the IndieWeb

This will be the 874th post on this blog. I’ve been doing this for many years now. I’m not exactly sure why. I do enjoy it. I am sort of compelled. I only have a few readers, but that is enough. For some reason blogging has always spoken to me.

A few times a year I do a quick search for new blogging platforms. I’m generally very happy with this site, which runs on WordPress, on server space I have rented from DreamHost.com for many years now.

As WordPress has evolved it has become more difficult for someone like me to modify the themes available. They are just a lot more complex than they were back in 2006. I also very much don’t like the new themes that are available. As you, dear readers, may have notices, I like a very clean site. I want my words easy to read, without a bunch of junk all over the place. It seems I am very much in the minority on this. Oh well.

This year I came upon micro.blog, a site and system created by an old coworker named Manton Reece. I’ve been playing with it for a couple of weeks, and I have to say it’s a nice system. This description will do a better job than I can of explaining it.

All of this led me to this concept/movement/thing called IndieWeb. In short, it is the notion of at least to some extent un-entangling from the social media sites and massive companies, or at least using them with a bit more thought while having your own thing going and owning your own data and content. Stuff that I feel like has been brewing in my mind for a while, and maybe yours too. Or maybe not. Who knows?

I’m not kidding myself. I don’t think this is going to change the internet habits of the masses, but I do think it offers and alternative way of thinking about online creative activities (like blogging) and life-on-the-internet in general.

Looking over many of the principles found on IndieWeb, it strikes me that I have been doing many of them for a long time. That’s probably a result of when I started creating web pages and just being involved in all this. That would be about 1994. There was no social media or big silos back then, so for the most part you needed your own domain name and hosting account to do anything. So all of that is normal to me. When I started my old skateboard trick tips video site, I had to host the tiny videos and pay  for the very expensive bandwidth because there was no Youtube back then. No inexpensive or free way of hosting video. As a consequence, though I’ve got a youtube account and have a lot of video there, it has always rubbed me the wrong way to give my content to them, in exchange for free hosting, to build their business and not mine. In fact, for the last few years I’ve actually used a pay account with Vimeo for the most part to host my videos. I realize not everyone can pay, but I can, and for me it is worth it. As a paying customer, I feel like I have a bit more power in the relationship than I do with Youtube.

Anyway, I think this is the kind of next-level information literacy stuff that people need to think about.

1 thought on “the IndieWeb

  1. Eric Sanders

    Thought provoking read. Having control of your ideas/words/ponderables sounds good. Had a small business website/fb account. Of course fb kept at me to do more advertising and tell everyone what is up. For that and other reasons I shut the whole thing down. I di keep control of the domain though on advice from a friend. Had no idea people will buy old domains and basically either harsh on them or hold for ransom if you want it back.

    Reply

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