How to Indiewebify your site

Red flowers wrapped in a spider web
These roadside flowers became a convenient hunting ground for a spider.

The IndieWeb movement has seemed pretty geeky to me since I first heard about it (probably from Kevin Marks). I haven’t been sure what to make of it but the more I learn about it the more it interests me.

I’ve already installed a couple IndieWeb plugins in this blog and I like the benefits I’ve seen.

Richard MacManus (I mentioned him and his AltPlatform.org blog a couple days ago) published the first part of his guide to IndieWebifying his blog and I just started reading it.

I’ve decided to re-design my personal website, richardmacmanus.com. My primary reason is to become a full-fledged member of the IndieWeb community. If I’m writing about Open Web technologies here on AltPlatform, then I ought to be eating my own dog food. Another reason is to discover – likely by trial and error – how to route around Walled Gardens like Facebook and Twitter, which host so much of our content these days. In other words, my goal is to make my personal website the hub for my Web presence. Finally, I want to re-discover blogging in 2017 – what it can do in this era, who’s doing interesting things and how, and what opportunities there might be for the Open Web to cross into the mainstream.

I clicked across to the IndiWebify.me site he linked to and I think I have a new personal project to complete this site’s IndieWebification. Exciting!

By Paul

Enthusiast, writer, Happiness Engineer at Automattic. I take photos too. Passionate about my wife, Gina and #proudDad.

6 comments

  1. Cool, it looks like some of this might be good for SEO too.

    I’ve found content posted on social media has a very short half-life; blogging seems to be the gift that keeps on giving.

    I think email newsletters are also a great way to share a message without being locked into any proprietary system; I started one last year but haven’t managed to get into a publishing rhythm.

    1. I don’t believe any single distribution option will be a complete solution. Email is certainly a popular option but fortunately you can use email, social and RSS at the same time. Audiences can choose which they prefer.

  2. I read Patrick Hogan’s post about Mastodon titled “Mastodon makes the internet feel like home again” last week. It prompted me to install a Mastodon app on my phone again, and take another look.
    Find me on Mastodon, if you wantLike many people, I’m not exactly in love with Twitter lately (except when I am). I’ve been on the lookout for something better for years (remember Jaiku?). I really like the idea of a federated update/micro-blogging service, and Mastodon has all the features you’d want.
    What about the network effect?
    The one feature that’s missing is the one factor that either boosts or kills any social service (again, remember Jaiku?) is the all important network effect. As Richard MacManus put it in his post titled “How social media fits into the Open Web” in AltPlatform.org (I can’t seem to load the site and provide a link):

    I dip into Mastodon from time to time, but it just hasn’t managed to become part of my daily Web routine. Perhaps it will in future, but the old ‘network effects’ rule applies here: the value of a tool is ultimately in the strength of the community it builds.

    This probably isn’t the platform I’d expect to see my friends on (and I don’t expect to). Still, if Mastodon is to be a viable alternative to Twitter for me, I’d want to be able to join communities that feature the people who I follow on Twitter. At the moment, I’m not sure most of them are even aware of Mastodon.
    More importantly, what about my blog?
    As interested as I am in a federated alternative to Twitter, what I really want is to be able to use my blog as my starting point for everything. Why can’t my personal site be the focal point of my presence on the web (at least one of my primary expressions of my self online)?
    This takes me back to the work the IndieWeb community is doing to link all these sites together into a federated identity, and content network. How about extending that work to the point where I can use this blog as my identity that reaches into these federated networks?
    This may be wishful thinking but I’d really like to see a future version of WordPress introduce this social connectivity that allows me to extend a unified personal presence to non-blog platforms.
    On Mastodon, my identity is linked to the instance I am a part of. There, I am @pauljacobson@mastodon.social. I can use that identity to participate in other Mastodon instances (I think), so I have the beginnings of a distributed, social identity here. The challenge is that my nascent social identity is distinct from this site.
    Update: I wrote too soon. Ryan Barrett pointed me to Bridgy Fed that seems to do what I was hoping I’d be able to do (pretty much). Barrett launched Bridgy Fed in October and it looks terrific:
    Ryan Barrett’s Bridgy Fed launch announcement.This is going to take a little time to configure but I’m looking forward to working through the process and connecting my site to the fediverse.

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