On the #IndieWeb

I have recently discovered the #IndieWeb.

The #IndieWeb is a decentralized means of bloggers replying to other bloggers without having to be logged into a corporately-owned, centralized social network (or “silo”, like Facebook or Twitter). It doesn’t make use of single log-ins, it doesn’t make use of having to put your “real name” on your profile.

It departs a bit from other existing initiatives of decentralized social networking services, such as Diaspora and Friendica, which try to retain a Facebook/Twitter-like user experience without the lock-in (by allowing you to install the software to host a social network site on your own server and allowing users to connect as friends and talking to each other across servers).

Instead, IndieWeb is even more decentralized than that. Technically, it relies even less on a common user interface, and it doesn’t necessarily provide for a means of “friending” or “following” another blogger on another server. Instead, the focus is on receiving notifications of replies or likes/faves from other blogs, especially those which are self-hosted.

The more that I read about it, the more I find the idea of the IndieWeb to be fascinating. It can keep much of the sort of connectivity that is sought by bloggers (say, on WordPress.com or on self-hosted WordPress sites) through social media site users without the sort of reliance upon logged-in comments or shares through first-parties such as Facebook or third parties such as Disqus and Livefyre.

But it’s pretty next level. I don’t think I can use it on WordPress.com, but if I ever move the posts from here onto a self-hosted WordPress site, I would install it just to see how many IndieWeb users would be interested.

I also wish I could import my public Facebook and Twitter posts over to a public personal blog, at least to have a backup of much of that data.

Questions from Inexperience

Can the emphasis of IndieWeb on “personal blogs” conflict with those blogs which expand into full-on “news sites” or “community blogs” (i.e., Huffington Post, TPM, Gawker, etc.)?

The latter type of blog often features the registration of users who submit post comments or lower-tier post content, while the bloggers remain separately credentialed in their ability to post first-tier content. Most news blogs may have a large community of users who are registered simply for the purpose of keeping their own comment histories lined up, or faving each others comments.

I wonder if the traffic and authorship growth of a blog from “personal” to “community” affect the functionality of an IndieWeb-capable blog.


Author: Harry Underwood

Website designer, blogger. Columbus, GA. #LGBT #p2 #wordpress

3 thoughts on “On the #IndieWeb”

  1. I was excited to discover the indieweb community last year, and have been running solely from my own site since June 2013.
    I’ve now spun that engine into an open source platform called Known (http://withknown.com), which will also have a WordPress.com-style hosted service. Full Twitter & Facebook import is coming.

    1. Nice! I’ve signed up for updates.

      A few questions:
      1. is Known a spin-off/fork of WordPress? What are its strengths or differences from WordPress?
      2. Does Known talk/share with self-hosted WordPress sites, or does one need to program their site (I mean more than just installing a plugin) to be compatible with Known?

      1. Known is an entirely new codebase – and in fact, you can already get the open source code from our GitHub repository: https://github.com/idno/idno (Documentation lives at http://docs.withknown.com.) A friendly installer is coming this month, alongside the beta hosted service.
        It’s a bit like owning your own Tumblr: very light-weight, easy to use, and works as well on a mobile device as it does on your desktop. I posted a quick overview of how I use it here: http://werd.io/2014/my-indieweb-life-how-my-site-gives-me-an-awesome
        There is a plugin that allows Known to publish to self-hosted WordPress sites, as long as they’re running the latest version of WordPress (with the new JSON API).

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