At the beginning of this week, I had some time off. Today I have a shiny new website, the #indieweb community to chat with, and a few precious hours left to dedicate to such indulgences. After today I shall be grasping at minutes. Time evaporates and leaves behind the dry stark evidence of our fleeting interests.
I am grateful to have read a multitude of posts that guided me in setting up the nerdy bits: microformats to appease readers (the machine ones, not you), Webmentions, Micropub, POSSE. I noticed a common theme that I believe I can briefly convey: this is a lot of fucking work.
Yes, getting these disparate parts to congeal in just the way you want them is a lot more time and effort than signing upselling your data for a Twitter account. If that does not align with your priorities, I submit that you’re on the wrong football field. (Try a hosted service like Write.as, Micro.blog, or even Substack.)
IndieWeb isn’t about getting Webmentions working, or being able to post to your blog from an app on your phone (as happy as it makes me to be able to do so). The technology is fascinating, but if you’re focused on the technology, you’re missing the point.
IndieWeb is for simplifying. It’s for putting your thoughts out into the world in a space that you own, and thus, don’t have to worry about. Your presence on your own website can’t be shadowbanned or cancelled, your data sold – there are no arbitrary terms to run afoul of except your own. It’s a weight off your chest that you didn’t know was there until you publish for the first time and see it, live and of your own making, on your own domain.
Independence on the web is a paradigm shift. A way of thinking about your identity online. It’s the zeitgeist of the last, and the next, Internet age. A separate, but collectively mighty, group of people who believe in the importance of their thoughtful independence and just happen to be willing to pioneer the tools to get it. I’m hoping that sentiment catches on, and spreads like wildfire.
I’m quite happy that I decided to take the time and make the new site. My head like a near-overfilled cup has been brimming with all the things I want to say, and not give away. I have a true commonplace book now, and all the thoughts I haven’t been putting in it can finally escape my head and join the collective consciousness of humanity that is the independent web. When it, or something like it, someday becomes sentient, we may well have recreated a god from his debris.