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Introducing: notes.jim-nielsen.com

tl;dr I have a new website at notes.jim-nielsen.com where I’ll publish my reading notes going forward (a link, excerpt, and sometimes brief commentary from things I read). You can subscribe to the RSS or JSON feed if you feel so inclined, but it’s really more for me than anybody else.

I’ve been publishing my #readingNotes posts since [checks notes] 2012 — a full decade! — and I’ve enjoyed the process.

What makes those notes useful is 1) the process of internalizing their meaning through collecting, writing, and publishing them, and 2) the ability to reference them in the future.

Particularly as of late, my reading notes have been getting long. It has become almost a burden to sift through, edit, and publish my notes at the end of each month.

I’ve been thinking a lot about splitting my notes off into a separate taxonomy of some kind that will allow me to more easily 1) publish them as discrete notes whenever I want (rather than a collation of notes at the end of the month), and 2) reference them all on a single, giant, searchable page of text.

The question is: what do I name these new “items” and where do I publish them?

I thought about a collection of “links” (Jeremy does this really well), but really these “notes” are less about the content they link to and more about the insights I pull from them; an article might be underwhelming as a whole but if a single line of text strikes me, I’ll note it down. For this reason, “notes” feels like the right name for my use case.

But what constitutes a “note” vs. a “post”? I’ve been thinking about this and what I’ve come to is this axis of differentiation:

To accommodate this, I’ve created website separate from my blog at notes.jim-nielsen.com (it also has a separate RSS and JSON feed). I ported every #readingNotes item I’ve ever published over to that site (more details on that process in a later post) and it has already proven super useful.

Now whenever I wonder, “What was that thing I read and wrote down?” I can go to notes.jim-nielsen.com which loads all my notes in one giant HTML document. For now, no need for a custom full-text search feature. I just hit CMD + F in the browser and search for keywords across domains I’ve linked to (e.g. adactio.com) tags I’ve used (e.g. #rss) or phrases I remember (e.g. passion project).

FWIW: I created a graphic to help illustrate what and where I plan to publish the stuff I write — this is mostly for me, so I can remember the answer to the question, “Where should I post this again?”

A quadrant with “Permancence” as the north label, “Mostly other people’s words” as the east label, “Ephemeral” as the south label, and “Mostly my words” as the west labe. In the upper left is `blog.jim-nielsen.com`, upper right is `notes.jim-nielsen.com` and the two lower quadrants are both “twitter/mastodon”.

To be clear: I will no longer be posting any reading notes here on my blog. They will all be over at notes.jim-nielsen.com