Let's go over this one more time: two years ago, I started the Chapsterhood website as a place to park all the creative things I was making. At first, it thrived. Then, in 2018, real life intervened, and it faltered.
Later on, there was an inexplicable influx of Chinese people accessing it, even though it hadn't been updated in a year. That was weird.
That old website will remain standing at this Blogger link. Its Watch has ended.
The point of that website was always to have my own little rowing boat on the sea of the Internet, but it dawned on me that it wasn't actually fulfilling that function. So, for months the plan has been to declare independence from the tech giants, divorce Google and build a website which is entirely my own, and where I can do whatever I damn well please.
Welcome to the Chapsterhood 2.0!
This time, I'm not going it alone either. A few mates will be sneaking in through the back door soon enough. These floating pages on the Web will act as the publishing hub for the creative projects we build. There are going to be articles, cartoons, webapps, experimental... things and other types of colourful bits of binary. It is going to be quite ridiculous, and, at times, uplifting.
Take a seat on our couch, join in or just lean back and enjoy. If there's something moist or sticky on the couch, don't worry about it!
I said don't worry about it!
You probably have things to do, but if you still wanna hang out with me on this page, I can tell you a bit about the design of this site. Since I got one shot at remaking the virtual space that our projects are going to be inhabiting in the next few years, I figured I ought to do a good job.
First, I designed it as simple, straightforward and blankslate as possible, so that anyone can wander in, and just see our projects, without grids and sidebars and buttons assaulting them with a billion functions. This also gives us the freedom to make each page however different we want, yet still have a unitary home page.
Second, I knew that the Chapsterhood should by design acknowledge the fact that it's a loose group of individuals, not a monolith. Hence, there are no "official" Chapsterhood social pages or anything like that. The only place we all come together is right here. Each member of the Chapsterhood has their own external pages and social media profiles, where they do their own thing. You can find these on the 'About' page.
Third, I embedded some kick-ass functions into the website, so that it can interact directly with the rest of the Web, not mediated by social platforms. The last two are quite cutting-edge and experimental, but really cool. These functions are:
- RSS feed. You can get whatever we publish straight into your RSS/feed reader of choice.
- E-mail newsletter. Old-fashioned, but nice.
- Webmentions. You can comment our posts from any webpage on the Net and, if you do things right, the comment shows up on our site. Comments on our posts (containing the URLs) and mentions @TheChapsterhood through Twitter show up underneath their posts on chapsterhood.com automatically, if with a slight delay.
- Plugged straight into the Fediverse. Our posts instantly go out into the ActivityPub-bearing Fediverse, including Mastodon, Hubzilla, Pleroma and whatever else is out there. All interactions from these social networks show up back on the website underneath the post, of course. If you want to follow any author here through the Fediverse, the username is [author's name]@www.chapsterhood.com. For example, if you wanna get my posts in your Mastodon feed, follow TheFerridge@www.chapsterhood.com . That is not my personal Mastodon page, it is just the Fediverse feed of posts I make. It is effectively a gateway between the Chapsterhood and the Fediverse.
Fourth, because I despise the model of commercial surveillance that permeates the Web nowadays, I made damn sure that neither we, nor anyone else, collect personally identifying data on the visitors of this website. You deserve privacy.
Fifth and last, we prize open source culture. Most of the software we use and love most is open source, as are other wellsprings of culture like Wikipedia or Creative Commons, which we also rely on. We believe in these movements' ideals. So, not only is the Chapsterhood part of the IndieWeb and the Fediverse, but most of the things we make will be licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license, for anyone to freely modify and build upon for non-commercial purposes and with fair attribution.
Once again, welcome!