Replied to

Reply to: Bookmarked Personal sites are awesome by Andy Bell (personalsit.es).

It is an inventive use of Github.  I definitely like directories of personal sites.  Personal site directories are best populated by webmaster URL submissions, because it’s hard for an editor to figure out the themes of a site in a timely manner, and one problem here is that there is a lot of friction to submitting a site, although the email workaround is thoughtful.

I can’t help but wonder about building a similar directory site that aggregates its data by Webmention and uses the h-cards from websites to automatically update itself.

Hrrm.  What happens if the directory admin finds a simply stunning site that has no webmention or h-card capability?  Do we abdicate our human judgement and automatically disqualify a more than worthy site because it does not have a barcode we like?  I always have a problem with using just code up front as a criteria for inclusion.  Or perhaps my bar is set too low: 1. it has a web address, preferably it’s own domain, 2. the site renders and is readable to humans, 3. the site has good content.  I do think a directory such as you describe is worth trying as a long term experiment.

The strength of a directory over a search engine is the human editing. Search engines cannot measure quality, only popularity.  Why give up, even partially, one of your few advantages?

The second thing, I don’t think a directory in 2019 can rely on webmaster submissions alone to grow the directory.  A whole new generation of webmasters have come of age without directories, webrings and the like.  They don’t understand the need to submit (silos), they don’t know they should submit their URL, they don’t know how to submit URL’s, they don’t know how a directory works or how to search one.  I think any new directory has to just offer URL submission, but in the end go out and find good sites.

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We’re Listed

Indieseek.xyz got listed in the official Indieweb wiki at Indieweb.org/directory.  We’re there along with directories made by Joe Jenett and Kicks Condor.

Rearranging Categories

Created a new top level category Books. Made Fiction and Nonfiction sub-categories of Books.

I was showing some friends of mine my new Kobo ebook reader and realized they knew very little about ereaders.  If they had questions, maybe others have them too.  So I created two new categories under Books: eBook Readers and eBook Sources.

Top Categories

I changed the lineup on the Top Categories page.  Much to my surprise, the News category has proved very popular.

Additions

Added a few new author sites

Added lots of listings to those new ebook categories, including a good mix of sources for free ebooks, because free is good and we like free.

Plus added a couple of vintage sites.

Submissions

Chris McLeod submitted his weblog Mr.Kapowski to the directory. Thanks Chris!  Chris talks about web development, miniature painting and war games.

Hyperlink Nodes Directory

Over at nodes.indieseek.xyz I managed to add a blogroll, a linkblog and a niche directory.  We add them as we find them.

Many thanks to the many people that support Indieseek.xyz.  If you would like a way to support Indieseek I would ask that you link to us.  Thanks.

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Replied to

Reply to: Bookmarked NowNowNow (nownownow.com)

 

First, thank you for bringing this to my attention.  I have listed NowNowNow in the Hyperlink Nodes Directory as a niche directory.

Second, Yes!  This is exactly what I’ve been yammering on about with decentralized search (or decentralized discovery, if you will.)  It’s not without some issues as you have pointed out and one issue is – will it scale, but it’s a nice effort that can be built upon.  Also it’s about individual people, which is what the Web is about.

Third, It’s a nice fresh approach to a blog directory, presuming it’s mostly blogs that have a /now page.  If you say “blog directory” everybody yawns, if you say /now page directory everybody perks up with interest.  /now pages are a good hook for personal blogs.

I’m curious how we might expand this sort of concept to other types of online directories? Is there anything else useful about how this is one is set up?

 

Going Conventional

You could replicate this with a good commercial Php directory script: just insist that the primary URL submitted be to the /now page and add whatever custom fields you need for bio information.  This would allow submission from the website instead of the two step email process.  It would also give the directory admin tools like dead link checking that help maintain the directory over time, plus a search function, the option to add hierarchical categories or leave it flat, the ability to sort listings in different orders, and an RSS feed of new listings.

A specialized personnel or membership directory script could be adapted too.

Custom/Future

What is swirling around in my head is some sort of fusion of NowNowNow, Microcast.club and webmentions like href.cool can send, plus a conventional directory script for those backend admin tools.

