A Gemini-Exclusive Post

I went through and created gemlog crossposts of a number of the long-form posts I’d already put up on my personal homepage. Ideally this is something I would’ve done at the time, but better late than never, I suppose.

I feel like I've seen a number of approaches to this quandary of “how do you keep an HTTP-based blog and a gemlog both updated”. I think the *easiest* way is to publish first to Gemini, then use a gemtext-to-HTML or gemtext-to-markdown converter to create your HTTP-based site from that. (Or even to write *only* in gemtext, but host your site somewhere like Flounder.online that automatically creates a HTTP proxy for you.) The downside is that this is only really a good solution if you prefer the level of minimalism that Gemini enforces – if you want to do anything more complicated on your HTTP homepage, you can't do that just by running Gemini-format pages through a converter.

Of course, you can go the *other* way, and run your Markdown source files (or raw HTML, I say Markdown just because that forms the basis of my homepage) through a converter. The problem there is, how does the converter deal with formatting that doesn’t exist in gemtext? I’ve seen some Gemini posts that offered a very poor reading experience because the formatting didn’t seem to have been dealt with very well. Inline links seem to be the usual culprit, although if you use Markdown features like tables I could see them posing challenges, too. In my case it wouldn’t be too unusual for me to use some raw HTML in my Markdown posts too (often <cite> tags, <abbr> tags, sometimes <i> for non-emphatic uses of italics), and I’m not sure how a rudimentary converter would go with those (although “skip” would be a totally fine choice for those specific examples).

I don’t want to have substandard gemlog posts on this capsule, so I always go through them and convert the formatting manually. Usually, I move links to a “footnotes” section at the end of the post, marked with [1], [2], etc. in the text so you know what link I’m referring to where. This takes some effort, though, so I usually only bother with long-form blog posts – for microblogging, I just leave that HTTP-only.

For people who are open to using automated converters (or technical enough to adapt them to their own preferences!), there are a number of such utilities available that you could try. All the ones that I know of, I only know of thanks to this list:

The Awesome Gemini list (HTTPS link)

I do have some things in mind that I’d like to bring to this Gemini capsule eventually. For example, on my HTTP site I started a “personal wiki” section – perhaps that kind of non-chronological content is a better fit for Gemini? But the reason I haven’t, yet, is that most of my existing pages are stuffed full of inline links. And they’re also mostly very long. It also occurs to me that the Gemini version of the page could easily fall behind the HTML version, like as I make minor edits to pages that accumulate over time. Hmm.

To wrap this all up… I do like Gemini space. I like the idea of it, and I follow a few feeds in my Lagrange browser, which I check in on most days. I just feel like my own contributions – posts on my gemlog – aren’t all that extensive. I don’t think there’d be much sense beating myself up over it; it’s a hobbyist platform, after all, not some kind of obligation. But it’s because I like the idea of Gemini that I find myself wondering how I could make it easier on myself to contribute. I’ll figure it out eventually, I guess :)

One thing that I do do, which I’d like to stay more on top of, is maintain a “linkblog”:

My Linkblog

This is where I put links to posts I’ve found in other parts of Gemini space, that I thought were really interesting. So if you’re looking to read more quality content than just what I’ve personally written for you, I would heartily recommend everything linked to from there :)