A journal and wiki, of sorts, by yours truly

Colophon

colophon: (kol•uh•fon) a statement at the end of a book, typically with a printer’s emblem, giving information about its authorship and printing.

Oxford English Dictionary


The Main Idea

The idea around my website is similar to the web’s original vision: linking together disparate information. It will contain information that I’ve collected, along with notes, thoughts, etc. about that information. To do that, I’ve decided to loosely structure my website as a sort of person wiki. Within each topic page, I’ll write down my current understanding of that topic along with any supporting material, photos, charts, videos, etc. Topics are, essentially, the evergreen content on my website.

A few sources of inspiration for this idea were Andy Matuschak’s & Max Stroiber’s “notes” websites, Devine Lu Linvega’s wiki (along with he & Rekka’s Hundred Rabbits wiki), and Jeremy Keith’s reading of the history of the web.

Alongside each of these topics will be ephemerally relevant content about them. I’ll attach things like quick notes, links, photos, videos, location check-ins—the sort of thing that I might post to Twitter or Mastodon. In fact, I plan to syndicate these posts to any relevant social media networks via the IndieWeb. These short pieces of content are more like a journal about a topic than necessarily having pertinent information. Over time, I’m hoping that these notes will give my future self a high-level overview of what my life was like at specific points in time.

How it Works

Each thing that I post is written in a superset of Markdown. Then, through a series of parsers and scrubbers, it is sent to the 11ty static site generator for compiling into a website. I eventually would like to have everything compiled into an ePub file and, perhaps, the lightweight hypertext format used on the Gemini Project.

Whenever I push my git repo to its remote, a Gitlab builds the website and does things like optimize images and minify CSS and Javascript. Then it uses rsync to upload all of the files to a tiny OVH VPS that is running Caddy. I’d eventually like to experiment with deploying my website to some solar-powered Raspberry Pi computers; however, my focus is to build out the website’s guts first.

Speaking of guts, this website takes a strict, “progressive enhancement” approach to how it is being built. This isn’t my first time taking a stab at the idea. In past attempts, I found myself getting so bogged down with the design and overall minutiae of building a modern website that I never was able to fully solidify the website’s main idea. So, for right now at least, I’m focusing on the most crucial part: the content. This will mean, for a while anyway, minimal CSS, no custom fonts, and no Javascript unless it really, really makes sense to.

Recognition

The logo, such as it, is something that I came up with by rotating four capitalized “J” characters to resemble a simple Celtic knot. An unintended bonus was that it also looks like a link of a chain, which is neat considering this website’s goal is to link ideas together. The photo of myself on the homepage was taken by my good pal Luke Beard while we were in Nashville, TN. All other pictures and videos were taken and edited by myself unless otherwise noted.