Admitting this is terrible - because it may hurt someone’s feelings that they’re not on my list. That’s the hard part of the tradeoff. But what can I do - I need these on my list to survive. Go focus on your list, make it good - and just don’t put me on there, I’m fine.)

p. 103. (wrt the word ‘attack’) “I don’t mean a respectful disagreement with her opinion on U.S. foreign policy; I’m talking about outright attacks that seem grounded in a personal dislike for the victim.” (Is an ‘attack’ an ad hominem argument? Is it using a derogative name? To accuse someone of an ‘attack’ - is that also an ‘attack’? It’s strange to live in a society where now I hear all the time in personal conversations with friends or neighbors: ‘[Person] attacked me on social media.’ Part of the trouble is knowing whether I can affix those intentions of ‘personal dislike’ to the other person. I get that this is unsolvable - part of my point is that we’re too wrapped up in conflict. People seem to collect it, categorize it and make rules around it, as if it were the loveliest game in the whole world.)

p. 104. “Again, I’m not counseling against thoughtful criticism of another weblogger’s political opinions or her editorial stance on the proliferation of trees with fuzzy pink flowers in her part of town. A public site invites scrutiny. Most people who offer opinions about current events are interested in, or at least not offended by, a respectful dissenting view.” (This is a perfectly rational view. But I try to stay away from criticizing someone publicly. I hope none of my thoughts here are perceived as looking down on Rebecca Blood or rejecting her work. I think this is a fantastic book - that’s why I’m talking about it. These are rough notes where I’m just using her statements as a springboard. I am probably wrong, up and down, left and right.)

p. 105. “My policy on dealing with weblog flamewars is simple: Ignore them.” (I get this. But this often feels like high-horsing. It feels arrogant to just ignore something completely. I think it’s fine to just say: ‘This hurts my feelings’ or ‘I’m not in a good state to reply to this’. People also seem to demand apologies and have become experts at dissecting apologies, as if you can get to the truth of something so subjective and surface-level. So silence doesn’t really cut it in many situations anyway.)

p. 134. “I focus my weblog on the ideas I find interesting, not on myself.” (Wonder about the PSM take on this.)

p. 144. “I don’t know if the ex-webloggers miss their weblogs. I don’t know if they ever wish they still had their little spot on the Web, a place to share stories, tell a few jokes, learn a little HTML. I think that I would miss those things, but I wonder if that might someday change.” (Would be interesting to ask Rebecca about this.)

p. 148. “Those first webloggers soon discovered a community of parallel sites that called themselves E/N pages (for ‘everything/nothing,’ a description of their subject mater). Though they used the same format (dated entries, newest at the top), their focus and sensibility was completely divergent from that of the emerging weblog community. Members of both communities agreed that though the format was identical, the sites, some how, were different.” (Hah, wow!! I missed this one. See here. Then here. I love how low the ratings are on these. I do think this is closer to what the Web has turned into, rather than blogging. Really appreciate that Rebecca pointed this out!)

Study of E/N pages also led me to Scott Rosenberg’s Say Everything book. Here is an essay with some of the basics. To review later I suppose.

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PLUNDER THE ARCHIVES

This page is also at kickscofbk2xcp5g.onion and on dat://.

MOVING ALONG LET'S SEE MY FAVORITE PLACES I NO LONGER LINK TO ANYTHING THATS VERY FAMOUS

philosopher.life, the 'wiki'/'avatar'/'life' of h0p3. serious rabbithole. k0sh3k. j3d1h. luxb0x.

nathalie lawhead of so many good things, where does one begin. T, U, I.

waxy is back at it!

surfpals: nadia eghbal, subpixel.space (toby), things by j, gyford, also joe jenett (of linkport), brad enslen (of indieseek), 'web curios' at imperica.

an eye on: ᛝ ᛝ ᛝ — lucid. consummate waifuist chameleon. jacky.wtf, fogknife, tiv.today, j.greg, box vox, whimsy.space, caesar naples.

indieweb: .xyz, eli, c.rwr, boffosocko.

nostalgia: geocities.institute, bad cmd, ~jonbell.

true hackers: ccc.de, fffff.at, voja antonić, cnlohr, esoteric.codes.

chips: zeptobars, scargill, 41j.

dwm, julia, tridactyl these are things you'll want on linux.

neil c very famous but should be a world icon.

the world or cate le bon you pick.

sammyclassicsonicfan the original teen rage adventure.

innovation.isotropic.org probly the best carl chudyk game.

and opinionated gamers for non-chudyk game analysis.

my twitter. my github. minor things.