An ActivityPub feed for a blog is absolutely doable, it just requires work. For example, a quick search turns up an ActivityPub plugin for Wordpress. Heck, micro.blog supports it natively. There’s also bots out there that’ll auto-syndicate posts from an RSS feed to a Mastodon account. Unfortunately it’s just not very widely available or adopted (yet!).
I figured it was about time to try and stitch my blog into the fediverse. Is this thing on?
Well, I’ve removed the ‘blog’ subdomain from my site, which was both seemingly simple and yet likely to break things in subtle and unexpected ways…
Given the recent purchase of Twitter I’m sure glad that all of my posts start on my blog and then syndicate elsewhere. It’s a lot easier to ignore Musk’s gyrations when you know you can drop Twitter any time you like…
Part two of two on single sourcing content, this time covering my CV, which starts as YAML and ends up as HTML, PDF, and even a Word doc.
As I mentioned in my previous post, my blog is often both a place to throw ideas out into the world, and a place to mess around with screwy ideas, and one of those ideas I’ve been messing around with is using Jekyll’s abilities as a static site generator to produce multiple outputs from a single source.
The first experiment in this area involved my cookbook, wherein I took a bunch of individual markdown files and crammed them together into something that pandoc can use to generate PDF and even EPUB outputs.
My second experiment in this area was with my CV. The challenge with something like a CV is that the layout requirements are pretty complex and don’t fit well with a basic template-and-markdown model. As a result, I ended up having to take a less orthodox approach to this project.Continue reading...
Part one of two on single sourcing content to produce multiple attractive outputs. In this case, a write-up about the creation of my personal cookbook!
One of the benefits of using a static site generator (in my case Jekyll) to build this website is that all the underlying content is stored in simple text files. Most of the page content itself is just markdown files with a YAML header block. The page layout is simple HTML templates using liquid macros. Formatting is SASS that’s transformed into vanilla CSS.
This has a few of benefits. First, the site is future-proofed–plain text means I can move to a different engine any time I want, as the content is stored in a format that’s easy to extract and transform. Second, the ecosystem of tools to handle text files generally, and YAML and markdown specifically, is enormous, which means I can lean on all that existing infrastructure to do interesting things.
In this post I’ll cover the first of two examples where I’ve taken advantage of these benefits to produce, not just this website, but beautiful PDFs, ebooks, and even Word documents, from the same source content.Continue reading...
Happy birthday 10th, Bridgy! If you’re reading this on Twitter, that’s because of this wonderful project. Thank you so much, Ryan, and everyone who’s contributed!
I used to use Goodreads for tracking/reviewing books I’ve read. Then Amazon bought them and I decided to move all that stuff to my own blog. This is how I did it!
So while it turns out I forgot I’d posted about this topic a while ago, it seemed worth revisiting and writing a focused post on how I’m book blogging.
Anyway, I don’t know about you, but I tend to have a remarkably poor memory for the books I’ve read. After I’ve finished a book or series, it doesn’t take long for the details to get washed out and for my thoughts to blur into vague recollections of what the book made me think and feel. It was for this reason that I started using Goodreads.
For me, Goodreads served a few useful functions. First, it gave me a place to track what I’m reading and, more importantly, what I’ve read. Second, it gave me a spot to jot down my thoughts about books so that, later, I could go back and read those notes and refresh my memory.
But that meant trapping all of that information in someone else’s silo, and I was never particularly comfortable with that. And when Amazon went and bought Goodreads, I basically stopped using the service, and as a result, stopped tracking my reading.
When I decided to reinvent my blog, I undertook the project with a central goal in mind: to take back control over my own data and content. To that end, book blogging was a perfect fit for this vision, and so I wanted to describe how I’ve leveraged approaches from the IndieWeb to solve this problem and scratch my own itch.Continue reading...
Nice! For my blog I have a Calibre db containing metadata, covers, etc, for books. Then I wrote a Jekyll plugin that uses calibredb to pull the data out and populate my pages at build time. This reminds me I need to write a post about this…
My hacky solution to book blogging and exercise tracking in the indieweb.
My personal blog, a static site built with Jekyll, is a bit of a frankenstein. I really need to write some posts that get into the dirtier details of how I’ve stitched various bits together (like webmentions, POSSE syndication, and so on). But for this installment I wanted to start with something I’m doing which I think is a bit unique.
So, backing up, as we all know, social media isn’t just about long-form articles on Medium, medium-length rants on Facebook, or short-form trollbait on Twitter. We also track what we read, what we listen to, what we watch, the games we’re playing, the exercise we engage in, the websites we’re bookmarking, and on and on. Basically, if there’s some human activity that we want to collectively experience, there’s probably a social platform somewhere.
I wanted to explore these same ideas, but in the context of my blog. First I started with replacing Goodreads. I’ve since followed that by blogging my cycling PESOS-style with Strava. In both cases I’ve used a combination of purpose built, locally hosted tools for collecting metadata, and then integrating those tools with my blog to enabling publishing the data to the world.
I won’t claim this is a friction-free approach. But it’s working pretty well for me, so I figured it was worth sharing!Continue reading...
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