I am going to use interi so often to mean so many things, you will also start using it. Maybe to curse interi, but you’ll still be talking…
Okay, let me tell you how I write, because it is participatory, and you are in it right now.
For years I’ve published at interi.org. I’ve run a lot of software at the domain: MovableType, WordPress, MediaWiki, DokuWiki, Drupal, handcoded HTML, and today it is more or less generated by Hugo. And that is just the primary domain! Of course I just run whatever I want, wherever.
I have about a decade of blog posts and various bits and bobs I’ve picked up. And most of the time it looks like some kind of blog thing. Chronology and all that. My URLs have more or less stayed the same, as well, though most of the content is offline at the moment.
I love writing. I love talking, actually, but I often not awake when you folks get together to talk, so I write instead.
Blogging seems like a natural activity for me, but “blogging” as an industry has not only ruined the process for me, it has basically destroyed my livelihood (but we’ll get into that later!). The race to fight over scraps while spying on people has destroyed the optimism of entire generations of web users. So even as I kept up with the curve, I grew disgusted by what I know to be “best practices” for blogging.
Do I like blogging? Maybe. Again, I love talking! So a big part of blogging was comments. I’ll dig up links and insert them here later, and it will be super meta (wait for it!), but I’ve gone over how comments should be seen as belonging to those in the conversation, and how the popularity contest that is WordPress money-making subverted the communication tools we had.
Discourse, this software running this site, is amazing. It is a mailing list. And a wiki. And a reference engine. And a social network. And a social graph. And an archive.
If I didn’t have a larger plan, I’d run Discourse on my main site!
But I do have a plan, one better than the Cylons’!
Because I do love documenting things. And the web I wanted, the one I’ve trained to build was an open documentation storage and retrieval system. One where we all became social data scientist and shared freely.
And that takes time, because I want to do it slowly. Very slowly. I don’t want people to read what I write when I write it, I want them to read it years later because it helped them solve a problem or understand where we were in time.
But then I need those cheap, stupid, quick messages. Digital chaff. And Mastodon certainly provides. Or ActivityPub, if I move into other components of federated messaging (like audio, video or images).
These are my three points of feedback.
- I have ideas, quips, questions, I want to jump into the public discourse, over Mastodon. I have a network that has networks, and we are cool, we answer each other and boost along questions we don’t know. I get feedback, answers, better ideas (and sometimes worse ones).
- If I have a big idea, or am ready to hash it out, or just need a place to stash a bunch of notes or responses, I use talkgroup
- When something is ready to be documented, I do that, at interi
And the best part is, all the docs on interi can be discussed, on Mastodon and talkgroup…
See I don’t need popularity, or stats. I need to talk. I am building places I can do that. On the free and open web. I have the best comments, because I use systems specifically designed for commentary. And I get the best commentors because we are all in this together, and the free and open web is a boring place for people seeking thrills at the expense of others (not immune, I know, but boring).
One day this post will merge into interi, edited for the medium, inclusive of the ideas and insights I and other have while it waits here, brewing. Maybe someone will disrupt my entire paradigm! Maybe the same crew of peeps will stop by and drop a on me, to show they are present.
I don’t know! But I am ready. What shall we talk about?