Indie Web Camp Frequently Asked Questions
How to answer a question
If someone asks a question, e.g. on IRC, about how to do something:
What is new
Q: What's new?
A: Check out the following to see what's new in the IndieWeb community:
Who are we making software for
"Q: Who are we making software for?"
A: Make software for yourself which you use daily and rely on, instead of targeting some other demographic.
How should I markup my blog
"Q: How should I markup my blog?"
For all of the data on your pages, use microformats2.
Is everyone going to want to run their own website
Q: Is everyone going to want to run their own website?
A: There are historical precedents for this question:
The answer used to be no, until it became obvious that the answer was yes.
For now, those who want to run their own sites can, and those who don't want to don't have to.
There will be network effects (e.g. with peer-to-peer federated indieweb comments) as more people do so in the future. But the great thing is that if you are publishing on your own site, you are getting an immediate benefit out of it now (extra control and flexibility), and are still syndicating to existing social network silos like Twitter and Facebook.
Q: Aren't you just talking about federation?
A: Federated social networks and distributed social networks have been touted as an answer to the same problem indie web people are trying to solve. It's not the same. Having federated social networks would probably be an improvement on having single silo services, but it still doesn't put the individual user in control. With an indie web approach, the individual is the primary actor in the network rather than the network.
In a federated social network, it may be the case that there is some equality and transparency and compatibility between services like Twitter, Facebook, status.net, Google+ etc., the networks rather than the individuals are still the primary actors.
With an indieweb approach, the individual users control their own identity, control their own publishing process and syndication (see POSSE) and networking is secondary.
It also doesn't mean that we have to sit around and wait for big sites to agree on protocols (often decided behind closed doors, and often far too hard for individuals to implement) and can just publish stuff on the web.
Is there an IndieWeb mailing list
Q: Is there an IndieWeb mailing list?
Also: short IRC messages 24x7 worldwide scale much better than paragraphs of emails.
How do you hash stuff out
Q: How do you hash stuff out?
A: IRC. Sometimes blog posts on our own blogs with proposals. Sometimes we meetup in person. Sometimes proposals on wiki pages, followed up with IRC or in-person chats. Sometimes someone just ships something on their own site and asks, hey folks, what do you think of this?
What if my timezone is very different
Q: What if my timezone is very different from those I want to discuss with?
A: You'd be surprised. We're a round-the-clock multi-timezone crew. We read the IRC logs, chat, sometimes leave short txt messages to each other via "!tell".
Beyond the US, we have active community members in the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, India, Hong Kong.
Any books or posts on federated networks
Q: Do you have any good books / posts you would recommend on the subject of federated networks?
A: There are no good books on the subject of federated networks because there are no good federated networks. Yet. Email may have had a glimmer but is being crushed under overwhelming spam and will die as a result.
There are many aspirational posts about federated social networks (e.g. ) but few and far between are actual good posts about them. Here is a list of a few:
... more questions ...