Response to Are we there yet?

Leon Paternoster wrote of the IndieWeb:

"Iโ€™m nearly convinced that the possibility of a decentralised network of websites talking to each other through comments sections and pingbacks (known as the web) has probably passed."

Colin wrote:

"WordPress may have all of the building blocks available but it's still not native. Plugins, themes, tweaks to get just so and working properly. is the closest we have but it's still a platform with its own way of doing things."
I agree with Leon and Colin. There's a lot to unpack in both of these posts and I agree with all of it. But I'll chime in my 2.2 yen anyways.

The masses aren't going to adopt their own websites instead of visiting and posting on one of the large social networks. That's a feature, not a bug.

An interconnected IndieWeb the size of Twitter would present each user with the opportunity to filter and moderate the dregs of internet. That's something I'm not interested in and I doubt many on the IndieWeb today would be either.

The utility of the IndieWeb technology is that it helps us find and connect to like minded people in a decentralized matter. But still, discovery is still not solved. Without (and perhaps the IndieWeb WebRing ) we'd all be blogging alone. And without the IndieWeb community, I'm not sure if I'd even be blogging, let alone building my own engine.

We should do everything we can to lower the barrier of entry to participate in the IndieWeb. Getting started with Wordpress is confusing because, as Colin says, it's not native. There's Wordpress Post Kinds and there's IndieWeb Post Kinds. How do they interact? Why's there two? You need to select one of a couple of microformatted themes and hope you don't break the formats if you try to customize it. Plugins conflict and break randomly (more of a general Wordpress issue). Data's stored in opaque formats (do you own the data if you can't really re-use it?).

The standards for UX have risen a lot over the past decade. Being able to participate with a single click in software that is native to the IndieWeb is table-stakes for growing the community beyond it's current size or rate. And it needs to be hosted, because most people aren't capable of or have interest in maintaining their own server.

That hooks into my dilemma with Tanzawa. My goal is to make an IndieWeb native blogging engine that's easy to use is achievable. Provide people with clean apis and transparent / logical data formats so they can use their data how they want. I can do that. I'll get there one step at a time.

But hosting? I want people to use my software, but I'm not sure I want to start a niche hosting company just to improve the UX of being on the IndieWeb.
  • Liked: I agree with Leon and Colin. There's a lot to unpack in both of these posts...

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    Leon Paternoster

    After bemoaning the fact my site had received very little below the line interest in the form of comments or pingbacks from other blogs, the same post got three links from other articles. All of which are really good. Other posts in this series Notes on the โ€œindiewebโ€ #4: four months in โ€“ community, difficult discussions and the end of the web Notes on the โ€œindiewebโ€ #3: Whoโ€™s it for? Notes on the โ€œindiewebโ€ #2: Where do I find things to read? Notes on the โ€œindiewebโ€ #1: Where do I publish and discuss? The first thing Iโ€™d note is that only one of them generated an incoming webmention. This could be for a number of reasons โ€“ the linking site wasnโ€™t configured to send them, my reception implementation isnโ€™t working properly or the sending site was misconfigured. But I think it demonstrates a problem I identifed in the original post: getting this stuff working is difficult, and relies on authors setting something up correctly, even if that is as relatively simple as installing a WordPress plugin. I only found oโ€ฆ