Streams of Consciousness

Jeremy wrote a little something about streams, in particular about streams on personal websites. His home page actually is like a stream: links, notes, and blog posts all appear underneath each other in chronological order.

Many of us are now rediscovering or reviving their personal sites, not only because the demise of Twitter has made it abundantly clear that we need to shift our attention away from large social media silos when we share our ideas, thoughts, and ramblings online. Our personal sites are the perfect home for all those personal bits and pieces. All those short and long-form posts, notes, thoughts, photos, links, but also just little things we notice in our world, things we learn, and things that excite us – they all belong on our personal websites first. So if you were asking yourself what you should post on your site, the correct answer is, of course, “everything you want”. Your personal site is your home on the Web. It is your playground but it is also a very subjective and individual account of all the things you think and care about. All the things that happen in your head. And on your home page, it can all come together in one large stream of different kinds of posts.

You could even think of this home stream as what in literature is called a “stream of consciousness”: a constant stream of the multitudinous thoughts and feelings which pass through the mind of a narrator. Your website is a way for you to share your stream of consciousness, that temporary and subjective and highly biased snippet of the universe, with everyone else, including your future self. In all its multitudes.

If you look at my home page, you can see that I haven’t yet turned it into a stream. It almost looks like I haven’t posted anything since 2019. This wasn’t a conscious decision and it is something that I am going to change in the process of redesigning my site this year. And I couldn’t agree more to what Jeremy wrote. If your home stream looks like a collection of posts that all look visually distinct, more “like a chaotic second-hand bookstore”, it will be much closer to who you and your unpolished stream of consciousness actually are. It will make your site more personal and, if you want future visitors to be able to tell the difference between you and an AI, more human.


23 Webmentions

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Jeremy Keith
Streams of Consciousness · Matthias Ott – User Experience Designer February 11th, 2023 Your website is a way for you to share your stream of consciousness, that temporary and subjective and highly biased snippet of the universe, with everyone else, including your future self.
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@matthiasott @adactio this is kinda brilliant.
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@matthiasott @adactio I like that idea. I haven’t even published my personal website yet, because I want to make sure that it has broad appeal and stuff, and polished so I won’t sound like an idiot. On the other hand, I also say that I’m doing it for myself and not everybody else, so why not just go for it?
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@hayo Yes, that’s a valid point. It will always be a filtered stream and if you really burp out every unfinished bit, it could be a mess. On the other hand, I think there is a huge danger of being too selective and too nitpicky about the things you put out, also because you set the bar too high. You never know what resonates (if that’s a goal) or helps people and every interesting thought that’s documented ...
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@matthiasott I'm not convinced. Personally I rather see curated things on a personal website. The whole mess of ideas would normally happen inside your head. The messy process of the sausage being made. I'm far more interested in the end result. One of my reasons to dislike social media is that it makes people blurt out things that really have little value on their own. Thus i see no need for polluting my site ...
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@eldamir Yes! Write it for yourself and I’m sure you won’t sound like an idiot. 😁; If you write about things you care about, also small things, you always have something to say that might help someone – and if it’s only one single person. Or only your future self. 😉; And It’s also a lot of fun to build your site! Maybe this helps: Or ...
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@matthiasott @adactio As Virginia Woolf wrote it in 'The Waves': "I'm not one a simple, but complex and many."
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Frank Meeuwsen

De punten een beetje aan elkaar verbinden

Na mijn blogpost van gisteren kreeg ik wat opmerkingen. Inderdaad, mijn blog is mijn plek. Mijn plek voor notitie. Een blog als notitieblok noemt Erwin Blom het. Dat zou het prima kunnen zijn. Dat is het al twintig jaar. Zonder pretenties. Zonder groots vooropgezet plan. Natuurlijk heb ik dat wel een paar keer een beetje afgetast. Zoals mijn serie over WordPress en het indieweb. Zoals de Mastodon startgids. Maar ...
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🔗; Streams of Consciousness · Matthias Ott – User Experience Designer via ‘Om’. More on this, in the comments, soon, like I often do.