Excerpt is a new decentralized blogging platform created by TheShake and eskimo. Very straightforward to use, and fairly simple to set up. Additionally, bloggers are able to receive tips in $HNS.
If you already have a Namebase account and can resolve HNS in your browser then skip ahead and checkout the guide to Blogging on Excerpt with Handshake Domains here.
If not, read this:
What you’ll need to setup Excerpt
- Fingertip by Impervious
- Namebase Account
- $HNS (guide)
- Handshake Domains/TLDs (guide)
- varo/ account (free)
Resolving Handshake Domains in your browser
You own a couple HNS TLDs. Congratulations. You are probably wondering, how do I put content on the domain? How do I get to my domain on the internet?
If you’re brand new to HNS go to https://www.namebase.io/dlinks and set up a Dlink page. Do not use the domain you want to put your blog on. This is a quick set up to get used to Namebase. We will dive into DNS settings later.
The simplest way to view most HNS domains is to add .hns.to to your name. Check out http://starbeam.hns.to/ below. This is my Dlink page.
Fingertip Setup to Resolve Domains
Here is Namebase’s guide. There are multiple ways you can do this.
Let’s focus on Fingertip since it is most suited for this tutorial. Excerpt/ doesn’t work with .hns.to. So you’ll need to change a few things on your computer in order to resolve your HNS TLDs.
Let’s set that up using Fingertip by Impervious. Head on over to https://impervious.com/fingertip and download for whatever operating system you use, Windwos, MacOS, or Linux.
For this tutorial you do not need to manually configure anything to get Fingertip to work. Just go ahead and run the program. You should be taken to a page that looks like the screenshot below in your browser.
Perfect. Now you can access any HNS domain. If you set up Fingertip correctly, you should be able to view starbeam/ 👇. If not, here’s a screenshot:
Notice how there is no .com or any extension at the end? Pretty cool. This is a top level domain or TLD.
Now that you can resolve HNS domains in your browser. Go to excerpt/. Click Login. No Email required. Everything is verified through DNS.
You are able to verify Handshake domain ownership via DNS records or with the Bob extension. For this guide, we are going to keep it simple and verify via DNS in Namebase.
Update DNS Records in Namebase
After you click “Add Name”, Excerpt/ will provide a unique TXT record. Copy this as is varo=’string” in your pop up. The TXT record will be different for everyone.
Head over to your Namebase account. Click Domain Manager on the left hand side of your screen. Now, find the domain you used and click Manage on the right side of your screen. Scroll down to view your DNS records.
You want to make sure DNSSEC is enabled for this domain.
Add the TXT record with the text from the screen above to your Nambase nameserver DNS records. Click SAVE at the bottom of your screen.
Note – in order to use Nambase nameservers, you will have to make sure your Blockchain DNS Records have an NS record with a Value of 22.214.171.124. This is Nambase’s nameserver.
Afterward, go back over to the varo verify popup and hit verify. If it doesn’t work refresh the page. You will be taken to the following screen after you verify ⬇️.
Once you are here, press on the domain name. If you press New Blog you will get an error because there is still more setup to do.
The screen above will appear with more DNS records. These do not go in your Namebase account. They go in Varo/. Let’s dive in.
Go to Varo/. You’ll need an email address to login to their platform. Now, enter the domain you used where it says Domain in the screenshot below.
Update DNS Records in Varo
Once you add your domain in Varo/ click manage to be taken to the DNS records page.
Go back to Excerpt/ and look at the two records provided in Screenshot B* above. There will be an ALIAS and TSLA Record. Copy these exactly as is into Varo/.
Your entire Varo/ page should look like this:
Update DNS Records in Namebase
Now, we need to add the Varo/ Nameservers and DS Record into your Namebase Blockchain DNS records. This allows Varo/ to use the ALIAS and TLSA records to set up your blog.
Here is a screenshot of what the final DNS looks like:
In the bottom left hand corner you will notice a time under Tree Update. Whatever time it says, you will have to wait that amount of time. Sorry. Read more about the Urkel Tree here.
Finalizing Excerpt/ Setup
Once the time has passed go back to Screenshot B* and click on your domain name. You will be asked to enter your HNS wallet address to receive tips under Settings.
For choosing a theme color go here https://htmlcolorcodes.com/.
Click on the Bob extension. Then click Receive. There’s your address.
Go to your Namebase Dashboard. Under HNS > Total Balance, there will be a button, Wallet address.
Afterwards, you will be redirected back to your blog admin page. Save the address listed in the address bar in your browser. I cleared my cache and will have to re-verify my domain.
Click the + icon in the bottom write and start writing. Once you are finished, hit the save icon. You now have a decentralized blog! Pat yourself on the back. Congratulation.
I set this up today. After I saved my blog post I had to wait for the Tree Update before my blog was live and I could view moonscapes/ in my browser.
Why would I want a decentralized blog?
Decentralization allows content creators to maintain ownership and control over their content.
A few hours ago, Jack Dorsey wrote a blog on the need for a new internet protocol. Handshake addresses most of his concerns over our current state. You can check it out here.
If you liked this guide feel free to sign up for my newsletter.
Special thanks to @enginux on Twitter for looking into varo/ for me. Check out the enginux/ blog.