I missed greg.org's first birthday last week. I meant to call and offer my congratulations, but, you know how it is. Like my almost-a-year-old nephew, I can't believe how big it's gotten. And like that kid scurrying endlessly across the floor, greg.org outruns my understanding of how to get it to behave. Since mid-May, I've been looking for relevant ways to organize a weblog, especially one (like greg.org) that doesn't follow headlines. (I have to embrace the fact that nothing I link to will ever make it to the top of Blogdex.)
This morning, I spent some time at Ftrain, an amazing...to say it's a weblog is to praise my and others' sites by association and shame us by comparison. I'd read entries and essays on ftrain.com over the years, of course, but this morning was the first time I'd really noticed its organization/IA. Paul Ford links each entry into Story (for "narratives, oddments, parodies, dialogues, short plays") and/or Theory ("amateur explorations into understanding how language works with (and against) digital technology.") While I didn't notice the Story structure at first, it quickly went from affected to effective to engrossing. And I'm not even scratching the surface.
In this essay (the latest), I clicked on "I remember my grandfather" (because I'm making a movie about remembering; because I have to come up with a memory by today for my craft-y cousin to put in a scrapbook for my grandmother; because I, too, remember my grandfather). [It's clock-ticking structure made me think of this entry. Everything's still all about me, apparently.] But as Ford notes, this elegy "is part of A Tent in the Arctic," his title for "the story of [his] life, in dribs and drabs."
Post-posting, I kept on reading. On Making Sense of This Site, Ford explains the structure and navigation, pushing me into the dark ("The thing is, whether a section is inline or independent, it is still a child of its parent node. So the last two links both point to children of this current node, the node you're reading."), which only lasts a while before reaching the light ("For Ftrain, there's one ždefaultÓ hierarchy, but thousands of possible žmapsÓ of content."). And a blinding light it is:
The primary goal of Ftrain.com, the goal which all other goals serve, is to make the site fully conscious and self-aware by 2051. Conservative estimates place computer power as equaling brainpower by then, and after 10,000 nodes (200 a year for 50 years), there should be enough inside the site for it to come to its own conclusions. I will return to this topic at a future date.
I'm looking forward to it.