The Logos, Ethos, and Pathos of IndieWeb

Editor’s note: This is another in a continuing series of essays about the IndieWeb.


Where is the IndieWeb?

Logos

One might consider the IndieWeb’s indieweb.org wiki-based website and chat the “logos” of IndieWeb. There is a small group of about a hundred active to very active participants who hang out in these spaces on a regular basis, but there are also many who dip in and out over time as they tinker and build, ask advice, get some help, or just to show up and say hello. Because there are concrete places online as well as off (events) for them to congregate, meet, and interact, it’s the most obvious place to find these ideas and people.

Ethos

Beyond this there is an even larger group of people online who represent the “ethos” of IndieWeb. Some may have heard the word before, some have a passing knowledge of it, but an even larger number have not. They all act and operate in a way that either seemed natural to them because they grew up in the period of the open web, or because they never felt accepted by the thundering herds in the corporate social enclosures. Many are not necessarily easily found or discovered because they’re not surfaced or highlighted by the sinister algorithms of corporate social media, but through slow and steady work (much like the in person social space) they find each other and interact in various traditional web spaces. Many of them can be found in spaces like Micro.Blog, Tilde Club or NeoCities, or through movements like A Domain of One’s Own. Some can be found through a variety of webrings, via blogrolls, or just following someone’s website and slowly seeing the community of people who stop by and comment. Yes, these discovery methods may involve a little more work, but shouldn’t healthy human interactions require work and care?

Pathos

The final group of people, and likely the largest within the community, are those that represent the “pathos” of IndieWeb. The word IndieWeb has not registered with any of them and they suffer with grief in the long shadow of corporate social media wishing they had better user interfaces, better features, different interaction, more meaningful interaction, healthier and kinder interaction. Some may have even been so steeped in big social for so long that they don’t realize that there is another way of being or knowing.

These people may be found searching for the IndieWeb promised land on silo platforms like Tumblr, WordPress.com, Blogger, or Medium where they have the shadow on the wall of a home on the web where they can place their identities and thoughts. Here they’re a bit more safe from the acceleration of algorithmically fed content and ills of mainstream social. Others are trapped within massive content farms run by multi-billion dollar extractive companies who quietly but steadily exploit their interactions with friends and family.

The Conversation

All three of these parts of the IndieWeb, the logos, the ethos, and the pathos comprise the community of humanity. They are the sum of the real conversation online.

Venture capital backed corporate social media has cleverly inserted themselves between us and our interactions with each other. They privilege some voices not only over others, but often at the expense of others and only to their benefit. We have been developing a new vocabulary for these actions with phrases like “surveillance capitalism”, “data mining”, and analogizing human data as the new “oil” of the 21st century. The IndieWeb is attempting to remove these barriers, many of them complicated, but not insurmountable, technical ones, so that we can have a healthier set of direct interactions with one another that more closely mirrors our in person interactions. By having choice and the ability to move between a larger number of service providers there is an increasing pressure to provide service rather than the growing levels of continued abuse and monopoly we’ve become accustomed to.

None of these subdivisions—logos, ethos, or pathos—is better or worse than the others, they just are. There is no hierarchy between or among them just as there should be no hierarchy between fellow humans. But by existing, I think one could argue that through their humanity these people are all slowly, but surely making the web a healthier, happier, fun, and more humanized and humanizing place to be.

I’d appreciate others’ thoughts and perspectives on this regardless of where they choose to post them. 

While the new community members section of the IndieWeb newsletter is just a tiny subset of people who are joining the IndieWeb movement by actively adding themselves to the wiki, it’s been encouraging to see expanding growth both here and in the broader web (even Tumblr) and Fediverse space since Musk announced the acquisition of Twitter.

Here’s to more positive growth to a healthier and happier online social experience.

Playing around with Kevin Markschanges to the base Tumblr theme which has added some microformats. It’s looking pretty good in most of the parsers I’ve tested. Here’s a good visual one: https://monocle.p3k.io/preview?url=https%3A%2F%2Fchrisaldrich.tumblr.com.

