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How I got into personal websites

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Replied to Send a Friend a Webmention Day or Some of my Thinking about Webmentions by https://sarajaksa.eu/2023/07/send-a-friend-a-webmention-day-or-some-of-my-thinking-about-webmentions/Sara Jakša (sarajaksa.eu)

Since we all here, lets talk about how you got into personal websites. Not how you got in the indieweb, but tell me about what was the trigger for you to start your first personal website.
I mean, it is also a first of the yearly events,…

Ohh, I’m a friend! I’m really, really glad to have received a webmention seen the post on your blog and realised that mine doesn’t support webmentions on the homepage and (hopefully) fixed it!

When I was a kid, I didn’t really grasp the difference between a blog and a diary. This has come to bite me in the ass a few times as my pre-teen blog is still somewhere online and some harassers found it a few years ago. At the time, everyone I knew in France had a Skyblog, and honestly? It was cringe, yes, but it was also pretty close to what the IndieWeb wants to do. I remember « comment exchanges », where proper Skyblog etiquette was that if your friend commented on your latest post, you’d reply by going to their own latest post and replying – so that their comment counter would go up, not just yours. And it led to horrible comment threads that were absolutely impossible to follow, lost on posts that had nothing to do with the comment itself, which was a conversation that would probably end up scattered between half a dozen blog posts. It was glorious. (I need to formalise this thinking a bit and write properly, since Sara & Tracy both posted quite a lot about webmention etiquette and the hot mess that the 2000s were on Skyblog really inspires me to, well, not have an etiquette.)

I think I’ve always had this culture of sharing and writing whatever came to mind. Blogging only took a smaller place in my life once I got into the whole « personal branding » nonsense and started creating content that would get me a foot in the door of webmarketing. I moved my content creation to all kinds of platforms, especially Twitter at the time. I’d say that was around 2014-2015, and I only came back from it a couple of years ago and am only now getting back into the Indieweb and having an independent blog.

Now, I try to really focus on blog posts over threads and have strongly cut back my social media behavior – I pretty much am only actively posting on Mastodon (where more than half of my posts are actually reposts from this blog) and on the wonderful Lemmy (which didn’t work with the out of the box ActivityPub plugin for my blog, but I’m not losing hope). It’s a new era for blogs and I really would like it to go back to the good old times of tinkering around and trying to make things work without aiming for an audience, but for a community – a terrible concept for marketing, but a great thing for a person.

Thanks so much for the webmention, Sara, it really made my day and prompted me to have interesting thoughts, which is always nice! 🙂

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  1. In reply to a post How I got into personal websites
    That was a great surprise! I honestly did not expect a single person to take me on the prompt.
    I had no idea that there was anything like comment exchanges, but they sound fun. They seems like such a excellent example of putting people before technology – since I imagine it would be easy for a people in the conversation to follow it, but there would be the last of structure.
    I can just imagine the type of people that would go crazy with this. 🙂
    The personal branding part was relatable just because I studies economics and was therefore surrounded by it. I think I ended up becoming a programmer also in part, because I did not want to play that game on the level they wanted.
    And please, be as messy as you want to be. It was not my intention to try to stifle or pressure anybody in their expression. 🙂 For me this discussion started for me to deal with my intuition about the interactions and put it on my conscious level.
    And while I can not speak for Tracy, I think she also did not want to limit anybody’s expression.
    I think we could have some more messiness in the online spaces. I think this could make the internet more interesting.