Effective November 11, 2019, posts from each of my various webthings are also being syndicated here at the i.webthings hub. For those of you who follow one or more of the webthings regularly – first of all, thank you! Secondly, you can now keep up with all of the webthings here in one place, whether you visit the blog or subscribe to its feed. Hoping you find the change useful – again, thanks for visiting. Enjoy!

(also posted to indieweb.xyz/en/linking)

It’s obvious you can find anything you’re looking for on the web. There are plenty of sites linking to commercial and professional sites and blogs featuring book reviews with affiliate links. It’s easy to find links to ad-infested news, novelty, and technology-related destinations on the web, and sites using intrusive overlays and slide-outs. All these sites can be useful when that’s what you’re looking for.

but there’s an alternative

What if you just want to explore people and ideas without being distracted by attempts to sell you something or annoying you with intrusive advertising and promotion?

That’s why I created dailywebthing daily pointers back in 2000. I like to think I’m providing a means to explore the web of atypical people and ideas without all the noise. That’s why I link.

(also posted to indieweb.xyz/en/linking)

(also posted to indieweb.xyz/en/linking)

This morning as I’m catching up on that linking thing I do, the words of a certain cool curator grab my attention. It’s a stream of consciousness kind of thing (I really enjoy) that urges me to visit the linked site. As I enter the site, its style/flavor immediately reminds me of another site I consider to be a classic.

My mind’s in fun mode now and I start exploring Kicks’ linked site. The first thing I encounter is a piece a for piano and violin created by the site’s author, Luming Hao. It’s different – eerie and engaging. Nice. Then I explore the song that inspired the piece, a freeform head-banger that’s most listenable. I’m smiling now, thinking how thankful I am when the surf leads to magical things.

Inspiring!

I’m tickled to announce that i.webthings has been migrated to i.webthings hub at hub.iwebthings.com. All old permalinks and page links are redirecting accurately and comments/webmentions were carried over to their respective posts at the new location. As a result of the migration, it’s now possible to follow i.webthings on Mastodon.

To follow i.webthings from your Mastodon client, search for @hub.iwebthings.com and follow:

@hub.iwebthings.com@hub.iwebthings.com

If you already follow us by RSS, the old RSS feed redirects to the new feed.

Thanks for following i.webthings.

I’m pleased to announce the dailywebthing linkport and dailywebthing daily pointers are now available on the Fediverse. It’s easy to follow either (or both) of these linkblogs from your Mastodon client.

To follow the linkport, search for @the.dailywebthing in your client’s search form and follow:

@the.dailywebthing.com@the.dailywebthing.com

Note: @admin@the.dailywebthing.com is a remnant of previous testing and will no longer be updated.

To follow the daily pointers, search for @pointers.dailywebthing in your client’s search form and follow:

@pointers.dailywebthing.com@pointers.dailywebthing.com

Enjoy!

(also posted to /en/indieweb)

Learned a bit about ActivityPub and Bridgy Fed from Chris Aldrich’s response to Kicks’ link with comments to my last post. After having completed some testing over the last few days, I’m pleased to say it looks like I would be able to give visitors of the dailywebthing linkport and dwt daily pointers an easy way to follow those sites from Mastodon, etc. if I ultimately decide to add it as a permanent feature.

The key is being able to make my sites “act as stand-alone members of the Fediverse” instead of having to use a public Mastodon instance for posting (or cross-posting). My linkblogs use a different theme than my personal blogs and required using Bridgy Fed (the personal blogs work using ActivityPub only).

I do tend to agree with Kicks’ comments as to how some public instances may have “a somewhat narrow view of what’s ‘relevant.’ In my case, that seemed to be a factor.

Thanks Kicks for your comments and Chris for your helpful response.

i.webthings is a subset of jenett.webthings, an independent web and networking initiative. Two of its projects, the dailywebthing linkport and dailywebthing daily pointers, born of my long-term appreciation of the potential of hypertext and the medium, have similar motivations behind them. I've been curating and sharing links online since 1997 and have continually done so because I enjoy doing it so much and get to help others discover new things in the process. The linkport and daily pointers are in my blood.

more important now than ever

Last Fall, my enthusiasm for what I do on the web was somewhat rejuvenated, sparked by initiatives like Micro.blog and the IndieWeb and by people like Brad Enslen whose human-edited web directory appeals to me and Kicks Condor who provided helpful feedback to something I wrote in December as part of an ongoing conversation between us (I also like his directory btw). Both of these guys made me more aware of the concept of human-curated links, new ways to find them, and the benefits of new tools (webmentions, etc.) we now have at our disposal. They've inspired me big time. Thanks Brad and Kicks.

learning some other things

I recently learned one needs to be careful when cross-posting to social networks, particularly when one has two linkblogs that update every day set to automatically cross-post to a single social media account. After only 2 days and having cross-posted from each linkblog once each day to my new i.webthings account on Mastodon, I received a message from the instance admin:

Your account was reported for spam, which is against our Code of Conduct. I have silenced your account (people can still follow you but you won’t show up in the local/federated timelines). Let me know what I can clarify, have a good day.

