DIY publishing

November 4, 2020

I am very happy with blogging on, but I’ve started blogging over here (on Why? To figure out how easy (or, how difficult) it is to “self-publish”. And the answer is: it’s pretty easy, and you don’t even have to write code!

I am old enough to remember a time in which people thought that in the future everyone would have their own website. Their own corner in cyberspace where they could express themselves in a form of their own choosing. Obviously, this future did not come into being. Not yet. ^_^

By self-publishing this blog I’m hoping to demonstrate that we can discard the straitjacket of today’s “social media” platforms. That we can break out of Silicon Valley’s plain and painful monoculture. That we can express ourselves with all the creativity that we have. I hope to demonstate that the web can be pluriform again.

Great! How?!

To wade out of the sewage that is today’s world wide web, we need multiple approaches. I’m demonstrating just one, but a very simple one. We need only two simple tools to create our own webpage:

For this blog I’m using markdown as a markup language. I find it simple and sufficient to express myself. In fact, you can see the original source of this webpage here. Notice that you can still read this document even though it is written in a markup language.

Given that the language of the web is HTML, we need to convert our human-readable document into something more blèh, uh… I mean HTML. For this I’m using pandoc. Pandoc is simple yet powerful. It converts markdown to HTML, but also to e.g. pdf, multiple ebook formats, et cetera. We can start self-publishing our manifestos in book form! @_@

Previously I wrote that we need to decolonize our imagination. Here’s one way of doing that.

Need help? If you are a not-for-profit and smashing the patriarchy I would gladly be of any assistance.

  1. Webpages are typically written in HTML, which also is a markup language, but HTML is quite tedious to write, especially if you’re more concerned about expressing your ideas in words than in “code”.