I too get the same bad taste at the words “distributed social networking”. Things like Mastodon are nice, but they generally rely on everyone running the same software or monoculture programming that are usually controlled by one or two people or a small group of people. This dramatically hampers innovation and participation. In Mastodon’s case I’ve also seen large multi-person servers go down and take peoples’ data and online identities with them, which isn’t good either. But when one can use HTML, CSS, and maybe some basic JavaScript and let two people have a two way conversation between a WordPress install and Twitter, in our example here, or from one website using Drupal and another on a wholly different website running something like Perch, Hugo, or Jekyll, then there’s a far greater power there. As someone with an older blogosphere perspective, you might frame IndieWeb as what things would look like now if we’d kept publishing on our own websites instead of moving all of our attention to Twitter and Facebook.

While there are still some acknowledged technical barriers to participating fully on the IndieWeb, the walls are quickly coming down and the accessibility and finesse of the user interface presented to the average person is increasing dramatically. Currently micro.blog is a good, inexpensive, IndieWeb-as-a-service platform with the ability to use Micropub apps, cross-site @mentions, and even some of the new Microsub readers.

I’d love to hear your thoughts when you’ve had a chance to take a peek.

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