HWC Baltimore 2018-03-27 Wrap-Up

After a postponement due to snows on the first day of spring, Baltimore's second Homebrew Website Club of March met at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center on March 27th. 

Here are some notes from the "broadcast" portion of the meetup:

jonathanprozzi.net – Talked about his recent experiments with Netlify and JAMstack. Had been researching static site hosting services for a while and found a lot of hype. After playing w/ Netlify he feels like it lives up to the hype! Was specifically interested in a static site generator called Gatsby, which uses the React front-end framework to render content.

derekfields.is – Been building a blog section for his site on a static site generator called Hexo. Found the theming stuff to be confusing and time-consuming, but has something working. Will eventually replace the theme with his own as he understands it more. Really likes the Hexo admin composer and compared with the editor for Ghost. Feels like the features help him write. Also setting up a Now.sh tiny server for a subdomain to host VueJS apps.

brksavage.com – Set a goal to do something creative and post about it every month. Did a big project for February (created a desk-sized piece filled w/ the word "bored"). Now writing it up and thinking about ways to make it easier to publish in the future.

www.dariusmccoy.com – Still building up momentum on his Wordpress site. Had a scare that he was locked out of his admin but got back in. Now that he has a working site, he is setting goals for himself about what he wants that site to have and how he wants to present himself there.

Robert (gnostech.net) – Working on owning his data. Has a Nextcloud service set up on his domain, where he can access all his data from his phone and more. Has been taking lots of notes about his home set up (Nextcloud, Let's Encrypt, ad filtering firewall at home, and more). Wants to build a blog to share both how-tos on what he has set up and how, but also the way he decided on his particular needs. Has been using NAS4Free to have more control over his home network storage.

martymcgui.re – Is finally back after missing several HWCs. He has definitely missed them! Talked about the need for indie readers that allow reading and posting reactions to personal sites all in one. Demo'd Together, and Monocle Microsub clients as well as Aperture for Microsub server to handle all the nitty-gritty of fetching and parsing feeds.

Other discussion:

  • Derek started us off with a really nice warm-up. We took turns with each person sharing compliments/thanks/encouragement about things people are working on and/or doing for and/or learning from one another. (This was seriously really nice).
  • JAMstack (Javascript, APIs, Markup). Name was coined because some "static" sites have lots of dynamic functionality.
    • Jonathan gave a demo of Netlify serving pages from a GitHub repo. Talked about how lots of different workflows can be used to manage content (e.g. Ghost, Netlify CMS, etc) without worrying about the final step of compiling the source into HTML and serving those static pages. Netlify has tons of features in the free tier (SSL with Let's Encrypt, support for forms, and more).
    • Q: How do they make money? A: Great question! They're advertised all over the place in the web design world. Maybe consulting? For example, they did a huge redesign for Smashing Magazine.
    • Q: Do we have to use GitHub? A: That's all Jonathan has played with so far, but they probably support other source control services.
    • Q: What content goes in the Git repo? A: The source content, templates, etc. E.g. the output of "hexo init".
    • Q: How does the DNS setup work? A: Netlify gives you IP addresses and you point A records at them. Same way you would for a Digital Ocean droplet or other virtual server.
    • With custom domains, pulling content from GitHub, and tools like the (also free) Netlify CMS that ease editing, this could be a strong competitor for e.g. Wordpress.com sites, barring some initial setup pain.
    • Was able to replace FormSpree service with Netlify's free form handling service. He can see the submitted form data by logging into his Netlify account.
  • Talked about recent creepy Facebook news and efforts like cleverdevil's to escape it with our content intact. Marty was inspired by that to grab his Facebook content with fb-export and the DownAlbum extension for Chrome.
  • If Facebook goes away or runs into issues, what happens to projects like React or their other open source projects?
  • Would a giant like Amazon step up? What would an Amazon social network look like?
  • If Facebook actually "falls" (however unlikely), would another centralized social network "win"? Probably!
Left-to-right: dariusmccoy.com, jonathanprozzi.net, gnostech.net, martymcgui.re, derekfields.is, brksavage.com

Thanks to everybody who came out! We hope to see you all again at our next meeting on Tuesday, April 3rd!

