Crawling the IndieWeb
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james g on programming being like cooking
There's a lot in this metaphor that seems valuable! Cf. ["homebrew"](https://www.dndbeyond.com/homebrew/feats) in tabletop role-playing games. Best practices in a commercial kitchen will differ from those in a condo kitchen. Some things are only worth the effort to make in a large quantity, which can mean not at all at home. At the same time, no restaurant would care enough to make a picky-eater loved-one of yours their masala chai specifically without cinnamon, or something. [Tools that wouldn't make sense in a space-strapped restaurant kitchen may be okay if you've got suburban-size cabinets.](https://lifehacker.com/garlic-presses-are-fine-actually-1846913514) What is the bash script of the kitchen? What is the Trader Joe's pre-chopped mirepoix of code?


jacob hall is continuing kicks condor's work on whostyles!
h/t kicks condor Okay I'm like one of the probably-fewer-than-ten people in the world with a [defined whostyle](https://maya.land/assets/whostyle.css), so *obviously* I'm psyched by this. Having a list of people (defined by h-cards) and an offline tool to traverse their sites, grab the whostyles, sanitize the CSS, rescope the selectors, and repackage for your own site seems like a totally valid approach to me. That way the sanitizing could improve over time without having to respec inter-site dynamic inclusion. If you wanted to be properly agnostic about it, I'm sure you could make something like a Jekyll plugin to handle specifying the origin of the blockquote and kicking off finding the h-card and doing the style pull for that within a static build.

I've been using a self-hosted webmentiond on my own site for about a month and a half, and I've loved the experience so I thought I'd share. Deploying is easy; it's just a single statically-linked binary and an assets directory for the web UI.

Sometimes I think that the way people talk about webmentions (even [me](https://webmentions.neocities.org)) is far too limited. The protocol itself is *incredibly* flexible. Why should it be that we limit ourselves to reinventing 1. Comments sections, or 2. Twitter? Especially when those two things can be more elegantly done (even in a distributed manner) with *less* flexible solutions. **What are other fun/weird things you could do with webmentions?** His point on Javascript I'm not entirely in agreement with. For one, [webmention.io is fully self-hostable](https://github.com/aaronpk/webmention.io) so having a static site with webmention content provided at runtime isn't at all bound to someone's ability to provide a service for free (I use [webmentiond](https://github.com/zerok/webmentiond) for this). For another, this sounds like something a caching layer was designed to solve if anyone's site hits Scale. Add to this that runtime fetching of other people's PII is arguably superior, as [this](https://evgenykuznetsov.org/en/posts/2020/indieweb-glue/) gets into a little. And finally, I don't think that displayed webmentions are something that necessarily *should* be machine-parsed. My content is marked up with [mf2](http://microformats.org/wiki/microformats2) because I want to make it easy for people to parse and consume my content. I don't own the content I'm displaying as replies; even if there's an etiquette about excerpting for comments-section-type-usage, why should I be exposing it for even-more-indirect consumption?

This resonated with me. > Just like a living system, they eventually die, and that's the natural order of things. In spite of being a digital system. Something that from a technical perspective is immortal. Quite simply, our sites are us, and like us, they come to an end. This is a lot easier for me to understand since working at a big company. Even if you made something beautiful and perfect, the earth under it will shift, and it will need to change. Tools and architectural choices that were optimal at the time will be supplanted by better options that could simplify the thing. There is no [Buy It For Life](https://www.reddit.com/r/BuyItForLife/) when you're part of a living system. And speaking of that... > It's also worth remembering that even though a domain is purchased, it's really only rented from the registrar. The [Indieweb stuff](https://indieweb.org/personal-domain) demands a personal domain as step 0. > A personal domain is a domain name that you personally own, control, and use to represent yourself on the internet. Given that most people on the Indieweb space are tech people, I get that the fees don't seem like a big deal. Having been a non-tech person before I became a tech person, I also remember how they're... not. In some sense, even if I want to think of the web as permanent, committing to a beautiful File Structure is just more investment into something that I *don't* own and that I can only *temporarily* control. And what of the barrier to entry? Do you really want to explain to someone you're trying to get to leave corporate social media that they have to Commit to Maintain their Personal Data Infrastructure Forever? Maybe we should fuss less about domain names. Yeah, Neocities could go down and break all the `blah.neocities.org` links, but I could just as well lose the financial resources that allow me to painlessly rent domains. Maybe we should fuss less about neat structures. Linkrot is painful, but you've got to give people room to get things wrong without carrying an albatross of 301s around their neck for all eternity. Questions of archival remain paramount, but they always were.