  • I like the webring aspects to Microcast.club: 1. it helps keep the directory current by requiring a bit of code on the page listed, if the code disappears you drop out. 2. Lets people optionally surf like a webring, 3. provides a link back to the directory – two way linking provides more traffic for everyone and frankly helps the directory to rank in search engine results too.  Downside: it is a mandatory reciprocal link which I’m not totally comfortable with.
  • href.cool sends a webmention to all sites that get listed.  Truly an indieweb directory by design. Trackback sending would be a nice backup to that because not everybody has webmentions.
  • NowNowNow provides submission which is 1. human reviewed, plus 2. URL submission that is more democratic than Microcast.club – any site with a /now page can submit. I say this even though I see email submission as problematic.
  • A conventional directory script would provide search, URL submission and other sorting options which would make things scale better and be maintained better long term by one admin.

Yes we need a 21st Century rethink of the conventional php directory script.  The above are some elements that could be incorporated.

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Alarms and Excitements

We had our share of excitement here with part of both Indieseek.xyz and Nodes.indiseek.xyz directory scripts partially down for awhile.  The problem was the Php errors would only show when logged out of the sites and I, being the Admin, am almost always logged in.  No telling how long that was going on.  Fixed now.

Listings

I’m no longer rushing to to seed the directory with listings.  This is good because it gives me more time to work on more detailed descriptions.  I have also started writing Comments for listings to give my thoughts on things, like: why it’s listed, my experience with it, my recommendation, etc.  This lets me editorialize while keeping descriptions more neutral.

New listings will be added through new submissions and websites I find along the way.  I have added a few blogs and other websites.  I always keep my eye out for blogs.

Meanwhile at Nodes.indieseek.xyz

Over at the link clump directory, I’ve added a couple of linkblogs to the listings.

I also added a new category of traditional web directories.  I added these to show younger people how we found stuff on the Web before search engines got good and before Google.  Since they are still around, I thought they should be acknowledged in some way.

 

 

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Breaking Directory News:

My friend Eddie reports that he has upgraded and expanded his local Forest of Dean (UK) directory based upon requests and suggestions emailed in by users.  The update is complete and includes an expansion into the Wye Valley area.  Details at those links.

Also neat is a Screen Cast on how to use the directory.

This is the local directory I always use as an example of how to make a proper local directory and portal: directory + events calendar + announcements blog, using local knowledge that Google maps can’t match.  I know that the Forest of Dean directory is heavily used by both local residents and tourists.

If you are going to visit the Forest of Dean area, I recommend you give the directory a good look.

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Additions

We actually broke through the 700 listings mark in the directory.

I added a bunch of Role Playing Game (RPG) podcast sites, quite a few blogs, and a lot of book review websites.

Reviews and Directory Launches

I wrote a review of Kicks Condor’s new href.cool directory.

I launched a new tiny directory of link clumps.  Announcement here.

We Gotcha News Feeds Right Here

It’s an easy guess that the blog here on Indieseek.xyz has a news feed but did you know that the directories also have RSS feeds of the newest listed sites?  Well we have links to them all below for your feed reader, in a bunch.

Indieseek.xyz Blog – RSS

Indieseek Directory new listings – RSS

Hyperlink Nodes Directory new listings – RSS

Some Favorite Posts in 2018:

Directory Building Just Got: Easier, Cheaper and #Indieweb

Finding Your Directory Niche

Building a Local Directory

How to Build a Town News and Event Portal

Decentralized Search and the #Indieweb

That’s it.  Thank you for reading and using the directory.  Have a great New Year and a peaceful 2019.

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Launched: Hyperlink Node Directory

This started out as a thinking out loud type post a few weeks ago.  At that time I couldn’t really think of a straight forward use for it but my instincts told me it could be useful or somebody would figure out a use for it eventually.  Anyway I spent the week before Christmas 2018 getting things set up.

Wat?

Okay, a hyperlink node and “clump of links” are synonymous. If I call your link page a hyperlink node it suddenly sounds legit. 🙂

The Hyperlinks node directory is an index of individual collections of web links, by type.  Therefore it indexes: blogrolls and following pages, directories, search engines, linkblogs, link pages, niche directories, webrings and other significant collections.  Comments are enabled for each listing, if you have a thought on a listing, please share it.  These collections often map out odd little corners of the web.

Utility

Thinking on it some more, I think it has value for: 1. discovery, finding new sites and blogs to follow by seeing what other people have taken the time to link to, 2. eventually I think it might be useful for indexing communities, 3. establishing, at least one, central index of decentralized search and the hyperlinking guerrilla war against the search monopoly silos, 4. an aid to reestablishing “surfing the web”.  There may be more that I have not thought of.

