Will the Big Think piece you just posted to Medium be there in 2035? That may sound like it’s very far off in the future, and who could possibly care, but if there’s any value to your writing, you should care. Having good records is how knowledge builds.
Twenty-six letters of independent publishing building blocks.
The death of the web has been greatly exaggerated.
There’s nothing else like it. It’s constantly improving. It’s up to you what you do with it.
Tantek posts a belated round-up of indie web activity in 2014:
2014 was a year of incredible gains, and yet, a very sad loss for the community. In many ways I think a lot of us are still coping, reflecting. But we continue, day to day to grow and improve the indieweb, as I think Chloe would have wanted us to, as she herself did.
OpenGeofiction is a map of an imaginary world, created by a community of worldbuilders. You can take part in this project too.
I really like this impassioned love letter to the web. This resonates:
The web is a worthy monument for society. It cannot be taken away by apps in the app store or link bait on Facebook, but it can be lost if we don’t continue to steward this creation of ours. The web is a garden that needs constant tending to thrive. And in the true fashion of the world wide web, this is no task for one person or entity. It will require vigilance and work from us all.
Bastian sums up his experience of attending Indie Web Camp:
But this weekend brought a new motivational high that I didn’t expect to go that far. I attended the Indie Web Camp in Düsseldorf, Germany and I’m simply blown away.
I completely understand Peter’s fears here, and to a certain extent, I share them. But I think there’s a danger in only looking to what native platforms can do that the web doesn’t (yet). Perhaps instead we should be looking to strengthen what only the web can offer: ubiquity, access, and oh yeah, URLs.
By far the creepiest type experiment I have ever seen.
Brewster Kahle’s short presentation at NetGain.
A cute way of exploring a collection of classic works.
There’s more than a whiff of Indie Web thinking in this sequel to the Cluetrain Manifesto from Doc Searls and Dave Weinberger.
The Net’s super-power is connection without permission. Its almighty power is that we can make of it whatever we want.
It’s quite lawn-off-getty …but I also happen to agree with pretty much all of it.
Although it’s kind of weird that it’s published on somebody else’s website.
I had the great honour of being invited to speak on the 200th edition of the Working Draft podcast (there are a few sentences in German at the start, and then it switches into English).
I had a lot of fun talking about indie web building blocks (rel=me, indieauth, webmention, h-entry, etc.). Best of all, while I was describing these building blocks, one of the hosts started implementing them!
Stuart has implemented webmentions on his site, which is great. It’s also fitting, as he is the inventor of pingback (of which webmention is a simpler reformulation).
Aaron documents the process of adding webmention support to a static site. He came with an ingenious three-tiered approach:
It’s been a pretty fun mini-project. In the end, I created a useful bit of kit that provides three distinct experiences:
- Static webmentions collected when the site was generated form the baseline experience;
Aaron raises a point that I’ve discussed before in regards to the indie web (and indeed, the web in general): we don’t buy domain names; we rent them.
It strikes me that all the good things about the web are decentralised (one-way linking, no central authority required to add a node), but all the sticking points are centralised: ICANN, DNS.
Aaron also points out that we are beholden to our hosting companies, although—having moved hosts a number of times myself—that’s an issue that DNS (and URLs in general) helps alleviate. And there’s now some interesting work going on in literally owning your own website: a web server in the home.
As we may understand: A constructionist approach to ‘behaviour change’ and the Internet of Things by Dan Lockton
An epic braindump by Dan, covering connected devices, product design, co-creation, DIY, and knopening stuff up. That’s right: knopening.
Knopen, a fairly obvious portmanteau of know and open, can be a verb (to knopen something) or an adjective (e.g. a knopen tool).
Stuart has written some wise words about making privacy the differentiator that can take on Facebook and Google.
He also talks about Aral’s ind.ie project; all the things they’re doing right, and all things they could do better:
The ind.ie project is to open source as Brewdog are to CAMRA.
