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IndieWeb: A people-focused alternative to the “corporate web” (indieweb.org)
120 points by octopoc 8 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 55 comments

The indieweb is what got me back in to blogging and RSS again. Being able to be social on the net without FB/Twitter has made being on the 'net fun again. Adding your feed to micro.blog even gives you a full-social modern social-experience, except it's completely powered by blogs and RSS.

There's still a bit of faff required to get setup (even with Wordpress), so I've been building what I hope will be a faff-free blogging engine ( http://tanzawa.blog ). It's finally gotten feature-complete enough for me to move my own blog it last week ( https://jamesvandyne.com ).

Same. Blogging is fun again.

I built my own blogging engine as well :D (also focused on being lightweight and fast)

The best part of the IndieWeb is that you don't have to go "all-in" on day 1. I have a static JS-free site with a self-hosted Webmention receiver (https://seirdy.one); Hugo pulls in the JSON-encoded Webmentions during `hugo build` in CI.

The combination of Webmentions and Microformats creates a self-hosted comments section where everyone's comment is hosted on their preferred platforms: comments/likes are preferably hosted on commenters' own websites, but they can also be hosted on silos like Twitter or the Fediverse.

Same here. I love the indie web movement. Want to try to build supporting products.

I like the idea, but it seems to live in a strange in-between niche of people wanting lots of control over their data and content, whilst also being heavily tied to a few social media silos. Since I don't use social media, I'm probably not their target audience.

I've implemented a few of their microformats on my site ( http://chriswarbo.net ), but the rest of it seems rather over-engineered without offering much benefit. For example 'indieauth' seems to rely on third parties; this didn't seem too bad when Mozilla Persona was around, but these days it seems like a NotInventedHere alternative to OAuth 'sign in with Twitter'.

Indieauth uses OAuth; there's also tools to delegate auth to silos via RelMeAuth https://indieweb.org/RelMeAuth

Yes, like I say it seems over-engineered for no benefit. For example, why go to all this effort to be "indie", only to end up with this sort of nonsense: http://microformats.org/wiki/web-sign-in

> Link from your personal site to your other profiles. Add rel="me" to those hyperlinks. E.g.:

> <a rel="me" href="http://twitter.com/your_twitter_alias">...

> When you use your personal site with web sign-in the first time, your browser will redirect you to to your online profile, e.g. Twitter

I can dig the markup, but all the user flows and use cases appear to devolve into an unofficial API for Twitter.

Check out the actual spec, there's nothing in IndieAuth that relies on third parties. The whole point is so you can authenticate as your own domain to other things. There are some helper services that let you authenticate via Twitter/GitHub in case your website doesn't support IndieAuth natively. https://indieauth.net

I wish that NAT wasn't a thing, then every computer could be a known entity on a web without technical setup.

I understand the security concerns (and they are many) but why can't my phone, which is almost always on, host and serve my content to the 20 odd people who care?

Your phone is more likely to have IPv6, so it definitely could serve your content if you were in control of it. Most people aren't in control of their phones though, since they run Android or iOS, which don't allow people to setup web servers.

Mobile network T&Cs, oversubscription, and asymmetric connections prevent hosting on mobile devices more than any limitations of the OS. Mobile devices themselves also don't make great web servers because their scheduling and power management is tuned for battery life and not responsiveness to a random distribution of incoming network requests. Even if you had some fully unlocked Linux system on a phone it would still make a crappy web server. You'd be a lot better off with a Raspberry Pi with an LTE modem but you'd quickly run into problems on the mobile network side.

What do you mean? There are many web servers in the Google playstore [1]. I wouldn't use any of them in production, though, but still, it's useful to transfer the odd file when inside my home network.

[1] https://play.google.com/store/search?q=web+server

Even if you have IPv6, you will be firewalled so that no ports are open for inbound traffic.

You can buy a 4G modem and have the same issue.

> I wish that NAT wasn't a thing, then every computer could be a known entity on a web without technical setup.

IPV6 would solve this problem easily, if there weren't so many businesses linked to the IPV4 scarcity.

