An IndieWeb experiment by Justin Johansson

A special welcome to aspiring & practicing independent web publishers.

What this website is about.

I've been wanting to write about my programming endeavours for quite some time & have explored all the usual options:

After a couple of years of messing around on Twitter I felt that the whole experience, aside from being a very limiting communication channel, was rather shallow when it's your primary outlet. Still, Twitter has it's good points: it's great for picking up on tech news & it's an effective avenue for announcing articles that one publishes elsewhere -- preferably on one's own website.

Regarding FaceBook which many of my friends & family use, I have steadfastly refused to join in, having similar misgivings as with publishing on Medium -- all these social media platforms have one thing in common -- they are free because you are the product.

On WordPress, which I've also tried getting into a number of times: I'm sure it's a fine product but it just doesn't bode well with a minimalist programmer such as myself. Also a number of technical & non-technical friends alike have related their experience with WordPress to me, concurring that:

It's just all too much.

That left me with the pondering the last class of options in the open-source publishing systems arena. Being a JavaScript type of person, I installed and tried out the following representative static & dynamic website generators:

Now, while not being out to criticize any of the above open-source efforts, I feel quite fair in concluding that the learning curve for all of the above would take longer in the short term than it would to code up a simple static site generator of my own creation from scratch.

My wife oft quotes her late father whenever I procrastinate:

It takes longer to think about doing something than actually doing it. So get on with it.

The final impetus to fly the DIY (do-it-yourself) route came when I happened across an article describing a Lightweight Static Website Generator by Philip Guo. So this is what this website is about:

It's my own independent effort to be independent on the web.

Oh, about the domain name, This was pure serendipity: discovering the IndieWeb, independent web publishing movement just one week into coding up my static website generator prototype. That was around December 15, 2016.

Now since I just happen to do JavaScript & there just happens to this notion of the IndieWeb, putting these two words together was one of the fastest ideas I ever dreamed up. Luckily the name being also available meant no further time to be wasted on naming dilemmas.

There will be trials & tribulations no doubt as I embark upon this self-publishing journey but hopefully it will remain interesting enough to share with you.