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Jeremy Cherfas

What to do about bookmarked pages?

1 min read

The recent outage at Instapaper made me realise that I currently have no secure backup for either the things I've read or my notes on them. Notes live in Kindle and at Instapaper, while "things I've bookmarked" live at Instapaper and Pinboard. Good though those are, I don't have local copies, and I should.

This could take some thought. I can see no way of downloading the Kindle notes and highlights, although it is only HTML, on the surface it looks like pretty complex HTML. Instapaper is probably the same.

I should also try to have some sort of system that leaves unmarked things in Inboard and uses Instapaper specifically for things with notes.

This stuff is hard, but empowering.

Later ... Bookcision will let me get a clean copy of Kindle notes, one book at a time. Use in Chrome for preference. Calibre is also supposed to be able to do this, which might in the end be simpler.

Jeremy Cherfas

Checking out [quill]( to see if I can use it to post to my WithKnown site. Seems to be a reply?

Keep forgetting WithKnown isn't happy with Markdown links

Jeremy Cherfas

Not all that happy with progress over at the mothership. I managed to get this stream mirrored over there, and then got sucked into two days of trying to make sure that I had all my microformats in place. That has not been an overwhelming success, so far. And when I look at how well people are doing with WordPress and the IndieWeb, I begin to rethink my decision to move to Grav. What would be really cool would be to attract some more people who really know what they're doing to Grav; I'd be happy to be a tester ...

Also, there is as yet no mechanism for this reply to show up as a comment to the post to which it is ostensibly a reply. So, er, why am I bothering?

Aargh. After all the futzing, I seem to have broken the layout of the sidebar. Heigh ho. Tomorrow will have to be another day.

Jeremy Cherfas

I derive some pleasure from knowing that other folks are able to implement bits of the IndieWeb much more effectively than I am, probably because you know what you're doing. I'll keep plugging away, although I do feel I need to do some far more basic learning. I'm sticking things into twig templates with just the barest understanding of some of the logic. Trial and error, with an emphasis on the errors.

Jeremy Cherfas

This stream now on the mothership

1 min read

Update: 6:00 PM It seems there's a problem with the Grav cache. If caching is on, then the stream shows in the sidebar the first time the sidebar appears, but not on subsequent times. Until that's sorted, I'm disabling the plugin. Baby steps. I'm still content.

I continue to be astonished by the generosity of strangers. No sooner had I asked on the Grav forum for help to display an RSS feed than OleVik had shared his plugin to Parse RSS and Atom feeds with Twig. And a couple of hours later, there it is in my sidebar.

Of course there's still plenty to be done. At the moment I am displaying only item.title because item.content is often identical and I haven't quite figured out how to do a comparison in order to show meaningful content. But it's a start. I could also restrict the feed to certain types of post here, or even set up more than one feed.

I probably also ought to add some specifically indieweb classes, though I'll have to ask about that.

Nevertheless, very content.


Jeremy Cherfas

Putting my house in order: Phase 1

5 min read

For a while now I've been concerned about owning my own data, in the spirit of IndieWeb. In June 2015 I started an experiment in the indieweb using a CMS called Known, and bits of that worked well enough. Trouble is, I actually have almost no control over the details of the CMS, which has meant that whenever I come across a little problem that might be within my capacity to solve, I generally can't even try. This frustration has finally reached the point where I'm prepared to do something about it, like host my own copy of Known rather than rely on Indiehosters.

I've also been hanging around in the Indieweb Slack channel, where I'm both amazed at what people are doing and increasingly convinced that it is beyond me. But I'm determined to give it a proper try.

The first step is to figure out just how to organise myself, and this post is intended to describe how things are currently and why, in an effort to clarify my own thoughts and maybe get some advice from the indieweb gurus.

The properties

This is the site I currently view as the mothership. It has been through many incarnations, from NucleusCMS to WordPress to Octopress to its current platform Grav. I dumped WordPress because it was just too complex, slow and hard to fix for what was essentially a very simple site. I'm only about 10% of the way through transferring old posts from Octopress to Grav, because I insist on doing it by hand to catch broken links and stuff. The big downside of being on Grav is there doesn't seem to be a huge amount of indieweb interest in that community.