Any network engineer will tell you that NAT is an illusion of security.

It's the job of a firewall to prevent routing to private networks.

The issue with IPv4 is that there is a limited amount of addresses so we've had to make do.

With IPv6, every device in the world can have millions of IP addresses which are globally routeable.

However we're only at about 33% of traffic being IPv6 capable. [0]

On the mobile phone side, it's a choice by network providers to prevent routing. More of a security thing than anything else. There is a product class called Mobile Private Network, which offers private networks over mobile to businesses.

My personal hot take for the low uptake of IPv6 is that there's a lot of people in the industry that have the attitude of "I don't need it so nobody else does which informs management"

You can see it when people bring up the low upload speeds and someone says "5mbps is all you need for video conferencing". Ignoring how it's painful to upload videos or other binary data for collaboration.

[0] https://www.google.com/intl/en/ipv6/statistics.html#tab=ipv6...

> Any network engineer will tell you that NAT is an illusion of security.

That "illusion" was pretty damn effective at taking Windows, around '00, from "pwned in minutes, no user action required" to "won't get pwned unless you click the wrong thing".

Well that was 20 years ago.

A smart washing machine is more powerful that a computer from 2000. :P

Sure, but it's still handy that consumer routers with no extra config protect the smart washing machines connected to them from drive-by unpatched remote exploits, just by having NAT on by default.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean here.

Let's say you had two routers.

1 with NAT and 1 without.

They both will have a firewall that by default blocks incoming traffic.

So they are functionally equivalent.

Could be true, these days. Didn't used to always be, at least on consumer hardware, though I've not seen a non-NATing Internet-connected consumer network in most of two decades.

The parent's point wasn't about NAT being a security mechanism or not, but about the routability problems posed by NAT.

Apart from the lack of public IPv4 addresses, the other reason that people cite for NAT use is security.

IPv6 does not need NAT.

I recently decided to switch my Auth for cloud services over to Indieweb. It has huge benefits on platforms hosting user generated code as the user identities are transferable out of the box and don't require pre-approved redirect URIs. Hence, it works very well for authors on observablehq.com who move code around user content domains.


I use this Auth as replacement for Firebase Auth... I can issues tokens for backend services using Indieweb identities that engage with Firebase security rules.

Anyway, I am super excited to have observable/Firebase/Indieweb all interoperable

I really enjoyed this beautiful, informative and entertaining intro video to the IndieWeb: https://briefs.video/videos/why-the-indieweb/

I am not sure what to say here, since I simply agree so strongly with this: “” The IndieWeb is a community of individual personal websites, connected by simple standards, based on the principles of owning your domain, using it as your primary identity, to publish on your own site (optionally syndicate elsewhere), and own your data.””

Personal plug: all of my recent eBooks are available for free on my personal web site https://markwatson.com

Even given the fact that Apple is a walled garden, I think that largely replacing social media with iMessage to communicate with just one or a few people at a time, and couple this with a personal web site and blog is the right way to go.

Social media can just be a place to leave links to stuff in your own domain.

I love the concept, but it is not obvious how to join so I'm afraid it'll likely fail or won't grow much :-(

"Get Started Now" information should be on the homepage (not behind a click) and it should be dead simple, not require any digging.

Or perhaps I didn't actually get the concept

It's a very informal organisation - you are part of the indieweb if you have your own site. If you want to talk about it, there's https://chat.indieweb.org/ (which bridges to IRC, Matrix and Slack). You can sign into the wiki with your own website, and add yourself to the list of people here https://indieweb.org/chat-names

Same. I was intrigued and wanted to start exploring the sites that make up this “indie web”, but the landing page doesn’t list them. Clicked on “Getting Started Now” which took me to a busy looking wiki page talking about Wordpress? Confused, I left.

> or won't grow much

I don't understand this idea that everything has to grow. Who cares if it grows or not, as long as the people who use it enjoy it?

Imo the issue is not that this ambiguity prevents growth, but more that it contradicts the principles described here. If you have a community that strives to be different than siloed monocultures, then it's important to make participation in the community easier for outsiders, and to make it's ideas accessible to people from different backgrounds.

