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I've had two somewhat divergent goals in trying to get a functional Jekyll-based site up and running. The first is that I'm hoping to include a bit of tinkering with static site generators in this spring's iteration of DH 865, and while I'm not above assigning texts that I plan to read for the first time along with the class, assigning technologies that way is a recipe for disaster. (Not that I know that from first-hand experience. Ahem.)

The second, though, is that I'm seriously contemplating getting my own blogging practice out of WordPress. I have loved using WordPress, don't get me wrong; it's powerful and generally reliable. But it's also presenting a growing amount of overhead to maintain, and what feels like increasing barriers to just writing already.

Over the last couple of months I've been delighted to take control of my social network once again, through, as one important step toward the IndieWeb ideal of owning my content and controlling its dissemination. And while WordPress is fully open source and IndieWeb-compatible, it's occurred to me that there might be a better way.

So, Jekyll. I built this site using GitHub Pages[1] and Minimal Mistakes, and spent a fair bit of time working to get Mastodon-based comments enabled. And then I used Ben Balter's Jekyll Exporter to grab the content from and move it over here.

But: comments aren't part of that export. And I've got 20 years of discussions over there -- well, really 10 years of discussions before Twitter and Facebook destroyed everything -- that I really don't want to leave behind.

There are several options for commenting systems that I could employ. A few are out of the question, including Disqus (no), Facebook (omg NO), and Discourse (open source, but with real hosting overhead). There are also Utterances and Giscus, which leverage GitHub issues and discussions, respectively, for comments. And several folks out there have developed tools to help migrate WP comments into those latter systems, so they're worth considering.

But what then of the connection to Mastodon-based commenting, which I'm pretty excited about? I'd like to find a way for two commenting systems to co-exist, even if one is primarily looking backward and one looking forward. Alternatively, I'd like to get those WP comments imported as part of the content of the old WP posts.

I'm going to keep tinkering, but if anybody has any brilliant solutions, I'd love to hear them.

  1. Of course, if I'm really going to IndieWeb it, I shouldn't rely on GitHub. But I'll contemplate that another day. ↩︎


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