From IndieWeb

State of the IndieWeb was a keynote talk at IndieWeb Summit 2016.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zTolqW_I2g

Blog Post: http://tantek.com/2016/190/b1/state-of-indieweb-summit

Speaker Notes





IndieWebCamp and the IndieWeb community was founded to focus on

  • show don't tell
  • scratch your own itch - make stuff that helps you
  • selfdogfooding - use it, publicly, as yourself

Own Your Stuff

Our calls to action:

  • own your identity
  • own your data
  • own your *



  • Your content is yours
  • You are better connected
  • You are in control

But really all of that starts with one goal: self-empowerment

And broadens to: spread empowerment

We are not just a set of individuals, we are a community

  • work to empower ourselves
  • collaborate to empower each other
  • share to empower beyond those we know

Principles are all in support of that.


Major milestones this year:



  • Lots about owning your stuff
  • Occasional unfortunate rants

We focus on building ourselves up, not tearing others down.

Don't hate; go create!



Iterated on:

Lots more technologies and building blocks, one example:


  • 10000s of Known sites that support IndieWeb building blocks by default out of the box with zero configuration

Last Year

Last year:

We accomplished that by:

  • LOTS of scratching our own itches
  • figuring out what pieces were missing
  • little bits of hooking things together

This weekend

  • make something
  • meet somebody you don't know
  • help somebody
  • show something

Don't let the pursuit of perfection stop you from making progress.

Dream something. Make something. Share it.


Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zTolqW_I2g

Edited for unnecessary utterances but otherwise fairly complete.


(shows indiewebcat.com)

I'm going to give a short overview of the state of the IndieWebCat.

IndieWebCat has had her own site for over a year so that's pretty awesome.

This is the first full year, that IndieWebCat has been posting on her own. It's pretty sweet.

IndieWebCat is pretty excited about this.

(show the twitching cat ear video loop post)


(shows tantek.com)

I'm Tantek Çelik, and this is my website tantek.com.

Throughout today and tomorrow, you're going to hear a lot of encouragement to just get up and show your website.

So I'm starting, this is my website, I've been posting on here by myself instead of Twitter since 2010.

It's doable, and if that's something you want to do this weekend, we can work on that.

First IndieWebCamp

(showe IndiewebCamp 2011 photo)

But I'll to go back to what Shane was talking about which was the very first IndieWebCamp that we did here in Portland in 2011. And I actually see a lot of people here, Will was there, Shane was there, Aaron was there, Ed was there. Pretty awesome.

So you can all see the photo here.


Since then we have held these main IndieWebCamps in Portland once a year. This year we said, you know what, this really is our summit, let's do it like a summit, let's call it a summit, and let's do proper introduction talks like all the stuff we are doing, showing off etc.

This is State of The IndieWeb that I'm kicking you off with.

Our website

This is our website.

(shows screenshot of site, pre-summit)

Or rather this was our website until late lastnight.

This is our website now.

(shows new indiewebcamp.com)

Couple of big changes I want to point out.

One is that we have a new logo that you may have seen on t-shirts, and that's thanks to Shane, who took our first logo, drawn by one of our co-founders Crystal Beasley. He talked her about, hey I have some ideas about doing a little rev of our logo, do you mind if I do it? Can I have the files, that kind of thing? She said, sure, go for it here you go.

Then Shane worked on it, presented it to the community, said what do you guys think? The community was like, well that's like sorta kinda cool, but, fix this this and this, I got some ideas, oh my gosh, design by committee. But Shane was awesome, kept his wits amongst, him, took the input and was like cool, let me try some revisions, kept revising and iterating, and now we have this amazing new logo, I think it look super cool. Really appreciate that work from Shane, he's contributed it to the community, so we appreciate that. Thanks again Shane.

New wiki theme

The other big change you might notice is that, we kind of switched our wiki theme around a bit.

We switched from a custom theme that has been doing a lot of hard work for us for many years, to the standard MediaWiki Vector theme, which is consistently updated by MediaWiki. One of the things moving forward, is that we are going to keep this up to date, so that we can keep MediaWiki itself up to date nice, all this nice admin type stuff that keeps our community running smoothly.

That's our new website, just wanted to show that to you guys.

Essential Qualities

The key here I want to point out, we started in 2011, with basically distinguishing ourselves as a community. Basically all communities start with, what makes us different from everyone else.

The real distinguishing things were three things that came out of the Federated Social Web Summit, or rather in reaction to in 2010 that Aaron and I went to, which is:

  1. Show don't tell. Show me your website instead of telling me about it.
  2. Scratch your own itch. Make stuff that helps you. Start with what are my frustrations with my website, stuff online, personal identity, digital archiving, whatever those itches are. Start with that, and start solving problems for yourself.
  3. When you solve those problems, use them, the solutions, use the stuff yourself, publicly. We call that selfdogfooding.

