@simonwoods made a great point about (re)building the web and search.

I’m convinced the best answer to search is websites. Let people collect and curate the information, rather than play Google’s game and then inch-by-inch the alternative search becomes viable —

Do read that whole thread I linked to above and pay particular attention to Simon’s replies because he’s on to something.

Here are a couple of takeaways I want to highlight:

  1. We, the little people, need to rebuild the web.  It does not do to just complain about silos and then point out other corporate alternatives, first and foremost the web needs websites built by individual humans, not just corporations, SEO’s and people trying to get their hand in your pocket.  This is the foundation of everything.
  2. People will not leave the silos and corporate web unless there is an alternative, ie. someplace to go and that someplace to go is actually many places built by us. See #1 above.
  3. We should link freely from our sites to other sites we like.  This, literally, helps rebuild the hyperlinked network of threads that gives The Web it’s name.
  4. Discovery, and search, will sort itself out, if we do #1,2, and 3.  We may have to relearn how to surf the web again, and that is not a bad thing.
  5. Over time, we will eventually adapt to #4: humans will index this New Web we build using both old ways and new ways that have yet to invented.  And yes, machines are also likely to index it as well.  We may end up with 5,6, 10 or more favorite places we go to search and that is good.

I hope I am interpreting Simon’s thoughts fairly and accurately.  I wanted to highlight them before that thread fades away.

How to Start

It’s not a pipe dream.  It is ridiculously easy to make a website these days.  You don’t need to know HTML.  If you want to blog go to Micro.blog or WordPress.com.  If you do not want to blog and would prefer a static website, again go to WordPress.com, because it’s just as easy to build a static site there and omit the blog.

(Example: On my to-do list is to build a static website for my neighborhood’s Little Free Library.  It only needs to be 1 – 3 static pages.  I’m going to build it on WordPress.com.  It should not take long.)

The point is, everyone has some skill, idea, knowledge that is worth sharing and equally, there are other people looking for the information you have in your head and take for granted.  Share it. We need to build that alternative.

Of course not everyone is going to build a website.  But more of us should be.  More of us can, we just don’t know how.

Pro Tip: With Micro.blog you can build your own website/blog almost by accident, while you are posting to social networks.  Just use it to post away, the blog (website) just builds itself.  No effort.  🙂  Example: Mumblings by Simon Woods is a Micro.blog blog.

More posts on ideas for websites in future posts.

Feel free to add to the discussion: agree? disagree? please comment.

 

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This blog is just a couple of months old and same for the domain.  I was looking at my Comments admin panel and I have just over 200 approved “comments” this includes both written comments and mentions which appear on site as “facepiles”.  I’m thinking only about 3 or 4 of those comments were from the traditional comment forms at the bottom of each post.  The rest come from Indieweb style webmentions from other Indieweb blogs, Micro.blog, Twitter and G+.

I’m not telling you this to brag.  This is still just a insignificant, dumpy, tiny, newish blog.  But I have blogged before, and while I have had participation, I have never had this level of good, thoughtful, helpful engagement. It just does not happen on a new blog by a nobody.  Ever.

200. On. a. new. blog. Unbelievable.

Part of this is I stumbled upon the Indieweb which we bloggers never had before and they responded. Part is due to the great Micro.blog community.

I can also tell you this much: people do click on those links I left commenting on other peoples blogs and equally people are clicking on the links other people leave on this blog.

Yup, these Indieweb folks are definitely on to something.

Also on:

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Indiepaper is a read-later service built for the open web. Save your articles, and …

Source: Indiepaper, an open alternative to Instapaper and Pocket | Cult of Mac

This is a great how to guide.  I use Indiepaper myself and highly recommend it. I’m replacing Pocket with it.

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Fetch recommendations from threads at micro.blog. Explore links from Discover.

Source: Micro.Threads

This is for exploring and discovering conversations at Micro.blog and intended mainly for Micro.blog users.  However, non-users can utilize part of it’s capability.

Users and Non-users alike can explore many of the sub-category topics on Micro.blog.  Users can find people to follow or conversations to join in on too.

