An Introducing to IndieWeb

From IIW

Session Topic: An Introduction to the INDIEWEB

Tuesday 2H

Convener: Ben Werdmuller

Notes-taker: Kevin Marks & Ben Werdmuller

Discussion notes, key understandings, outstanding questions, observations, and, if appropriate to this discussion: action items, next steps:

Find notes from this session here:

Further Notes:

Ben Werdmüller:

we talk a lot in #indieweb about "silos" - dropbox, facebook etc who make money by locking up our data

facebook is a fantastic proof of concept of a social network, but they take control away from you

  1. indieweb is about having your own space on the web - your own domain as your primary identity

the #indieweb goal is for you not to lose anything by not being in the silos, by connecting to them

I haven't posted directly to facebook or twitter for a year, I post to my site and share to them instead

the #indieweb community practices what we preach - we build for our own sites not making standards for other people

there are lots of small building blocks that we use to build the #indieweb - microformats are how we add meaning to web pages

another building block is webmentions that tell sites when you have linked to them

by using these buliding blocks we can have likes, retweets, replies, and RSVPs on our own #indieweb sites

currently this is mostly about publicly visible data, but we add authentication with

we are not trying to establish a huge standards organisation, but instead a community of people who implement and discuss

how many people have their own websites? [most] how many post regularly [fewer]

Stefan Magdalinski:

does posting once a year count as regularly?

Aaron Parecki:

twitter can be almost to easy - you need an interface that is as easy to us as twitter for your own site

there is an opportunity for "twitter apps" for your own site - use other people's apps to post to your own #indieweb site

Kevin Marks:

shows off noterlive, which is a way to post these kind of live tweets and keep them for posting on my own site

Ben Werdmüller:

@aaronpk has posted a photo on his site - I can reply to that using idno's firefox plugin and it shows on my site

I can also reply to @kevinmarks's tweet using the Firefox plugin, and it posts on my site and shares it to twitter too

There's an event tomorrow night in SF called Homebrew Website Club - I can RSVP to that on my site + share to Facebook

creating the twitter and facebook integrations for idno too about an hour and a half each

I'd love to create a way to upload HTML5 games and post them to your site and send highscores by webmentions

it's an open community - there's an IRC channel: and a wiki all are welcome

other sites could shut down apis, but at least you don't lose your own posts when that happens

with silo'd sites there is na ethnocentric design as they're all made here in SF - indieweb is less SV dominated

Stefan Magdalinski:

this is interesting from a hacker perspective, but how big can it go? this blogging will never catch on

Aaron Parecki:

there is a page on the wiki for wider adoption: (there's a page for everything)

Ben Werdmüller:

we're more likely to get to mainstream by iterating on working code and consensus

Stefan Magdalinski:

I've run lots of my servers at home (and fax machines) -what happens when they're all botnets?

Kevin Marks:

not necessarily hoem servers, can be in cloud, or even static sites that can be synced

Aaron Parecki:

there are ways that we can do this with a wholly static site and services that build the communication parts

Steve Williams:

the other way is to run an unhosted app that posts to a static server and have the data locally in the browser

Ben Werdmüller:

one advantage of making this web-centric is that we don't have to impose any architecture on anyone else to communicate

how to get started? one list is at

Aaron Parecki:

first get your own domain and put up a page that links to your existing profiles elsewhere, so you have your own space

Tantek Çelik:

also look at to see where to go

Erin Jo Richey:

we're hoping by the end of the summer to have idno be a one-click install

the idno code is all on github at tomorrow it will be called "known"

Ben Werdmüller:

we're going to switch to MySQL from mongo on idno to make it run where wordpress runs

we're not quite there yet to be able to deploy a dynamic site anywhere

do come to Homebrew Website Club meetings on wednesdays in SF, Portland, Chichago + sunnyvale

Received from Ben Werdmuller: Notes by Aaron Parecki These are permanently hosted at:

the real promise of the web is that we can all connect and learn from each other and you're not giving up control of your data and identity selfdogfooding - get something up and running for yourself and live it. if you expect people to live by a standard or principle, live it yourself first

building blocks - make it easy to get started quickly

  • microformats - encode machine-readable data into HTML, rather than trying to create huge backend system for things
  • webmention - has become one of the key building blocks of the indieweb - people are using this today and forgetting about the technology and actually having real site-to-site conversations

Because each of the building blocks are so small, people can pick up one of them and experiment and build something that works in a day.

how many people have their own domain name? all but 2 raised their hand [nice! -t]

how many people post regularly? most - does annual count?

"i used to" - 'why did you stop?' - twitter, it's faster

benwerd: I get to choose to syndicate to twitter and other silos

aaronpk: one of the challenges is to have a user interface to post to your own site that is as easy as Twitter. Some folks have built user interfaces on their own sites as simple as Twitter.

aaronpk: not everyone wants to build their own user interface. micropub lets apps post to indieweb sites.

kevinmarks demonstrating noterlive

  • put in a hashtag and speaker name
  • posting to twitter, but also collecting HTML into the page
  • when he finishes, copies the HTML to his site
  • wants to add micropub to automatically post the HTML to his site instead of manual copy/pate
  • this interface is *more useful* than twitter for tweeting

benwerd demoing his site

would love to find a way to post HTML5 games so indie game developers could quickly host games. high scores could be received back with webmentions.

There's the IndieWebCamp wiki and IRC channel. Everyone is welcome.

There is no mailing list:

Q: can the "big guys" withdraw the APIs? A: of course! but it's not like they can disable an API key and the whole indieweb goes down. but it's also useful to note that we don't necessarily need them to have indieweb conversations. also they can't turn off their own HTML.

Q: if Google+ doesn't have an API, do they even really exist?

... Freedom box ... from Austria ... just got back from ouishare in Paris following indieweb on the sidelines ever since FSWS one of the powerful ideas of the indieweb is that it's loosely defined, so it's easy to get going and start using building blocks

Q: this is really interesting from a hacker perspective, but how mainstream can it go?

A: aaronpk, pretty much every question has an answer on the wiki. E.g. for this, see - right now we're mostly a hacker community. We saw the internet go from a hacker community and go completely mainstream. This is how it starts.

A: benwerd: 10 years ago, social web, people would say what? it's not mainstream. ... We're more likely to get there by iterating on working code.

KevinMarks: one of the arguments is, how much can you push statically? a bunch of us are doing this.

Aaronpk: when your website is a pile of HTML files and you can put it on any FTP server and still communicate with other sites? You end up with using a webmention service.

[12:37] <bretttt> its key to eventually get that service data INTO the html file itself. working on that now

KevinMarks: part of the point here is to NOT just build a monoculture.

because we started with 6 people writing their sites in 6 different programming languages, it made monoculture way less likely to happen

Getting Started:

  • buy a domain
  • find space to host it
  • put up a simple home page with an h-card with your name and links to other profiles

Known - currently PHP + MongoDB. going to be PHP+MySQL.

known / (sp?)

benwerd: As Kevin said, monocultures are bad. This only going to work if there are a number of platforms out there. Idno is one. p3k is another. Interesting things with WordPress plugins. Taproot. See

If anyone is here in this area, or Portland, or Chicago, there's a Homebrew Website Club every two weeks.

SF one is 18:30 on Wednesday:

Portland one is usually hosted by ESRIPDX or MozPDX but not this week.

Chicago one is usually at Intelligentsia.

KevinMarks: Do we want a satellite one here in MV?

Benwerd: not looking forward to driving back in rush hour

KevinMarks: we can grab a table at the Firehouse and make that the MV HWC