Marty McGuire

Posts Tagged wrap up

Wed Oct 4

HWC Baltimore 2017-10-04 Wrap-Up

Baltimore's first October 2017 meetup for Homebrew Website Club met at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center on October 4th.

Below are notes from the "broadcast" portion of the meetup. — Went to IndieWebCamp NYC last weekend! Had a really great time (that he really needs to write up). Figured out how to show closed captions / subtitles on audio content (and needs to write that up). Recently decided that Jekyll was slowing him down too much and decided to jump to Hugo. First steps there - use a sacrificial website to learn on that is much simpler, in this case the We Have to Ask Podcast. Also showed off Rob Weychert's website as one that impressed him from IWC NYC due to the really nice typography, spacing, layout. — Added a new slideshow feature. Can now show a model slideshow of past projects. In true HWC fashion, he pushed this feature live during the demo. Will be adding similar modal displays for PDF documents and videos. — Been changing her art portfolio site. It's hosted on ArtStation which has a pretty affordable "pro" level with good editing tools. She's been happy with it for now. Slightly more problematic is that her .art domain was registered on her behalf by her school and now she doesn't know how to get access to manage it. We tried to use the WHOIS info to track down who to contact at the controlling registrar. — Been working on a site for work at Digital Harbor Foundation. They are relaunching educator resource portal. They've been working on a clear structured landing page for people that are not registered for it, as well as cleaning up navigation for users who are registered. It's a WordPress site and they've been moving their content into "Sensei", a WordPress add-on for education content from WooCommerce.

Other things:

  • We talked about doing design research and taking inspiration from sites that are similar to what you're working on.
  • Talked about the different approaches needed when working on content and structure versus working on making something attractive.
  • Went around talking about pet peeves about the web: bad graphic design, not having an obvious login button, sites that use social logins (e.g. GitHub or Twitter) when they don't work, crucial interactions in modals that aren't clickable on mobile, surveillance and adware crap.
  • Talked about the recent "alternative to ads" where the page runs a JavaScript bitcoin miner, and how wasteful this is in terms of energy vs. coins earned. Maybe all machines need mining ASICs? Talked about other alternatives like Brave and Flattr, compulsory licensing models and Doctorow's Eastern Standard Tribe, paywalls, paying for things with Bitcoin in general, money as an abstract concept.,,,

Thanks to everybody who came out! We look forward to seeing you on October 18th at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center!

Wed Sep 20

HWC Baltimore 2017-09-20 Wrap-Up

Baltimore's second September 2017 meetup for Homebrew Website Club met at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center on September 20th. It was our one-year anniversary, given that our first meeting occurred on September 21st, 2016.

We celebrated with cookies!

Insomnia cookies and IndieWebCamp stickers

Below are notes from the "broadcast" portion of the meetup. – Set up bridgy on his new WordPress site since last time. Working on a post detailing his move from Hugo to WordPress. Hoping it serves as documentation to help with outreach to other folks who already use WordPress, or folks looking to start a new personal website. Also hoping the bridgy publish works, since this is his first time posting with it. – Working on web content for a DHF digital fabrication course that starts next week, starting with Autodesk Fusion 360. It's organized as "lessons" on a WordPress site at – Prepping to launch his personal site at that URL. Has a local development version, written in Hugo. Will be posting about security research. – Working on her portfolio website, which mostly links to writing she has had published elsewhere. Wants to make sure all the outgoing links still work, update the look. Also has a lot of visual content like zines that she wants to display in an appealing way. Currently publishes via GitHub Pages, facing a learning curve making styling changes, but is sticking with it and wants to keep things simple. – Super excited that we have had a year of HWC Baltimore meetups! Looking forward to more outreach in the year ahead, finding ways to reach people who don't yet know that they want to be part of the IndieWeb. On his personal site, been working on a per-month archive view. Playing both with Jekyll plugins to generate the pages and with learning CSS Grid to do the layout, because it's new and shiny. The slowness of Jekyll is really tempting him to jump to Hugo, despite knowing it will be a huge pain.

Shawn Grimes – Working on web content for a different DHF learning system called Blueprint. Currently focused on things like that rather than his personal website.

