awarm.spacenewsletter | fast | slow

Making a course

Hello! I regret to say that I have not quite gotten what I wanted to done for fancynote. Instead the end of this week has been a bit of a rush to get things ready for hyperlink.academy's launch in the coming days.

It's been a bit whack-a-mole with finding and fixing bugs, but overall the site's looking good! Actually, much harder than the bugs and programming is the other thing I have to do for launch, creating a course on "Internet Homesteading".

Wait what's internet homesteading?

It's a course on making a website. It's not a course on making a landing page, or a marketing side, or setting up Wordpress, or anything like that. It's for making a website you can live in.

Most of the time, being on the internet means being a tolerated foreigner on someone else's turf. You're welcome to hang out as long as you're buying souveneirs (liking posts, clicking on ads) but actually you have no rights and can be kicked out at any time.

Your own site is an entirely different story. It's a piece of digital space that's entirely what you want to make of it. You can make a blog, a garden, a book, an album, host conversations, get into arguments, perform theatre, do whatever with it.

But, even though the internet isn't quite the frontier it used to be, creating your website home is hard. It's hard not just because learning to build websites is hard (and it is), but because there's not much out there to help you build the kind of website that's a home.

So that's what the course is about! It's about working with tools you can understand to build a website you can care for an maintain and grow with.

So how do you build a course?

Honestly, we're still figuring it out! We've run The Meta Course three times now, so I've had plenty of time to develop this course, but I still feel uncertain going live with it. But, the only way to resolve that uncertainty is to hit the real world. To try and help real people learn and see how it happens.

I definitely can't claim any particular expertise in website making. Luckily I'm beginning to think that in the majority of cases expertise in something is actually orthogonal to knowing how to help someone learn it. On one hand, this is pretty scary! If we can't rely on experts to create learning who can we? On the other, it's quite empowering! You don't have to be an expert to create powerful learning environments. You mainly just have to care about learning. 1

One thing I do have is all these personal website tours for a while now, and I've learned a couple things:

  1. Fiddling with a website is fun
  2. Fiddling can add up to some incredible thigns
  3. It's way more fun with friends

There's a huge diversity of ways people's websites work, but there's enough of a shared foundation that there's always something you can learn from someone's site.

There's, in these tours, the start of something like an organic pattern language for internet homesteading.

That's the other goal for this course: exploring the space around internet homesteading. One of the best reasons to create a course is to learn. It's always been interesting to me that many educational institutions combined research and basic education, and I think we can take that even further.

What's coming up?

That's all I got for today! It's been a hectic week but I'm really excited for what's to come with hyperlink! Hopefully I can squeeze in some time for Fancynote as well 😅


  1. That's not to say that expertise doesn't matter, just that it's not the significant factor in general. Also note for the future: I'm not at all certain about this assertion and may completely reverse it at some point.