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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The difference between Google and Bing in this case is consistent with something I’ve noticed lately, which is that Google seems to be forgetting a lot of old stuff. Maybe it’s because the company is deprecating http in deference to https.

Source: Doc Searls: Google vs. Bing.

Okay there are a lot of “IF’s” in here.  IF this is really about depreciating http sites and IF this is permanent.  But…

  1. It directly effects the Indieweb.  One thing that running Indieseek has shown me is a lot of legacy Web 1.0 sites are still http and will likely never change.  Second: a lot of active blogs and other busy, creative Indieweb websites are still http.
  2. This makes it even harder for Indieweb sites to get traffic from Google.
  3. Google is once again warping the web for their own purposes.
  4. It shows that Google isn’t about quality, it’s about newness and popularity.
  5. It shows the need for decentralized search.

I think this validates what we’re doing here at Indieseek.  So remember, in case some mook at your favorite search engine flips a switch and shitcans all the Indieweb sites we’re here for you, we got your back.

When one search engine controls 90% of search change can happen that quick.  This may be a temporary blip, but the lesson holds: make sure you are listed in more than just one search engine.

 

This was also posted to
/en/linking.

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Liked

Like: Searching the Creative Internet

@davidcrawshaw we are here.  Indieseek.xyz is here to help.  Sure we’re not a high tech search engine but what could be more 1990’s than a web directory?  You call it the Creative Internet (good name BTW) and we call it the Independent Web but we’re talking about the same thing. Our mission is to try and index that “Creative Internet”.

And Indieseek.xyz is not alone, There are other indexes, with similar goals.  Just so you know that a few people are thinking the same way and trying.

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Liked

Like: Scoping Out Basics of #IndieWeb Search

Sounds like a great project and very worthwhile.

I can understand opt in.  I’m a little leery if the requirement is to use h-cards for that because as we have seen half the time that does not work.  Also it eliminates people on their own domain who might not have the ability to modify.  Just thinking out loud.

 

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/en/search-engines.

 

 

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Joe Jenett created a site he calls the “linkport” which combines some of the best parts of a web directory and a linkblog: “directory linkblog” to give it a generic name.  I want to explain how this changes the directory building game and how you can make this Indieweb compatible.

So keep the Linkport (above) open in a tab and look at it as we go along.

The Directory Linkblog

  1. WordPress: The basis of this is a blog script.  WordPress is perfect because there are lots of plugins available to help you do it right.  For simplicity sake you want to dedicate this WP install to the directory.
  2. Search & Categories: Most old style linkblogs do not have a dedicated search or subject categories. These two things combined are what make the directory linkblog different and usable. You want to have your blog search dedicated to the linkblog.  You will want to find a plugin that enhances the WP search.  You want to have subject categories for every link.
  3. One link per post.

If you take a look at Joe’s Linkport you will see all these elements.  That is the beauty of it.  It combines the immediacy, newness and freshness of a linkblog with the categories and listings search of a directory script.  You have an RSS feed, plus you can syndicate to social networks.  And WordPress is a free script available with one click install from almost any hosting company.  Bang! The Walls of Jericho just tumbled down.  Almost anyone can start their own directory linkblog, be it, general, niche whatever and dirt cheap too.

This greatly aids everyone in building decentralized search.

Cons

This does not have quite all the features of a regular directory script.  There is no way for webmasters to submit a URL, although you could use a contact form.  You are also limited to one top layer of categories not a hierarchy.

Now Add Cowbell Indieweb

This makes it even more exciting:  add Indieweb goodness.

  • Use an Indieweb compatible theme.
  • Install the Indieweb plugins for WP and set them up.
  • This means that any time you list a new link you will be telling the blog listed that you have mentioned them.  This helps generate awareness of your directory linkblog and usage. Plus it expands the Indieweb.

This was also posted to
/en/linking.

 

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Last night I noticed a referral from search engine Wiby.me.  Surprised I checked and we got listed!  Somebody from Wiby must have added Indieseek.xyz which was darn nice of them.

If you haven’t heard of Wiby.me you really should try it out.  It’s a search engine mainly of websites coded in HTML and not about sites running on PHP platforms.  Which means it lists a bunch of cool sites.  I find it addictive and fun.

Wiby’s mission runs in the same general direction as Indieseek’s but not exactly parallel which is part of the fun.

Thank you Wiby.me for the listing!

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For context you should read my post about decentralized search.

If you are using self hosted WordPress you can have a small links directory running in no time.  This uses the “Links” feature in WordPress that was never removed, just papered over.

  1. Add the “Links Shortcode” plugin from WordPress.  What this plugin does is reactivate the Links function in WordPress and lets you display the links categories you add on any page using a short code.
  2. Once you create a page and place the short code any links you add will appear on that page.  Follow the instructions on the plugin site on how to place and configure the short code.
  3. Create categories and add links in your WP admin under “Links”

It’s really just that simple.  And it’s free.

You can use this to make a blogroll and/or a links directory.  IMHO every blog should have both even if the “directory” or links page is only 20 links to start it will grow over time. This lets people surf from site to site based upon your recommendation which is a powerful thing.

You can divide things up over several pages.  The link listings have the option of Ratings, Title, Description URL and more.

