The archive contains older posts which may no longer reflect my current views.


Liked: IndieWeb podcast club, posted June 22, 2017...

Eli suggests that bloggers could come together for an "Indieweb Podcast Club" - like a book club but for Podcasts.

The idea is someone posts about a specific podcast episode, others read that post, listen to the same episode and then a conversation ensues between posts.

I think that's a great idea!

A number of folks have previously listed what podcasts they are listening to so I think I'll start with that and see if this goes anywhere.

# And, while we're on the subject of podcasts, my stats show I've served over 1000 episodes so far this month which already beats last month, hands down, and there's still over a week to go.

That's just amazing!

Thanks to everyone who's listening, I hope you enjoy them.

Podcasts I listen to

As promised, here's a quick run down of the casts currently in rotation in my podcast app. I use the Apple app so subscribe to most things via iTunes but will give web links where I can.

Regular listens

Exponent - a weekly tech discussion between Ben Thompson of Stratechery and James Allworth. Always good for digging deep into topics.

The Jay & Farhad Show - again weekly, Jay Yarow and Farhad Manjoo chew the fat over tech news, with it without guests. I like the irreverence of their approach.

The Run Loop - Collin Donnell talks to Mac and iOS developers about their history, apps and topics related to development. Good to hear from the people who make some of the apps and services I use regularly.

Core Intuition - Manton Reece (micro.blog) and Daniel Jalkut (MarsEdit) discuss indie software development for Mac & iOS and all things Apple from a developer perspective.

Revisionist History - Malcolm Gladwell discusses various topics that deserve a second look to challenge conventional wisdom. Painstakingly and impeccably researched, professionally produced and always interesting.

Scott Sigler audiobooks - Scott was the first person to podcast a full length novel, for free, in 2005 and has built a huge audience off the back of it allowing him to write full time. He's still going strong, podcasting as much of his work as he can. Mostly a blend of sci-fi and horror.

Fundamentally Broken - Seth Clifford and Tim Nahumck talk about life, productivity and methodologies in an aim to establish better balance. Wonderfully witty and crude but with genuine insight.

Occasional listens

The Talk Show - John Gruber's mostly Apple related podcast. The episodes are long and I tend to nip in and out when something specific interests me.

Presentable - Jeff Veen's podcast about design for the digital age. Again, one I dip into on occasion.

Timetable - The microcast from Manton Reece - a big inspiration for my own. It's in the occasional section only because he hasn't recorded one for a while. Understandable with everything he's juggling.

In Our Time - the Radio 4 podcast about philosophy and the history of ideas. Something for when I'm feeling intelligent.

I'm always on the lookout for more interesting casts and would love to find more microcasts.

Hit me up!

# I have a new framing for the passive-aggressive post I nearly put out yesterday so just need to gets my thoughts in order.

The confusion about the indieweb

Alex Kearney wrote about her first two years of indieweb. It makes for a very interesting read.

One thing that really came through was the confusion people feel when looking to "join the #indieweb" - it illustrates a common misconception that sites have to implement every bit of technology going.

Dave Winer said in a blog post that the indieweb community "chose such an inclusive name, but have an exclusive approach" giving RSS as an example, arguing that this established web technology has been ignored.

He obviously has a vested interest because RSS is his baby; I also thought some of his initial comments about JSON Feed were particularly harsh.

Such a comment understandably hasn't gone down too well in some quarters and there is a sense of defensiveness. But there is also a move for the community to look at itself, especially the wiki, in order to identify why these confusions and misconceptions arise.

When new technology is introduced it threatens the status quo whether it intends to or not.

Incumbents can reject 'new' because the status quo is how they've always done things and see no reason to change.

Conversely, the inventors of 'new' will have done so because the status quo doesn't meet their needs or they feel there is a better way.

It's a tricky situation but doesn't need to be either/or.

It's not all about the tech

At its core the indieweb has a set of principles such as owning your data, building tools for yourself and dogfooding them on your own site. The principles even state that user experience design is more important than protocols.

I wrote recently that the indieweb:

"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"

So much of what is discussed and developed as part of the movement relates not to the replacement of social networks and data silos but the integration with them whilst retaining ownership.

That doesn't sound very exclusive to me.

The problem, however, goes back to the perception that the indieweb is effectively insular because of the knowledge required to implement all the various technical elements. Plugins can only take you so far.

The community wrestles with the self-realised existential crisis that it is, currently, a developer community not a user community.

What to implement?

Look back at the principles above.

Okay, they talk about building tools but put the emphasis on the experience before protocols.

For me the indieweb is an idea, a way of doing things rather than the specific technology used to achieve it.

When examining how to establish the number of indieweb properties that existed it was suggested you could:

"consider a page part of the IndieWeb if it has a microformats2 class or advertizes a webmention or micropub endpoint."

This is looking at it from a technical perspective - an obvious indication that the page or site has implemented some form of identifiable indieweb technology. Not all are required, just one.

Yet there is still a problem, and that is the apparent insistence on the implementation of specific technologies as implied by the guides and documentation.

So much for design over protocols.

It is entirely possible for a site to be considered part of the indieweb and conform to its principles without any of these elements being present.

Stepping back

Just as the likes of Winer can seem too close to an established technology so proponents of a new way can be too focused.

Perhaps this is because many of the indieweb developers have been involved for a number of years and, psychologically, moved beyond the initial stages. They can see the destination and are driving full speed to get there.

Perhaps the principles become obscured by the need to get the tools ready for the next generation but they haven't even begun the journey so see completely different scenery.

In the drive to create systems that are simple enough for anyone to use (and we are nowhere near that stage) the how has become more important than the why.

Fortunately, the community already acknowledges the need to step back and view things from a user's perspective rather than that of a developer.

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