Jared White Photo of Jared

Expressively publishing on the open web since 1996.
Entranced by Portland, Oregon since 2017.

Hello and Welcome!

I’m Jared, an award-winning essayist, Rubyist, and podcaster who’s been commenting on and building for the web since Mosaic was a thing. (Yup, it’s true! 😆)

In my spare time I travel around Portland 🌲 and the Pacific Northwest and shoot cinematic-yet-quirky vlogs. 📹 📺  In addition, I compose and produce 80s-flavored retro electronica. 🎹 🎶

This is my home base on the internet. I hope you enjoy browsing around! 📍

P.S. What am I doing now? That’s what the Now Page is for!

P.P.S. What’s my favorite (fill-in-the-blank)? Find out in About Me. 😃


Things I Do

It would seem I’m always but one step away from reaching for an endeavor to occupy my time with at any given moment. Besides what’s obviously available on this website…from Bridgetown, a Ruby-powered site generator, to Yarred, my musical alter-ego, there’s something for…well…somebody.

Welcome to the Jaredverse! 😌


Newest Posts

The Elon-gate’d Man

This isn’t actually an essay about Elon Musk. It’s about the fact that we keep trusting these people. And by “these people” I mean the people who look, talk, and behave like Elon Musk. Perhaps it’s time to bust the myth of the Silicon Valley-style boy genius once and for all, and instead look to egalitarian principles to ensure the health and safety of our digital future.

Read Essay


No (Open Web) Regrets

I regret a lot of things.

I regret spending so much time contributing content to corporate social media. I regret expending my limited creative and financial resources all in the service of Big Tech.

But you know what I don’t regret?

Publishing content on my own #website. Yes, right here. And in other places I inhabit on the internet. And even on sites that no longer exist, because thank you Wayback Machine.

It makes me think that, huh, perhaps I should spending more time publishing content in places I “own”. Even if my website is technically hosted on a service I don’t control, the content 100% belongs to me, and I can take it with me anywhere I want because Cool URIs don’t change.

Maybe the #openweb would be in better shape if more people valued personal domain names as much as they value other things in life. I’m coming to realize jaredwhite.com is one of the most prized possessions in life.


The Best of Tangerine Dream

Over on the website for my “alter ego” electronic music act Yarred, I’ve started posting every day (until the end of the year!) all about my favorite works by #synthmusic maestros Tangerine Dream. I elaborated a bit about my long-time obsession with this band on the first installment about the brilliant 1980 album Tangram.

I know TD may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you have any interest whatsoever in electronic music, you should be at least familiar with their role in the rise of synthesizers in popular music. As I wrote in the linked article above:

“Talk to any electronic music legend of recent years and ask them what they think about Tangerine Dream. Go ahead. You many not have heard of TD, but I guarantee most of your heroes have.”


The Blog as Publishing Hub

Blog: short for Web-log. A personalized record of content you post on the web.

Web: a shortening of World-Wide Web. A global network of hypertext documents all linking to each other.

So then, why is it rare to find anyone actually doing this with their blog? 🤔

There’s a term in IndieWeb circles called Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere (or POSSE). It sort of captures an aspect of that idea…basically you use your own blog to publish thoughts, link commentary, photos, videos, newsletters, etc., and then disseminate that content out to other services (YouTube, Twitter, mailing lists, your own RSS feed, etc.)

I tried POSSE in a previous incarnation of this site. I ended up not liking it. It doesn’t capture the workflows I instinctively prefer on a regular basis, nor how I wish the #openweb really functioned.

What I want to do is the exact opposite! IndieWeb also provides a term for this: Publish Elsewhere, Syndicate (to your) Own Site (or PESOS). They don’t recommend it, and the wiki page enumerates some of the reasons why. But I have come to realize I prefer PESOS for a lot of the content I produce, because it’s generally way easier and the UX is way better.

  • I like “microblogging” on Twitter. [11-2022 update: er, not anymore! 🤪]
  • I like posting videos on YouTube.
  • I like writing newsletter issues in ConvertKit.
  • I like uploading podcast episodes to Buzzsprout. (I don’t for this site, but I do use it for the Fullstack Ruby podcast.)
  • I like posting photos on…well, certainly not Instagram any more. 😂 Glass is pretty rad, but I haven’t determined if I want to reserve it for the “fancy” photos I take with my “fancy” camera, or simply give up and flood it with on-the-go iPhone snaps.
  • I like releasing music on Bandcamp. (Honestly, I don’t know of any indie musician who doesn’t use Bandcamp at this point!)

So the question then becomes: how do I post all this content elsewhere, then transparently pull in links and import content back to my own #website? Of course on a technical level, it means I’ll be writing lots of Ruby plugins for Bridgetown, the software I use to build my website. But I’m always musing on workflows that can be easily applied to the industry of blogging as a whole. I haven’t seen much evidence anyone’s truly cracked this nut. Also admittedly, dragging your own content in kicking and screaming from third-party silos is often less than straightforward (hence the notion of POSSE), because they have a vested interest not to let you feature your own content on your own website. (YouTube remains sort of a weird outlier here because they make it easy to embed videos anywhere, and youtube-dl is certainly a thing.)

Still, I’m motivated to figure this stuff out. I’ll let you know how it goes! ☺️


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Stay in the Loop

Look, I get it. You already subscribe to too many newsletters. So much to keep up with. But guess what? I only send out a newsletter once a week. And if you‘re feeling curious, peruse the Creator Class archive. You might find something that resonates with you! It’s a great way to stay current with what I’m publishing, and newsletter recipients always get some extra insight just for them. So what are you waiting for? Let’s roll!

black and white photo of Jared White

I promise to treat your inbox with the utmost respect and maintain your privacy.


Podcast

Fresh Fusion

A weekly show where we discuss the business, the art, the ethics of content creation on the open web. Hosted by Jared White.

Who Gives a Toot?

You won’t want to miss this episode wherein I pull back the curtain into major new developments for the future of this show, follow up on my 2019 social media predictions and compare with how current events are playing out, share specific thoughts on how to think about Mastodon instances and the health of the network, and challenge the veracity of the claim that Americans are growing more and more lonely. It’s an action-packed episode, so let’s get started!

Listen to Episode 81


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The Three Vital Landmarks Along the Road to Success

There was a time not long ago when my life was in a major upheaval. Signs of online success were slim to none. I wasn’t sure if anyone out there would really care if I were suddenly Thanos-snapped out of existence. Yet the valuable lesson I came to learn during that dreadful time was how to become intrinsically motivated, the significance of value creation, and the trick of cultivating T-shaped skills.

Read Essay