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abbymachine #1

2022.4.7-5.8. a little idea for a project has been knocking around in my brain. a blog in which each post is a separate web page. and each web page has its own html and css. you can even throw some javascript in there, and make the posts interactive. each post could also link to another node in the structure, whether it is another "abbymachine," a level deeper into itself, or some other part of the system. there can be images, audio, video. each post can be as involved or as minimal as i want it to be.

this type of project is possible now because i run my website through neocities instead of tumblr. the advantage of neocities is that you can access and manipulate the entirety of your website in terms of folders, editable text files, and data files. the disadvantage of neocities when compared to tumblr is the lack of a simple interface for making posts.1 but that is only a disadvantage if you are trying to replicate the smooth production and consumption of content that comes from scrolling down a timeline.2 what if i am trying to make something different?

instead of a steady flow of stimulus plugged into a larger circuit of communication and control, i would be engaged in a slower form of blogging. i suppose there is some romanticism in this gesture. i do desire a return to a more traditional form of blogging, something slower, more deliberate. but i also want to be experimental. i want to build a knotted web full of little hidden treasures. i want to engage with the form of the web page, see what it can do these days.

the advantage of neocities is that you can manipulate your website as an arrangement of folders and files. neocities, unlike tumblr, makes it extremely easy to backup the entirety of your website. all you have to do is click a download link on the folders page. they even allow you to mount your website as a drive on your computer! what this means for my work is that i can give the project my all knowing that i will easily be able to save it. i would like for this work to have some degree of durability, as much as anything digital can have these days. the way i pursue this is by making regular backups of the page. and if i make the web pages self-contained, with all the referenced links, files and scripts existing within the pages' folders, then my backups will contain the entirety of the work. with this as a guiding principle, i can make a big labyrinth of a website without any dead links.

about dead links... i'm not sure if i should allow or disallow external links throughout this project. i am interested in truly making this a self-contained work, with no dead links. luckily, there are ways to link without linking. textual citation is one, as are screenshots and caches. i have to be mindful of copyright or whatever. but this is another aspect of my work lately: the reproduction of works within other works, sometimes in their entirety, whether as citation or some other form of documentation. or even simply a "re-blog." i guess tumblr is always on my mind.

(there is a drawing i made i want to put here, but i'm too lazy to stand up to get the hard drive the image is saved on. i will update this page later and replace this text with the image. PLEASE DISREGARD please)

1. i think tumblr's post creation interface remains the best of all blogging platforms and social media i've encountered—it would be good to reverse-engineer just that element if and when tumblr ever shuts down.

2. neocities has a dashboard and a timeline but i don't really look at the timeline. but i might maybe look at it more possibly in the future maybe. but i'm not planning on it.

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