I’ve always been a huge fan of moodboards. Haw-lin–a collaboration between Hawaii native Nathan Cowen and Berlin based Jacob Klein–has been one of my favourites for years.
For a long time it seemed like having a personal moodboard was all the rage–usually made with Tumblr or something similiar, but often self-hosted, if you had the skills to spin up your own. Then Instagram came along and all that changed.
I’ve got nothing against Instagram per se, but it troubles me knowing Meta can pull the plug at any moment and all your content and is gone, along with the following you’ve worked so hard to build.
I experienced this first hand back in 2012 when Svpply was aquired by eBay and that was that. We were given the chance to export data, but the network of 50k+ followers that I spent time building disapeared overnight.
Since then I’ve always been cautious about becoming dependent on siloed networks, prefering instead to lean on open-source tools where possible.
One example of this is choosing to build my personal moodboard with the static site generator Hugo. Obviously when you roll it yourself it’s not as easy to build the social aspect which Instagram excels at. But at least you can sleep well at night knowing you’re in full control.
Recently I’ve made some improvements to the theme and now I’m putting it out there, free to download from Github.
I’m in the process of putting together more info on the features and how to use it. So for now, I hope this will encourage you to consider your own dependencies on tools that take control of your data. Perhaps I can even convince you to take some of the necessary steps back towards an open and independent web.