The Internet Websites

Making the IndieWeb more approachable

Replied to IndieWebCamp Popup: How to Make the IndieWeb More Approachable (

The IndieWeb community welcomes anyone who is interested in expressing themselves on a personal website, regardless of technical experience. In this meetup, we will be asking the question “how can we make the IndieWeb more approachable to encourage greater participation and reach a wider audience?”

My notes and thoughts from today’s discussion about making the IndieWeb more approachable:

What’s working for the IndieWeb?

  • the community — chat allows direct connection with people to help
  • the wiki is a massive wealth of knowledge — if you know what you’re looking for

What are blockers to joining the IndieWeb?

  • Overwhelming amount of information on the wiki
  • Getting started — decision making
  • Sparklines — setting them up is hard
  • Perception of who it’s for — that it’s for tech people

Choice underpins many challenges

Choice is at the core of the IndieWeb approachability and accessibility challenge:

  • choice overwhelm
  • lack of documentation to understand what pieces do and what pieces you need
  • understanding what IndieWeb *is*
  • choosing which steps to undertake
Romance Society Writing

Romance and Apocalypse

Watched Kit Rocha Dance with the Devil Virtual Event from

Tune in to our Live Stream Virtual Event with Kit Rocha to celebrate their third Mercenary Librarians novel, Dance with the Devil. They will be in conversation with Alyssa Cole and Courtney Milan to chat about all things romance!

  • Community after the apocalypse — tool libraries, community gardens
  • It’s about not waiting for permission, but seeing what is needed and doing something that will help — like these authors organized Romancing the Vote to raise money for Fair Fight in like 12 hours
  • Hope isn’t lame — why are we all so scared we’ll be made fun of for thinking something good might happen?
  • Preppers have no long-term plan — need community, can’t just stay in your commune
  • Historical fiction actually isn’t that much more research than other genres
  • A lot of dystopias never actually consider food production and logistics — food (especially tasty food) becomes leverage / power
  • Our current food systems and supply lines are not resilient — need to grow a variety of crops as a community because no one has room to grow enough of everything
  • Interesting when writing mirrors real life — writing dystopia during dystopia sucks 😂 — Alyssa was getting dx’d with ADHD at the same time (unintentionally) she was writing A Duke by Default with an ADHD lead
  • Themes arise organically during writing… maybe before you’re ready to process a problem but getting started will work their way into the book
Learning Reflection The Internet Websites

Gardens and Streams II: Notes and Thoughts

Replied to Gardens and Streams II (

We’ll discuss and brainstorm ideas related to wikis, commonplace books, digital gardens, zettelkasten, and note taking on personal websites and how they might interoperate or communicate with each other. This can include IndieWeb building blocks, user interfaces, functionalities, and everyones’ deas surrounding these. Bring your thoughts, ideas, and let’s discuss and build.

RSVP maybe

So glad I could make it to this IndieWeb popup! Interesting to hear other viewpoints and talk things through.

Value of Digital Gardening

Alasdair posed an interesting question: what has digital gardening brought you?

He shared that writing in public makes his thinking more coherent, and pushes him to think better. I totally agree. Trying to explain what struck me about an article to think it was worth saving, or what I want my future self to get out of it as I decide on tags and categories, adds a layer to my reading, and probably helps me remember the idea better.

I’ve also noticed a change in what I decide to read — I feel like I can tell earlier in an article that it’s not going to be anything that will spark a new thought, when I’m just reading something to reinforce what I already think and make myself feel good. I’ve tweaked the blogs and newsletters I follow over the past year to adjust the input coming in, which determines what I’m likely to read or not. I’m trying to be more honest with myself about what I want to read versus feel like I should read (looking at you, all those articles I send to my Pocket purgatory). Lately I’ve been reflecting on the volume of other material I consume versus what I create, but I’ll save that thread for its own post.

What Comes After Notes?

Ha, I wasn’t expecting to facilitate a session but I thought it was a fruitful conversation! I proposed this topic somewhat selfishly as I’ve noticed a drop-off in my writing longer articles synthesizing many articles since starting this digital garden. I think it’s valuable to add some initial thinking and reflection when I bookmark an article or finish reading a book, but haven’t yet figured out a process for revisiting recent notes to find connections and turn that into longer or more complex thought.

Someone suggested looking for themes once you’ve amassed a bunch of notes. Maybe that could be part of a personal quarterly or annual review process?

Decision points for a digital garden:

  • Is it more helpful to refine one document on a particular subject (“living notes”), or add a new article each time you revisit the subject / idea? When is it valuable to save your progression of thought and learning?
  • How to indicate the level of thinking (e.g. seedling vs. evergreen)?

A mention of “old growth” struck me, I think not quite in its original context, but in thinking about the rich complexity of an end-stage ecosystem, all parts interconnected and interdependent. It would take quite a while (and a lot of tending) for a digital garden to reach that level. I envision the trees as the pillars of thought and ideology that have been refined and cemented through much thought and research. Sometimes gaps open up in the forest, paradigm-altering ideas wiping swaths back to earlier stages of succession and growth. Old growth feels apropos as a metaphor for a healthy, mature digital garden.

Note to self: mind garden is the first term I came across for this type of note-taking, but perhaps in the way I use this site, it would be more accurate to think of it as a commonplace book?

Someone pointed out that repeating yourself is inevitable — and that it’s helpful. I like the thought of returning again and again to ideas to see how our thinking has evolved. The question is, how? What’s the process?

Chris shared a pattern he often uses at the initial stages of note-taking, starting with quick note-taking in a private or semi-private format, then after a bit of time polishing it and refining it into a public post.

For future thought:

  • How to manage the volume of material we amass in an ever expanding digital garden or commonplace book?
  • Is old information still relevant and worth maintaining? What’s the process for cleaning out outdated information, or noting older stages of thought that you might no longer agree with?

A Network of Digital Gardens

Angelo shared a kernel to start this session: what if you could create personalized search engines based on the websites of people you know (and potentially one or two levels further out)? Rather than searching the whole web, you could search the knowledge of your (extended) network, getting their takes rather than some rando’s who turns up in a Google search 😉 Potentially, you could also use someone else’s search engine who you trusted.

Actual human connection seemed key to this type of personalized search. Google is too big to be useful for much information. A memex of the world’s knowledge — an Encyclopedia Galactica if you will — is not actually that useful in itself. Context and localization and trust adds real value — and that’s probably not something Google will ever be able to incorporate. (Things like, did this person actually read this book they reviewed? Did they actually go to the restaurant they recommended?) Maybe that’s what they eventually envisioned doing with their dead social network…? Google relies on watching your habits but it doesn’t understand why you’re looking for what you’re looking for. You might be looking for a gift for a friend, doing research for a project, trying to learn other perspectives — they filter all data through the lens of capitalism and how they can sell you more things. That’s no replacement for human connection, or expertise a person has that could help you leap to things you didn’t know to look for.

There are benefits to searching someone’s website over following their feed, especially for a digital garden / commonplace book that has a huge range and volume of information that may not be useful as it comes — but would be useful when you need it.

Music Travel

Just Like Heaven Fest

Bookmarked Just Like Heaven | May 21, 2022 (

Just Like Heaven is a music festival featuring your favorite era-defining indie artists from the 2000s that will take place on the rolling green hills of Brookside at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

What are the odds a festival next spring will go on? Because I’m tempted to go to LA for this one… Modest Mouse, Franz Ferdinand, Wolf Parade playing Apologies to the Queen Mary, and Islands all at one show??? 😍 Wouldn’t mind seeing Bloc Party and Cut Copy too.