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Bookmark: ADN Finder

This is a social network username directory.  If you know your friends username on Twitter, Micro.blog, Mastodon or (defunct) App.net you can find their handle on the others.  Very handy if someone you follow has left Twitter, or if you are migrating to some new social networks and want your friends to find you.

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Introduction The “best” feed reader is largely a matter of individual preference. There are many good ones. Most of them, including the best, are free like browsers. The one that matches the way you want to work is best for you. 🙂 No matter which reader you choose, it should give you some way to back up your feeds, preferably as an OPML file. You may also be able to use your OPML file to move to another reader, although the formats may not be compatible.

Like: Best Free RSS Reader-Aggregator | Gizmo’s Freeware

Wow what a great article.  It’s much more comprehensive than most of it’s kind.  One thing I’ve learned you really really need a feed reader in the Indieweb space and eventually on Micro.blog.

In the Indieweb you are going to really want to follow all those neat blogs you discover.  On Micro.blog the timeline is purposely fleeting.  There will be people you follow who you don’t want to miss any of their posts or you just find that you are following too many interesting people and the timeline moves past too quickly: the solution is to subscribe to their Micro.blog blogs in the feed reader.  That way you capture it all.

It’s just an essential tool.  I use Inoreader, which is listed in the article.

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When I find an interesting new tool, I like to think of all the ways I can use it.  When I found out I could put HTML on a Page on a Micro.blog hosted blog it got me thinking.

So what else will work there?  Nothing earth shattering here but a couple of small ideas.

One thing you can do is make a webring landing page.  The key here is that you can post HTML to Pages on MB.

For those that don’t remember the webring heydays of the 1990’s, webmasters would join several webrings,  now you didn’t want all those ring codes taking up space on your index page so you created a separate page for your webring codes.  Usually visitors would enter and leave the site by this page.

Landing Page:

Now Micro.blog does have a footer space you can place HTML in, but what if you wanted to join several rings?  You create that landing page.

  1. in your MB admin you create a new page.  Name in something like “Webrings” so visitors know where to find the code.
  2. Join a webring somewhere.  Use yoursite.com/webrings/ as the page you join with.
  3. Place the webring code on that page. (An HTML code should work.  I’m not sure if a javascript code will work but you can try.)
  4. You probably should place a greeting on that page explaining where visitors are at.  You want to make the ring easy to navigate.

Done.

Ring Homepage:

Let’s say you want to start your own webring and run it.  You can start a webring at a ring host.  I recommend Webringo.  Old school rings need a Homepage where you set out the criteria of your webring (example).

Have some fun!

What other things can you do with a micro.blog Page?

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I’m going to focus on Micro.blog hosted blogs, but these three providers will work for WordPress too.

Recently, Micro.blog added the ability to add HTML code in the footer area of your hosted blog.  This is great for things like webrings.  It’s also good for JavaScript code so I immediately added a web traffic stats counter.

Why analytics?  As a webmaster I still think it important to have an idea of where your visitors are coming from, how they find you, what posts they are interested in, and are they using a phone or computer.

There are three that I looked at:

Statcounter.com – the free service is generous for most blogs.  The stats are not super detailed like the others but they are sufficient for me.  Statcounter offers 4 advantages: 1. the free service is decent, 2. they offer a version of the code to put on your site that is compatible with just about every CMS platform out there plus instructions, 3. near real-time reporting, 4. You can see what your stats are very quickly.  I’m using Statcounter.

Yandex Metrica – Russian search engine Yandex offers free hosted stats that are considered equal to or maybe better than the same offering from Google.  And I repeat, it’s free.  Yandex is straightforward about it, they are in the business of indexing the web and offering analytics helps them find new URL’s and do their job.  Hence it’s free.  If you want detailed stats and good graphs I suggest trying Yandex.

Google Analytics – this is the Big Boy on the block and outside of looking at your server logs this GA has been the gold standard for many websites and bloggers.  With that said, I don’t recommend Google Analytics: 1. Google is voracious on mining data on websites and individuals I’m just not going to hand them the inside data on any of my websites on a silver platter,  2. I have used them in the past and GA can cause some serious slowdowns on your site’s page loading times, 3. when I used them the data was not real time, there was always a lag.

No remotely hosted analytics service is going to detect or report all web traffic to your site only server logs will do that.  For bloggers these services are good enough.

 

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