Other things:

  • We talked about some of the pros/cons of static site generators vs WordPress. E.g. security needs, ease of posting, etc. etc. etc...
  • We talked about Hugo being good for archiving content like old Evernote notes. You can make an archive that is more browsable/searchable than the Evernote exports and doesn't require Evernote.
  • Talked about ways of taking and organizing notes, differing needs (e.g. need to write down something quickly, so a mobile interface is key). Some different options came up, like
  • Talked about reasons not to store things on clouds like Evernote and Dropbox, targeted advertising. Tools to prevent surveillance such as Better and Firefox Focus.
  • Talked about some general intro-to-IndieWeb stuff, how it got started, building blocks like POSSE and webmentions, and making progress through small incremental steps.
Back row: Shawn, Jonathan, Adam, Rhea, Mary. Front: Marty

We're very happy to have reached the milestone of a year of (nearly-) regular meetings! Thanks to everyone who has come out to be a part of these meetups so far.

We hope you'll join us again on for another HWC Baltimore meetup at Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center! Our next meetups will be October 4th followed by another on October 18th.

Wed Sep 6

HWC Baltimore 2017-09-06 Wrap-Up

Baltimore's first September 2017 meetup for Homebrew Website Club met at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center on September 6th.

Below are notes from the "broadcast" portion of the meetup. (Jonathan) – Stepped through Digital Ocean tutorials with nginx and has a fresh new WordPress site running for his personal site. Has a SemPress theme and the IndieWeb plugin and will be working through all those next. Happy to already have working rel-me stuff and being able to log into the IndieWeb wiki. Looking forward to helping others get set up as well.

djfalcon23 (Derek) – Thinking about getting a ".is" domain. Likes the idea of using it with paths like ".is/cool", ".is/making". Started a new site for his light-up bicycling backpack, using his personal portfolio site as a template. (Marty) – Started a dedicated podcast-oriented page for This Week in the IndieWeb Audio Edition. Did some refactoring of his site to make it work reasonably. Next up is adding subscribe buttons for Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and more. Did some research into other podcasts' website subscribe button designs.

Other things:

  • We also talked about Digital Ocean has a hosting provider. We like that they provide a lot of guides, in addition to being very affordable.
  • Talked about geo-based TLDs as being more stable than ".ninja" and others. Reviewed some podcast subscribe button designs on a few sites.
  • Talked about recent video games and 8-bit aesthetics., djfalcon23,

We hope that you'll join us for another HWC Baltimore, which will next meet on September 20th at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center!  

Wed Aug 23

HWC Baltimore 2017-08-23 Wrap-Up

Baltimore's second August 2017 meetup for Homebrew Website Club met at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center on August 23rd.

Below are notes from the "broadcast" portion of the meetup. (Jonathan) – Had been working on a wedding site with Hugo and making progress. Got really frustrated with adding image galleries, which required a lot of extra tools. Realized that he could accomplish the same thing in WordPress really quickly. So, spent quiet writing hour starting over in WordPress. At this point, just wants to have it done, rather than spending time learning something new along the way. (Marty) – Since last time has been thinking a lot more about delivering transcriptions with audio content. Did more experimenting with Audiogram, and found the BBC's fork, which supports subtitles and transcription editing, but also depends on a lot of private BBC infrastructure out of the box. Is now able to get timestamped transcripts by combining an audio file and long-form text transcription using a tool called gentle. Then by feeding that into a hacked-up copy of the BBC's Audiogram can generate video with hardcoded subtitles. Here's an example from the most recent This Week in the IndieWeb. Pretty neat! Also experimenting with providing a text transcript of the audio newsletter along w/ the audio via a simple HTML details/summary elements with an iframe. Example here.

Other things:

  • We talked about use cases where static sites are great (simple project sites) and not-so-great (lots of media files).
  • We also chatted a lot about the future of the This Week in the IndieWeb audio edition, making the content more accessible, making it more engaging.
  • We also talked about being aware of when it makes sense to use manual tools vs. trying to creating automation, such as the tradeoffs with using "manual" video editing tools vs. tools like Audiogram.
Group Photo

We hope that you'll join us for another HWC Baltimore, which will next meet on September 6th and again on September 20th at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center! 

Wed Aug 9

HWC Baltimore 2017-08-09 Wrap-Up

Baltimore's first August 2017 meetup for Homebrew Website Club met at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center on August 9th.

