Moving from WordPress to Fargo (Mostly)

That idea of disruption has picked up speed this summer. Or, at least that’s what it seems. I’ve moved from a Kindle Fire HD to a Chromebook and a Motoactv. I’ve acquired a Chromecast – and am having some decent fun in seeing where it makes sense. I’ve moved to my own RSS reader. And now, I’m moving from WordPress to Dave Winer’s Fargo Outliner. Disruption once again; with purpose, as usual.

Fargo is simply an outliner. All of us who write should be familiar with the concept of an outline. You organize thoughts, or a series of thoughts, against a linear progression. Letters and numbers indicate layers. And basically, indents correspond towards inheritance of the above/previous topic or not. For me, I’ve been pretty ardent in writing outlines, either literally or mentally, for just about everything that I write. I can recall how it got to a point in college – back when I had a PDA (classic writing piece by me there) – where when I received an assignment, that I could literally build the outline in minutes. Then I’d flesh out the sub-points as the research came, and then boom, done with a paper.

Fargo makes things a bit more interesting. Like my landing page/digital business card, its using Dropbox as a backend. But, its a lot more than a simple page. Turning an outline into a blog is only a part of what’s possible with Fargo. There’s a presentation deck engine, scripting engine, and an attributes system that begs to be played with all the more. If you will, you can start with an outline/list (Excapite would love this line of thinking), but then embed into it a good bit more.

To this point, I’ve merely kept things simple. I use it for a few austere outlines, and now, for version 2.0 of Blog.ARJW. This is the last non-automated post that I plan to do here at WordPress. I’d like to figure out how to send my Flickr pics there – as I’m doing here, and a few other items. So that I can truly turn the list into a more efficient digital exhaust.

But, that’s down the line. For right now, I’m just disrupting the way that I write here. I’ll still write some more mind-stretching things at Medium, and the open source, programmable mobile end of things at Everything N9. But, the other thoughts, those that are public and not on my TiddlyWiki, those will be done in Fargo – on one outline.

I guess I’ve also go to answer the question of what blogging on Fargo means besides writing.

Besides writing… yes, an outliner that feeds a blog can mean that I can do more than write. Not that I don’t just want to write, but just as I’ve done with that landing page, its about making open data formats the default, and then letting clients dictate more of the presentation piece. So, what if I could take an outline and populate it with other streams of data auto-magically? Or, what if I’m able to take a set of data, and then see it in an outline format then write the stories that connect it a bit easier? Or, what about other moments? There might be others, I need to see the data to explore it.

When I embarked on the RSS project, I had to go into with the idea that if I made this work, that I’d be bending the conventional way of reading and sharing. So far, its been a near pleasure. I’m reading deeper. I’m seeing thicker thread and discussions. And mostly, I’m having to consider doing more with what I read other than simple consuming it. Same kinds of things I expect from this move. Whether it makes sense in the long-run or not isn’t my concern. I’ve got to be content with the shape of things as I imagine them, not simply as they are to others. Or, as I stated on Twitter (via MMM) earlier today:

If this is going to open me towards learning about myself and improving the lives of others, even if its just an outline, then it needs to happen. Mostly… I’ve got a bit with how I’ve evolved WP to work out in the meanwhile.

From this point forward, my blogging/writing at points to – – you know, just as I said would happen on the about page here 😉 So if you are following me here, you might be served better by just jumping into an RSS stream and either following me there or pulling the RSS of my entire digital stream.