2022.05.07

Video game 8 bit sprite mashup Star Wars Punch Out Ninja Turtles Metroid
Sprite rip credits: Lotos, Jacob Turbo, Deathbringer, Solink, ShadeDBZ, cl.exe, roket, Jermungandr, Ville10, and Mister Mike.

I was thinking about doing a post of some of my favorite sprites of all time (Kirov reporting) but went down a rabbit hole and didn't return in time.
Why we write

AlephOne smashing the stack for fun and profit introduction

After calling Rob out for spamming me with Hacker News links about blogging that he hadn't read, he sent a bunch more (that I added as comments to the original post). Here are some of the highlights.

Indieweb = jedi, everybody else = sith

Cheapskate's Guide I feel I do a fairly good job of keeping my ego disengaged from the process. I realize that whether people like what I write or hate it has absolutely nothing to do with my worth as a human being. Yet, receiving comments and emails from readers who say they enjoy my website and understand its value feels good.

Okay, first thing's first, <3 Rob for caring. You've always been a lovable jackass.

Cheapskate's Guide When an individual creates a personal website, he is bucking the entire system of the commercial web that fights ferociously to keep personal websites buried where no one will ever see them.

The bullets of the Internet are everything corporations do to keep personal websites from attracting attention. They are thousands of articles telling Internet users that everywhere outside corporate walled gardens is unsafe. They are search engines providing only tiny numbers of search results for personal websites, even when their owners write articles the way the search engine companies want, design their websites the way the search engine companies want, and refrain from posting links to other websites the search engine companies don't like.

Regarding search engines, I wouldn't necessarily ascribe to malice that which can be explained by incompetence. The indieweb is just the smallest crab in the barrel and search engines are too incompetent/fiscally demotivated to solve the (not especially hard) problem.

Cheapskate's Guide Usually, one of my articles rises briefly above the noise on the Internet only because a kind reader posts a link on the right social media platform. That is how most new readers discover my website. When this occurs, large numbers come. Their attention peaks for a day or two and then gradually fades over the next few days until the usual traffic pattern has resumed. Perhaps a very few become regular readers, but keeping track of websites and checking occasionally for new content is hard for most.

Fair, Web 2.0 largely sidestepped the entire issue of search engines ignoring grassroots content by keeping everything (viral) in the walled garden until it spills over into the mainstream. On aggregators and social media platforms, the visibility of (theoretically) good content snowballs on its own merits, regardless of author. But these platforms have some unfortunate side effects and are now overrun with sock puppets and astroturfers. At least they at least proved that the success of good content can be democratized.

So where do we go from here? Web 3.0? The metaverse?

Cheapskate and other indie bloggers seem optimistic that the war will be won as the masses tire of algorithmically-curated content. From the above link, I got to this (not so) big list of blogs, meandered here and clicked through to find the parable of the internet as a dark forest.

Castlevania forest night full moon demons

The Ideaspace When we look out into space, the theory goes, we're struck by its silence. It seems like we're the only ones here.

Imagine a dark forest at night. It's deathly quiet. Nothing moves. Nothing stirs. This could lead one to assume that the forest is devoid of life. But of course it's not. The dark forest is full of life. It's quiet, because night is when the predators come out. To survive, the animals stay quiet.

This is also what the internet is becoming: a dark forest.

In response to the ads, the tracking, the trolling, the hype, and other predatory behaviors, we're retreating to our dark forests of the internet, and away from the mainstream.

Newsletters and podcasts are growing areas of activity. As are other dark forests, like Slack channels, private Instagrams, invite-only message boards, text groups... are all spaces where depressurized conversation is possible because of their non-indexed, non-optimized, and non-gamified environments. The cultures of those spaces have more in common with the physical world than the internet.

Perhaps there's reason for optimism. Perhaps I just stumbled on two raccoons talking in the dark forest and figured they represented the whole establishment. How the hell shoud I know, this place is dark.

There's authenticity and good reads if you can suffer through all the javascript cookbooks

Source. What is more authentic than foodposting?

You know what's better than a php recipe? An actual food recipe. And while the picture/link above isn't a recipe but some expatblog from a restaurant, it's both real (tasty-looking) content and not Node nonsense.

James Van Dyne One thing I like about buying jeans in the Japan is that you can get them cut to length at the store. Part of this may be an inventory thing: it's cheaper to offer fewer longer sizes and tailor them.

Damn, that sounds awesome and worth a trip.

Switching gears from personal experiences to audience-tailored writings...

Dune sand worm art

The Dork Web This issue is about one of the greatest science fiction stories ever written and the quests to adapt it. Dune is a story with inpenetrable depth, cursed never to be properly retold. This issue is about the story behind the story of Dune.

Shut up and take my click. I'm not even that much of a Dune fan.

Takewaways/how to indieweb

Cheapskate's Guide My greatest joy in running my website comes from producing something of value to other people.

Whether it's a restaurant recommendation or a coding how-to or a reference to somewhere else on the webby web, wanting to improve people's lives is as noble a cause as any.