Below are notes from the "broadcast" portion of the meetup.

djfalcon23 (Derek) – been on break of web dev to learn Android dev. Set up a schedule to work on his portfolio site on Wednesdays. Has a WIP site up at with a landing page. Next steps are modals to display the content for the main sections, a carousel for other photos. After that, it's time to make a project page for his LED backpack with brake and turn signals for cyclists. (Jonathan) – started a new Hugo project for his wedding which will be his "Hugo project" so he can feel free to move his main site over to WordPress. Bought and set up a new domain and a new Hugo project for that. (Isaac) – In town visiting Marty. Spent quiet writing hour tracking down the source for his Pelican-based site which was last updated 2014 and getting the dependencies installed. Likes starting side projects, so might port it to Hugo. Many of his projects are related to owning his data on a home server. Next major step there is setting up backups w/ duplicity. (Marty) – Did some reading from the folks at @meetgretta (formerly and learned about a tool called Audiogram from WNYC. It generates videos from audio files for sharing on silos that have good video sharing support but not audio, which is most of them. Made an example post with an interview with Ben Werdmüller from the This Week in the IndieWeb Podcast that is syndicated to Twitter, Facebook, and Mastodon.

Other things:

  • djfalcon23 showed a cool use of parallax on
  • Talked about automated captions for audio, showed off some of the Gretta demos.
  • djfalcon23 pointed us to @noopkat, who streams live development and was recently working on similar tools.
  • did a quick demo of the iOS app for posting tonight's photo

We hope that you'll join us for another HWC Baltimore, which will next meet on August 23rd and again September 6th at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center!

Wed Jul 26

HWC Baltimore 2017-07-26 Wrap-Up

Baltimore's second July 2017 meetup for Homebrew Website Club met at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center on July 26th.

Below are notes from the "broadcast" portion of the meetup. – After setting up a local WordPress dev site last time, revisited his existing Hugo site. The Hugo documentation has received an update, so he walked through making a new site from scratch, found out the theme configuration for his old site was not working as Hugo docs suggest. Wants to make sure his Hugo experience isn't colored by a misunderstanding on his part. Feels stuck between wanting to improve his existing stack and workflow vs spending the time to convert everything to WordPress. – Inspired by IndieWeb Summit session on Events, made a couple of improvements to event posts on his site. First added a "subscribe to calendar" link to his front page and "Add to Calendar" links on his individual event pages so folks can get calendar reminders of his indie events. Second, added a webmention submit form ("did you mention this? post the URL here") to all his posts, which should make it easier to send indie RSVPs to his indie events. Set up a new iPod Touch with the iOS client and has used it to post a couple of photos to his site without much trouble and a nice (if somewhat quirky) workflow. Has been changing up some of the microformats markup on his posts to try and make them work well with both Woodwind and Atom feeds generated by Granary.

We talked about a writing app called Ulysses, which Jonathan has been using for work and finds the writing is a faster process than his previous workflow with Markdown. Also talked sunk cost of working with the tools we already have working vs spending the time to set up and learn something new that might (eventually) be better. A tempting goal is to moving from posting to our personal sites and enjoying IndieWeb benefits for ourselves to making ourselves into ambassadors for folks in Gen2/3 by adopting WordPress + plugins.


We hope that you'll join us for an August HWC Baltimore, which will meet on August 9th and August 23rd at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center! 

Wed Jul 12

HWC Baltimore 2017-07-12 Wrap-Up

Baltimore's first July 2017 meetup for Homebrew Website Club met at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center on July 12th.

Below are notes from the "broadcast" portion of the meetup. - finished up a post from the last HWC meetup about his thoughts on switching from Hugo to Wordpress. Had it all written, but forgot to publish it - largely because of the multistep Hugo publishing process! Says this illustrates that the process overhead of using the tool is clearly getting in the way. Started a local Wordpress install to get things going. Before switching - wants to figure out how to preserve the Hugo version of his site as a snapshot (maybe on a subdomain?). Cares about both the content and the presentation of it. Also wants to figure out another project to encourage him to learn Hugo.

Darius - started in on a portfolio-style site on Wordpress. Has a theme he likes but is struggling with customizing it due to its documentation. Thinking about what he wants to put on the site. Also found out that a Wordpress site that he manages for work was hacked by spammers, so worked on fixing that. - since last time, cleaned up microformats around his likes, reposts, bookmarks to add explicit p-name and e-content, so readers like Woodwind will show something more reasonable than the "implied" names. Hasn't been working much on his site, so spent some time on his IndieWeb wiki user page to read through and re-organize his itches to choose something to work on. Inspired by the 2017 IndieWebSummit session on events, started work on a Jekyll generator plugin that will create iCal .ics files for his event posts, so he can put "add to calendar" buttons on his indie events.

