around the web
First off, I totally forgot to mention on day 101 that I won the 100-day blogging challenge! I reached out to Kev Q. of 100 Days to Offload and he sent along some words of encouragement, and very kindly added me to the hall of fame. Wanted to thank him for the link and shout out the project. All you have to do is blog 100 days in one year and you can get there, too! They don't all have to be consecutive, unless you're cool 😎
Hm, I should make some kind of award... putting that idea on the back burner.
the bridge and the fridge
For most of this blog's life, there was a link up in the top navigation bar that said "archive". This went to a page containing a slapped-together archive of things I've made in the past, and used it as a sort of landing page for blog entries I want to highlight. I realized that people finding the blog from an entry they'd been linked to would probably think that link goes to the blog archive. I put a notice at the top of the page that the blog archive is on the front page, but I imagined it still might cause some some whiplash, but I didn't know what else to call that page. Eventually I settled on treasury.
It's still not an ideal solution, though; the blog CMS wasn't really built for that sort of thing. I missed having a wiki—of all the CMS packages I've used, oddmuse was my favorite. But it uses perl, which requires paying for webhosting I can no longer really afford.
So I decided to give feather wiki a shot. This thing is awesome: it's a complete wiki-like CMS1 in a single ~60KB HTML file. All of the data you add is stored in the same file, so it's a little like john-doe, except it has a built-in editor, so I don't have to edit the HTML directly to update the site—which, as I've learned, is a roadblock for actually getting things done. I know how to use HTML, it doesn't seem like it should be a dealbreaker, but in practice, it's too much friction for me. Featherwiki lets me use good ol' markdown.2
It also makes it easy to do a hierarchical structure, which is something I always kind of wanted to do, but couldn't be bothered to do manually. It always takes some time to warm up to something new, but I think I like it. I anticipate simplifying the bear blog page to just include the blog pages and a link to the wiki, but I'll keep all the existing pages so as not to break any links.
That's the one thing I'll miss about having the blog and the homepage on the same platform: if I wanted to reference something I've written about before, it was nice to just type a
[[wikilink]] and be done with it. It's somewhat easy to link to an internal page on bearblog, if I want to add a link to my page about laundry cat it just looks like this:
[laundry cat](/laundry-cat/) but if I'm linking to the wiki, I have to do the whole URL, which is
http://bluelander.neocities.org?p=laundry_cat. Kind of a pain.
It almost makes me want to move the blog to feather wiki, but
If the entire blog was contained in a single HTML file, the file size would be out of control. Even keeping the images off-site,3 it would still be well over a 1MB download to look at a single blog entry, and that number's just going to keep going up if I continue my daily update plan;
There's no way to do a proper RSS feed. Neocities technically offers one, but it updates every time I change any file on the site, so it would just be a continuous feed of "index.html was updated. index.html was updated. index.html was updated..."
So that's a no-go. Ah well, not going to let the perfect be the enemy of the cool. My presence on the small web felt incomplete with just a bridge; it feels good to have a fridge again.
My cohost account was finally activated, and as expected, I haven't been using it much. I don't use it on my phone while I'm at work, because as soon as I load it up I can feel my data usage go from a gentle misty steam to a full rolling boil. When I get home from work, I usually want to spend my time looking at things that aren't websites (except ones I make, I guess.) I'm glad people are digging it, I think it's just not for me 🦝
If you're someone who insists that it has to be collaborative to call it a wiki, please feel free to make a wiki where you and your collaborators can cry about it, together↩
The markdown is a slightly different flavor than the one used by bearblog, of course 😑↩
Feather Wiki can convert images to base64 for sticking directly into the HTML file, which seems like a terrible idea, unless you're distributing it as a .zip package or something people can download and view offline. All my images are still hosted on imgur, and luckily that markdown is the same, so I can just copy+paste from the blog.↩