I hope that many of you will watch me on this journey, and follow in my wagon tracks as I leave the walled cities and strike out for the wilderness ahead.
I really like this comparison:
As a zinester and zine librarian, I see the Indie Web as a pretty direct correlation to 1980’s and 1990’s zine culture. The method of production may be completely different (photocopiers and direct mail vs web posts and servers) but the goals are almost identical – controlling the way in which your message and identity are displayed, crafted, and stored while avoiding censorship that corporate media might impose. The end goal of both zine and indieweb technologies is ownership of your own identity without a filter.
But there also challenges:
The key issue right now for diverse populations utilizing the Indie Web is accessibility. As long as the tools for creating & controlling your own identity online are still relatively obtuse & technical to implement, we won’t have great diversity within the Indie Web.
There is something about the personal blog, yourname.com, where you control everything and get to do whatever the hell pleases you. There is something about linking to one of those blogs and then saying something. It’s like having a conversation in public with each other. This is how blogging was in the early days. And this is how blogging is today, if you want it to be.
In the days before comments on blogs, you could generally have a thoughtful conversation online without everything degenerating into madness and chaos simply because responding to a post required that you wrote a post on your own blog and linked back. This created a certain level of default accountability because if someone wanted to flame you, they had to do it on their own real estate, and couldn’t just crap all over yours anonymously.
Mat unveils Boston’s open device lab, and provides a beautiful raison d’être while he’s at it:
Websites work everywhere by default, and they stay that way so long as we know how not to break them. That’s what the Open Web means to me: ensuring that entire populations just setting foot on the web for the first time will find it welcoming, regardless of the devices or connections used to get there.
Glenn eloquently gives his reasons for building Transmat:
When I was a child, my brothers and I all had a shoebox each. In these we kept our mementoes. A seashell from a summer holiday where I played for hours in the rock pools, the marble from the schoolyard victory against a bully and a lot of other objects that told a story.
Tantek’s great talk on the Indie Web from Web Directions Code in Melbourne earlier this year.
Here’s the very brief talk I gave about Indie Web Camp at Aral’s Indie Tech Summit here in Brighton a little while back (I was in the slightly-demeaningly-titled “stop gaps” section).
If you like what you hear, come along to the next Indie Web Camp—also in Brighton—in just over three weeks.
I met Cesar at An Event Apart in San Diego earlier this year. We had a nice lunchtime chat and he suggested that I come on his show, Pencil vs Pixel. I was, of course, honoured and I accepted his invitation immediately.
Tantek’s talk at the Personal Democracy Forum on the past, present, and future of independent publishing on the web.
I guess it goes without saying at this point, but this piece from Frank is beautiful and thought-provoking.
This part in particular touched on some things I’ve been thinking about lately:
Design’s golden calf is simplicity. Speaking as someone who sees, makes, and uses design each and every day, I am tired of simple things. Simple things are weak. They are limited. They are boring. What I truly want is clarity. Give me clear and evident things over simple things. Make me things that presume and honor my intelligence. Shun seamlessness. It is another false token. Make me things that are full of seams, because if you give me a seam and I pull the thread, I get to see how the whole world is stitched together. Give me some credit. Show me you trust me.
Those smart people at Filament Group have gathered their open-source code into one handy place. Useful!
I like Erin’s list.
It’s sad to see MyOpenID shut down, but now I can simply use IndieAuth instead …which means my delegate URL is simply adactio.com: magic!
This history of hacking.
Information doth wish to be free.
Improve your word power: here’s a timeline of terms used to describe male genitalia throughout history. And yes, there is a female equivalent.
A profile of the Indie Web movement in Wired.
Go! Fight! Win!
If this sounds like your kind of hackery, be sure to come along to Indie Web Camp UK in Brighton right after dConstruct.
