In response to girrodocus’s question: #PersonalWebsite creators… what’s your rationale for deciding when to use a subdomain or a subdirectory?

I usually prefer to put sections in subdirectories. That makes it possible to make the entire site portable (depending on authoring tools, anyway). Ideally, I want something that could be zipped up and moved. Or sent to Archive Team. (One of the downsides of dynamic site generators is that you can’t do this.)

When I use subdomains, it’s typically because I want some sort of isolation between the content, or the server apps, etc. But in those cases I’m as likely to use another domain entirely.

I put my main blog in a subdirectory (/journal), but if I set up my own git repository or something like that, I’d probably put it in a subdomain.

That said, I’m currently trying to sort out what I want to keep at the domain I’ve had for the last 20 years and what to move to my IndieWeb identity site.

IndieWeb and Identity

It took 4 or 5 years from me discovering IndieWeb to actually building support into my website(s), because Hyperborea.org, named after a fictional place, felt like a digital home, but not an identity. So I set up KVibber.com as my digital identity instead.

I’ve been considering several approaches:

  • New stuff on KVibber, leave old stuff where it is.
  • Professional stuff on KVibber, fun stuff on Hyperborea.
  • Original work on KVibber, fandom stuff on Hyperborea.

I might move my scenic and nature photos over to KVibber but leave the funny and comic-con photos on Hyperborea, or move my tech articles over but leave the personal posts.

I’m also planning to put together a light microblog, probably on KVibber, to be the canonical location for short posts on Mastodon/Twitter/etc that I want to keep, but don’t feel big enough for a full blog entry. That’ll probably go on KVibber, even though it’ll blur the pro/fun and original/fan distinctions.

Originally on Wandering.shop (and a followup post).

Update September 2022: I guess I’ve tabled the whole question at this point. For now, I’m just using KVibber as a profile page and putting everything else on Hyperborea, like I was doing before.

Over the years I’ve written a lot of troubleshooting posts on my blog, describing problems I’ve run into and how I solved them in hopes that other people with the same problems might find it helpful.

I’m starting to collect them on a mini-site that’s not a blog: Hyperborea Tech Tips.

Several things came together to inspire me to reorganize those posts:

  • Tinkering with IndieWeb.
  • Building a Gemini capsule.
  • Opening the developer tools on one of my WordPress-powered blog pages. There’s no reason a 500-word article should need 400KB and a dozen connections!
  • Keeping multiple WordPress blogs up to date with security fixes.
  • Reading about the garden and stream metaphor. (via)

The essence of the garden and stream is that we’ve gotten used to a constant, time-based stream of information, but some things are better handled as an idea-based, organically-growing and cultivated collection. Sometimes you want to post a status update to social media (into the stream), but sometimes you want to update a Wiki page (taking care of the garden).

A lot of stuff isn’t here because it belongs in a stream. It’s here because it became more convenient than copying a template, writing the page, adding links and uploading everything over FTP.

I’d already mirrored some of these troubleshooting posts on my Gemini capsule, so I figured they’d be a good place to start.

My goals with the sub-site:

  • Deeper dive into Eleventy, the static site generator I’d used to archive my Les Misérables commentary.
  • Dig into IndieWeb.
  • Light as possible. One CSS file, images only for content, system fonts, no JavaScript unless I have a specific thing that needs it. (And if I do have to add JavaScript, only include the parts I need, not half a megabyte of some framework or another.)
  • Look somewhat decent (and legible!) on screens from cell phone up to widescreen desktops.
  • Create a reusable template, both for my own projects and for other people.
  • Be at least as useful as the original blog posts, if not more!