But the quandary of the blogger returns to the challenge of being discovered. Being one voice of many is one thing, on the modern web bloggers contend with human voices and many, many synthetic ones.

Returning to Cheapskate's war of good and evil, search engines love inauthentic information sources. How does the indieweb overcome? Well, Cheapskate and Ideaspace are optimistic about the organic re-emergence of webrings and social media links.

Google search impressions video game searches
Some of my top search links, per Google.

For kilroy, the hits have come from providing obscure/specific information, like "how do I beat the seventh boss in Shield Quest X?". Content like how to make a clever airlock in Barotrauma doesn't cast an especially wide net, but almost certainly checks the box of publishing "something of value (read: interest) to people".

And while Google probably indexes many thousands of diatribes about the state of the internet, it's more likely to elevate a how-to article with an OBD error code or photos of an uncommon experience or content from an exact time and place.

Google image search results location date
Well, maybe the technology isn't quite there yet for searching by a specific date and location. Lol.

And I'm already going to write self-serving how-tos for myself five years from now. I'm already going to man-scrapbook about the delightful handcuff incident with the lolbaters Barotrauma submarine crew (phrasing). I'm already going to want to write something that's meant to be read even if it never gets read. The only extra work is making it searchable, and that's a fun and easy programming project.

(Switching to second person) How do you provide something of value and maybe elevate your site from obscurity?

The unflattering way to say it? Use fringe content as bait. You'll catch someone panicsearching how to beat boss seven in Shield Quest X. If your site is good they may keep SQX on pause to check out your Dragon Wrangler VII post or your list of best eateries in Walla Walla. And at that point, your site just has to be good.

And by good I mean two things:
  1. You're like a newspaper columnist or that cool guy who people love to get beers with; you always provide engaging conversation.
  2. Your site presents its other content well. Simple stuff: don't spam people, don't starve them, present additional content contextually.
RSS


I added RSS. If you're not familiar, from the user perspective it's a browser feature (or extension) that shows you the latest from blogs and news sites you subscribe to. Sort of like Twitter. From the content creator perspective, it's an xml file that's like a site map but focused on content updates.
[?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?]
[rss version="2.0"]
[channel]
   [title]band pass filter[/title]
   [link]https://chrisritchie.org/kilroy/[/link]
   [description]Coding, photography, gaming, travel, options, wrenching...[/description]
   [copyright]Author.  All rights reserved.  See About page for usage.[/copyright]
   [language]en-us[/language]
   [lastBuildDate]Tue, 10 May 2022 05:00:08 -0700 [/lastBuildDate]
   [atom:link href="https://chrisritchie.org/rss.xml" rel="self" type="application/rss+xml" /]
   [item]
      [title]90s aesthetic[/title]
      [link]https://chrisritchie.org/kilroy/archive/2022/05/90s_aesthetic__i_.html[/link]
      [description]The indieweb and blogging with a couple of webring rabbit holes.  RSS with source and a small Elden Ring gallery.[/description]
      [category]infopost[/category]
      [pubDate]Sat, 07 May 2022 00:00:00 -0700[/pubDate]
      [guid]https://chrisritchie.org/kilroy/archive/2022/05/90s_aesthetic__i_.html[/guid]
   [/item]
   [item]
      [title]Edges[/title]
      [link]https://chrisritchie.org/kilroy/archive/2022/05/edges__i_.html[/link]
      [description]WSB discussion about margin borrowing, Zillow, and Evergrande.  Links to code samples for graphics processing and some work on the veranda.[/description]
      [category]infopost[/category]
      [pubDate]Tue, 03 May 2022 00:00:00 -0700[/pubDate]
      [guid]https://chrisritchie.org/kilroy/archive/2022/05/edges__i_.html[/guid]
   [/item]
   [item]
      [title]Lands between[/title]
      [link]https://chrisritchie.org/kilroy/archive/2022/04/lands_between__g_.html[/link]
      [description]Some scenery from Elden Ring.[/description]
      [category]photopost[/category]
      [pubDate]Fri, 29 Apr 2022 00:00:00 -0700[/pubDate]
      [guid]https://chrisritchie.org/kilroy/archive/2022/04/lands_between__g_.html[/guid]
   [/item]
(Obivious bracket substitution)

And since I already generate site maps with each post, pumping out an RSS file wasn't a heavy lift.
Elden Ring

Elden Ring church view from ruin strewn precipice

A few things that J and I have done since last time:
thumbnail Elden Ring village of the albinaurics hanging bodies swamp thumbnail Elden Ring Jarburg conversation thumbnail Elden Ring Ainsel flamethrower
thumbnail Elden Ring Miriel turtle pope hat church of vows
thumbnail Elden Ring converted tower erdtree Liurnia Southwest site of grace thumbnail Elden Ring Tibia Mariner wheelie combat thumbnail Elden Ring mirrored helmet erdtree
thumbnail Elden Ring erdtree avatar flaming hookclaws thumbnail Elden Ring Tibia Mariner boat flying combat thumbnail Elden Ring mirrored helmet hookclaws elevator