A drawing of Ana holding a phone and taking a photo of a cat who is washing itself. The cat says, suprised, oh, hello Ana.


Jottings from Ana Rodrigues

Overthinking my blog

In 2018 I began to participate a lot in the IndieWeb community and that gave me a lot of confidence to work on my blog. I told myself sometime last December: "I'm going to make sure that over this Christmas break I do x, y and z so that my blog has more IndieWeb stuff.".

Well, that didn't go to plan. I did write a bit and made some small changes but I didn't make major developments like I would like. I was catching up on Netflix instead. In the past few days I began to feel this bizarre sense of disappointment in myself and a weird feeling of not feeling that I acomplished much. I was falling back into old habits of expecting too much of myself.

The other day I was reviewing my bookmarks so that I could clean them and I thought: "Oh! I should use this as an oppportunity to finally have bookmarks on my blog... like everyone does.". I embarked in this task and decided to experiment using a micropub client to automatically publish into my blog so that I could save time by not adding the markup manually. I decided to experiment with Quill and out of the box, it worked fine. I styled it and it lives on my new "bookmarks" page. But I was not satisfied. I began to check what other people were doing and I got dragged into this feeling that I've made it all wrong.

The micropub endpoint that I am using works great but it publishes straight to my "posts" folder in my Jekyll project. This meant that I couldn't have fancy urls. I thought: "hummm I think it would be prettier if when opening an individual bookmark entry it would have /link/ before the bookmark slug.". This meant that my current implementation wasn't doing the job.

I realised that if I wanted that, apparently, I should have used the collections feature from Jekyll. But my micropub endpoint isn't specifically creating bookmarks and publishing them into a specific directory. This lead me to come to terms with the fact that I would have to create my own micropub endpoint if I want to have fancy things built for my specific needs.

TIL: that is called selfdogfood.

"Fair enough" I thought. I looked up "how to build micropub endpoint" and after all the articles about how to create a mini bar, the technical ones weren't matching the level of my knowledge so I felt hopeless. I was sad cooking my dinner and thinking how I am so disappointed at myself that I want fancy things for my blog and feeling technically inadquate and way behind my IndieWeb peers.

I carried on my search (still looking for anything micropub related) and I stumbled upon this journal entry from Jeremy Keith.

I have to admit, I really don’t care that much about the specific technologies being discussed at indie web camps: formats, protocols, bits of code …they are less important than the ideas. And the ideas are less important than the actions. As long as I’m publishing to my website, I’m pretty happy. That said, I’m very grateful that the other IndieWeb folks are there to help me out.

And there it was. I had lost track of my purpose and I was too focused on building it correctly and catching up with everyone. I need to listen to myself too: it doesn't matter if I only dump HTML in here. It is my blog and I should build it as I can and as I want.

But what is the source of this unsatisfaction? Is it because I made my github repository public? Maybe.

I am being harsh on myself. I am learning lots here already. When a job ago I was only doing javascript this blog was one of the very few places where I was doing HTML and CSS for example and I've learned loads from it. I'm still behind on all the IndieWeb principles but I will get there. Could 2019 be the year I finally have webmentions? Let's hope so but I will probably need help.

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