/now Hear This

I really feel like if you’re able to, you should own your own presence online in the form of a personal domain. Ideally this means that you own a domain that is your name at a reputable TLD like .com, .io, .dev, .website, etc. such as the one you’re looking at: calebhearth.com. Owning your online identity, content, and data allows you to build your name recognition and have a backlog of content that can help you in the future. I’ve definitely gotten jobs, had an easier time during interviews, been recognized in person, and been invited to speak at conferences in part because of this personal domain and the years of blog posts and talks that I host here.

Once you have a personal site, there are a few pages that have emerged as “unofficial standards” to help folks to get a better understanding of who you are and what you’re about. /about as a bio page is a really common one, but less common are /links to collect pointers to your presence elsewhere online, /uses (external link until I build my /uses page) for sharing tech and product stacks, and /now, which is what I’d like to go over here.

What’s this /now?

There’s a “movement” around /now pages to provide an easy place to point people when asked “what are you up to these days?” The idea was originally floated by Derek Sivers, a musician, author, and entrepreneur with a somewhat prolific online following. It took off and several others started adding /now pages to their own sites. There’s even a collection of /now pages at NowNowNow.

I’d been tangentially aware of this, but when I signed up for the very cute omg.lol I noticed that one of the dashboard tiles was a Now Page and while I didn’t play with it there, that finding led me to Robb Knight’s post “Automating My Now Page”.

Every /now and then

Keeping a /now page up-to-date is the hardest part, it seems. omg.lol offers to remind you on a schedule, which is nice. I wonder if folks who have a journaling habit or who are better than I am at self-reflection might have an easier time coming up with things to add to this page. It seems like /now could fit well into these types of meditation and mindfulness.

For my own /now page, I went the route of automating ALL THE THINGS, or at least most of them. At the time of writing, I’m displaying my latest Fedi posts from the two accounts I use: @caleb@calebhearth.com and @c@social.lol; the podcasts 🎙️ I’ve listened to recently, TV shows 📺 I’m watching, Movies 🎞️ I’ve seen, and the games 🎮 I’m playing. I’m using a nightly Rake task to automate almost all of that: Overcast for podcasts, Serialized for TV, Letterboxd for movies, and a mix of IGDB, PSNProfiles, and my own toy iOS app for games. I manually update the Currently section, and the Latest Fediverse Posts section is using Hotwire to fill in the posts lazily.

/now and Later

Almost all of the automation was inspired by Robb’s post, which includes a GitHub link, but since he’s designed it for a static page and is using Node.js, I rewrote most of it in Ruby and cache the data in Postgres rather than in flat files. I’ll probably try to wrap that up into a RubyGem that can be shared with others for your own /now pages.

I’d also really like to have my current/recent reading lists on the page as well, but while I’ve been able to scrape some data from The StoryGraph, where I currently track my reading 📚, it doesn’t (yet) provide an API and so for now there’s nothing there. I’m torn between trying to figure out automated scraping and rolling my own tracking, which might make it easier allow me to do things like save and share highlights, have pages for each book that could link to my blog posts about that book, referral links, etc. I’m already playing with a custom iOS app for my games, and for minor edits to articles, so it wouldn’t be entirely foreign to also have reading tracking in there.

Glancing through the blog’s backlog in Notion, I also see that I’ve considered adding cocktails 🍹 and dishes 🍝 that I’ve made. My wife posts photos of a lot of my cooking and many of my drinks online to Instagram, but I’d really rather own that content myself and not have it going there.


I’m still on my microformats kick, so my /now page is marked up such that each section is an h-feed of h-cite. Marking things up like this is very low effort (GitHub Copilot handled a lot of it once I’d done the first section) and maybe it’ll be useful to someone. I encourage you to use microformats on your own site and to add it to your employers’ sites as well (especially blogs) so that there’s more content out there that tooling can take advantage of.


Most of the content here is timestamped, which is how I do filtering for recency (1 week - 1 month for the automated things). It’d be interesting to compile all of those into an RSS feed, but I’m not certain whether that’s something that’d be interesting to people. Would a /now.rss be of interest to you? How would you use it? Would you have your own?

Bye-bye, for /now

So that’s how I’m using my /now page and how I built it. It’s been a lot of fun to tinker with the /now page and other pages that I’m storing in my site’s StaticController (notably the home page, /now, /links, /about, and any one-off pages that don’t fit with the concept of a blog post like having a date attached). /now, /links, and the home page have been the most fun I’ve had on my blog in a while as they’re all completely different layouts which offers me lots of chances to play with things without fear of breaking anything elsewhere.

If you have a /now page or this inspires you to add your own, please let me know!



/now answers “what are you up to recently?” and like a personal domain, you should have one. I talk about using automation to populate my /now page, microformats, and owning your presence online.


/now answers “what are you up to recently?” and like a personal domain, you should have one. I talk about using automation to populate my /now page, microformats, and owning your presence online.