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Gaps between silo solutions and indie sites was a session at IndieWebCamp Brighton 2016.

Notes archived from: https://etherpad.indieweb.org/gaps

IndieWebCamp Brighton 2016 Session: Gaps

Description: Gaps between silo solutions and indie sites


  • petermolnar (leading)
  • tantek.com
  • robert-brook.com
  • polytechnic.co.uk - Garrett Coakley (@garrettc)


What pulls you back

One of the problems with silos is that there will be something there that is pulling you back.

  • "Go where the people are"


General silo (user) problem: people are only posting in their favourite silo, forcing others to read there. Sometimes those silos do not offer an api for POSSEing to it, meaning the IndieWeb user is forced to use the silo itself if they wish to react (be it comment or like).


  • messaging: Like people messaging you on a silo (e.g. Facebook)
    • people forget about the existence of plain email.
  • commenting - you can't comment via indieweb ways on Facebook at the moment. You can't POSSE replies to Facebook posts/comments.
    • this assumes you are reading Facebook. stuff that's posted there that's not posted to others
  • likes - You can't POSSE likes either.
  • how would you access the events that are spread through Facebook?
  • There is an ical feed to subscribe to, but it may just be for things you have RSVP’d to. What if you want to know about events going on around you?


  • contact them. DM or @-mention - sometimes there's no other way to contact them.
  • Zegnat: also even Joschi (or other tech events) people say @-me if you want to meet up

Silo Quits

Garrett ditched Facebook 5-6 years ago, but then would meetup with friends in real life, who would say, did you hear about that? And he hadn't because he hasn't been on FB, and feels like Facebook is like a vortex sucking in what everyone does.

What keeps you there

  • Garrett: also inertia from my side. I used Flickr since it was beta. When Instagram came out, I didn't want to move there.
  • Keeping track of birthdays.
  • event organizers using it extensively
  • groups - only way to reach members
  • Software you are using does not allow you to change the endpoint, e.g. a lot of scrobbling audio players will not let you change the endpoint, even though it is easy to implement your own endpoints.
  • Ease of use. Silos often engineer their applications really well so people instantly understand how to use it. The interfaces used within the IndieWeb right now do not have the same pull.
  • tantek is using Instagram just for the UI, as an app. His account has been locked down.
  • tantek also uses Swarm for the same reasons.

Impossible not to have

Zegnat: there's no way to not have/use Facebook

  • Group assignments done on Facebook
  • All events on Facebook

Also 'Facebook at Work': https://work.fb.com

Search and aggregation

Zegnat: I wanted to see #btconf tweets (and participate in them)

Tantek: I like to see where my friends are checked in nearby, or recently on Swarm. But Foursquare has an OAuth API, so building a indie reader that shows Swarm checkins is possible.




  1. Step one, stop reading news feed. instead view individuals profile pages.
  2. Step two. use fb.com/events

You can also subscribe to an ICS feed file of your events, stuff you're invited to. And others:

No Phone Number

Tantek: stopped using a phone number in 2014. http://tantek.com/2014/006/t2/ipod-wifi-mifi-works-iamnotanumber-nophone-future

List Where You Silo Post

By making a list of where you silo post, you essentially create a to do list for yourself of behaviors to replace or stop. E.g.


  • Can old school forums be used to replace something like Facebook Groups? It is hard to get people to actually check a different site from Facebook, which means you are stuck even when an old school forum would be better suited for certain communications.
  • Using the new possibilitites of chat bots (i.e. direct messaging people through APIs) to bridge the gap towards peopel who are stuck on things like Facebook Messenger.