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w/e 2023-02-05

Somehow I had “Twitter API” down twice in my very brief weeknote notes. With a week’s notice, that man announced Twitter’s API would cost an unspecified amount of money in a week’s time. I thought my feelings about the place had reached a nadir when I stopped actively using it for my own account, but I now realise there will be many further stops on the way down.

Even if it turns out the API will cost a tiny amount of money or – who knows – still be free for people making small, fun bots like @samuelpepys, I’m in no mood to cling on any longer. At the start of the year, when Pepys started over again, I was in two minds about doing so on Twitter, not wanting to help generate a tiny amount of advertising revenue for the place. But the account has 70,800 followers at least some of whom are human and appear to enjoy these tweets.

But I can’t face dangling here, hoping our lord and master graces us with favourable conditions. We must build new lives in other places.

§ One thing I tried to work out this week: if you wanted a simple company website, with a nice admin interface, and a decent output, what would you use? No command lines. Probably no git. No self-hosting. Shouldn’t be focused on creating a blog.

I admit I have little experience of the obvious choices for many – Wix, Squarespace, etc. – but judging by the websites they generate (and trying to scrape their horrific HTML for JobGarden) I would go a long way to avoid them myself. WordPress is, I guess, another obvious choice but these days it does feel a bit over the top for a simple site, especially one without a blog.

Webflow is incredibly impressive, a complex in-browser app for building a website and its components, and tweaking every element of its HTML and CSS. But I did feel quite stupid struggling to use it, just because I’m so used to doing everything it does in code. Like trying to express myself in a language that’s superficially similar but actually completely different.

Siteleaf is a quite lovely, simple CMS that generates a Jekyll-based static website for you that gets pushed to somewhere like GitHub Pages for hosting. My main worry would be that their community forum is so dead; it doesn’t feel actively used. (Thanks for those suggestions, Anna.)

Publii is an app but I have a minor migraine now and I can’t face writing any more about websites. Everything else is written so let’s publish this.

§ A photo of a field with a large pile of earth in the foreground. On the horizon is the silhouette of the Welsh mountain, Skirrid, echoing the pile's shape.

§ This week we watched Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World (on iPlayer) which was good. A lot more emphasis on the struggles of black people in the US, so it’s kind of 50/50 a documentary about that and about the (obviously intertwined) music itself. More so than I remember the also good Hip-Hop Evolution on Netflix being. Occasionally it’s odd, a programme about American hip-hop that’s made by the BBC, with a couple of Top of the Pops clips standing out, and more Monie Love than you might otherwise expect.

§ We also finished watching Our Flag Means Death (also on iPlayer) which was silly fun. I’d heard it started slowly and really picked up but I found the opposite – it was fun and novel at the start but felt slightly plodding and less funny in later episodes. Still good though.

§ I was getting a bad case of “But Mum, everyone else at school is watching The Last of Us!” but because I’m now an adult with disposable income I was able to just subscribe to NOW to start watching it instead of moaning. Good so far.

The sun was out today, there are snowdrops everywhere, the days are longer, and there are even some early lambs out there.

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1 comment

  1. If you're looking for a good ol' WordPress as CMS, take a look at ClassicPress, a fork of WordPress 4:
    I'm using it for my blog, it's lightweight and fast and still a lot of WordPress plugins work with ClassicPress.
    You may also take a look at ProcessWire, a CMS somewhere between the simpleness of WordPress and the flexibility of MODX: