Cogito - Open Source Tumblelogging

Snowy scene with a large house at the base of a forested hill.
Sennheiser headphones
I'm a citizen of the Internet. Hell, I'm a denizen of the Internet. I'm old enough that I still capitalise the word "Internet" because "internet" just looks... wrong to me. I can't write for shit unless I have at least one beer while wearing headphones full of space music. I'm a hard charging fan of free and open source, open access, and self-hosting. And, naturally, I'm available on over half a dozen goddamn social networks.

You can find me on Mastodon (my drug of choice), Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Discord, Telegram and LinkedIn. (Câlice, LinkedIn is a plastic hallway of thirstiness. I've got 14 notifications over there right now, and I don't even know what for.) I'm exploring some federated social networks, so I'll likely be found on more soon enough. I mean, I've got a SoundCloud, a YouTube, PeerTube, and I bet I'm forgetting something somewhere. But remember what I said back there, a few sentences ago?

I'm a fan of free and open source and self-hosting, especially the self-hosting bit.

If I can run something on open source and host it on my own servers, that is what I will do. It's the default state of mind for my digital existence. Sure, I use proprietary software all the time. This blog post is coming to you through the magic of a stupidly expensive iPad, using a Markdown editor that costs money. However, you'll read the post on a blog powered by an open source static site generator hosted on a server I'm paying for, and that server is running Linux. Almost everything I do eventually comes back to open source.

Now, fun fact: I love tumbleblogs, or tumblelogs as they're also called. There might be a few of you that don't know what a tumbleblog is, even though most of you will have heard of Tumblr. Tumblr took tumbleblogging and commercialised it, then sold it, screwed it up, sold it again, and then they screwed it up, and then sold it again that's when I threw up my hands and left. No joke, I've not posted a damn thing to my old Tumblr in two years... and I still get email from those idiots telling me they've detected "adult content" on my site.

Thing is, I like tumbleblogs because they're a happy medium between blogging and microblogging. (For those in the audience who have no idea what a microblog is, I direct you to Mastodon, Twitter, and Micro.blog.) Their entire point is quick, fun, and hopefully interesting stuff that you want to share. And I think I've got quick, fun, and hopefully interesting stuff to share. But after Tumblr pissed me off for, literally, the fifth time in my history with the site; I decided to do something different.

Known logo
I casted around the Internet (capital I) looking for something that was like Tumblr, but not Tumblr, preferably, something I could host on my own website. That's when I found Known. I'd describe it to you, but I already did when I said it's like Tumblr, but not Tumblr. And I can host it on my own server. It has the standard LAMP set up, in that you need a Linux server running Apache, PHP, and MariaDB. Make yourself a database for it, give it a user and password, run the install script, fill in the blanks, and you have a website. Or, if you don't even want to bother with that, it'll run on a SQLite database too.

I tried it on my development server at home, liked what I saw, and installed it on cyberpunklibrarian.com. You can title your site as you wish and, since I wanted someplace to throw up notes, ideas, and the stuff I might be thinking about at any given time - I called it Cogito.

I'll throw Cogito posts at the various social networks from time to time, but I decided not to roll with some kind of automated posting. There's no reason to send everything from Cogito out into the social net as Cogito is the place I can go to for posting things that probably aren't all that suited to social networks. I'm going to post notes, ideas, images, the weird stuff I'm thinking about, what I'm working on, status updates, and all kinds of things that the various social media sites (especially LinkedIn) won't care about.

But if you're into what's going on inside my head... Cogito isn't a bad place to start.