Observing the incoming ship
Have you ever found yourself part of a movement, regardless of size, without even realizing it? That’s basically how I found myself part of the IndieWeb. I had already been participating in a number of ways. I had one-to-many personal websites on my own domain and my own hosting, occasionally publishing content via WordPress I relied on Matomo for my analytics tracking, and I used Yourls for my link shortening. I wasn’t content with some unknown server somewhere owning that information, or even having access to it. However, it wasn’t until earlier this year when reading “A more complicated web” by Christian Heilmann that I had an established term for it.
Joining the IndieWeb ranks
Since then, I’ve slowly immersed myself into the topic and started consuming information about this IndieWeb. I returned to podcast consumption with a flurry of enthusiasm in 2017/2018 and when I found out there were podcasts about the IndieWeb, I immediately subscribed to one, specifically the IndieWeb Podcast by David Shanske and Chris Aldrich. Lastly, I joined in on the conversation fun by logging in to their Slack/IRC bridged presence. However, there is only so much passive observation you can do before you feel need to start participating.
Beginning the life mutiny
I already have multiple domains that cover various topics, why do I need another one? Well, because I can, and this domain was available. All things considered, I have the following other websites.
- Michaelbox.net – often forgotten web development focused blog.
- Trexthepirate.com – A playground of sorts
- ThinTheMichael – Fitness and health focused blog
- AchooAndTheSneezes – Creative writing focused blog
- ThePirateAsylum – Music video focused blog
Outside of having a pirate obsession, I also put focus on separation of concern. This is not a bad thing by any means. It helps someone who only wants to pay attention to certain topics that I may post about, instead of giving them a proverbial fire hose of content that they have to pick through.
That brings me to this new website, APirateLifeFor.Me. This one may turn into a larger fire hose of content in time. I want to leave it open to more general writing, but will very likely also put some focus on IndieWeb themed writing as well.
I’m the captain now
I’ve been on the internet since 1997. I’ve contributed quite a hefty share of content over time, and also had who knows how much content collected about me. Some of that content is willingly, some of it is not. Alongside content writing, I also intend to begin importing my content from elsewhere into a location that I can have complete control over.
One of the first data import sources I have put focus on is what Last.fm is available. I used to be a heavy user, but then stopped in the summer of 2014 for reasons I wish I could recall. It was not until I bit the bullet and signed up for Spotify that I returned to sending data to Last.fm. The move was in part because Spotify felt like it was literally everywhere, but also because it had that Last.fm integration which I wanted to return to. In my database, I have a table that’s focused on what listening data I was able to scrape from 2008 to 2014. Since it’s no longer evolving and changing for that time frame, I’m not worried yet about trying to keep it in sync. My 2019 data will come later once I settle on how best to fetch on a schedule that does not need manual running. It will be interesting to set up parsing and my own charting in various metrics to see my history.
If you’ve ever talked health and fitness with me, you’ll know that I have been working with a personal trainer for coming up on four years now. It started in late 2015 and has been pretty consistent since. To help with my “fitness journey”, I got myself Fitbit devices and wear it whenever possible. To my delight, they offer data exports of your user data, and this content is the second set that I’ve imported into my database. This will be another one that I need to set up recurring data requests so that I can stay on top of my data. In case curious, I’m mostly interested in step totals, exercise logs, and distance traveled. I may add more in the future, we’ll see what I find value in in the future.
I have more sites that I’d like to integrate into, but have not started yet. These include:
- GoodReads status updates and bookshelf contents
- Untappd data for various data about what beers I have explored
- Discogs for vinyl collection data
- A custom implementation of checkins for coffee shops, because I go to them a LOT.
Beyond that, it’s hard to say exactly what this site will comprise itself of, but it’s going to be an interesting journey, me thinks.
Own ye content me hearties, yo ho!