During my second digital declutter, I found that I had a lot more time to tinker with my websites. And so I did. Here are some of the updates I've made to this site during that time.
Blazor WASM Search App
I've got a new Search app for this journal. It is a Blazor Web Assembly app. So, basically a .NET app written in C# that runs as a client-side web application. And it loads much faster than my previous Search app hosted on Glitch. That's because it is a static site hosted on Netlify. Which means it's always up and running. There is an initial load where your browser downloads the .NET DLLs. But after that, it should load pretty quickly next time you use it.
I took away the link to get a Random post from this journal. I did so because it had a slot machine feel to it. Watching The Social Dilemma reminded me of the slot machine nature of it. But my main reason for removing it, was because it took so long to load at times. This stood in stark contrast to how fast this Write.as powered site loads. I can redo it as a Blazor Web Assembly app, but that's not a priority right now. Maybe something to tinker with in the future.
My second digital declutter officially ends tomorrow. There's a lot to unpack from this latest declutter, but that will come in time. This post is to address some changes I'm making going forward.
First — I'm tentatively setting this journal back to Public. This means my posts will once again show up on the read.write.as feed. But...
Second — I'm no longer going to check the read.write.as feed. So, if you respond to a post of mine with a post that shows up on the feed, I have no way of knowing about it. For any questions, comments or concerns, I highly suggest leaving me a message or sending me an email. There's also some more ways of reaching me listed in my Contact page.
It is unfortunate, since I was one of those who happily participated in conversations over the read.write.as feed. But for now, I'm choosing to prioritize my mental health over it. I'm doing this for my own sanity.
Meanwhile, my email inboxes have been getting unwieldy. The number of unread posts on my Feedly account keeps on growing. I have not been reading books as much as I used to. I have not been learning new skills. I'm starting to get exhausted because I feel like I'm in a race to do lots of stuff, even if nobody is asking me to do them.
Recent posts I've read have made me question whether this is the best use of my time and my reader's time. I've started to wonder whether I've been producing something of value for myself and my readers. I wonder if maybe I'm just going through the motions. Like trying to look productive, even though I'm not. If that's the case, then I'm just wasting everyone's time, mine included.
Walking is increasingly mediated by technological gadgets worn on wrists or gripped in hands. We spend an increasing amount of time ‘screening’ the world – taking in most of life through a contracted frame that captures objects of immediate interest. To live with eyes on the screen is to be attached, stuck in the frame, taking in what is presented to us and re-presented to us again. But representation – even in fine-grained pixilation – is not experience. To experience is to perceive. When we look at a screen, we might see something, but we don’t perceive. To live life through representations is to live passively, to receive rather than to experience.
I am so grateful that I discovered the IndieWeb. Owning my content and posting my thoughts on my own site instead of a silo like Twitter gives me real freedom. I can decide how my thoughts are displayed (I like to make them available to everyone without advertising), I can edit them and they stay available for as long as I want.
While I did enjoy joining the challenge, I have to say I was burning out towards the end. For someone who doesn't take too many pictures, this was a real challenge. It also increased my mobile phone usage, which is an unwanted side effect. That said, since I already joined, I was committed to finishing it (and I did). Just like how I'm committed to finishing this 100DaysToOffload challenge as well.
Last time I shared an Emoji Unicode Reference from w3schools. I found a better one. This one is from the Unicode website itself. It's better because they have an extra column in their table called “CLDR Short Name”. To me, it's really more like a description column. That means you can do a browser search for say “book”, and it will lead you to all the emojis with that word in its description. It just makes it easier to find the emoji you are looking for.
The other benefit is that it gives you a preview of what an emoji looks like on different platforms. For instance, the open book emoji looks noticeably different between platforms. I'm using the same emoji on the title for this site. And I was wondering why it looks different on my Windows PC and on my iPhone. Well, now I know why — each platform or “vendor” can implement their own version of the emoji.
I've been playing with adding emojis to this site recently. If you haven't noticed, the pinned pages now have emojis at the end. It is as simple as copy and paste. I didn't have to use escape characters. I basically went to the Emoji Unicode Reference page on w3schools, copied one of the emojis, edited one of the pinned pages, pasted the emoji and hit publish. And it... worked. Too easy really. Maybe everyone else already knew that it was that easy, but not me 😀
Anyway, I'm bookmarking the page so I can easily find more emojis to use in the future. Maybe someone else will find it useful too.
Cal in his post, shares a wonderful essay about a professional sport climber who ditched social media and improved her career. Both posts, from Cal and Madison are really good reads. Be sure to check out the comments too, especially on Cal's post.
It was then that Madison’s athletic career moved to the next level. “There’s nobody I’m here to perform for,” she writes. “I just train and silently work on achieving my own definition of success.”
That quote above made me reconsider keeping my blog “public”. By that I mean having my posts show up on the read.write.as feed. I sometimes feel that I'm performing for someone when my posts show up on the read.write.as feed. Like I'm in a competition, trying to keep up with everyone else.
In Part 1, I covered how I generated links to the Previous and Next post for my “indexed” journal entries. In this post, I'll talk about how I generated the links for non-indexed journal entries.
Handling Old Journal Entries
To make navigation work between blog posts in a series, I made use of a standard format for post slugs/URLs. I call them “indexed” entries because I added an index to the end of the slug/URL. For example, “journal-entry-001”, “journal-entry-002”, “journal-entry-003” and so on. It's really just a way to help me figure out the sequence of posts.
var element = document.querySelector('meta[property="og:url"]');
var content = element && element.getAttribute("content");
// Get post slug
var postSlug = content.split('/').pop();
var postIndex = postSlug.split('-').pop();