I've read a number of pieces recently, such as this one, reinforcing the point that the #indieweb is not designed to push people away from social networks.

While some would prefer users to migrate to alternatives to the big networks the indieweb acknowledges that these platforms are popular so just wants to establish ownership of content.

By espousing POSSE (Post on your Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere) it actively encourages the spread of your data to social silos, effectively distributing copies, whilst retaining the original on your own property.

All well and good but, as I've mentioned before, we still end up with a fragmented landscape - the data and the conversation around it are two distinctly different things.

Discussion about the fragmentation of social conservations really came to the fore back in 2008 and here we are, 9 years later, still searching for a reliable solution that is easy to implement.

And this is where we start seeing the difference between the open web and the indieweb.

The open web relates to non-proprietary, standards based publishing of content, the technologies behind it, and the ability to both produce and consume it anywhere.

The indieweb takes that further. Of course, it promotes and relies on the open web but recognises that the closed web exists, plays a large part of people's lives, and tries to integrate with it.

But that can only go so far.

We can use webmentions to send responses to other sites with relative ease by installing a plugin, to be social without a social network. We can also use services like Bridgy to receive comments on our own sites from social networks but we are limited.

Actually establishing a proper conversation between sites, with the tools at out disposal, is impossible without being a developer.

Unless things are ridiculously simple to implement most will not entertain them and an extended indieweb will always struggle for adoption.

And, although there is rising disquiet about the actions of social behemoths in certain quarters, the ever rising user numbers indicate that the demand for alternatives doesn't outweigh the concern.

  1. eli says: #

    All well and good but, as I’ve mentioned before, we still end up with a fragmented landscape – the data and the conversation around it are two distinctly different things.

    Colin continues,

    The open web relates to non-proprietary, standards based publishing of content, the technologies behind it, and the ability to both produce and consume it anywhere.
    The indieweb takes that further. Over course, it promotes and relies on the open web but recognises that the closed web exists, plays a large part of people’s lives, and tries to integrate with it.

    That last bit took me a while to see. At first I was fairly down and cozy with walking away from big silos, like Facebook and Twitter, but quickly realized that also means walking away from a lot of people, too. It means walking away from diversity interests, gender, age, nationality, access to the internet, etc. Whilst the indieweb community itself seems to be fairly insular (this isn’t necessarily to say “homogeneous,” but maybe?) it’s principles and tech. seek to embrace the diversity of voice that the web can support.
    Moving forward I hope that the indieweb is able to help bridge the various walled gardens of the internet, as opposed to creating a new one.