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My wife and I are looking for inspiration for a family website and we’d like to see cool stuff around the internet. I know a lot of sites that come to mind will be personal branding sites, but we’d be especially interested in cool concepts for family sites, too.

(I also wish I could remember the web design personality who was responsible for the blog where each article had a distinct look - one was titled something like “Into the Woods” and had wooden signs, one of which was off-kilter…)

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    One of the things that intrigues me are extensive personal websites, just full of a huge pile of stuff the site owner finds interesting, has written, etc. Not exactly the same as a prolific blog (though there is overlap), because they tend to be more hypertext structured, in ways other than purely chronological post dates plus tags; more like a big personal wiki in some cases.

    These were more common in the ‘90s I think, but there are still some around (some dating to then, others a bit newer). Four that come to mind: John Walker’s fourmilab, Pierro Scaruffi’s website, Cosma Shalizi’s bactra.org, and Gwern Branwen’s website.

    Not necessarily a model for creating a personal website if you don’t have a decade or so to invest in it though! Of those four, it looks like: one is a university professor, one is a wealthy tech entrepreneur, and two are independent writers/researchers.

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      John Walker & Gwern’s sites are great. In the same vein (but leaning more toward being a blog) is Charlie Stross’s site, which also contains his wife’s font work. (Stross isn’t as prolific on his blog as he used to be – writing two novels a year at 50+ while also dealing with carpal tunnel and trying to use an iPad for some of it lowers productivity in terms of pure word-emission rate – but there’s a community of regulars in the comments there, many of whom have been posting consistently since before I first discovered the site ~10 years ago. Common topics are similar to Farber’s IP list – i.e., ostensibly tech and science fiction, but with a nigh-inexplicable attractor around the history of aviation tech & an abiding interest in espionage and international relations.)

      Not necessarily a model for creating a personal website if you don’t have a decade or so to invest in it though!

      My own website has been around for a much shorter time but it growing along a somewhat similar model (though originally just a kind of portfolio for my writing). Presumably, this is what Gwern’s site would have looked like after only a year, if he had way less free time.

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        I get a SSL_ERROR_BAD_CERT_DOMAIN for your website?

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          It doesn’t have HTTPS at all. (It’s static & non-secret, so why bother?)

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            Yeah, but your link is to https and that looks like it’s falling back to the hosting service you’re using.

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              Hmm… Maybe I made a typo. Lobste.rs doesn’t want me to edit it anymore.

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          I’m getting some bad cert errors when I visit your personal errors.

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            I don’t have a cert. My personal errors are 100% public.

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          I came across https://musicinformationretrieval.com/ recently also.

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            In a similar vein, I used to enjoy https://ftrain.com/

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              This page definitely qualifies, a wealth of technical info and images about Nikon cameras and lenses.

              http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/entry.htm

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              Bret Victor’s website is all sorts of fun.

              http://worrydream.com/

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                I mainly read blogs nowadays. Eli Bendersky’s blog is my current favorite: eli.thegreenplace.net. Chris Wellons’ is a nice second: nullprogram.com. Inigo Quilez also has a fantastic site if you’re into graphics programming: iquilezles.org. For more serious mathematic stuff, I like Terrence Tao’s blog (although I rarely understand an article in-depth): terrytao.wordpress.com. It is very interesting to see how easily he grasps and explains the essentials of unsolved research problem (he’s a mathematic beast, and for a mathematician of his level, his work is relatively accessible, since he’s a generalist).

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                  My wife and I are looking for inspiration for a family website and we’d like to see cool stuff around the internet.

                  I’m only responding to voice my opinion that it’s immoral to publicize children’s lives, especially before they’re even born.

                  I know a lot of sites that come to mind will be personal branding sites, but we’d be especially interested in cool concepts for family sites, too.

                  I may as well. I prefer my own website; it’s free from modern WWW nonsense, which happens to be worse than classic WWW nonsense. Since I’m mentioning any, I also like Richard Stallman’s personal website.

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                    I’m only responding to voice my opinion that it’s immoral to publicize children’s lives, especially before they’re even born

                    As am I, however since the birth of my Son, my wife and I have realised we’re firmly in the minority here. It can be difficult to keep pictures away from facebook et all as most people do not have similar concerns. However without more context a family website is a broad description that could cover lots of difficult scenario’s.

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                      I have four kids, and I wish there was an easy way to keep tabs on my family (people getting married, having kids) without resorting to Facebook, with everything defaulting to private. And hopefully I could host it myself somewhere. Anyway. I see the use case. I want my not-tech-savvy aunts to be able to see pictures of my kids, because in pre-internet, I would just have mailed them pictures. There’s a private case.

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                        It’s an interesting problem, I tend to send pictures over whatsapp or icloud private shared albums. I’m not particularly happy with those either as one is linked to facebook and the other is still a massive corporate behemoth. I would love to try a private site with pictures behind a login but I fear that would be wasted effort for my non tech savvy side or even worse - I would be forever dealing with login issues for them!

                        As mentioned previously - I’m in the minority, lots of people are happy having everything in the open.

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                          because in pre-internet, I would just have mailed them pictures

                          Email?

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                      Well, I like my own, although a bit too nerdy for a family website: https://eloydegen.com

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                        I like yours too! I like mine too! Although a bit too simple to be honest. https://duraki.github.io

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                          Oh, it looks nice! Although it’s not very mobile friendly.

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                        A friend of mine just sent me http://elly.town/ and I quite enjoy the aesthetic. I’m also naturally fond of my own, https://bernsteinbear.com. And I maintain a list of websites I enjoy on this page: https://bernsteinbear.com/favorites/

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                          Mark Rosenfelder’s https://www.zompist.com/ is a gold mine for the armchair linguist, anthropologist, political analyst, etc. etc.

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                              A bit of simple mspaint art on every page. Little doodles or characters. Make every page different :)

                              http://www.autofish.net/

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                                tom7.org is amongst my favorites, and has been for many years at this point.

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                                  Thanks for all the comments, friends. I put your suggestions in my collection.

                                  Usually I try to wait between each submission but this is too much to spread it over many days.

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                                    One that I love is Matthew Rayfield’s. It’s a collection of silly and absurd projects, really. http://matthewrayfield.com/