Finding The Form

Blogging is a ‘form’ and I want to find my own groove with it.

8 minutes

A few people in this little corner of the blogosphere have linked to this bikobatanari.art recently: Browsing the Eastern Side of the Personal Web (and exploring its differences with the West)

It’s quite frankly one of the best things I’ve read all year. Go read it!

The author, having browsed Neocities for years, became interested in discovering new, less-visited corners of the personal web. This led them to Japanese personal websites, which are often indexed by specific search engines dedicated to personal Japanese sites. These sites, unlike Western equivalents, focus more on showcasing creative works rather than individual personas.

Here’s some of my fav quotes:

These observations on the role of personal sites about the nature of the blogs about pages:

Something that I’ve noticed in general is that the personal sites over there tend to be very creations/product focused. That is, their sole purpose is to show off things that they’ve made, rather than embody some sort of persona.

This emphasis on creations is also made clear by how many of these sites’ administrators handle their About pages. It’s not hard to find an About page on Neocities or some other site in the Western Personal Web space which has a lot of personal informationβ€”almost written like a biographyβ€”detailing who they are, where they’re from, their beliefs, favourite media, food, etc.; also displaying stamps, blinkies, and that sort of stuff that came from DeviantArt and Tumblr in regards to Neocities sites.

However, in a large majority of these Japanese sites, you will have an extremely difficult time finding something like that. You’re more likely to find an About page with a sentence or two at mostβ€”and it’s most likely talking about their site, not themselves as a person. They may share their name and sometimes what prefecture that they were born/raised in, but that’s about it.

We talk about the dark forest/cosy web but the culture over there takes things to a whole other level

A term which I’ve encountered quite a bit on Japanese personal sites is “ζ€œη΄’ιΏγ‘”. The translation for this term is simply “search avoidance“.

Essentially, there are plenty of personal sites that go out of their way to make sure their space doesn’t get spotted or picked up by search engines; and not the search engines that index these types of sites mind you (like the ones I linked to in the beginning of this article)β€”they’re explicitly talking about search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc.

These sites will have a disclaimer saying that their site “avoids search”, and more often than not they will also add an additional disclaimer saying that their site is not allowed to be linked on SNS (basically their shorthand for social media).

This is partly (it seems) a reaction to western norms leaking out of our social media:

Since their culture handles criticism and feedback differently compared to those from the West, it’s not surprising then that they’re finding it hard to adapt to the Cancel Culture that is (unfortunately) heavily normalized over here. This is likely why many of these people, even in such a secluded place as a personal website, take extra precautions to make sure that they don’t get negative attention, despite the fact that their sites are already hard enough to find as it is.

They even have a strict (but informal) linking culture

In the case of these Japanese sites, it’s rarely about the interactions between them and visitors and more so just linking to their site. And in that regard, I tend to see one common criteria: you can only link to them if your own site is also a personal site.

The whole thing is super fascinating. It’s left me me with a lot to think about, what do I want from this blog in 2024? If I give up short form social media completely (as is my intention) I have a feeling I’ll be posting here a bit more freely. Maybe daily. For a long time I’ve been worried of overloading those of you subscribed by email, but if its too noisy, you can unsubscribe.

All my favourite bloggers focus their energy on just ‘posting’. Blogging is a ‘form’ and I want to find my own groove with it. The one big thing I do want to do this month, before the end of the year is get activity pub working properly and join that ecosystem.


Permanently Moved

As is tradition, here are all the episodes that didn’t get made in 2023, and a little note about Season 11 and 2024

Full Show Notes: https://www.thejaymo.net/2023/12/02/301-2340-eoy-2023/

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Permanently moved is a personal podcast 301 seconds in length, written and recorded by @thejaymo

Photo 365

photo-a-day 40/356/2023

The Ministry Of My Own Labour

  • Finished last podcast of the year!
  • Started work on a new linocut for zine #008
  • Nearly finished my taxes
  • Finished a long blogpost about ‘the alms race’ – out next week
  • Wrote all the Experience.Computer scripts for the trailer and intro and outro.
    • Recording this weekend
  • Went to a wedding
  • Had a busy Friday afternoon ending with drinks in kings x

Terminal Access

Colin had some interesting thoughts about blogging and embedding oneself in a community the other day:

At its core, blogging is a solitary activity with many (if not most) authors claiming that their blog is for them – myself included. Yet, the implication of audience cannot be ignored. Indeed, the more an author embeds themself in the loose community of blogs, by reading and linking to others, the more that implication becomes reality even if not actively pursued via comments or email.

Dipping the Stacks

Russell Page – My Garden

British gardener, garden designer and landscape architect, Russell Page, was fifty-six years old and had not had a garden of his own since he was eighteen but he had a fantasy of what his ideal garden would look like.

Inside Marvel’s Jonathan Majors Problem: ‘The Marvels’ Reshoots, More

β€œThe Marvel machine was pumping out a lot of content. Did it get to the point where there was just too much, and they were burning people out on superheroes? It’s possible,” says Wall Street analyst Eric Handler,

High Entertainment – David Robbins

If a High Entertainer is free to use mass media communication formats toward conceptual ends, does that make High Entertainment some sort of β€œconceptual art for the masses”? Is that really the goal here?

A blog post is a very long and complex search query to find fascinating people and make them route interesting stuff to your inbox

A blog post is a search query. You write to find your tribe; you write so they will know what kind of fascinating things they should route to your inbox. If you follow common wisdom, you will cut exactly the things that will help you find these people. It is like the time someone told the composer Morton Feldman he should write for β€œthe man in the street”. Feldman went over and looked out the window, and who did he see? Jackson Pollock.

Whose Domain Is It? – by Tianyu Fang – Reboot

Domain sales are generating revenue for Anguilla’s government. Per Cate’s estimate, the domain registry is currently generating $3 million in revenue every month for the government, which is somewhere around a third of its monthly budget.

Reading

I apparently have 10 books ‘in progress’ according to Goodreads, some of which I haven’t looked at over a year.. I’ve never ever not ever finished a book… Maybe in my late 30’s I should cut my losses?

After meeting Venkatesh IRL the other week, and a conversation with a friend I’m reading his The Art of Gig. What a great book. Its so so helpful. I followed the newsletters as they were coming out, but seeing all the essays in one place is awesome. It’s a very inspiring book. Very useful for where I am right now, thinking about 2024.

I finished Feminism Against Progress by Mary Harrington. It’s a very … er …. 90’s book IMO especially section 3. It has Gen X vibes throughout – but not in a bad way at all though! It’s re-contextualised much of Harringtons other writing I’ve read which has been useful. Its given me an understanding of the landscape from within which she’s writing and looking out over/from.

Music

Coupdekat .mp3

The new Coupdekat (previously on the blog) single is hyperpop track mining nostalgia. Guitars, breakbeats and a pop structure. This song reminds me of the sonic melange I was embedded in around 2008-ish.

Remember Kids:

Soil meme

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