Thanks David Shanske, Matthias Pfefferle, Ryan Barrett, and everyone else in the IndieWeb community who has either helped to create and/or supports the web standards that allow for the internet to work the way one expects it should.
Over the years I almost feel like I’ve tried to max out the number of web services I could sign up for. I was always on the look out for that new killer app or social service, so I’ve tried almost all of them at one point or another. That I can remember, I’ve had at least 179, and likely there are very many more that I’m simply forgetting. Research indicates it is difficult enough to keep track of 150 people, much less that many people through that many websites.
As an exercise, I’ve made an attempt to list all of the social media and user accounts I’ve had on the web since the early/mid-2000s. They’re listed below at the bottom of this post and broken up somewhat by usage area and subject for ease of use. I’ll maintain an official list of them here.
This partial list may give many others the opportunity to see how fragmented their own identities can be on the web. Who are you and to which communities because you live in multiple different places? I feel the list also shows the immense value inherent in the IndieWeb philosophy to own one’s own domain and data. The value of the IndieWeb is even more apparent when I think of all the defunct, abandoned, shut down, or bought out web services I’ve used which I’ve done my best to list at the bottom.
When I think of all the hours of content that I and others have created and shared on some of these defunct sites for which we’ll never recover the data, I almost want to sob. Instead, I’ve promised only to cry, “Never again!” People interested in more of the vast volumes of data lost are invited to look at this list of site-deaths, which is itself is far from comprehensive.
No more digital sharecropping
Over time, I’ll make an attempt, where possible, to own the data from each of the services listed below and port it here to my own domain. More importantly, I refuse to do any more digital sharecropping. I’m not creating new posts, status updates, photos, or other content that doesn’t live on my own site first. Sure I’ll take advantage of the network effects of popular services like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to engage my family, friends, and community who choose to live in those places, but it will only happen by syndicating data that I already own to those services after-the-fact.
What about the interactive parts? The comments and interactions on those social services?
Through the magic of new web standards like WebMention, essentially an internet wide @mention functionality similar to that on Twitter, Medium, and even Facebook, and a fantastic service called brid.gy, all the likes and comments from Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and others, I get direct notifications of the comments on my syndicated material which comes back directly to my own website as comments on the original posts. Those with websites that support WebMention natively can write their comments to my posts directly on their own site and rely on it to automatically notify me of their response.
Isn’t this beginning to sound to you like the way the internet should work?
One URL to rule them all
When I think back on setting up these hundreds of digital services, I nearly wince at all the time and effort I’ve spent inputting my name, my photo, or even just including URL links to my Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Now I have one and only one URL that I can care about and pay attention to: my own!
Join me for IndieWebCamp Los Angeles
I’ve written in bits about my involvement with the IndieWeb in the past, but I’ve actually had incoming calls over the past several weeks from people interested in setting up their own websites. Many have asked: what is it exactly? how can they do something similar? is it hard?
My answer is that it isn’t nearly as hard as you might have thought. If you can manage to sign up and maintain your Facebook account, you can put together all the moving parts to have your own IndieWeb enabled website.
“But, Chris, I’m still a little hesitant…”
Okay, how about I (and many others) offer to help you out? I’m going to be hosting IndieWebCamp Los Angeles over the weekend of November 5th and 6th in Santa Monica. I’m inviting you all to attend with the hope that by the time the weekend is over, you’ll have not only a good significant start, but you’ll have the tools, resources, and confidence to continue building in improvements over time.
IndieWebCamp Los Angeles
div class=”p-location h-card”>Pivotal 1333 2nd Street, Suite 200 Santa Monica, CA, 90401 United States
For the first time since 2013, when it appeared in Hollywood, IndieWebCamp is coming to Los Angeles! I’m definitely going, and I invite you to join us. For the past two years or so, I’ve been delving into the wealth of tools and resources the community has been developing. I’m excited to attend a local camp, help out in any way I can, and will help anyone who’s interested in learning more.
Join us in LA (Santa Monica) for two days of a BarCamp-style gathering of web creators building and sharing open web technologies to empower users to own their own identities & content, and advance the state of the #indieweb!
The IndieWeb movement is a global community that is building an open set of principles and methods that empower people to take back ownership of their identity and data instead of relying on 3rd party websites.
At IndieWebCamp you’ll learn about ways to empower yourself to own your data, create & publish content on your own site, and only optionally syndicate to third-party silos. Along the way you’ll get a solid grounding in the history and future of Microformats, domain ownership, IndieAuth, WebMention and more!
For remote participants, tune into the live chat (tons of realtime notes!) and the video livestream (URL TBD).
General IndieWeb Principles
Your content is yours
When you post something on the web, it should belong to you, not a corporation. Too many companies have gone out of business and lost all of their users’ data. By joining the IndieWeb, your content stays yours and in your control.
You are better connected
Your articles and status messages can go to all services, not just one, allowing you to engage with everyone. Even replies and likes on other services can come back to your site so they’re all in one place.
You are in control
You can post anything you want, in any format you want, with no one monitoring you. In addition, you share simple readable links such as example.com/ideas. These links are permanent and will always work.
1333 2nd Street, Suite 200
Santa Monica, CA, 90401
United States Map
Day 0 is an optional prep night for people that want to button up their website a little bit to get ready for the IndieWebCamp proper.
18:30 Organizer setup
19:00 Doors open
19:30 Build session
22:00 Day 0 closed
Day 1 Discussion
Day 1 is about discussing in a BarCamp-like environment. Bring a topic you’d like to discuss or join in on topics as they are added to the board. We make the schedule together!
08:00 Organizer setup
08:30 Doors open – badges
09:15 Introductions and demos
10:00 Session scheduling
12:00 Group photo & Lunch
13:00 Sessions on the hour
16:00 Last session
17:00 Day 1 closing session, break, meetup later for dinner
Day 2 Building
Day 2 is about making things on and for your personal site! Work with others or on your own.
09:30 Doors open – badges
10:10 Day 2 kick-off, session scheduling
10:30 Build sessions
12:00 Catered lunch
14:30 Build sessions continue
16:30 Community clean-up
17:00 Camp closed!