This makes me want to use and syndicate to it more often.

👓 WordPress VIP Go sites are experience outages (yes, us included) | TechCrunch.tumblr.com

Read Wordpress VIP Go sites are experience outages (yes, us included) (TechCrunch)
You might have notice something funny if you visited TechCrunch dot com this morning (aside form the usual dryly hilarious tech commentary, that is). Our site, along with others, was hit by a major...
Fascinating to see TechCrunch is syndicating content to a Tumblr so they’re still “up” during a hosting outage.

👓 Tumble log xyz

Read Tumble log like it’s 2005 (tumblelog.xyz)
A domain to delegate your tumblr to so it is no longer under tumblr.com.
This stops the Oath interstital showing up, and I am told it also measn that your flagged content is still available. I haven't verified that - if it works for you, do please tell me.
Take these steps: Go to www.tumblr.com/sett...
Apparently Kevin Marks has managed an awesome workaround for Tumblr’s filter by allowing you to re-delegate your Tumblr to another domain. Hopefully people have learned their lesson and own their own domain, but it’s useful if you’ve been trapped.

👓 Gonna take a communbity to hold that back scratcher: @Tumblr to the #IndieWeb | Greg McVerry

Replied to Gonna take a communbity to hold that back scratcher: @Tumblr to the by Greg McVerryGreg McVerry (quickthoughts.jgregorymcverry.com)
Import–needs rock solid LiveJournal-clone and Tumblr support if your site is to serve as an archive. I don’t know if there even is a working Wordpress plugin to import from LJ or Dreamwidth. The best-supported Tumblr->Wordpress importer is actually better than most standalone Tumblr backup tools...
I’ve never really thought about it until now, but the IndieWeb is its own fandom. Perhaps even the OG fandom?

👓 disconnected thoughts on fandom and the indieweb | privilege escalation

Read disconnected thoughts on fandom and the indieweb by MarianneMarianne (privilege escalation)
Recently I discovered the IndieWeb project, and I… think I am a lot more intrigued by it than by other Better Social Media Platform pipe dreams and decentralization projects I’ve seen? Because it’s...
I love that this post has all sorts of ideas and itches which resonate with large swaths of the growing IndieWeb. Some problems here are solved, and many remain to be worked on and improved. Either way, this has a reasonable beginning roadmap for people who are interesting in taking a crack at solving or improving on some of these problems.

I hope Marianne joins into the fray to not only make things better for herself, but for all of us. I know I and many others are happy to help on the WordPress front or otherwise. Here’s an overview video that may help some of the less technical.

It also raises some questions for me:
Do any wikis, bulletin boards/forum software send or receive webmentions yet? I receive refbacks from the IndieWeb wiki, but shouldn’t it handle sending webmentions? How about software for wikis and fora that allow for micropub or simple syndication?

It’s never dawned on me to look before, but I’ve just noticed that at least the IndieWeb wiki actually has an h-card!
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👓 masterpost of tumblr alternatives | snowballphil

Read masterpost of tumblr alternatives (snowballphil.tumblr.com)

this post will be updated as I find more websites to add! please check with the original before reblogging to see if there’s an updated version, and message me with more suggestions if you have them!!

for general use

  • myspace.com - yes, it still exists, i’m just as surprised as you
  • soup.io - very similar to tumblr, plus it can import your tumblr blog
  • twitter.com - allows posting both text and photos in sets, allows retweets

geared towards writers and bloggers

geared towards artists and photographers

  • deviantart.com - huge community, allows posting art + sorting into folders
  • furaffinity.net - similar to DA but for furries, easy to display commish info
  • instagram.com - photo and video posts, excellent tag search
  • piczel.tv - allows both streaming and posting art / photosets to a gallery
  • pixiv.net - huge anime art community, allows livestreaming

paid platforms

  • patreon.com - subscription-based access to many diff types of content
  • pillowfort.io - still in beta, but should function almost identically to tumblr
  • typepad.com - similar to wordpress but with reblogging and a dash

ways to save your current tumblr posts

  • use the wayback machine! you do have to archive each page of your blog individually but once you do all the content, including media, will be saved exactly as it was at the moment you archived it.

