That adage of history rhyming, not repeating — does it work on a smaller, local level? You always hear the phrase when talking about spans of centuries. What about a couple weeks, months, or years? One of my favorite parts about publishing writing on the web is seeing how your thoughts rhyme with others'. It becomes a fruitful game of noticing rhymes and nurturing the environment for new rhymes to occur.

I had written lately about making a single page site for my mother this Mother's Day. It got me thinking about a website more like a DM than a public media object. Brendan Schlagel saw this & noted how it reminded him of a blog post he wrote a couple years ago, “Adding Hidden Layers to Websites via Secret Subdomains” (source). Reading it was a joy, especially to see where our ideas “rhymed.” I particularly gravitated to Brendan's idea of a subdomain that was dedicated to a person: — could be either parlor trick or highly useful and innovative networking device! I could, after meeting someone interesting, quickly put together a one-pager with a personalized curated list of articles or other resources, links to more of my work, and other fun things. I could even have a template for this, making it super simple to make a new one for favorite new people I meet.

This got me thinking about how relationships with other people online could be curated differently. Brendan, for instance, has an ongoing blogchain with Tom Critchlow. What if that also lived on Brendan's site as Maybe that site could also give context as to how the blogchain came about.

The “yourname” subdomain could also serve as a public log for conversation with a particular person. For example, I had a great chat with David Blue for a community project. What if that conversation and others could continue to live on its own subdomain? I played around with this on a simple Next.js Glitch app: This form could be a great place for countless blog chats to live.

What's great about this “yourname” subdomain idea is the flexibility of execution — from networking and blogchains to anything else you could imagine. It reminds me again how online relationships can be filtered through conventions of social media platforms. Brendan's idea brings out a more bespoke web, a weird & wonderful web, a homegrown web. Something more than a video montage of the photos a friend & I are both tagged in on Facebook.