We started with those three things - there's been some talk about what are the essential qualities of a community - that's kind of how it started: Show don't tell. Scratch your own itch. Selfdogfooding.

Evolved and generalized

(home page screenshot, three points)

We've evolved a bit since then, and we've generalized to:

Not just owning your identity, owning your stuff, but our focus is:

  • Your content is yours
  • You are better connected because you get to choose where you want to connect to by making your content yours on your domain.
  • You are in control. You get to post any kind of thing you want, you get to style it how you can, you can do whatever formats you want, it's your site and you can choose to do that privately, you can choose to do it publicly. You can make your own permalinks that work, and are no one's responsibility but your own.


The reality is that all of this, really starts with one goal, which is self-empowerment.

If I could say the one thing that IndieWebCamp is about, that is what IndieWebCamp is about. Self-empowerment.

As we achieve, various different levels of that, like with our own websites, the hope is that we've built a community, and so we want to spread empowerment.

We start with self-empowerment, get that going, and then hopefully, from there, spread empowerment. I see this as a specific instance of if you're an idealist, before you go out there and save the world, you kind of have to save yourself. Learn how to take care of yourself, then go save the world. That's one of the things we try to do as a community.

That's important because we're not just individuals trying to do self-empowerment, we are working to empower ourselves, we're collaborating to empower each other, that's like what we're doing this weekend. And then we encourage everyone to openly share, to empower people that are beyond those that we know.

By sharing your stuff, publicly on the web, sharing your stuff, your open source, putting in places like GitHub, we empower those that we haven't even met. I think that's really powerful.

(show principles)

You can read our principles, I'm not going to go over all of them. They kind of help base those things.

Posts About The IndieWeb

(show Posts_about_the_IndieWeb#2016)

Let's look at milestones from this past year. We've had a lot of awesome posts. You can see more and more people talking about how they've either found the community, or they've figured out how to own their data, or own their identity, or owning their photos, owning their audio bits.

Empower yourself, and talk about it, blog about it. We like to highlight folks that are doing that. There's been a lot of good positive posts like that.

Once in a while, however, , there are occasional unfortunate rants, like click on this one here - anywhere but medium - but fortunately this site depends on javascript to view the content, and I have that turned off by default, so you don't actually get to see the rant.

We focus on building ourselves up, more than tearing others down.

Let me just leave you with:

Don't Hate, Go Create.

That's kind of like an important principle for our community.

If you find yourself wanting to rant about something, oh my gosh I find that all the time, like wait, what am I like instead actually frustrated with, let see if I can go build something, and then post some minor update like oh look I changed my CSS.

I think a minor update to your own site, is way better than a long screed about being opressed by some silo that is free and you can just choose not to use it.


We have done a lot of awesome technology developments in the last year.

A bunch of members in the community have contributed to, worked with the W3C, to take some of the standards and specifications and protocols and formats that we've kind of incubated, we've kind of dogfooded ourselves, try to make things work, and taken them through a formal standardization process which involves a lot more work to get lots of details right.

Webmention CR

(show Webmention CR on w3.org)

One of the more recent results of that is Webmention developed in this community, has become a W3C Candidate Recommendation, which is a huge milestone. I just want to congratulate Aaron on that work.

What this means is that W3C has now broadcast this candidate recommendation saying, hey everyone in the world doing web development, we invite you to implement this, and submit us your implementation reports. And that's something I want to encourage all of you to do so as well. We've got a lot of implementations of Webmention, there's a validator, webmention.rocks, you can go through validator and test suite, check all the different interactions that you do, fill that into an implementation report, submit it. And that's how the standard makes progress is through implementation reports and feedback.

Micropub WD

(show Micropub WD on w3.org)

That's the most advanced spec we've got but not the only one. Aaron's also worked on and contributed Micropub specification which is a W3C working draft which is the phase before candidate recommendation. Itereating on it, adding features, also a great accomplishment. Especially in the last year it's gone from being kind of a simple way to create a post on a site, and now you can create, delete, undelete, read, or update posts on a site, and I think we have at least two implementations of all that.

Post Type Discovery ED

(show Post Type Discovery ED on w3.org/wiki)

There's more coming along the way, Post Type Discovery is an editor's draft, but it's got a really lazy editor that hasn't managed to produce a working draft yet so we gotta get on his case about that.


(show indiewebcamp.com/Salmentions)

There's other technologies that have made good iterations in the indiewebcamp community, which we haven't taken through standardization yet, but people are working on getting working, across sites.

One is Salmentions, and this is something we have a bunch more implementations since last year, there was implementation of a challenge called SWAT0. Social Web Acid Test 0 is what that stands for. We actually got that working last year and I'll talk about that more a little later. That uses Salmentions, so a bunch more people have gotten Salmentions working, we've iterated on it a bunch.


(show indiewebcamp.com/Vouch)

The other one I want to bring up is Vouch, and we'll talk about the reasons why it's more and more important real soon now. This is a way of vouching for a webmention, or finding a way for someone to vouch for your webmention.

