events/2024-04-08-hwc-europe-writing

From IndieWeb

Bonus Online Homebrew Website Club - Writing Edition was an IndieWeb meetup on Zoom held on 2024-04-08.

Participants

Notes

  • The internet has a very short span of attention - people will tell you if they loved or hated it (or not even that) but it is a spike and then it is gone
  • We all have to think about the possibility of the negative feedback - it is a possibility with any kind of attention
  • People sharing personal details online has been helpful and inspiring to share one's own stories, but don't want to share too much
  • Silos have used the ephemeral "stories" format to encourage posting with fewer fears
  • Anonymity can enable freer content creation
  • Dooce, Heather Armstrong's experience of negative fans: an example of how toxic a large audience can become when anonymity and snark combine
  • https://artlung.com/blog/2024/03/11/mas-glitter/ A bit of background on when Joe Crawford inadvertently caused a writer I enjoy stop doing a feature I enjoyed but drew attention to
  • Anonymity with a curatorial/editing step can be quite extraordinary: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PostSecret
  • Capturing memories of travels has been really fulfilling for Anthony Ciccarello but is also a challenge to publish

How long do people spend on the blog posts?

  • Some people have drafts from 6 months ago, but they are not working on it
  • Some people are just use to the quick form writing
  • Some people have ideas, but they just stay ideas until they are ready to be written
  • The long form does not have the normal blog feedback loop
  • The blogging can shorten the attention span

How to bring the feedback loop to the long form writing? Make it more social

  • 5 minutes stories
  • Have the people do prompts or organise something yourself
  • Have s stream and write and discuss the writing on the stream
  • Long form blogging groups (there are fictional and tehnical, but not blogging) - do we need to organise them?
  • Writer's events can be an opportunity for writers to be in the same space, I think of Fray from way back when - https://fray.com/index-old.shtml and also https://dimestories.org/ which is in-person (San Diego, Orange County, and Albequerque) 5 minute stories, sharing prose can bring writers together

It can help to write on the regular schedule - some people make their image based on that

  • It would also be interesting to see people do more posts of the overview of 'this is everything I wrote about X'

The importance of having the editor and how hard is it if it is a group of friends writting together

  • limits helps with rejection

Ideas for writting:

  • online magazines / zines about a specific topic
  • guest posting (for non-SEO reasons) - it can feel closer than linking
  • co-authoring the blog posts
  • group blogs with the criteria about what can be posted there (like San Diego blog (here's what it looked at it in 2005 https://web.archive.org/web/20050203202913/http://sandiegoblog.com/ )
  • MetaFilter's guidelines for posting have been built over time and have sustained them: https://www.metafilter.com/guidelines.mefi
  • Printed magazines (zines-like)
  • https://standartmag.com/ - an example of printed magazine that worked
  • doing things for fun - like the Maker magazine by Template:jamesg with cca. 40 contributers
  • IndieWebQuarterly - everybody can submit, somebody chooses a couple of pieces, and these are published on the site for three months
  • Create something with edges - like physical zines
  • Publish what you like to consume

The online space in the TikTok comments is very different from the old internet online space. What would IndieWeb needed to look like to be able to offer something to the first group.

  • Social media offer the degree of control over their content - like the private account

Writing only about one topic or any topic one is interested in?

  • It can be delight to read about different topics
  • Some people just want to read about one topic - like accessibility
  • But the news is broken in the blog - most things are not viral, but even some things on the blogs can get viral
  • Twitter following is about what is useful - follow is not considered friend
  • Anil Dash - https://www.dashes.com/2024/01/19/personal-blogs-tech-news/ - blogs can do what regular news media can't do
  • Anthony Ciccarello noticed that what I used to post on social media I now share in group chats. Posts on my website are much more curated.

Writing can also be a form of time travel - remembering the moments from the past and then remembering them on rereading. Also to remember the state at the time and to see the changes through time.

Writing can also be a tool to learn about oneself - as a therapuetic process or as a learning process or as a self-discovery process. Journaling for emotional wellness https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentID=4552&ContentTypeID=1 : 4 summary points: Try to write every day. Make it easy. Write or draw whatever feels right. Use your journal as you see fit.

Writing can also be a documenting and archiving tool to help with knowing, where the find the things later - and not 'where did I see this?'

  • publishing on multiple places can then be disjointed
  • it can be the motivation for people, the way to explain the write for yourself - when you get that feeling a year later: I am glad I documented that

Write what you like to read - the problem with people writing is that they write in a way, that they would never read.

What is the experience of the writing in the RSS feed?

https://zine-machine.glitch.me/ - a way to make a zine - yes this Joe Crawford - more about it https://dev.to/rowan_m/create-a-printable-zine-with-css-5c0c - there are many others - usually it's about creating an html page and structuring it to use CSS to paginate in coherent way - https://github.com/trueskawka/css-zines

How to include the links in the text? The looking for links and making screenshots breaks the flow and this is not something one wants.

  • One way to do it is to do it afterwards - having the tooling to help with this would be helpful

How to write honestly?

  • Sometimes it is wrapped in the things, that are company secrets
  • It can close some of the doors
  • The job context can complicate thing - should one avoid writing about the current employer?
  • Some things can be off-putting to some people - like talking about JavaScript frameworks if one works with these people, or talking about social media if you work with Meta people

Writing about tech industry after being down with it - the previous example is the book Chaos Monkeys: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_Monkeys

How to find something to write about outside of IndieWeb and job?

  • Instagram can make people go outside more

Al Abut is exploring ways to add vertical videos to blog posts in ways that work well across mobile and desktop, as well as in-browser vs feed reader. One interesting option is to use this open source library to make Instagram-style narrative stories:




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