Nothing like this to curb one's enthusiasm! After a total of 4 cross-posts in 2 days, my mission to share links was somehow mistaken for advertising or excessive promotion or they thought i.webthings is a bot. That's about all I can glean from said Code of Conduct.

I'm probably more sensitive to spam, advertising, and self-promotion than most people and regret I didn't foresee this happening considering my linkblogs are updated daily. It never dawned on me that someone might mistake my promotion of others' sites to be self-promotion. Oh well.

I didn't care to argue the point with anyone and decided to simply delete the account and move forward with what I learned and modified my plans accordingly. I don't like it but I do get it.

When it comes to what I do on the web, the positives have always outweighed the negatives. That's why I'm still here and remain even more determined and committed to my mission.

Carry on.

Update 02/07/19: Revisions below reflect changes made due to recently received feedback.

I’ve pretty much finished the first stage of upgrading the five sites which I consider part of the i.webthings family. These are the most active and regularly updated sites among those I’ve built.

The project involved migrating the sites from an outdated ‘legacy’ version of moveabletype to WordPress, which allowed for easier addition of indieweb functionality and a different design approach, which I rather enjoy.

sites in the family

As noted above, the first three sites in the list are associated with @iwebthings while the last two are associated with @joejenett. If I’ve done things right, all posts from these five sites will cross-post automatically to their respective twitter accounts, and should receive webmentions from the twitter platform as well starting tomorrow.–> Occasionally, posts from these sites may be cross-posted to twitter.

Though I said I’ve completed this stage, I have to admit I’ll still be watching and fixing things that may go awry. For now, let’s see how it goes. I hope you enjoy these new ways of following and interacting with the i.webthings family. The future is certainly now.

(previously syndicated to IndieNews)

I could have called this the good, the bad, and the ugly but since that’s a little cliché and already taken, I’ll stick with adventures. I do this thing daily and every session brings both joy and annoyance and in between those two extremes are things that simply provoke thought and wonder. So here we go with a few things encountered just this morning…

good: obscure little gem

A blog with a single post from 2013 features a delightful music video from 2010 and though many of the links on the page are broken, I’d be a fool not to share it somewhere so enjoy!

bad: what were they thinking

There’s something I encounter now and then that’s more comical than it is annoying and I can’t help but question what the site designer was thinking when they decided to put all the important links in the footer. While that, in itself, is not really a problem, the site in question also keeps adding content at the bottom as you scroll down.It does so over and over again leaving you to wonder just how long you’re going to have to keep scrolling before you finally have a chance to click on that Privacy link you keep seeing for a tenth of a second in the footer. It’s a usability nightmare, thank you very much and as funny as it is, I just don’t wanna play no more.

ugly: you won’t slap me again

You’ve seen it and it’s a most disturbing trend. You land on a site’s homepage for the first time and a big box is overlaid on the page. They want you to sign up for their oh-so-important newsletter and decided that getting your attention is so critical that they’ll make you have to take some action (sign up or close the overlay) to get to the content. To me, that’s a fucking slap in the face and I am so gone!

Toot toot.

(prior discussion)

When I launched the daily pointers back in 2000, every day brought an assortment of new personal (and other non-commercial) sites onto the web. Since that time, the number of sites going offline or stagnant has increased drastically while the number of new sites has similarly decreased. Needless to say, the original mission of the project has morphed into something quite different over time.

‘personal’ sites?

Links that aren‘t filtered in some way have limited value in my opinion. My choices to link to particular sites, simply put, are based on certain subjective criteria. You may choose to visit entirely different sites if your criteria are different and in that case, the usefulness of my links is probably quite limited to you. The world would be a boring place if we all liked exactly the same things and I realize that just few people might appreciate my pointers. It’s for those few people and myself that I even make the effort. My general criteria when I think of a ‘personal’ site include the following:

  • The content is not commercial nor motivated by financial gain (though not necessarily personal content).
  • Site is free of advertising and/or unexpected annoyances.
  • Site is new or updates periodically or at least, has creative content worthy of a revisit.

Again, I should emphasize that this is all subjective. I never link to sites that I myself do not enjoy and in the cases where it matches for you, that’s great, and in any case, I’m always thankful for the diversity in thought and tastes in the world.

how the mission has changed

In the beginning, it was relatively easy to find many new sites and that was the project’s main focus. Relinking to sites was generally infrequent back then. Over time, the main focus has more become tracking which already-linked sites are still alive and updating while still keeping an eye open for new sites (which frankly, have become more difficult to find). This results in many cases of relinking to sites based on just how alive they still are.

why bother?

I do this for me. Keeping track of that part of the personal web which is still alive and thriving is both enjoyable and meaningful to me and should you derive a little enjoyment is the process, just color me tickled.