In the margins

Jeremy Keith
1 min readNov 8, 2023

John Willshire has been pondering web marginilia AKA stuff you put in your sidebar.

He has a particular fondness for the good ol’ blogroll. I’ve still got my analogue equivalent on my homepage — the bedroll. It’s a list of links to people who’ve stayed over. Maybe I should also have a regular blogroll, but I suspect it would just be a reproduction of feeds I’m subscribed to.

Then there’s marginalia at the level of a blog post, rather than a whole blog. Kevin Marks points out that this is something that Vannevar Bush described his theoretical memex doing — a device I was just talking about. Kevin created a proof of concept showing outbound and inbound links.

Outbound links are annoted versions of the A elements in a blog post. Inbound links are webmentions (which should now include this post of mine).

Kevin has those links in the margins on either side of the blog post. I’ve also got links that go with my blog posts, but they’re displayed linearly:

  1. the post itself,
  2. any responses (webmentions),
  3. related posts, something I only recently added, and
  4. posts from the same day further back in time.

Do they still count as marginalia when they’re presented vertically rather than alongside? For mobile devices, I’m not sure there’s any alternative.…



Jeremy Keith

A web developer and author living and working in Brighton, England. Everything I post on Medium is a copy — the originals are on my own website,