  • wordpress and soup both allow you to directly import whole tumblr blogs, and if i recall correctly it’s something both dreamwidth and pillowfort have said they are working on.

  • if you have some knowledge of computers you can try this github solution which uses a python script to download your whole blog to your computer. even if you don’t know anything about programming or the command line they give a very good beginners tutorial on how to use it so you should still give it a shot!

post version 1.0, 2018-12-03 21:33

👓 Welcome to Dreamwidth, Tumblr folks! | DreamWidth

Read Welcome to Dreamwidth, Tumblr folks! (dw-news.dreamwidth.org)

With the new update to Tumblr's community guidelines announcing that they will no longer permit adult content on their site, we'd like to take a moment to reassure all y'all that we have your backs. With a very few exceptions (such as spam and the like), if it's legal under US law, it's okay to post here. We're 100% user-supported, with no advertisers and no venture capitalists to please, and that means we're here for you, not for shady conglomerates that buy up your data and use it in nefarious ways. 

👓 Meet the Tumblr refugees trying to save its NSFW content | FastCompany

Read Meet the Tumblr castaways trying to save its adult content from oblivion (Fast Company)
Tumblr posters of porn and kink fear a ban on naughty content will eviscerate not only their blogs, but the communities they’ve built on the networks.

Reply to Damian Yerrick about leaving Tumblr and recommendation engines

Replied to a tweet by Damian YerrickDamian Yerrick (Twitter)
Because of the decentralized nature of the IndieWeb, it’s most likely that more centralized services in the vein of Indie Map or perhaps a Microsub client might build in this sort of recommendation engine functionality. But this doesn’t mean that all is lost! Until more sophisticated tools exist, bootstrapping on smaller individually published sorts of recommendations like follow posts or things like my Following Page (fka blogroll) with OPML support are more likely to be of interest and immediately fill the gap. Several feed readers like Feedly and Inoreader also have recommendation engines built in as well.

Of course going the direction of old school blogs and following those who comment on your own site has historically been a quick way to build a network. I’m also reminded of Colin Walker’s directory which creates a blogroll of sorts by making a list of websites that have webmentioned his own. Webrings are also an interesting possibility for topic-related community building.

Since Tumblr is unlikely to shut down immediately, those effected could easily add their personal websites to their bios to help transition their followerships to feed readers or other methods for following and reading.

Of course the important thing in the near term is to spend a moment downloading and backing up one’s content just in case.

 

👓 Layoffs & Tumblr the Centipede | BlueChooChoo

Read Layoffs & Tumblr the Centipede by Andréa López‏ (Casual Information)
A hazy day for Tumblr. A shoe dropped. After a year of dancing around, the Yahoo (Tumblr owner)/Verizon deal closed. There were immediate layoffs across their new Frankenstein org, “Oath.” Some of these layoffs hit inside Tumblr, and that’s bad. In addition to the real life talented human beings impacted by these layoffs, the move is a warning and reminder- Tumblr is no longer in the protective purgatory of pre-Verizon Yahoo.
I know that bluechoochoo has hit the nail on the head when she previously saw people leaving Tumblr for Medium right before they pivoted this past January. Her prognostications on Tumblr are always worth reading.

Pulling the plug on @tumblr, and why is @feedly so hard to use?

Read Pulling the plug on @tumblr, and why is @feedly so hard to use? by David Mead (davidjohnmead.com)
I’ve now unfollowed everyone on Tumblr. It’s been turning into a dust bowl for me, people I followed haven’t been posting in years. Since the ads made the app annoying for me to u…