I have a website that would qualify as an Indie website. I have tried several times to 'add it to the indieweb database' in one way or another but I have never really understood what your were supposed to do or if you could do such a thing.

If your website could also qualify as geeky, join my webring at.. drumroll geekring dot net :)

Update: I see you did, welcome! :)

For some reason, it's buried. I had to click over to the news, and then I found it in the nav bar there.


It's a good idea in theory but they recommend hosting your pages on GitHub [0] which puts your own data out of control.

[0] https://indieweb.org/Getting_Started#GitHub_Pages_.26_GitLab...

That's a start, but having your own domain means that you can choose to host elsewhere later. There is a quick start github project https://github.com/indieweb/blank-gh-site

I'm confused about the line "Selfdogfood instead of email." I followed the link to get an understanding of the concept of selfdogfooding, but am not sure I understand this binary opposition.

It is a very ugly term; 'eat what you cook' is clearer. The point is that rather than theorising about 'what people want' you should build tools that solve your own problems, and practice with your own site first. This was important early on in Indieweb as there are a lot of people proposing that online social networks should work in a specific way, and demanding others change; building something you use daily yourself is a better basis for discussion.

Thanks for the context - I read that 'eat what you cook' line but was unsure what that had to do with email.

Ultimately I agree with the ideas here, even if they require a little unpacking. A lot of great things have come about from people solving their own problems first, later realizing that other people experience the same problems. Evan You's initial work on Vue is a good example of this: he created it to solve actual problems in his own work, not to solve hypothetical problems on day one.

The specific reference to email was based on frustration with endless mailing list bikeshedding, especially on 'standards' mailing lists. Building a community around irc, wikis and posting on our own sites was a deliberate alternative.

I've looked at this before and failed to get the idea.. I thought all you needed was a raspberry pi, a domain name and a public IP to be "indie web".

If you have your own website, you are indieweb. Having your own domain name is better as then you can decide to change hosting later. After that there are a series of protocols you can adopt to fit in with other indieweb people. Have a look at https://indiewebify.me/ for an interactive way to try these out.

Well, yeah. Easier to advocate for something if it has a name, I guess, especially when the primary discovery interface for the modern web has become largely a brand search engine.

Sounds like this is a new term for "your website hosted on your domain."

That's a first step, it's not an accurate overview of their whole project. They have a term for posting on your own site, under your control, while also syndicating elsewhere (e.g. Twitter). [0] They also support ideas like federation. [1]

[0] https://indieweb.org/POSSE

[1] https://indieweb.org/federation

It may as well be a new definition. Most websites today are selling something. Even worse, most websites creating content (articles, tutorials, reviews) are doing so for SEO to their SaaS side hustle, online course or for affiliate revenue.

There should be a separate term for websites made for purely personal use, and it's not 'social media'. The early web was about making exploration fun. Nobody wants to explore someone's cookie cutter social media profile or the workplace for their second job.

Also check out the Gemini Protocol if you are interested in getting away from the corporate web.

I’ve watched a few interesting videos about this and love the general ideas: https://youtu.be/i6Ixyi_I9g4 https://youtu.be/qFXOZww5mmE

I’d like to move towards having more ownership and control of my data, my site, and greater integration with IndieWeb technologies like webmentions, IndieAuth, and more. It’s also a lively community.

I recently did a talk about it if you fancy a watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFXOZww5mmE

Nothing says "indie" like all your websites apparently needing to be using wikipedia's wiki software I guess? At least that's what is indicated by clicking the getting started. I share the same confusion as the other commenters.

For an action oriented list, try https://indiewebify.me/

If the Wikimedia Foundation stopped development or decided they didn't like indieweb, it wouldn't affect this site; worst-case scenario, they could just move to something else. That independence is the point of indieweb, not to specifically avoid software from other people or corporations.

Looks like I made the creators mad for pointing out their docs suck

No it was just a bad take

Yeah, who wants websites to explain themselves? /s

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