federation in the context of the indieweb refers to services and features on indieweb sites that work directly with other indieweb sites peer-to-peer, without being bottlenecked by any kind of centralized service or silo.
A protocol or format can be said to support federation if it can be supported by multiple sites (preferably with multiple implementations) to interact directly with each other without the use of any third party sites, or centralized bottlenecks.
DNS Exception: In the context of the indieweb, and the web in general, the centralized/hierarchicial architecture of DNS is accepted as an exception to the abovementioned federation requirement of no centralized bottlenecks. That being said, there are ongoing efforts to figure out how to replace DNS with a peer-to-peer system.
Focus: for day-to-day practical purposes, the indieweb community is not working on addressing the DNS centralization issue/exception and is instead focusing on design (UI/UX) of how user-level features can and should federate.
- decentralization / decentralized
- distribution / distributed
Articles about federation and federated social networks.
- 2013-06-27 federated #indieweb comments, likes, event + RSVPs demo by @benwerd
- 2013-04-23 The First Federated #Indieweb Comment Thread
- 2011-03-21 An Introduction to the Federated Social Network