Categories
Meta The Internet Websites Writing

A decentered argument as website

This whole website nicely complements what I was contemplating recently about blogs.

Some relevant pages:

The bookness of books

Toward a nonlinear essay

You won’t find an instruction manual for writing a nonlinear essay in any of the pieces in this collection. And you won’t find a full argument for writing differently in any single piece, either. But my hope is that both of those things will arise out of the whole collection.

On the virtues of hypertext

In other words, the links matter more than the text.

Brown contrasts the glories of the hypertext web with the relative order of the the social media feed. The feed corrals the unkempt wildness of the web and organizes it all into a nice little stream, filtering out all the noise…

Categories
Culture Meta Music

The sounds we like

Liked Lubricated social networks, great action movies that work without sound, and other pressing questions by Max Read (Read Max)

Reader Stephen writes:
“My conclusion is music made by 20-year-olds currently comes from a different cultural context I am no longer connected to, so it doesn’t resonate unless it sounds like something I already like (i.e. a garage rock band like Dehd). I can’t imagine getting into, like, hyperpop, but, again, I think it’s because it is responding to social and cultural phenomena I am simply not a part of.”

Max answers:

I think you have to think about it dialectically: it’s not just that cool young people who make cool unlistenable music are emerging out of a different context and responding to different cultural prompts than you (or me), it’s also that they are, to various levels of explicit intent, making music that you (and me) specifically will not like, so they will not be exposed to you (and me) and our fatally wack existences in their cool physical/ digital/ mind spaces. The hidden wholeness here is that by the fact of not “getting” the music we are participants in making it good and cool.

Haha, I appreciate when others share my weird fear of getting stuck listening to the same thing, this take is a kind thought 😂

I’m totally fine with aging (really life is getting better) and dgaf (probably actively avoid) what’s “cool.” What I do fear is becoming fixed and not giving new things a chance. (Frankly, this is not something I need to worry about 😉)

But maybe this is something to consider: when are you satisfied in your identity and preferences and can just settle deeper into them?

Is my love of newness culturally-acquired or personal? Does it disguise doubt or dissatisfaction with my tastes, an unknowing or resistance of the self? Is the quest for more music simply a reflection of our culture’s endless consumption, channeled to a medium I care about rather than material goods? Or is it a product of my changing in other ways: that my tastes are ever-shifting and need to be constantly re-found and re-formed through new sounds? Is it habitual or truly preferential? Does it not mean anything? Dunno but it’s interesting to consider, especially for a medium as visceral as music.

I have claimed exploration as part of my identity, but sometimes it’s tiring to always be taking in more information. I’m curious what it would look like to maintain a philosophy of openness without putting so much energy into seeking newness.

Categories
Meta The Internet Websites

Understanding blogs

As we in the IndieWeb promote personal websites and encourage more people to write and publish online, and nostalgia for blogs and RSS is high, it’s useful to hone in on what exactly we’re talking about when we say blog.* Because, despite being a form of writing for more than 20 years, blogging is surprisingly hard to pin down.**

There are just a few truly defining characteristics of a blog:

  • Content is published in the form of posts, typically presented in reverse chronological order
  • Content is posted on a website, online, with hypertextual capabilities
  • Blogs are “self-published,” regardless of hosting platform, in that there is no gatekeeper authorizing publication

And yet, I think what makes a blog a blog is more than these technicalities; what makes a book a book is not merely “prose text, more than 50,000 words in length, on a single thesis or theme, collected in a single volume.” Printing off a long blog and binding it together does not necessarily a book make; for one, books are weighted towards linear reading — start to finish — while blog posts do not have to be read in the order they were originally published.

There are elements of bookness that make us say, this is a book. So what is blogness? From one of the many ‘yay let’s blog again’ posts everyone’s blogging about right now (which I enjoy), I wound up on a 2003 post trying to define what a blog is — but it addresses mainly the technical elements and the structure of the content. Blogging as a medium evolved out of the combination of technology and tools used; here, I’m interested in digging into how the writing and format are different from other mediums.

I’m a fan of graphic novels, and consider them a different medium than prose books; it pisses me off that graphic novels and graphic non-fiction are shelved with the comic strips at my library under 741.5. So I wonder: are blogs a distinct enough format to be their own top-level medium, or are they simply a hypertextual version of essay collections or newspapers?*** Where would you shelve blogs in the library: do they get mixed in with the books by topic, do they get their own call number as graphic novels do, are they thrown in with the periodicals, or do they go in their own section? @DavidShanske I’m sure you have an opinion here 😉

Categories
Meta Websites

How to add sidenotes to my website

Bookmarked Making semantic sidenotes without JavaScript (Koos Looijesteijn)

Sidenotes can make a plain text richer. Here’s how you can implement them with HTML and CSS alone.

It was surprisingly difficult to find info about implementing sidenotes rather than endnotes. This page lists a lot more implementation options.

Categories
Meta Personal Growth Resources and Reference

Template spreadsheet for tracking reading diversity

Bookmarked Introducing the 2023 Reading Log! (bookriot.com)

The 2023 reading log is here! It can help you track your reading stats and generate infographics to help you achieve your reading goals.

👀 This could be handy for tracking my reading.

Categories
Getting Shit Done Meta Technology

Use different tools for creation and consumption

Replied to

I just realized I have mostly  migrated consumption to my phone somewhat unintentionally — but because I read articles on my phone I also tend to compose my commentary on the phone as well, even though typing on my phone sucks 😂 The editor is also hard to use on my phone, and cutting and pasting doesn’t work correctly, so I edit less than I might on desktop. On my phone, I can only see about two sentences at a time, making it harder to write longer form work.

