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My IndieWeb call to action from a few days ago drew down a stronger and wider response than this blog’s articles typically receive, and I acknowledge this generous feedback with humility and gratitude.* As I wrote then, I’ve been aware of the IndieWeb movement for only three months, so I now shift my stance towards listening to and reporting this response, rather than pressing my initial point any further.
Other than general words of appreciation (which I appreciate!), the response in both written replies and followup IRC discussion† largely centers around two complementary counterpoints:
While the IndieWeb group began its work many years ago, its resultant technologies remain very young — Webmention’s W3C certification dates to early 2017 — and they’re still only taking root in the form of varied and tested implementations. Its exposure to the public grows no faster than strictly necessary. Why rush the process, and risk spoiling things?
The core IndieWeb community focuses on development, not public outreach. It falls to second-order groups to organize around these developed principles and technologies, implementing their own project-specific goals. This will carry the welcome side-effect of testing and proving these technologies — and bringing comfortably gradual exposure to them as the basis for successful applications, rather than mere standards and theories.
The world already starts to see this with commercial efforts like Micro.Blog, and the wide-open land invites the invention of more services like it. (I might include non-commercial but stable services like Bridgy and Webmention.io into this class, as well.)
I feel it not my present place to vociferously agree or disagree with these points, which do not necessarily conflict with the observations I voiced in my previous article. I will say how impressed I feel that the core community clearly possesses such a strong sense of cohesion, despite a lack of formal organization, to produce these consensus-based counterarguments so efficiently.
And I must admit that they have already inspired me start dreaming up new ways that I might contribute further to IndieWeb on its own apparent terms.
This was also posted to IndieNews.
* It also exercised my hand-rolled backfeed software to a great degree, with webmentions rolling in from a number of non-Bridgy sources for the first time — not surprising, I suppose, for a post about the IndieWeb itself! — and breaking my young and fragile libraries this way and that. I wrote many patches very quickly, and for this opportunity, too, I feel humbly grateful.
† Of all the Freenode IRC channels with populations of more than 100 that I’ve spent any time on, the people of #indieweb have proven among the most friendly and welcoming, always quick to answer newcomers’ questions with no trace of mockery, feigned surprise, or bad taste. This has helped a great deal with my own ever-deepening interest in and respect for IndieWeb’s principles and goals.
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