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Homebrew Website Club Notes

Quite a few people showed up for last night’s online Homebrew Website Club and there were a few new faces! We have been hosting these weekly now and trying different things to streamline the process. Here are some notes from the discussions.



We used an etherpad for collaborative notes. After introductions, attendees wrote short descriptions of topics they wanted to discuss. Then we used ranked voting to determine the order. The proposed topics were:

  1. Digital bookmarking
  2. Siri/texting as a blogging tool
  3. Static site generation from scraped urls?
  4. My (Kevin) demo and questions on relative links
  5. WebXR - is it the future of spacial computing?
  6. How to display homepage mentions
  7. Webactions (reply, repost buttons)

We ended up discussing #6, #2, and #7. Unfortunately we did not have time to discuss the others.

#6: How to display homepage mentions

  • Person-tagging, person-mentions
  • Displaying in a separate feed
  • Private vs public
  • AutoAuth
  • Angelo mentioned using his own site’s identity pages (ie. other people’s sites/identities cached locally) as a catch-all stash for mentions originating from that identity’s domain. This may provide fodder for a future vouch-like system.

#2: Siri/texting as a blogging tool and other tools

  • Brian: uses Siri to read back posts to him, catches things that don’t sound right
  • Sarah: have you ever tried switching it, dictating first?
  • Azin: Uses Grammarly to check grammar and passive voice - browser extension
  • Kartik: The Hemingway app warns when you use too many adverbs
  • Joe: mentioned the book Because Internet about how the internet has changed how we communicate
  • Voice Dream Reader app to screen read back to you (not sure if on Android)
  • Tantek: been researching & documenting things like Hemingway (and a bunch of other ways to improve interactive text editing)
  • Angelo mentioned using the browser’s built-in speech synthesis. Gregor uses speech synthesis for the pronunciation on his about page.

#7: Webactions (reply, repost buttons)


There were not many notes taken during this part, so some of this is from memory. Let me know if I missed anything.

Kevin demoed his use of the file: protocol and relative links. Works both online and on his local computer. Joe mentioned it reminded him of the use of base href back in the day.

Angelo demoed his repost & rsvp of tonight’s HWC event page. The rsvp as per the usual flow and the repost as a conduit for caching description, tags, and eventually attendees. He is going to look into patching Meetable (running to include attendee microformats.

Katherine demoed updates to Hovering over permalinks shows a preview of the photo in the post. She also demoed some updates to and talked about her use of Jekyll.

Sarah demoed and talked about her design choices. She wanted a minimal but bold design. On this page, hover over the right column to see a cool effect.

Tantek demoed a watch post he made, including the emoji play icon and text “watched.” He talked about some possible use-cases like the original video post showing the a view count based on received webmentions.

Kartik demoed as an example of a site running older software that still keeps working.


I scheduled the meetup at 90 minutes and intended to be available for an extra half hour in case people wanted to continue discussions or have some quiet writing/working time at the end. We ended up using that extended half hour for demos.

I intended to include an option in the topics for a chunk of quiet writing/working time so we could vote on that. I mentioned that during the call but forgot to include it, so it wasn’t voted on. I think that’s okay, though. With the 90-minute format — and with quite a few attendees — the meetup time is going to be filled with discussion and demos. Note we didn’t even get to discuss several proposed topics. I think it might be a better idea to have pop-up meetups specifically for quiet writing/working separate from HWC meetups. There were a couple casual pop-up calls last Friday, for example.

I didn’t have demos as part of the schedule, mostly because of the current limits we have put on screensharing in our Zoom calls (only hosts/co-hosts can screenshare). I think it might be worth trying to enable screensharing again, provided we use unique Zoom meeting IDs, use password-protected Zoom links (already the default), and use the Waiting Room feature.

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Chris Aldrich Chris Aldrich mentioned this –

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