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Longweb was a session at IndieWeb Summit 2016.

Notes archived from: http://etherpad.indiewebcamp.com/2016longweb

IndieWeb Summit 2016

Building for the Long Web

Please note that all contributions to this pad and other IndieWebCamp documents are considered to be released under the public domain according to CC0.


  • emmak
  • tantek.com
  • isgeek.net
  • yourmom.io
  • cassie.wtf
  • ...


Build the web

Iron Gaul Ink; primative technology but very durable. Magna Carta, Constitution of US

Adding to that: They would scratch back the ink to reuse the velum, but the traces are still there for archeologists to recover the image of the previous text.

Emma: Unix account, "as an alumn, you'll have this account forever". A couple of years later, they deleted it and I was so made. Applies more broadly than personal blogs

Comment (Lloyd): Interested in finding meaning in the long web. Just end up with a pile of data, no schema.

yourmom.io: As someone with a historian past, the amount of data on the web that is stored in a fragile, ephemeral way is shocking. Less worried about the unstructured aspect, historians are good at dealing with that.

JJ: Wish it was not a problem that only nerds have (awareness). Make this a normal concern

Open Question: I use plugin "amber" for WP which sends to Internet Archive, wayback automatically.

Look at what happened with Geocities shutdown. People involved who weren't archive.org

Salt: What happens when some maintainer say bzip

Tantek: Like what happened with code.google.com?

Will: The projects that weren't migrated by their maintainers to github went into cold storage, and the urls will persist.

yourmom.io: but data has always been lost (in the past). We make best faith effort, some of our data that the future will want will be lost.

JJ: Incremental noise. New data: I now have my sleep patterns. My kids will have a copy of their DNA on their terrabyte keychain.

Will independent sources exist?

Salt: If you own your data, can you opt out of the long web.

Sandro: not just my stuff, but the things I like, and, popularity increases the number of copies (Sub resource integrity - https://www.w3.org/TR/SRI/)

edrex: merkle DAGs allow verification of data, including dependencies.


  • git
  • IPFS
  • camlistore


  • emmak: I'm using static content for my site

a number of attributes useful for long web

  • aspects: inspectability - can I look at the data and understand it
  • durability - how resistant to corruption is it
  • portability - my site is on amazon web services, who knows where it will be in five years

eventually I'll have to migrate it if it's a chore to import it all, that's going to jeopardize preserving that data

  • redundancy. I'm storing my data on both s3 and git. the copy on github has a timeline, if I screw something up, I can go back.

edrex: "git repo is like the zip file of our generation"

JJ: Github getting away from just code, more to helping people collaborate

Tantek: I do static content too, still compile but source is microformats HTML

Common: mysql doesn't get archived, and you get an error (which is then archived) https://www.google.com/search?q=%22Database+Error%22+%22Error+establishing+a+database+connection%22+-fix+-wordpress+-website+-login+-help+-account+-join+-atg+-scary+-problems+-mining

Another aspect: EU Right to be Forgotten

yourmom.io: Google has been taken to court about not being able to comply with it

Google in contempt of court in france

JJ: Technology is moving faster than Moral framework

yourmom.io: and legal framework

We're culturally almost used to generational data loss (VHS, tapes, etc)

edrex: DRM'd Walled gardens (esp younger generations) with user generated content

Sandro: Archiving my kids' Minecraft worlds

Salt: how to save just the good stuff?

William: I loved digital photography when i had sight. I didn't always know what was good. My friends and relatives would find gems later. I appreciated the large memory card.

JJ: Traveling, I take lots of pictures. Looking back reminds me of places, experiences

edrex: "We are creating these empathetic entities that are non-human"

Tantek: How are people preserving their private data for the longweb?

JJ: URLs done the right way as an important contribution to the long web (Tim Berners-Lee)