Refuge in blogs and the IndieWeb

It all started with this very peculiar post about how the social web is dead, so we should all just kind of get over it. Well, obviously. If Twitters, ahem, sorry, whatever porn name it’s taken today, is any indication of Enshittification playing out in real time, well, good on you for bravely talking about it, I guess?

Not to say that documenting these things isn’t important. Documenting these things is important so the people coming into this world after us can know that, actually, the web used to have personal websites on it. Oh sure, there’s the IndieWeb movement and philosophy, but it might as well be a tech hype machine as far as everyone else is concerned. The IndieWeb is supposed to try to help bring back personal websites again and not having everybody post into massive silos.

It’s no secret that I like the IndieWeb. In fact, one can say I like it kind of a lot more than the Fediverse. The best of both worlds would be merging those two things together.

Speaking of merging, you can now have your hosted site join the Fediverse. This seriously is exciting! It’s a long time overdue, and it will be splendid for the adoption of the Fediverse.

While I switched over to ClassicPress because I just like the direction they are headed in a lot better, I love the fact people on WP COM can now finally join the Fediverse. It brings an added boost in accounts to the Fediverse. I was reading though, with great interest, this post in the Fediverse Report about moderation and otherwise. What will moderation look like now personal websites are a part of the Fediverse? When should you, as an instance admin, block a whole website if only one writer on the website is posting bad/offensive material?

Even with all these questions, the Fediverse will be growing, and this is great! Apparently, the other venture capitalist social networks are growing too. Soon, though, I predict they will all fizzle out eventually when they start down the Enshittification path.

Speaking of growing and all the things, my plain text post has been getting some attention! I’m glad it’s helping people. I’ll keep adding to it as I refine my workflow.

Back to me, even though the Fediverse is growing, I still find myself seeking quiet spaces on the web. Personal websites. Personal blogs. Not social media profiles. Social media profiles kind of sound like I’m sidling up to someone at a party and leaning in very closely as they shout to everyone else leaning in very closely, but making sure other people can hear them across the room? It’s the best I’ve got. I’ve written before about how I dislike social media, and I’ve also written before about how I’m starting to think activism is turning into a brand now, but I’d rather not hash that out again. I’m sure people really don’t like it when I repeat myself.

My quest for blogs and otherwise has led me down some very interesting pathways. Even though I blog with ClassicPress now, there are some other Blogging platforms I’d love to highlight, simply because they are very minimalist. They make money by charging for features, not ads.

I used to think that charging for features wasn’t a good strategy but then I spent a day on the web without an ad blocker and, well, now I believe you should do everything you can to block all ads.

Let’s jump right in! But first, an explanation of how I read these blogs. I read them via RSS. Wikipedia has a fantastic article on RSS so you should read that to learn what RSS is, but basically, it stands for really simple syndication. RSS is older than I am, and it still works far better than newsletters and email subscriptions.

I like RSS better than email subscriptions because I can control things with RSS better and I can categorize my news and otherwise. Plus, ever since working with email in plain text, I’ve realized how ugly email has become. No, seriously. People are trying to make email look like web pages and, just, no! Bad internet. Bad internet!

RSS readers for iPhone.

Obviously, because I’m blind, the below have a very strong focus on accessibility. If it’s not on the list, get in touch and I’ll add it, if you care about accessibility, that is.

RSS readers for Windows.

If your accessible RSS reader isn’t on the list, get in touch.

  • Tweesecake. Fantastic client for reading feeds without a browser.
  • Accessible RSS reader.
  • MiniFlux. This is just a very great and efficient RSS reader. It’s why I keep paying for it.
  • BetterBird. A fork of Thunderbird.
  • QFeed. Appears to be no longer updating but I loved this when it was maintained.

Blogging platforms.

Future updates to this section can be found on this links page.

If you want to blog but hate what the bigger platforms are doing to your blog and user experience, The below Blogging platforms are great! If you like using them, pay to get some of the extra features. They are worth it!

  • Mataroa. I just love everything about this site. It’s everything I need in a blog without all the fluff.
  • Word Mogul is another minimalist blogging platform. Register and pay for Word Mogul.
  • Smol Pub is another blogging platform that also allows you to publish your blog in multiple formats, such as Gemini, without you doing anything extra.
  • The Midnight Pub is a space for writers to create any kind of blog/page they want. it’s also like an underground digital city and does not have RSS feeds but still worth reading.
  • Bloggi is fully managed. Offers a lot of customization options and is mostly accessible with some workarounds like OCRing buttons. Can be used.
  • Blot. Turns any folder into a blog. I had fun playing with it, but I ultimately needed something else.
  • ClassicPress. It’s what I use because I don’t like the direction wordpress is headed. Contact me for a managed hosting referral.
  • Dreamwidth. An open source fork of LiveJournal with an accessibility community.
  • Bear Blog. Has some accessibility hiccups but nothing show stopping. I don’t know if they will improve but I liked it when I tried it.
  • Micro.Blog. while I dislike the focus on Micro Blogging, you can make this work as a personal website. It’s not free.
  • Tiiny Web Hosting. this is the simplest way I can find to start hosting a static site.
  • WriteFreely. The flagship instance is Write As, which has more features, but is not free. This has some major accessibility problems though so try it only if you’re willing to work past the accessibility failures.
  • Known. Known is a place for people to share a blog. Can be self-hosted but also offers a managed hosting option but accessibility could not be determined fully. Some parts of the site are very accessible but others are not.
  • Bludit. Bludit has no managed option. is less accessible to screen readers than others on this list but it can be managed if your patient.
  • Telescope is a kind of Medium alternative that has fully managed options. When I tried it, many edit fields weren’t labeled.
  • BlogStatic offers fully managed blogs but BlogStatic is not free.
  • Ghost is popular but is not accessible, at all, to blind bloggers.
  • Neocities can be used to make a blog but it is more for building websites.
  • Ichi Cities is another place that offers blogs and personal websites/journals.

How to find blogs and feeds.

The below websites are my favorite places to find blogs and RSS feeds to subscribe to.

  • Webring examples. Webrings are a fantastic way to find blogs and personal websites.
  • Indie News. A website that has random indie posts from all over the web.
  • You Need Feeds has a bunch of starter packs to try to get you started, if you’re brand new to RSS.
  • The IndieWeb webring.
  • OOH directory. Best for browsing personal websites about topics. Find a topic then drill down.
  • IndieBlog directory. Best for just kind of stumbling onto blogs. Still, I like it even though it has some accessibility quirks.

That’s it! I don’t really use blog search engines because they all rely on algorithms to sort blogs and no algorithm is better than I am at finding interesting content, so I feel insulted every time an algorithm suggests I like something.

Also posted on IndieNews


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