The big utility for me is having a place to list these when I stumble across them, so they can be shared, rather than just bookmarking them (or worse forgetting to bookmark them).

Challenge #1: Build Your Own

My first challenge to you is build your own node: Easiest would be an old fashion link page or a blogroll/following page; or maybe a linkblog or a linkblog-directory hybrid; or even a directory.  Whatever you feel like, build it and show people websites you like.  Examples and ideas are in the directory.  You can do this.

Challenge #2: List It Here

You might already have a linkblog, link page or big blogroll, if so you can either add the URL to the directory or you can send me the URL via the contact form (hopefully it works) at the bottom of this post and I will review it for inclusion.  It dose not even have to be your own, if you run across something drop me the URL and I’ll look at it.

Or if you build something for Challenge 1, come back and list it.

The idea is to have a lot more of these all across the indieweb so web surfers can find human reviewed recommendations. Like Word of Mouth recommendations from people you trust.

I hope this is in some way useful.  Thanks!

Be sure to include the URL to your node in the form below:

 

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Kicks Condor announced the launch of his new web directory: href.cool.  This is a meticulously made, well thought out tiny web directory.  Each listing is curated: carefully chosen, descriptions crafted, meticulously displayed like a rare Ancient Etruscan object in a museum.  But it’s more than that, it’s also a kid’s cigar box full of treasures: a couple of pretty marbles found in the dirt at the playground, a yo-yo, a mummified frog, a beloved grandfather’s service medal, a four color ball-point pen, a Doctor Who Tardis pencil sharpener and a secret decoder ring.

Wrapper

Let’s start with the wrapper. This is a nice touch: you get your choice of three templates.  The default is cool, clean, sleek and inviting, like Taylor Swift, perfect in drapey silk.  Another is yellow almost brutalist but the larger type and thumbnails make it easy to read. Did I mention it was yellow?  The third is a homage to the earliest old time gray Yahoo! directory look, which might be best for working in a darkened room.  And they all just work and are good choices.

Categories

The categories and sub categories are right out of that young boy’s cigar box: they represent the interests of the curator – they are not trying to please everyone or be orthodox, instead they proclaim, this is my collection and this is how I cataloged it.  And you know, they make sense.

Listings

Listings have thumbnail images. On a conventional directory I’m not a fan of thumbs, but here they work well and help define the space for each listing.  Without them, a category page would just be massed paragraphs of text blending in to one another.  Each listing description is unique and generally tells you why Kick’s included it or why it’s cool.  This is a rabbit hole in and of itself: you can spend lots of time browsing the directory just reading the descriptions without actually clicking on the links.  They are great fun.

With the links themselves, we are back in the museum.  This is the second rabbit hole: most of these sites are unique, and precious for the reasons given by Kicks.  He’s your guide for this museum tour.  I won’t spoil it for you, go to the directory and look around, you won’t be bored.

Time-Depth

Which brings me to another neat feature, the editor has given an estimate of how extensively deep each listing is in a range between 1 minute to infinity.  This is either the depth of the rabbit hole or the length of alien abduction lost time that will occur on each site.  And you can browse and sort the links by how much time you have to kill.  I’ve never seen that before and I like it.

Surf’s Up!

I know Kicks kinda wants to bring back the practice of “surfing the Web”.  I think he has succeeded in producing a directory that encourages that.  There is no search function.  Right now the directory does not need it and it’s going to be awhile before it does, if ever.  This is a browsing directory where you want to take your time and wander through the categories looking for goodies.

Take Aways

The critical part of me wants to find flaws with this site but it’s hard to do that because it does everything it is intended to do.  It’s not a search engine – it’s not Google. In fact it is exactly the opposite of soulless, godless search engines like Google and Bing.  This is a human built directory. It uses human judgement on the quality of the listings. It uses human tastes as to aesthetics, humor, value, worthiness.  These are all things that the Googles cannot measure.  This is not a place for fast searching, for helicoptering in to find one page to match your query.  Each link is like a monograph or a tome in a library.

Perhaps linking—and spending time telling you why I linked—is good enough. Perhaps it’s superior!

I think it is.

More than anything, I hope mine intrigues you to build your own.

This is an important point.  You can do something like this too.  Figure out a way to list links to stuff you think is neat even if it’s just a good old static HTML link page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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