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    I always got the impression that the IndieWeb project was far too complex, and not very well documented. Like, it took me 3 separate looks at their wiki, over 2 years ish, to kind of grasp what the idea was. I just wanted a simple webring! I’m also not a huge fan of having to introduce so many more moving parts to my otherwise purely static website.

    It’s an interesting idea in itself, but could certainly be engineered better.

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      I remember “the IndieWeb” back when it was called FOAF and was based on RDF[1]. Good times.

      [1] RDF is basically what you get when people think XML is too simplistic.

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        Fun fact, the latest in social web tech, ActivityPub, is also based on RDF

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          But RDF is also far simpler than XML? It’s fundamentally an encoding of graphs via triples (node, directed edge, node) and well-known names that can use an existing global namespace system (URIs that can use world-wide–web domains).

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            In my imperfect recollection, most RDF was expressed in XML. The fact that people then thought XML was relevant just shows how long ago all this was …

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          I feel like a lot of this stuff is overly complicated plumbing and there are little in the way of self-hosted integrated solutions. Like static site generators but for indieweb. I’d love to be able to buy a domain name and have some software that gets me a website, indieauth, and comments without too much thought. But right now that software is basically just Wordpress or something a lot like it.

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            I increasingly wonder about the feedback problem. I’ve developed an interest in domestic energy efficiency, and I’ve noticed that the bloggers still active in this space will write detailed, well-considered stories, usually backed up by months of measurements from their domotics system, but get next to no feedback.

            Unlike programmers, there don’t seem to be well-known online “watercoolers” where news is shared and discussed for this sector. Some people seem to use twitter, but it’s an extremely poor medium for in-depth, rational discussion. I suspect, since I don’t use it myself, that most discussion and publication takes place on Facebook.

            A lot of programmers and web authors seem to be in favor of decentralization. And commenting/feedback isn’t that hard, technically. Yet somehow there don’t seem to be good solutions in this space.

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              People go to forums where other people are to discuss things of mutual interest.

              Most people who espouse IndieWeb tech are interested in IndieWeb. The advantage Facebook, Twitter etc l have is that they’re meta-platforms that can discuss anything, not just the technology used to implement them.

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                Yes, what bothers me isn’t really “Gee, I wonder where people discuss these things?”, it’s more “Why, given the big disadvantages and widely-shared dislike of the commercial discussion platforms (Twitter, Facebook), and the seeming absence of insurmountable programming challenges, is there no good interoperable and accessible alternative to them? And why do people even keep blogging, when it must feel like shouting into the void?”

                The Fediverse is the closest thing to a working solution in this space, but, like Twitter, it is based on personal feeds, not mutual interests.

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                  Thanks for clarifying. You and I are in agreement, I think.

                  I’m just going to list some points that show where my opinion differs.

                  • Most users of FB/Twitter etc are perfectly happy with the way things are.
                  • Dislike of these social networks is generally a shibboleth of some self-selected subcultures, like this one
                  • The technical challenges are non-trivial, but they are dwarfed by the marketing challenges, which people who design social networks excel at.
                  • Blogging is dead but instead we have Substack ;) The dirty secret is that blogging was popular because SEO and affiliate marketing made bloggers money, and once that migrated to other platforms blogging withered and died.

                  The Fediverse is a faint glow of hope, but it’s emulating Twitter, not pointing to a better alternative.

                  A general trend is that people who try to design alternatives to the big social networks are skating towards where the puck was 10 or even 20 years ago (with Gemini). They will always be blindsided and out-developed by people who are chasing new ways to make money off social interactions.

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                    I don’t think blogging is dead. There are still a lot of bloggers, it’s just harder to discover blogs nowadays. See my blogroll for a list of blogs I follow.

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                      I caught myself thinking “We need something like Reddit, but integrated with RSS”, until I remembered that someone was involved in the creation of both of these, with radically different results.

                      I’d actually be happy if there were a working solution in non-commercial space. While I am sympathetic to people who want to make a living from their writing, this has never been easy, and merely making a technical platform that facilitates this won’t make things more fair. On the other side, humans are social animals, and there’s plenty of reason to assume they’ll continue blathering on, even if there’s no financial incentive.

                      If the marketing bloggers prefer Facetube, let them. GPT-3 is snapping at their heels as it is.

                      It’s easy to fall into the VC-style trap by defining success as being dependent on exponential growth. Blogging isn’t “dead”, it’s merely been overtaken by other things.

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                What I have seen — and this is purely anecdotal — is that people try to implement it, get the basics working, then give up.

                This is what happened to me. I didn’t get very far… I did hcard stuff, tried to see where to go from there, and…… Couldn’t figure anything out. I didn’t want to use WordPress and I’m not enough of a programmer to write my own thing.

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                  It was this person’s blog adventures adding IndiePub stuff that encouraged me to take another look at it, which I’m still doing at my glacial pace, meanwhile he’s done with it already! Although he seems to flit around tech and approaches on his blog a lot (which is fine, that’s exactly what his blog is for).

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                    It befuddles me to speak about IndieWeb as a single technology, as it is a more of a movement that builds several technologies: micro formats, Webmention, Micropub, IndieAuth, PuSH, et cetera. I always thought about it as an a la carte: you can take the building blocks you want and forget about the rest. In this light, it’s obvious how one can arrive at tens of plugins needed to do the ‘IndieWeb thing’, but do you actually want the whole shebang?

                    Edit: and the main point of the IndieWeb movement is to own your content, i.e. post on the website that you control. So posting on a standalone WordPress instance (or whatever) is still doing IndieWeb in my eyes.

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                      Yes, using your own domain is already IndieWeb, so you can’t remove IndieWeb support from your site as long as it’s still on your own domain, just remove support for a few building blocks. 😊

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                      This is the first I,ve heard of that being a thing other than independent owner-operated websites in 90s style…

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                        I can totally understand. I have contemplated adding indieweb support to my site, but the whole stuff was

                        • under-specified
                        • overly complicated
                        • also had an unwanted political message about the whole thing, in a political discussion i don’t want to have any connection to my blog, and the folks on the main indieweb site didn’t seem to be a nice bunch of people to work with (they seemed more concerned about political side of things than with technology).
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                          Do you have evidence of the above?

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                            I guess you ask for the third bullet point: https://indieweb.org/code-of-conduct

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                              Ah, that’s the kind of behavior you’d expect from anyone. Children and adults alike. Apologizing when fault was done.

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                                Very funny, insightful. Also: your attitude to differing opinions, is the very reason I want to stay away of that bunch. Once you get in contact with them they start the bullying if you dare voice a different opinion. I have different opinion on many items in that CoC, and in most CoCs in general.

                                Please leave me alone.