james tomasino on comments
You know, sometimes Indieweb people say "this is a case for webmentions!" when I'm... not really sure it's a case for webmentions. But this? This is 100% a case for webmentions. When I post something on my website, [brid.gy](https://brid.gy) syncs it over to [Mastodon](https://occult.institute/@maya) as well. Then when someone responds, that gets formatted as a webmention, as [here](https://maya.land/responses/2020/12/28/an-intrepid-investigation-into-the-bucatini-shortage-of.html). But if someone wants, they can use a webmention to put their reply to [something](https://maya.land/monologues/2020/11/12/external-link-icon-with-css.html) right on their [own site](https://www.lander.blue/wiki/2020-11-19_20h00) (hi matt hope it's okay to use this as an example). The webmention acts as a programmatic notification about it, so I can decide whether or not to link/excerpt on my page and my [webmention software](https://github.com/zerok/webmentiond/) handles the paperwork. It's like > [authoring] your own post and [emailing] her to notify her of your thoughts, giving her the ability to add a link to the follow-up discussion. but made easy.

let a webmention and websub enabled site interact with activitypub
This is so cool! This is *so cool*!! At this moment I don't think this exactly matches up with what I want for [my life on Mastodon](https://occult.institute/@maya/) but if I'm brave enough I might try and see what would be necessary to get stuff to show up on Lemmy? Except I'm not [WebSub enabled](https://indieweb.org/WebSub) and I'm not 100% sure what the other value of that would be... Maybe though? [Here's the GitHub](https://github.com/snarfed/bridgy-fed), nice friendly Python3 that won't bite. I've been thinking about IndieAuth and Lemmy too since [Chris Aldrich posted about Lemmy](https://boffosocko.com/2020/12/02/lemmy-a-clever-looking-link-conversation-hub/) and referenced [a very neat video about auth mechanisms](https://conf.tube/videos/watch/32351956-89d7-4887-b6b0-f1a32f91dc36), which are a topic I *never* thought I'd care about. In some ways, I'm probably not properly aligned with the [Indieweb ethos](https://indieweb.org/). I love federated models, and my imagined Web utopia is a less [siloed](https://indieweb.org/silo) world that maintains a combination of interoperating multi-user and single-user applications and sites. Servers that someone else administrates will always have the lowest barriers to entry. Self-run sites will always have the most freedom to be weird and singular and expressive. So how do you make it possible for everyone to play nicely together? ActivityPub seems to me to have gotten some things really right in enabling people to do really cool things in a federated way. I genuinely enjoy my self-hosted Mastodon server about as much as Twitter, and Twitter is a company with like four thousand employees. That's amazing! We should never lose sight of how amazing that is. Compare Reddit and Lemmy and I only miss [some](https://www.reddit.com/r/MakeupAddiction/) [of](https://www.reddit.com/r/halloween/) [the](https://www.reddit.com/r/astrology/) [groups](https://www.reddit.com/r/askwomenover30) [of users](https://www.reddit.com/r/rarepuppers/comments/k6h247/rare_image_of_melting_chernobyl_reactor_fuel/), not *features*. I want to keep thinking about how those independent sites can enrich the fediverse, and how the fediverse can enrich those independent sites. This seems like a really important tool towards that. It's also true that I don't have [typed posts](https://indieweb.org/post-type-discovery#Algorithm) because when I started adding all the markup to my HTML, I started to like my site less. It felt less like [Neocities](https://neocities.org/) charm and more like work. I haven't reconciled this entirely in my mind, and it can probably be resolved through tooling. Well, this is rambling.

