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Indieweb for end-users - some thoughts

3 min read

I've been mulling over this post by this post by Jeremy Cherfas , my reply and then Chris Aldrich's response asking for views on what the could do better.

My attraction to the IndieWeb has been about owning my data, avoiding silos where possible (i.e. where the friction is tolerable), and federalising content. (You can read a little about my journey on my IndieWeb user page .) I only came across the definitions of IndieWeb Generations the other day, but would label myself as a Gen2 with a little bit of Gen1 thrown in for good measure.

I've had a Known instance since 2014 with varying degrees of success with POSSEing and so on, but to be honest my focus has often been more on the 'own your data' side of things. I've needed to nudge myself to get back on track with Known and stuff.

Whilst I'm a geek I generally feel a fish out of water by the more techical content of the IndieWeb site and the conversations in the IRC chat room . There's probably a few relatively simple things that could be done to improve things, as others replying to the original post have already mentioned (easier onboarding, more user-friendly documentation, more approachable look-and-feel, etc.). Also perhaps an IRC sub-chat room for beginners (or, dare I say, some sort of more modern forum where Q&As can be asked in non-real time?). And whilst I prefer text instructions myself, a lot of people prefer videos so how about some tutorial videos?).

Here's an example from the Gen 2 bit of the Generations page:

 

What if this said something like:

Understand basic concepts of posting content on your site that's also copied elsewhere, replying to posts on others' sites from your own, and using online free tools to make this work seamlessly

(Wording not definitive; just to illustrate how simpler wording could help newer users.)

I'd also like to mention Homebrew Website Clubs. I was really attracted to these when I first knew about the IndieWeb, but have never actually been to one. The impression I got is that they were more for coding and developing than helping end-users to improve their own websites, incorporate blogging, etc. I think I'm wrong (and am very glad to be!), but do we always present an inclusive 'all levels of experience welcome' approach?

None of this is intended to sound ungrateful for what we've got and where we are now - quite the opposite. Without the highly-skilled and commited developers we have, and the shared vision of IndieWeb, we wouldn't have anything to talk about improving (we'd be oblivious in our walled gardens!). I am massively grateful for the work and efforts of the IndiewWeb community, and only want to help us collectively improve and attract others to join.

 

Wish I remembered to use @withknown to POSSE my tweets , and goodness knows how to PESOS them when I don't!

Got my @withknown hosted on @ReclaimHosting upreved to v0.9.0.4, signed up for and now I can again :)