There's nothing really social associated with this site; I have the same username on ADN (for now) and on Flickr (maybe also not long for this world) and on 10Centuries. Also Facebook, but I hardly use that except for promoting episodes of ...

Where my food podcasts live. This is a WordPress site. Why? Because it was relatively easy to set up for podcasting, and that part of it works very well. Why a separate domain? Because I think it is quite likely that people who are interested in that podcast might not be that interested in everything else I do, and it seems a natural to keep it separate. The vast majority of posts are podcast episodes, although there are also copies of the email newsletter and occasional other posts related to topics that have been covered in podcast episodes. I doubt that it would be worth moving this to another CMS.

This site has accounts at Twitter and Instagram. Posts there go beyond the strict confines of the podcast, but generally stay in the area of food studies in the widest sense.

(Got to fix that www thing.)

Like Eat This Podcast, this is a WordPress site. It is dedicated to my various breadmaking activities, again kept separate because I wasn't sure whether people interested in my breadmaking would be interested in my other activities.

No social activity, except that I post breadmaking things to the Eat This Podcast account at Instagram.

This is the site that could most easily become a category of if I wanted to get rid of sites, but I rather like the URI.

The indiweb experiment, running on Known CMS but hosted at Indiehosters, which gives me very little freedom to tinker. [^1] Bits of this work, and work well. Now, however, I think I'm ready to declare an end to the first experimental phase and start to embrace the indieweb in earnest.

I should note that used to have a much more interesting website associated with it, and that I would eventually like to get that back (I have all the content). I used this domain for my experiment because it was one I already owned. In retrospect, that was a mistake. There is a Twitter account called Vaviblog but I have used it very little recently. If I got the old content back, I might use it more often.

[^1]: That's perhaps not fair. It doesn't give me any kind of FTP access, so I can't use that route to add a new plug-in or fiddle beneath the hood. I recently learned that there is a way I could use Git to make changes and have Indiehosters pull those changes, but I haven't actually bitten that bullet. If I'm going to go that route, I may as well save myself a bit of cash and host it where I host other sites.

The site for a short-lived project, hosted at 10Centuries. Although I've almost stopped posting longer things there, it is possibly my most active social site, but for a small society.

What I'm thinking

One approach I've seen and liked is the way Chris Aldrich has implemented his "primary hub" in WordPress with his "social stream" in Known in a sub-domain (though I'm not entirely sure what makes a post there different from a post in the hub). I don't really want to migrate my main site back to WordPress, but maybe I can achieve a similar sort of thing in Grav. Mind you, I still haven't enabled comments on Grav; how on Earth am I going to manage pulling them in from other sites? My main worry there is that because Grav developers are not all that interested in indieweb, it will be beyond my abilities. So maybe back to WordPress really is the best option.

I'm open to any and all suggestions, and I'm going to crosspost to because that should be able to receive replies from elsewhere.

Jeremy Cherfas

Super piece explaining how Marina Gerner, a journalist, is doing the indieweb thing without knowingly doing the indieweb thing, rather like the man who discovered he'd been talking prose all his life. Prompts me to have another go at bringing all my disparate stuff into one place, but to do that I need a lot more control of my installation of Known, or some other platform.

Another funny thing. The actual posts on Marina Gerner's sites -- some of which I definitely want to read -- are hidden from the Instagram bookmarklet. They work perfectly fine if I manually add the URI, but not from the bookmarklet.

Jeremy Cherfas

I've been poking around your site, after trying to get my head around webmentions for Grav. We share an interest in baking and podcasts, but when I looked at your review, I got this error: Table Importer: Could not resolve file name 'bp-2016.csv'.

Now for the big question: will this reach Aaron? And will he be able to reach me? All through the magic of indieweb.

Jeremy Cherfas

Trying to go a little further into Indieweb using my @withknown site.

Jeremy Cherfas

A propos talk at 10C and elsewhere about IndieWeb: How To Break Open The Web