We chatted about the Battle for the Net, Wordpress security, Wordpress Outreach Club, intricacies of how the various IndieWeb Wordpress plugins and theming operates, and more!

Left-to-right:, Darius,

We hope that you'll join us for the next HWC Baltimore, which will meet on July 26th at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center!

Wed Jun 28

HWC Baltimore 2017-06-28 Wrap-Up

Baltimore's June 2017 meetup for Homebrew Website Club met at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center on June 28th.

Below are notes from the "broadcast" portion of the meetup. - Been very busy with work. Wrote a couple of posts since the last meeting. Tonight started a reflective post about his decision to use Hugo for his site vs Wordpress, which he already uses a lot for work. Feels like he has learned a little bit of Go (which Hugo is written in), but mostly has just learned Hugo and felt that's held him back. Interested in the Wordpress API and maybe move his site over because he wants to post more and still learn. - Been working on his site rewrite in Angular Universal. Today worked on micropub media endpoint. Is saving files successfully, now needs to add file extensions and return the Location URL. Also been working on Indigenous, his iOS micropub client. Been switching back and forth between the two as he makes progress or gets stuck on one or the other. Other stuff since last time: adding OwnYourSwarm, OwnYourGram. Having a micropub client on his phone has enabled him to send lots and lots of likes - enough that he decided to move likes out of his main social stream page and treat them as a reply.

djfalcon23 (domains currently expired) - been learning web development on and off for the last year. Now building a portfolio site using Bootstrap and trying out React, but it is a lot. Also trying to (re-)learn Android development. - Went to IndieWeb Summit and it was amazing! Added checkins to his site w/ OwnYourSwarm while there because of jealousy of seeing other folks checking in with Swarm. Really attracted to the gamification, but wants to make a checkin client so he doesn't have to give them his data. Also been cleaning up microformats on his site so that reply contexts on other site and in readers like Woodwind look better.

Chatted a bit about:

  • "Double-dipping" - choosing side projects that involve technology you already need to use (or learn) for work
  • Angular Universal, basically a server-side render of Angular which includes a static rendering of markup as well as all the scripts and data to "hydrate" the page
  • Saving posts on Facebook and trying to PESOS to a bookmark post, but the Facebook API seems to have those locked down.
  • Learning React is pretty overwhelming, lots of tooling and stuff up front that doesn't feel connected to a project.
  • Guided learning w/ online systems with guided courses like Pluralsight have been really helpful for Jonathan.
  • Gamification of Foursquare - coins for photos and random things, comparison with friends, weekly generated summaries with titles like "Weekend Getaways"
  • Talked about how some aspects of the "design language" of web sites have converged and solidified several years ago. djfalcon23 likes looking at the designs on the welovewebdesign Instagram page. Wants to see more like that in the world.
  • Talked about IndieWeb Summit and the videos available, particularly the Wordpress sessions.
  • Spent a lot of time on the Personal Web Sites examples.
    • Awesome suggestion by djfalcon23 to bring an inspirational website to the next meetings.
Left-to-right:,, djfalcon23,

We hope that you'll join us for the next HWC Baltimore, which will meet on July 12th and then again July 26th at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center!

Wed Sep 21

HWC Baltimore 9/21 Wrap-Up

Baltimore's first Homebrew Website Club met up at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center on 9/21/2016. We had a nice quiet writing hour followed by some quick introductions (since we already knew one another) and lots of chatting about projects, first steps, and indieweb in general.

Notes from the "broadcast" portion of the meetup:

Marty McGuire (co-organizer)

  • Starting up HWC Baltimore
  • Made style changes to improve contrast for reading

Jonathan Prozzi (co-organizer)

  • Got Jekyll working with GitHub Pages
  • Now also able to run and compile locally
  • Now working on getting personal domain and hosting

Shawn Grimes (Executive Director of DHF)

  • Working on a tool called FabHive that manages multiple 3D printers on a network.
  • Making progress on a feature to expose underlying Octoprint UI for individual printers.

It wouldn't be an HWC without a photo, so here is our selfie!

Left to right: Jonathan, Shawn, Marty

We had a great chat and look forward to more progress on projects, more good discussion, and more interested folks at the next one. We hope you'll join us next month on 10/19!