This was cool to read and made me very grateful for how easy I found it to figure this stuff out for my static site. (Though I suppose a fair rejoinder might be that if you're doing that Wordpress plugin route, you don't have a separate webmentions component with its attendant nginx config blah blah blah)

If I were a wordpress person, which I am not[^1] I would be tossing around the idea of taking an Indieweb ready theme, showing the set up steps for the Wordpress install (which quite reasonably aren't included here), maybe dumbing down the bookmarklet part of it, and shopping this around as part of a "own your content"/"independent bookstores over Corporations" push. [^1]: Simply contingent reasons, not disdain or principle.

I made a little guide for adding webmentions to a Neocities site
Since [my site](https://maya.land) itself is very inspired by all the cool stuff on [Neocities](https://neocities.org), and since I think webmentions are a cool way of making personal websites more social, I'm trying to write a guide for adding them to Neocities that doesn't assume 1. you know too much technical stuff 2. you use any kind of software to generate your HTML 3. you have warm feelings about Wordpress or the era of blogs One complicating thing is that I'm not sure how baked in to the tooling [microformats](https://indieweb.org/microformats) are. Microformats are a bit of a pain to do by hand so I don't think they totally go with the Neocities vibe. At the same time, I'm holding off on trying to [add brid.gy](https://occult.institute/@maya/104921872110125781) to this guide just because I'm not sure it'll all fit together... ....anyway, constructive feedback welcome on this guide! (the CSS is meant to look a bit wonky/quirky because, well, it's Neocities)

avoiding caching others' PII with runtime javascript
I love this! I tried doing [something similar](https://github.com/kixiQu/mayaland/blob/master/_posts/2020-09-06-update-footer.md) with footer post recommendations, not h-cards. The web should be full of dynamic inclusion! Of course, that spirit means I may need to run my own CORS server to bounce `fetch()` requests through soon...

## This! Is! My! Shit! (by which I mean enthusiasm, not ownership) [I've written about these ideas](https://maya.land/monologues/2020/07/23/footnote-of-the-web.html) before, so I'll try not to repeat what I've said there. A quick objection. > [T]here’s a limit to the effectiveness of the knowledge network as a reading experience. “Hypertext books,” online books which are made up of an abundance of interlinked HTML pages, are mostly unpopular. The default answer for anything you might want to search on the internet is probably found in a book of interlinked HTML pages that we call Wikipedia. So what is the difference here? People do a lot of reading of wiki hypertext, but they don't read it linearly, and they don't read to completion. Does the first imply the second? If linear reading means going from top to bottom, what are the patterns of increasing engagement with non-linear text? (Somehow I feel like increased ability to make connections is in the answer) Technically, I find it frustrating that a predefined anchor is necessary. I recognize, however, that a better fix would probably require `git diff` levels of analysis to determine "of the stuff on this page, what section is probably what you meant to link to?" Is it necessary that we all use outliners to chunk up our content a la Roam to facilitate these deeper links? And of course I will never be satisfied until we are transcluding each *other's* websites, not our own, but that's a small detail. ;)

content, bloat, privacy, archives
This is a really interesting piece and I'd like to reflect on it in a slightly meta way. I post "bookmarks" to Lemmy (including this one!) and automate grabbing the content and posting it to my own site (it ends up looking [like this](https://maya.land/responses/2020/08/11/inspiring-slides-from-a-talk-on-css-for.html)). Lemmy (unlike Reddit) lets you have both a link and a body. I find myself musing on the contents of the link in the body of the post because I know it's going to have a standalone life on my own website even if no one on Lemmy reacts to it -- and conversely, I include content on my website that isn't entirely within my core interests because I think people on Lemmy may like it or benefit. To me, to be able to see how I've contextualized these links is kind of cool. Revisit the same material, and you may be surprised what your past self found interesting enough to call out. I save private bookmarks for private use elsewhere, but I'd encourage Indieweb folks to keep sharing links they find interesting -- even if not in the "bookmark" format -- because hell, hasn't [Kottke](https://kottke.org) made that his thing for years?



Has some links to some pretty cool looking directories, too




Crawling the IndieWeb
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    Miss blogs? Me too.

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