2015/Indieweb and Community

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Indieweb and Community was a discussion session during IndieWebCamp Portland 2015.

Notes archived from http://etherpad.indiewebcamp.com/community


Is this about ...

  • communities using indieweb protocols?
  • communities within indieweb?

Either and both!

Lily: existing IRL communities and what their presence looks like from an indieweb perspective. e.g., non-profits. How do we get them off silos? FB forced all non-profits to move from being groups to pages, then forced them to adhere to page guidelines.

http://blog.pinboard.in/2011/11/the_social_graph_is_neither/: The funny thing is, no one's really hiding the secret of how to make awesome online communities. Give people something cool to do and a way to talk to each other, moderate a little bit, and your job is done.

Bret: need to be more projects that strike a balance between a chat server and people having their own space. Some of these spaces are ephemeral and that's okay.

Lily: LJ groups used to be really effective, in a very indieweb-like way. You had your own identity, could cross-post. It was a silo but ...

Naomi: Dreamwidth came out of that, but communities now have a lot of history -- "first you need to read this history book about how LJ used to be"

Still getting a handle on how these are built and destroyed. Emphemerality is part and parcel of how we hang out with our friends in real life. With a digital version of the same, I don't have a concrete way of thinking about this.

Bret: one of the things the indieweb community has been really good at is encouraging people to start something -- they often wind up creating something that's pretty cool. Need to promote the idea that you can have your own space.

Jeena: let me see if I have it. I have a band, we'd like to ahve a place where we can engage with our fans. Right nowit's a Facebook group, because nothing else works. People posts their photos of concerts, encourage us, post comments on stuff we post. But now when we post something, only a small portion of people get the information. But nobody reads RSS any more, our fans don't use Twitter, so there's no way to do better.

Jon: would you want something on your domain?

Jeena: nobody goes there now. I don't feel like putting in a lot of work and having nobody goes there.

Lily: forums are a bitch to maintain on a server level. There are very few light-weight solutions to do this, so people push them off to silos.

Naomi: people are already on Facebook, already familiar with the Facebook UI ... need to ahve something similar enough to that but visible elsewhere.

Lily: even the basic two-way POSSE from FB has implications: FB doesn't show it to as many people becuase it's not organic. They're not going to change it. I have to get 12 likes for it to start showing up in people's feeds.

Lily: interested in SMS integration, or pushing to PoS.

Naomi: Slack's really good at that. People are looking at Github, Pivotal tracker, the slack room, etc., Slack's good at pulling them together and pushing it back out to the right place. Jenkins puts to Github, posts to slack, puts it into tracker.

Jon: chat-based stuff is great for community. The community aspects of Indieweb happen in the chat room.

What are the open source options out there? Integrate Indieweb into ...

  • Reddit?
  • Discourse?


bret: i think there's opportunities to set up things on people sites, for example like emma's chat server

Lily: need to think about how to lower the bar to participate, make things more easily discoverable, broaden the demographics.

Jon: yeah the response to last year's attempted redesign was telling, made it more accessible but power users didn't like it.

Reid: it's already confusing enough that the primary documentation URL grows out of an event page.

Lily: a year from now, what I want to be able to do is present at NTEN's happy hour, "here's a really great thing, sick of FB's standards? let's get you up and running." I can make the case in my own words, but the language we use is bad -- it starts with "data silos". We have incredibly technically skilled people making the case for Indieweb, but our eyes glaze over.

Jeena: have we gotten that far to pull people in? It depends what they want. Posting and getting comments yet, other stuff not so much.

Reid: in a lot of situations posting and getting replies isn't only a small part of it.

Jeena; and if everybody has to have their own domain, it's a non-starter

Lily: events are a temporary community'

Naomi: having the same discussion on two sides of the wall. What does the non-technical user need from us? And, what do we have built? Need to get rid of the wall.

Reid: and, need to think about whether we're marketing these tools to people who are managing communities, or for the people who are in the communities?

Lily: also needs to be some buy-in that this needs to be a goal of Indieweb

Bret: you should be able to participate in any way, the goal should be interoperable.

Jon: I like that idea, but that's not the current stated philiosophy of Indieweb

Jeena: before this I was in tent, and it had similar dynamics

Lily: Known has a marketing issue, I have to explain that it's not a separate social network. "It's actually a way to post to Facebook"


Bret: for people who run their own community, how do you see that as interoperating?

Jeena: I had a hugely popular forum in Sweden, until it started having problems getting overrun with spam. had to put in a login requirement, and it just died.

Lily: moderation is a huge part of the problem. moderation and maintenance are the biggest barriers. the problem that it's solving: broadcasters and businesses being in control of how their data is being shared consumed, having users truly decide to opt in. On Facebook it's entirely based on what their algorithms show now -- and even if you pay, only 30% of your image can be text.

Naomi: a combination of those two is what I struggle with. there's a barrier to entry of coming up wiht another account (or having a more complicated way of doing that, oauth or openid or have your own domain -- lovely for me, but i can't tell my friends "hey ihere's an event page, but it's not on FB). lowering the barrier to entry by allowing the notification to come from nowhere or anywhere.

Lily: is oauth a possible solution if it was easier to implement on your own wordpress domain?

Naomi: possibly, needs to be clear that you can log in on any other website,

Reid: there are huge numbers of tasks we shouldn't be making people login to do. you want to rsvp? just your email is fine.

Jeena: but, this bites you when people start to spam you. and it happens all the time.

Reid: where do we draw the line? if you're a small business running a site like wordpress that already includes cross-posting to facebook etc. and email subscriptions for users. what's missing there? backfeeds via bridgy (and in many cases you don't even want that) . One of the things I find myself most annoyed about with Indieweb POSSE-style syndication is the generic nature -- want it to go differently to each site .

Naomi: right, the specificity can be a value.

Jon: good point, look at the communities where Indieweb functionality is valuable

See Also