 

Tips and Advice:

Start out making this for you.  This is a great way to keep your permanent bookmarks and share them with visitors.

If your blog is about one topic (ie cooking, hunting) your little links directory should probably match your theme.  If your blog is about anything and everything save whatever you want.

My suggestion is to name your links page “Directory” in your navigation menu – we need to get people used to seeing that word.

You can use this for anything: links to sites you like, links to your friend’s site, links to causes or charities that are important to you, links to sites or pages you check all the time.

Consider this part of the guerrilla war against the Google search silo. If a thousand bloggers all do this it starts making a difference.  Maybe we will teach people how to surf the web again.

This was also posted to
/en/linking.

 

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Right now, in the West, web search is highly centralized.  About 90 percent is in the hands of one company with one index of the web: Google.  The other 10 percent is split between Bing with it’s own index and a few others.  But wait it gets worse, most of the “few others” use Bing’s index and some use Google’s index.  Only a couple of other, very small, search engines actually crawl the web and have their own search index.

Both major search engines are really set up to find brand name, corporate, commercial web pages, or at least, they favor those.  The non-commercial blogs, personal sites, the fun websites the Indieweb movement wants to encourage, don’t get the same sort of traction.

So we have too few search engines which are not focused on independent, non-commercial websites. What do we do?

IMHO one way to fix this is Decentralizing Search:

  1. Have 8 major search engines with their own indexes.  We may be moving toward that but progress is slow and the Web so vast that it is very expensive to set up and run a major web crawling search engine. This won’t happen overnight.
  2. Have many small directory type search indexes.  There are still enough good directory scripts around that one can set up a directory, with a lot of features, at a very low cost.
  3. Blogrolls, link pages and maybe webrings.  We used to surf the web, we can learn to do it again.

Number 2.

It’s #2 above I want to discuss.  If we create many hundreds of directories and search engines, large and small, all dedicated to the listing of interesting or fun independent web sites and pages, then  we create our own discovery network.  Each index is a unique collection, presented differently from one another it helps break the dependency on Google and Bing in the near to mid term, at least until more major search engines get established.

And by “directory” I mean: A. a directory intended to help navigate the web NOT to sell links for SEO; B. traditional directories like Indieseek.xyz, also newer types of directories running hand coded scripts, hybrid directories that somehow incorporate a crawling spider, directories that incorporate webrings, local business directories, niche directories, even automated directories of some sort.  Whatever kind of index human ingenuity can invent.   By this means we start taking back the web and remaking it into something we can better enjoy.

This is not going to replace big crawling search engines.  And one directory, even 100 times the size of Indieseek, is not going to make a difference,  but large numbers will.  If everywhere we throw a stick we hit some directory people will start exploring, just like they explore bookstores, libraries or snoop through the bookshelves at a friends house.

20 years ago, when all the search engines sucked, I and others searched for websites with a battery of maybe 10 favorite search engines and directories in our browser bookmarks.  It’s not hard to do that again IF the tools are available.  That is my vision of decentralized search.  We don’t have to wait passively for others, big companies and venture capital, to solve the problem for us, we can do it now. Ourselves.  That is the beauty of the Web.

Indieseek.xyz is my stab at a proof of concept.  I know Kicks Condor is working on his own directory vision and that other concepts like Wiby.me are out there.  Coders take a stab at it. If we can do this, you can do this.

 

This was also posted to
/en/linking.

 

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#web directory #indieweb #discovery #decentralizedsearch

This is Indieseek.  Here’s the Home Page and here is the directory.  The whole site should be responsive to work on phone, tablet and computer screens.  I’ve already written a features post which lists many features but really it’s best to just explore and find stuff.

The site is a fusion of a WordPress blog and WSNLinks, a very powerful directory script.  The reason I went this route was because WordPress can be equipped with Indieweb.org plugins which lets other sites communicate with Indieseek and lets Indieseek communicate with them.  A directory script, on it’s own, just cannot do that.  Hopefully I will write enough compelling posts to keep the whole site from sliding into obscurity.

This is a small starter effort to address how websites get discovered, especially new blogs and websites.  For a decade we’ve all been syndicating out to Facebook and Twitter to get traffic, because that bypasses Google.  Well, Facebook and Twitter are slowly closing down syndication from blogs, which leaves us all, once again, at the mercy of Google.  I don’t think the Web should rely on just Google and Bing for website discovery.  We are fools to put all our eggs in just two baskets.

I have no illusions that one, old school directory is going to take on Google, but you can read my essay on decentralized search for more insight into what I’m thinking.

Right now this is a tiny directory.  I’ve filled it with a starter set of links (Brad’s bookmarks, mainly)  🙂  so you have something to explore but also to do two things: 1. show that there are websites and pages out there that don’t always rank well in the search engines but are worth seeing, 2. List resources to encourage people to build their own non-corporate blogs and websites.

Now I have a favor to ask:  Please submit your blogs, photoblogs, podcasts, microcasts, static sites.  Especially, please add, the personal blogs (those blogs that are about everything) because those are the hardest for me to try and describe on my own.  There is a Help page with simple instructions.

Beyond that, bookmark us, use us as we grow, tell your friends, spread the word, tip your server, be kind to those less fortunate and flip the bird to our monopolist Corporate Overlords.

This was also posted to
/en/linking.

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