Search 'archive' for: #indieweb
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26/01/2020, 10:52

Rebecca writes that it's nice to receive comments directly on her blog,

"... but then, comments haven't exactly disappeared. They are well and alive on Facebook and Instagram, but why does it just feel different?"

As I said recently, "we got away from visiting the sites themselves." By living in various social and other feeds we have distanced ourselves from the original source, disconnected the conversations. The convenience offered allows us to subscribe to more and more, in many cases we don't even need to visit the original site to get an RSS feed, for example - the tools will do that for us.

The more we fill our feeds the harder it becomes to revert to source, browsing so many pages is no longer an option.

With webmentions we can pipe remote comments to our own site using the power of the #indieweb (let's face it, micro.blog is essentially a commenting system for me) but even then it feels special for someone to come directly to your site.

It's not just about control and ownership of the conversation, it's a recognition of the time they have invested in you as "it takes effort for people to find their way to personal websites / blogs".

Minimum viable social actions may give an initial, instant dopamine hit but are ultimately worthless. The extra effort is so worth it.

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17/01/2020, 07:37

Liked: Rebecca Toh - The Old Internet...

"...for now we can take back the internet by going back to creating our own websites and blogs and even newsletters and relying less, far less, on the cursed social networks."

I'm definitely all for taking back the web! I may have sworn off social networks for my own reasons but I think cursed is a bit much; there is undoubtedly good that can come from their use. My wife, for example, is the reverend for an online church holding services, other events, and performing sermons via Facebook Live video. Now, that couldn't happen very easily without such a network.

But there are a lot of problems, not least the image painted by Rebecca of a "faceless person scrolling down a screen endlessly for all eternity, but yet for whom satisfaction never comes."

Use of social media should be intentional, not be the default fallback when bored, the mindless time sink through which we compare ourselves to others and, due to the perils of manufactured perfection, so often come up short.

It is good, therefore, to see when folks like Rebecca state that her site will continue as:

"... A repository for my thoughts and my internet identity... my private playground, my own little corner of the neighbourhood... where I can document my obsessions and do pretty much anything I want."

Also, that "there are no rules" governing what she will post.

Brilliant! A perfect #indieweb attitude.

As I have said, my blog and email addresses are the canonical representation of me on the internet and that's just how it should be, not allowing the public facing version of ourselves to be at the mercy of a third party.

I was put on to Rebecca by Patrick and subscribing was a no brainer.

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Moral responsibility

While there has been much written about content ownership - especially in an #indieweb context - I have long espoused a moral aspect to it.

The theory is that if your words are on your own site then you are likely to be more considered before hitting the publish button.

There is a lack of responsibility for words when they are just thrown into the social void, especially behind the shield of a pseudonym. The increasing toxicity was part of what drove me away from mainstream social media.

It's interesting, therefore, to see Instagram pioneering a way to instill that sense of moral responsibility in its users by encouraging positive interactions.

Instagram - are you sure? A supportive place

Using AI to suggest someone might want to rethink a comment - before posting - may seem like a small thing but, if it gives people pause, even for a second, it could contribute to an environment more conducive to maintaining good mental health and should be applauded.

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20/07/2018, 20:52

Liked: My IndieWeb story, Part 1: Jumping in the Deep End...

"I hope it presents both some technical aspects of the IndieWeb but more so introduces how the IndieWeb experience is personal and is shaped by each individual."

The joy of the #indieweb is that you can do as much or as little as you like and tailor your participation to your site. Being able to interact with others' sites directly is still a wonder.

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02/05/2018, 19:33

Liked: The Indieweb privacy challenge (Webmentions, silo backfeeds, and the GDPR) // Sebastian Greger...

"it is with a mix of curiousness and concern that I try to wrap my head around some of the challenges of creating social interactions in a decentralised manner, while respecting the privacy of people and keeping them in control over their own data"

Sebastian has written an excellent essay on the challenges faced by #indieweb sites in light of the upcoming deadline for GDPR compliance. On the face of it, it might seem that the GDPR prevents an indieweb environment from existing but there are layers and many considerations to take into account.

He casts doubt upon the blogs of "generation 1" indieweb developers being considered "purely personal" if they are web developers by profession and use their sites to discuss this or act as a showcase for their work.

Fortunately for me, this blog is a completely personal undertaking, generating no income and is completely unconnected from my work. However, that hasn't stopped me from at least considering a couple of updates - even if seemingly insignificant:

  1. I have updated my micro.blog profile to state that replies to my (original) posts there will show as comments on the blog thanks to webmentions.
  2. I have reiterated this point on my /colophon page with a promise to delete any comment on the request of the author.

Admittedly minor things but worthwhile inclusions.

I highly recommend reading Sebastian's full post as he has spent a lot of time thinking about this and its implications.

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Colin Walker Colin Walker colin@colinwalker.blog