I’m happy to help be a human doc as there can be a lot to unpack in reframing how we use the web for social. And you’ve got some great questions, comments, and observations.
While there are lots of options, for the “non-blogworthy” stuff, you can go back and use those tags that started our conversation. You can still keep your old “blog”/articles page with your longer form content separate if you wish, and have separate spaces for your notes, likes, favorites, listens, watches, etc. into one or more other views/feeds. My homepage at http://www.boffosocko.com is a good example of this and has links to a variety of views that slices and dices many of the options. I’ve got separate versions for most, but also have a few aggregate versions for things like a “microblog” or “linkblog”, which, for example, includes my reads, bookmarks, likes, follows, etc. in a larger view/feed. For only the silliest of reasons I actually have a “chicken feed” (with RSS naturally) on my site–and I think it may serve as a perfect example of the type of functionality you may be asking about here. Jeremy Keith’s site and Aaron Parecki’s sites also have some solid examples. Try comparing Aaron’s main page with his “All” page.
For the community specific portions, the best IndieWeb-specific solutions I’ve seen for this are IndieWeb News and IndieWeb.xyz which are Hacker News or Reddit-like sites that aggregate content from a variety of individuals’ websites. To post something to it you simply add the URL of the aggregation hub to your post and send it a webmention. The hub then verifies the post on your site and posts it as an update. Those who are reading/following that community’s hub can then respond to you using their own website and sending @mentions directly to you. These sorts of syndication/aggregation hubs can then serve as communities around one or more topics or tags, but everyone has the opportunity to own their own content. The IndieWeb News site used to have up/down voting as an additional piece of functionality, so that becomes a UI/feature possibility as well. While IndieWeb News is a single topic aggregation hub (with multiple languages), IndieWeb.xyz has a variety of categories/topics and can easily be extended by creating a new post and syndicating to it with any tag you please. IndieWeb News is also open source if you want to tinker with it.
The harder problem you’ve touched on is also the idea of closed or private groups. I suspect that we’ll crack this issue eventually and there have already been some experiments with topics like audience , private posts, and private @mentions. With the recent changes at Meetup.com and other group/member-related sites, there has been some renewed IndieWeb interest in these areas. The more people looking at and working in these areas obviously further spurs along the research and potential workable solutions.
I’ll agree with you that IndieWeb has many cis-gendered males, but despite its technology focus, it also has what I perceive to be a larger than typical number of participants who are women, POC, LGBTQ, and other marginalized groups as well as a11y-related designers and thinkers. You’re completely correct that we need to design whatever the next system is around protecting “the least of us” from bullying, targeting, and attacks to make it work for all. As a group we’ve been doing what we can to iterate on these issues and a broader diversity of participants obviously helps to know what to design for and guard against. You’ll find that the wiki has some documentation on many of these issues already, but could certainly stand to be improved.
Of course, don’t take just my word for it, ask Tantek for help, or for that matter, anyone in the always-welcoming chat. If you can, I highly recommend attending an IndieWebCamp (there’s one coming up in San Francisco, which I suspect will have some reasonable remote attendance options) for a crash course/introduction. Since your site appears to be WordPress-based, I can also direct you to many of my own collection of IndieWeb experiments/articles over the past few years.
Let me know if you have additional questions.