experiments in hypertext thinking
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This note should become a running list of all the tinyletters and substacks I subscribe to. (that’s harder to gather than you might think!)

Robin Sloan Craig Mod Deb Chachra Laura Olin All my stars Sentiers Erin Watson

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A set of projects / ideas for making blogging (aka networked writing) easier and in particular easier to start.

1) Create an open blog export standard

Does this exist? Doesn’t seem like a natural place to start but interop of blog platforms is a key barrier to…

2) Simple places to start

Things like are easy but how much do you get trapped in them? Interop allows for super simple onramps that then become easy to transfer to github or wordpress or ghost.

3) RSS facelift

Subscribing to RSS feeds sucks in the year of our lord 2019. Why? How can we re-energize adoption of RSS

4) Re-brand RSS

Run a kickstarter to raise funds for a design exploration around RSS to reenvision the RSS icon, workflow, and to create RSS-branded merch (Ben Pieratt would be the DREAM person to work on this)

5) Create the “bloggers way” course

A 12-week course and set of cohorts that sign up for learning how to blog.

If you give me seed money I’ll get 1,000 new blogs online.

Other ideas:

  • Some kind of small-b analytics. How can you tell the right people are reading?
  • New kind of comments? Does solve this? Discourse?

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The Public Necessity of Student Blogging

Blogging practices of knowledge workers - Dissertation PDF!

I’ve been publishing to my internal blog since May 10th, 2004. During that time I’ve unintentionally developed my own blogging style, and I’ve learned a thing or two about writing blogs. I figured I’d pass along some thoughts about blogging in the hope that it’s useful.

source: you-should-write-blogs - steveyegge2

Google slides as blog

Summary: in this post I explain why you should start a blog (to help others and to help yourself), what to write about, and how to start it. I hope to persuade you that you should start a blog even if you feel that you have nothing to say and even if almost nobody will read it.

source: Why You Should Start a Blog Right Now - Alexey Guzey

After Tatiana Mac proposed to bring webrings back, I hacked something new together over the weekend: A starter kit for hosting your own webring!

source: [A Webring Kit Max Böck - Frontend Web Developer](

Ideas are fascinators that sparkle and dangle in front of the creator, distracting an eager audience from the person behind the curtain. Submitting to the tyranny of ideas gives us the freedom to explore who we are apart from our public reputations. If ideas are living entities that exist separately from our selves, what remains of us?

source: [Nadia Eghbal The tyranny of ideas](

The catch is, a Wild Thoughts blog can only be a source of renewal and rebirth if it remains wild. For that, it must remain free. In a way, I am like Max, and I’ve decided not to go back for my supper from the land of Wild Thoughts. Instead, I’ve pitched a tent inside, and put up a trading post at the periphery. Visiting me in the woods is free. Stuff at the trading post costs money.

source: Where the Wild Thoughts Are (from 2011!)

While reading The Death and Life of Great American Cities, I was struck by how applicable many of her observations were to the internet today, despite being published twenty years before its invention.

One of the most useful concepts I picked up is her treatment of public and private life, which I’d like to break down in this post. We tend to think of privacy as a binary distinction, but Jacob identifies several types of public-private life which, I think, can help us think and talk about our online interactions today.

source: [Nadia Eghbal Reclaiming public life](

In my opinion writing is a public act, we must learn (even the most introverted of us) to share our work with a readership.

source: sync pdf

Think of creating a blog as you would think of writing on a page in a notepad. Or scribbling on the back of an envelope and handing it to someone. It takes two minutes at most to create a blog at And from then on, you have a “place” to post emails you that are post-worthy

source: Scripting News: Blogs are little things

Here, we report the results of an ethnographic investigation of blogging in a sample of ordinary bloggers. We investigated blogging as a form of personal communication and expression, with a specific interest in uncovering the range of motivations driving individuals to create and maintain blogs.


For some reason I’m thinking of what Carrie Fisher once said in an interview: “Take your broken heart, and turn it into art.” I suppose that the equivalent for me would be “take your broken heart, and turn it into a book about design systems.” Or better yet: “take your broken heart and blog.”

source: Take your broken heart and blog ・ Robin Rendle

A while ago I created a Python script that threw a chunk of my blog posts into Each post was turned into a text block that was placed in a channel called “CJ’s Blog.”

source: From Blog to Blocks — CJ Eller

Generating websites from arena channels

Things that I want to write more about: sunlit nature, and being outdoors in nature, especially in places that are cold and snowy. The difficulty and monotony and odd joy of getting better at something. Groggy morning runs. Loving yourself fully and expecting that same standard of love from other people—because God, self-loathing is boring. People who make completely different choices than I do and have completely different values, but are nevertheless very happy. How they think about meaning. The ecology of our changing planet and the adjustments we’ll have to make to adapt and survive. Navigating objectification, and learned self-objectification, in a society that places great value on female beauty and youth. How to communicate clearly and kindly in high-stakes situations. Technology and its effect on productivity. Strange possible worlds. Fear, vulnerability, loss of control. Surprising statistical truths. Small things that give me joy: the smell of lemon, rain and freshly-cut wood, un-sexualized intimacy, inventive and engaging movies, children in motion. Attempting to live a less self-serving moral life.

Source: How to write and what to write about by @readingsupply

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How I plan to evolve my site to take back control over my data and reclaim my blog as my thought space.

This! is the indie web:

And don’t concern yourself with whether or not you “write.” Don’t leave writing to writers. Don’t delegate your area of interest and knowledge to people with stronger rhetorical resources. You’ll find your voice as you make your way. There is, however, one thing to learn from writers that non-writers don’t always understand. Most writers don’t write to express what they think. They write to figure out what they think. Writing is a process of discovery. Blogging is an essential tool toward meditating over an extended period of time on a subject you consider to be important.

source: Bring Out Your Blogs

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I’m very interested in new ways of networking writing. You can see some thoughts on that in my post experiments in networked writing.

Most of my thinking on annotations is contained in this post: exploring the UX of web-annotations

Hypothesis is the best in class at the moment but still has a long way to go. It feels robust but without a strong UX (especially so on mobile where it almost entirely fails). is an interesting looking tool that provides a dashboard for a URL (with they had the ability to do a whole site) to show how many annotations there are, from who, over time.

Genius actually has a better UX but as a VC-backed monstrosity I have no faith that they’ll be around for much longer (wouldn’t be surprised if Vox buys them for cheap at some point to fold the annotation layer into Chorus)

Whoah - check out this service that live-transcribes C-SPAN into gdoc, allows for in-line commenting in the gdoc then spits that back out as JSON for web-display:

Annotation - The MIT Press Essential Knowledge Series

Full teardown of annotations options