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IndieWeb onboarding was an all-day session on hacking day during IndieWebCamp Berlin. We tried to analyze where the current paths for becoming part of the IndieWeb may not serve new target groups, segment these newcomers and generate an approach for easing their onboarding process.

In the demo session, it was agreed that commenting and further work on these concept stubs can happen in the Discussion section at the end of this wiki page.



We started with a short rundown on the history of the IndieWeb movement, which helped to understand why the original entry requirements were intentionally rather high - "keep out people who just talk, and get things done instead".

We reviewed IndieWeb generations, a model from 2014 that can be utilized for us to build upon. In our discussion, we identified that the IndieWeb is currently somewhere at the border between gen 1 and 2, or maybe already with gen 2 well underway (e.g. looking at the demographics of IWC Berlin 2016 participants).

Results of morning discussions

We discussed various aspects of onboarding: personality, motives/motivations, possible roadblocks, ideas for making... (sorry, notes partly in German)



N.B. below table is preserved for documentation purposes - the personas have since been developed further, see Indiewebcamp Nuremberg 2017 session

In the afternoon, we worked on developing personas of "future IndieWeb users" (work-in-progress, unfinished)

The maker "Bob" Publicist "Steven" Occasional contributor "Milena" Social media human "Ellie" Development leader "Tom"
Trivia / person
  • 45y, divorced
  • experienced journalist
  • broad interdisciplinary network
  • interested in public opinion
  • reads a lot
  • medium.com, 1 article/month
  • LinkedIn, Xing, GitHub
  • Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
  • 30y, mother/family
  • UX/UI developer
  • well networked professionally
  • advancing in career, senior position
  • likes reading
  • future-oriented
  • LinkedIn, Xing, GitHub
  • Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
  • undecided whether to use Medium or own site to write
  • 24y, in a relationship
  • nurse
  • well networked socially
  • sportive
  • sociable and outgoing
  • occasional vegetarian
  • snapchat, instagram, whatsapp
  • only posts on social media sites (silos)
  • never got used to Twitter
  • 38y, single/independent
  • technophilic
  • self-employed technology consultant
  • self-optimizer
  • very ambitious
  • no LinkedIn or Xing
  • 10k Twitter followers
  • tests silos mainly for development purposes (e.g. FB)
  • always first on every new service to try out ...and to secure his alias
  • website runs on his own CMS
Personal goals
  • societal participation
  • influencing, explaining/evangelism
  • getting known
  • sharpening of profile
  • professional profile
  • become better as a person
  • knowledge sharing
  • efficient time management
  • knowledge exchange
  • work-life balance
  • be informed
  • attention
  • stay in contact
  • curious
  • sociable/communicative
  • need for affiliation
  • control over data and decisions
  • quantified self
  • "cyborg"
  • control
  • self-referred
  • polarize and exchange
Behaviour / approach
  • engaged
  • convinced of their mission
  • self-conscious
  • methodistic
  • communicative
  • endurance
  • interested to curious
  • focussed
  • responsible, engaged
  • patient
  • endurance
  • goal-driven
  • communicator, bringing people together
  • openly interested
  • spontaneous
  • happy-go-lucky
  • superficial
  • entertainment-oriented
  • direct
  • open
  • assertive
  • pragmatic
  • efficient
  • led by principles
  • motivating
  • extrovert
Functional- emotional- expressive
  • rational, recherche, message
  • observer and (r)evolutionary
  • lifestyle
  • impulsive
  • life-affirming
  • analysis and principle
Thinking patterns
  • rational
  • critical, scrutinzing, analytical
  • didactical
  • rhetorical
  • quality-focussed
  • solution-driven
  • community-orientation
  • conflict-solving
  • attendant
  • cooperative
  • empathic
  • conflict avoidance
  • lightness
  • readiness to help others
  • focussed on the present
  • ready to switch
  • friends more important than platform
  • philantropist
  • problem-solver
Expectations and perception
  • wants to be heard
  • publicity
  • influencing
  • reach
  • networking and referencing
  • professional development
  • proportionality of tools is important
  • personal archive / "knowledge vault"
  • social confirmation/affirmation (feedback)
  • extreme simplicity
  • low barrier
  • group dynamics
  • "unique snowflake"
  • progress
  • freedom & individuality
  • control over identity
  • independence
Decision making (what is important?)
  • "study and observe": not a fast decision maker
  • conscious decisions
  • ease of use
  • sttyle-conscious
  • workflow-oriented
  • reasonable time effort
  • improvement
  • stability
  • easy learning curve
  • user/need-oriented
  • reach
  • ease of use
  • what's trending?
  • enjoyment/fun
  • group dynamics
  • micro-individuality
  • chances for success
  • efficiency
  • innovation
  • experimentation
Relevant technical skills
  • Mac user since OS9
  • writing tools
  • note-taking and archiving tools
  • 100 tabs open in browser
  • HTML/CSS, jQuery
  • visual and design
  • basic programming skills
  • does not know what HTML is
  • uses default browser on her Samsung smartphone
  • has all the silo apps on her smartphone
  • types superfast on her smartphone; 2 thumbs
  • pro knowledge
  • active open source contributor


Future ideas

Utilize understanding of new target groups to develop suitable onboarding flows.

  • Use personas to ease the consideration of different personalities in the design of IndieWeb documentation, marketing, events etc.
  • Reconsider the participation threshold for IWC, indieauth vs. other sign-up (connected with providing a guaranteed starting session on Saturday mornings before session planning starts)
  • Turn the understding about different variables and thresholds to design easy-to-use intro material online (e.g. a "step-by-step guide" that asks the user a series of questions and then presents them with an individual roadmap how to join the IndieWeb


Add your thoughts, comments, and ideas here...

See also