Pubmind

1,000 books

Pubmind is my system for publishing my thoughts.

Publishing is famously difficult, as The War of Art attests. In my opinion, this difficulty is almost entirely due to poor ergonomics. A journey of 1,000 miles, with proper preparation, should be no more difficult than walking. Likewise, the publication of 1,000 books should be no more difficult than talking.

Tiers like cities

Pubmind divides publishing into three tiers, like city tiers:

  1. Complete, focused, polished works: books, speeches, films, etc.

  2. Pages edited multiple times and arranged into a rational hierarchy

  3. Rough drafts posted with minimal editing, the product of a single session

Publishing toolchain

Here is the toolchain I use for each tier:

  1. TBD; varies. Wordpress possible.

  2. Hugo blog, Learn theme*, compose in Org, refactor with Treefactor, Git VC, publish to nearlyfreespeech.net. Git-Annex for binary assets planned.

  3. Ghost blog, default theme. Twitter.

*Note that I use a variant of the Hugo Learn theme. I pull from this repo. Otherwise the menu won't autofold.

Frictionless refactoring

Layers 1 and 3 of Pubmind are not unusual. Ghost is a reliable workhorse for its role, much better than Wordpress, but this by itself hardly merits declaring a "publishing system". Layers 1 and 3 perform above average due to the magic that happens at layer 2.

Refactoring Hugo Learn's Org headings with Treefactor means that the T2 site is frictionlessly scalable. As a site grows, its contents need reorganization. Normally this kills sites such as Wordpress, due to the onerousness of refactoring text locked in the CMS database. But Treefactor combines the body headings of each page into a meta-outline. Refactoring Hugo is only slightly higher friction than refactoring native Org.

The extra friction comes from having to edit the front-matter of _index.org files, and any relative links. The latter can fail and be caught by community edits. The small extra effort required to deal with the former is worthwhile for the added benefit of publication. Top-level categories change slowly by the time info has reached T2, so the churn is manageable.

Collaboration tools

  1. Wikis, etc

  2. Discourse, etc

  3. Discord, other chat, email, etc

Links

Examples

  • T3 rough drafts blog, Twitter

  • This site is a T2

  • Treefactor docs is an example of a T1 made with Hugo Learn. Hugo is adequate for this T1 due to the minimal publishing requirements for documentation of an obscure OSS package.

Software