Photo for tonight’s HWC Baltimore!

LARP: An Improv Adventure!

The BIG Theater 1727 N Charles St, BaltimoreMD, 21201

Join Dungeon Master Marty McGuire (that’s me!) as he takes three brave adventurers on a quest through a magical world. Dungeons, dragons and many other dangers await the improvisers that dare play his perilous game. For fans of improv, live action role-playing (LARP), neither, or both!

This show is part of The BIG Lab series in which Baltimore Improv Group’s comedy scientists take their newest experiments to the stage for further testing. The results may be explosive!

Tickets are only $5. Get them now at Eventbrite!

Replied to https://wehavetoask.com/episodes/2018-03-27/
post from Whos Got Next? • Ep 54 - Killer Queen comes to Baltimore
Marty and Jonathan go to the unveiling of Killer Queen in Baltimore. They speak with Todd Blatt, who spearheaded the crowd funding campaign to bring the game to the city. Learn with Marty and Jonathan how the game is played and what the community is like.

Thanks to guest Todd Blatt for a victorious interview in this week’s We Have to Ask Podcast!

Be sure to visit Holy Frijoles on Tuesdays for some semi-organized Killer Queen play, and join the Killer Queen - Baltimore group for tips, team-building, and trash talk!

RSVP'd to an event https://martymcgui.re/2018/03/20/143325/
post from

Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center 1045 Light St., BaltimoreMD, 21230

Homebrew Website Club Baltimore
This is a make-up event for last week’s meetup which was canceled due to weather! Reminder: We are now meeting on Tuesdays instead of the usual Wednesdays. Be sure to double-check your calendars! Join us for an evening of quiet writing, IndieWeb demos, and discussions! Create or update your personal web site! Finish that blog post you’ve been writing, edit...
I'm going!

So excited for my return to Homebrew Website Club Baltimore! See y’all there! Let’s work on our websites together (and get our data out of Facebook, sheesh)!

★ Favorited https://whatisawridingmybikearoundtoday.com/2018/03/26/bike-leaning-against-a-sign-at-lake-montebello/#post-6061
Bike Leaning Against a Sign at Lake Montebello
It’s a sunny day, cool and windy, and I finished my homework early, so I decided to take a bicycle ride. I had to really work myself up for it, and I gave myself a thousand reasons not to take it. It’s too windy. I walked a lot of miles yesterday and my body needs a break. I would rather...
★ Favorited http://kimberlyhirsh.com/dear-indieweb/
post from
Dear IndieWeb, it may be time to start considering the user, not just the technical spec. by Eli Mellen (eli.li)I’ve been working on a series of walkthrough posts that outline how to IndieWebify a Wordpress site. I presumed the initial setup would be fairly straightforward because a) I have a vague idea of what I’m doing, and b) a suite...

This Week in the IndieWeb Audio Edition • March 17th - 23rd, 2018

Show/Hide Transcript

Facebook quitters, a Puny micropub server, and where’s the love for future generations?

It’s the audio edition for This Week in the IndieWeb for March 17th - 23rd, 2018.

You can find all of my audio editions and subscribe with your favorite podcast app here: martymcgui.re/podcasts/indieweb/.

Music from Aaron Parecki’s 100DaysOfMusic project: Day 85 - Suit, Day 48 - Glitch, Day 49 - Floating, Day 9, and Day 11

Thanks to everyone in the IndieWeb chat for their feedback and suggestions. Please drop me a note if there are any changes you’d like to see for this audio edition!

All of Hostel in one place?? Time for a troupe photo! Also, what a fun set we did!

Pre-show hang with Hostel! Come see us tonight at 9pm! Tickets only $5 at bigimprov.org.