How much does the tool shape what content people produce? Considering many people no longer have desktops and solely use phones for computing, does lacking a PC deter them from writing? How much of the shift to video is because it’s simpler to film than type on phones? How much is the rise of microblogging and descent of blogging tied to smartphones?

Categories
Meta Reflection

2022 Year-End Reading Review

What I Read in 2022

I read 212 books in 2022, compared with 175 in 2021.

2022 Reads by Type

  • 122 novels
  • 32 novellas
  • 39 non-fiction books
  • 7 graphic non-fiction books
  • 12 graphic novels and art books

2022 Fiction by Genre

Of the 154 novels and novellas I read, here’s the breakdown by genre:

  • 141 romance
    • 27 contemporary romance
    • 53 sci-fi romance
    • 23 fantasy + paranormal romance
    • 38 historical romance
    • 5 I missed when I counted and I’m not doing it again
  • 2 sci-fi
  • 6 fantasy
Categories
Meta Music Websites

How I re-created my Spotify playlists on my website

I created a list of my annual birthday playlists since 2002.

For this process, I used a third party program to extract the data, Excel to format it, and CSS to style it. I’m assuming you’ve used formulas in Excel before so you can plug in the appropriate cells, and have written simple HTML and CSS.

Getting the data

  1. I used Exportify to download a .csv file of all my Spotify playlists.
  2. Columns included that I used in this process:
    • Track Name,
    • Artist Name,
    • Album Release Date,
    • Album Name,
    • Album Image URL

Track list

I used the CONCATENATE function in Excel to compile the HTML list to paste into WordPress. You could do this all in one step; I did it in multiple steps so I could experiment with showing different things, and so the cell didn’t get crazy long.

  1. I created a column with the link to the track:
    =CONCATENATE("<span class=",CHAR(34),"h-cite track",CHAR(34),"><span class=",CHAR(34),"p-name tracktitle",CHAR(34),">",[CELL WITH SONG TITLE],"</span> by <span class=",CHAR(34),"p-author artist bandname",CHAR(34),">",[CELL WITH ARTIST NAME],"</span></span>")
  2. I created another column that created the list item that I could paste into WordPress:
    =CONCATENATE("<li>",B2,"</li>")

To keep the page from being super long, I added the track list to the page using the <details> property, which allows it to be clicked on and expanded. Then I used CSS to style “details > summary” to look like a link so people know to expand it.

Adding Microformats

I also included (experimental) microformats based on what I use for my books. Microformats allow other programs to correctly interpret specific types of data, such as a book or (in this case) song citation. No program currently reads microformatted playlists, but I figured better to do it now than wish I had done it later 😉 Once it’s done, the odds I’d go back and update it are low. I picked my own microformats because there is no accepted standard.

The microformats I used were:

  • For the whole listing: “h-cite track”
  • For the track name: “p-name tracktitle”
  • For the artist name: “p-author artist bandname”

Apparently only the h- and p- values will actually be parsed so you could omit the other values.

Because microformats are added as classes, it also gives you an opportunity to style specific parts of the text. I chose to style the track title.

Year data

  1. I extracted the year data from their format by adding a column with this formula:
    =TEXT(I2,"YYYY")
  2. I calculated the number of songs per year by using COUNTIF:
    =COUNTIF(J$2:J$23,I25)
    where J2 through J23 contains the year data (created in step one), and I25 is a cell with the year in plain text. Adding the $ signs in the source data range is important so you can drag the formula down without it also shifting the source cells.

Graph by year

I followed this tutorial to create a stacked bar graph. Because I wanted multiple graphs on a page, I substituted class instead of id. I also used inline CSS for the grid display properties so I could define a different fractional breakdown for each graph.

Album art

The data included a link to the album art hosted by Spotify’s CDN. I created a column that created the image link with alt text:
=CONCATENATE("<img src=",CHAR(34),[CELL WITH ALBUM ART URL],CHAR(34)," width=",CHAR(34),"50px",CHAR(34)," alt=",CHAR(34),[CELL WITH ALBUM NAME]," by ",[CELL WITH ARTIST NAME],CHAR(34)," />")

Categories
Meta

Classify WordPress tags with term meta data

Bookmarked Introducing Term Meta Data In WordPress And How To Use Them — Smashing Magazine (Smashing Magazine)

WordPress 4.4 introduced **term meta data** which allows you to save meta values for terms in a similar way to post meta data. This is a highly anticipated and logical addition to the WordPress system.
So far, the post and comment meta systems allowed us to add arbitrary data to posts and comments. This can be used to add ratings to comments, indicate your mood while you were writing a post, attach prices to product posts, and various other information you think is relevant to your content. As of the newest version of WordPress, **meta data can now be added to terms** which allows us to create features like default category thumbnails in a standardized way. This tutorial will show you how you can edit, update and retrieve these meta data for terms.

I add author as a tag to all my book reviews, and would like a way to see all the author tags in one spot. Adding term meta data to the tags sounds like a way to do that.

Added 12/8: David clarified that what I really need is a new taxonomy, so that author name would have its own field instead of being a tag. Then I could add term meta data to that taxonomy if I wanted to track, say, BIPOC or queer authors. Thanks David!

Categories
Learning Meta

Building maps of notes helps synthesize ideas

Liked Maps of Content (notes.linkingyourthinking.com)

Whenever you start to feel that tickle of overwhelm (Mental Squeeze Point), that’s when you need to become a cartographer of your own content and create a new MOC.

MOCs are nondestructive, non-restrictive, non-limiting perspectives… MOCs are “overlays” that add relevant information but that don’t affect your base level notes.

I like the framing of making a map of thoughts and notes. I’ve been feeling like I want another way to organize and collect information, this might be one way to think about it.