A superb piece by Marco Arment prompted by the closing of Google Reader. He nails the power of RSS:
RSS represents the antithesis of this new world: it’s completely open, decentralized, and owned by nobody, just like the web itself. It allows anyone, large or small, to build something new and disrupt anyone else they’d like because nobody has to fly six salespeople out first to work out a partnership with anyone else’s salespeople.
And he’s absolutely on the money when he describes what changed:
RSS, semantic markup, microformats, and open APIs all enable interoperability, but the big players don’t want that — they want to lock you in, shut out competitors, and make a service so proprietary that even if you could get your data out, it would be either useless (no alternatives to import into) or cripplingly lonely (empty social networks).
I share his anger.
Well, fuck them, and fuck that.
Google’s track record is not looking good. There seems to be a modus operandi of bait-and-switch: start with open technologies (XMPP, CalDav, RSS) and then once they’ve amassed a big enough user base, ditch the standards.
I gave the opening keynote at the Beyond Tellerand conference a few weeks back. I’m talked about the web from my own perspective, so expect excitement and anger in equal measure.
This was a new talk but it went down well, and I’m quite happy with it.
The web’s walled gardens are threatened by the decentralised power of RSS.
Google is threatened by RSS. Google is closing down Google Reader.
Twitter is threatened by RSS. Twitter has switched off all of its RSS feeds.
It will dip and diminish, but will RSS ever go away? Nah. One of RSS’s weaknesses in its early days—its chaotic decentralized weirdness—has become, in its dotage, a surprising strength. RSS doesn’t route through a single leviathan’s servers. It lacks a kill switch.
I need to get Matt to an Indie Web Camp.
The litany of open standards that Google has been abandoning: RSS, XMPP, WebDav…
It was twenty years ago today:
On 30 April 1993 CERN published a statement that made World Wide Web technology available on a royalty free basis, allowing the web to flourish.
A good history lesson in rendering engines: KHTML, WebKit, and now, Blink.
Brent Simmons pens a love-letter to RSS, a technology that you use every day, whether you realise it or not.
Tantek steps back and offers some practical approaches to reclaiming a more open web from the increasingly tight clutches of the big dominant roach motels.
Notice that he wrote this on his own domain, not on Branch, Medium, Google+, Facebook, or any other black hole.
Algorithmically-generated combinations of tweets in iambic pentameter. Some of the results are really quite lovely. I’m imagining a poetry reading of this stuff in a hip café …it would be fun.
This is such a brilliant and empowering idea: an open-source object-oriented to electronics, like LEGO bricks for circuit-building.
Now this is what I call science hacking: building an open source fusion reactor.
Richard starts diving into some the nifty ligatures that are becoming available to us in OpenType fonts with CSS3.
A call-to-arms for web developers combined with a handy list of projects you can get involved in.
- Can I bookmark this information? (stable URIs)
- Can I go from here to there with a click? (hyperlinks)
- Can I save the content locally? (open accessible formats)
Testing James Joyce: this is like the Seven Bridges of Königsberg puzzle but with Guinness.
A nice summation of the open science movement, courtesy of Bobbie.
I love watching an artist at work. Right after watching the accompanying video, I ordered a robot postcard from Anton.
On 18 May 2010, the Planets (Preservation and Long-term Access through Networked Services) Project deposited a time capsule in the vaults of datacenter, Swiss Fort Knox, in Saanen, Switzerland. It contained the decoding information for five digital file formats on media ranging from paper, microfilm and floppy discs to CDs, DVDs and USB sticks.
This consortium of institutions and universities came together “to provide practical solutions and expertise in digital preservation.”
PLANETS stands for Preservation and Long-term Access through Networked Services.
A site dedicated to the principle of homesteading your data.
An inspiring State Of The Web address by Tim Berners-Lee. He can't resist pitching linked data at the end, but it's mostly a stirring call to arms.
An inspiring presentation by Tom Armitage on the value of open data.
Blaine outlines the vision for Webfinger.
Nifty old-school 8-bit tiles superimposed on OpenStreetMap data.
A free open source planetarium for your computer.
This is wonderful: maps that travel from the internet to the papernet and back to the internet again. Print out from OpenStreetMap, annotate in the real world, and scan the annotated map.
Cory Doctorow: We must ensure ISPs don't stop the next Google getting out of the garage | Technology | guardian.co.uk
A superb call to arms on the importance of "fat pipe, always on, get out of my way."
The perfect person for the job—George will be working on the Internet Archive's Open Library project: a webpage for every book ever published.
"We're done with the tired old fontstacks of yesteryear. Enough with the limitations of the web, we won't have it. It's time to raise our standards. Here, you'll find only the most well-made, free & open-source, @font-face ready fonts."
Allow your Twitter location to be automatically updated from FireEagle. The process of connecting you, FireEagle, and Twitter is beautiful: 1 x OpenID + 2 x OAuth.
Can the concept of free culture be applied to wine? Ryan O'Connell thinks so.
A paper app—like a web app, but for the papernet—that provides a DIY portable log book for diabetics.
A thoughtful post from Ben on how the flow of OAuth, OpenID and Facebook Connect can be improved.
Chris has written an in-depth critique of the state of OpenID, focusing strongly on usability.
This sounds like Yahoo's answer to Facebook Platform for single web pages or (spit!) widgets. We'll see if the reality matches the hype. "The Yahoo! Application Platform allows you to build and launch open-social applications to the largest daily â€¦
Camille Seaman Photography -The Last Iceberg Series II - NEW, The Last Iceberg, A Penguin's Life - NEW, The Big Cloud - NEW
Camille Seaman's stunning pictures of icebergs and clouds make me feel small and insignificant. But in a good way.
Taking innocent tweets and replacing the nouns with the word "penis".
Magnolia's going Open Source. Soon you'll be able to host and run your own instance of the social bookmarking service.
A great explanation of how open technologies like microformats and OpenID enable greater discovery of data.
A good overview of the OpenID panel at OSCON: "Is OpenID a panacea, a placebo, or something in between? Opposing viewpoints took turns on center stage Wednesday afternoon at OSCON 2008. The session entitled "A Critical View of OpenID" started off â€¦
The Open Rights Group : Blog Archive Â» ORG verdict on London Elections: â€œInsufficient evidenceâ€� to declare confidence in results
The ORG have released their report into the London mayoral elections. â€œthere is insufficient evidence available to allow independent observers to state reliably whether the results declared in the May 2008 elections for the Mayor of London and theâ€¦
The heartening story of a mother who allows her child some independence instead of living in fear of a Black Swan.
David Recordon shares his first impressions of Google App Engine.
Every Google account can now be an OpenID login thanks to this app built with the Google App Engine.
A great narrative by Peter Nixey detailing the ups and downs of launching a web app (Clickpass in this case).
The first of the We Tell Stories series is online. It's a clever piece of storytelling using Google Maps to full effect.
Aleks pointed me to this sort-of ARG involving authors in London. Could be good fun.
A nice summary of the technologies presented at my SXSW panel.
Tantek talks about the importance of open media for the longevity of data.
Looks like Flickr has some interesting plans around OpenID. Our reporter Simon Willison is on the scene.
Chris says that URLs are people too: "You’ve got my URL, now, tell me, what else do you really need?"
The ORG turn a Newsnight interview into hypertext, thereby strengthening the message exponentially.
Brian's article on portable social networks is a clear and concise introduction to the subject with explanations of the technologies involved.
A new site to track the building blocks of portable social networks: OpenID, OAuth, hCard, XFN and more.
Brian Oberkirch's presentation from Webmaster Jam looks excellent.
Six Apart are getting ready to make portable social networks a reality. Watch this space for code.
Another take on social network portability.
If you missed it at XTech in Paris, here's a chance to see Gavin Bell's excellent musings on identity and consolidation from a talk he gave at Google.