If you're commenting on someone's blog, you've never met them before, and you want to say hey, I'm not a spammer, you can accept my post, because we have this link in common, this friend in common, or some other form of this other entity vouches for me. I think this is going to become more and more important in the next year.

Person tagging

(show person-tags)

Those are the big technologies and there's been a lot more building blocks that have been built out, but there's one example that I want to call out, that we've made a bunch of progress with in the last year, which is person-tagging.

This was something we mostly figured out but not really implemented until the SWAT0 test last year which involves tagging someone in a photo. We figured out how to do that, got implementations.

The big thing we figured out in the past year, is that we figured out how to POSSE person-tags, across to different social media silos. There's a service called Bridgy that you can publish on your own site, and syndicate to other sites like Twitter, Facebook, or Flickr, you can basically send Bridgy a webmention as a way of saying hey can you please post a copy of this for me because I don't want to deal with calling a proprietary API.

So Bridgy does that, and started with just text, added articles, added photos, added videos, and now in the last year, the ability to take person-tags on a photo on your site, to the copy that's on another site. Instead of just telling you about that, why don't I show you an example of that.

(show Homebrew Website Club Photo)

Here is a photo I posted this past week of Homebrew Website Club San Francisco, you can see there in the bottom it says "with" and a bunch of person-tags. I'm using this linking to their personal site format, and then in parentheses, their Facebook and Twitter if they've got that, but there's seven people tagged in that photo. And let's see.

This is the Twitter copy. Which I don't know if it will actually load. I'm having trouble actually loading Twitter today. Ironically, one of the things that actually got me to ... let me try that. How about we use that account. Of course I login and it loses my space, don't do that. Here we go.

(show https://twitter.com/t/status/738438870077833216)

There's the POSSE copy on Twitter. There's no person-tags there because Twitter does not have an API to let you set the person-tags in the photo yet. We're waiting on that.

(show https://www.flickr.com/photos/tantek/27387113266/)

Here's the copy on Flickr.

(show https://www.facebook.com/10102317495976283)

And here's the copy on Facebook, where all seven of the person-tags I made made it across. And that happened automatically thanks to Bridgy. So literally I did not post this photo, I did not do any user interactions to make this photo appear on Facebook, or add these tags. Bridgy did 100% of that for me. It actually was able to tag 100% of the people I tagged on the photo, on Facebook. So that's pretty awesome.

That's the kind of cool building blocks we're improving on, iterating on, and just getting to the point where, yeah I can just post on my site, I don't need to worry about being on the silos as much because Bridgy will take care of that for me, and then all my friends that happen to use those social media sites, I don't need to talk them into go read my site. I can say you use Facebook, great, keep reading stuff there, you'll see my stuff there.


Those are some of the technologies we made progress with last year. How about some numbers.


(show IndieWebCamps)

We have done a ton of IndieWebCamps in the past year. We just completed Düsseldorf, which was the second one in Düsseldorf; Nürnberg, the first IndieWebCamp Nürnberg in April; MIT, we've done a bunch there; New York City; we did San Francisco, MIT.

Last year we had the first IndieWebCamp Edinboro, which was organized by Amy, who we're very happy to have with us here today. Thanks Amy. And there's last year's which you probably recognize a lot of the people there. There's a lot of IndieWebCamps, we had some new ones, we hope to have some new ones this year too.

Homebrew Website Club

We've also had a bunch of new Hombrew Website Club meetups. The San Francisco and Portland ones are going great, Washington DC started up, Brighton's been going well, Los Angeles started up as well and that's going to continue in July. There's a couple in Sweden which are doing great. Nürnberg just started last week, and a great attendance, and is doing another one next week. So the number of cities have grown too and we're pretty happy about that.

IndieAuth wiki users

(show Special wiki users page, first 1000)

That brings me too the fact that we have finally broken 1000 users on the wiki. Over a 1000 people that have logged into the wiki with their own domain name, which I think is an awesome high watermark for IndieAuth, for owning your identity. Thanks everyone that put a lot of hard work into that, especially Aaron. IndieAuth.com, we've tried to make it easier and easier, and I think the numbers will just keep growing.

If you click on next 1000, let's see what it shows here. I kind of hacked the MediaWiki query page, it starts at T, and it goes down to lots of WWWs as you might expect, and goes down to Z. zzzzen dot com.

IndieWeb sites

The next milestone I'd like to point out, is that we have actually, and I just got this confirmed by Ben Werdmuller, there are over, there are 10s of thousands of IndieWeb sites.

And what I mean by that is not just sites where people have their own URL, control their own identity, which is a great measure of independence, and I want to encourage that.

But 10s of thousands of sites that are actually, actively, deploying and supporting IndieWeb building blocks, like they support microformats, they support webmentions, out of the box, and that's kind of amazing.

(show withknown.com)

A lot of that, a huge vast majority of that is due to Known, withknown.com service, that's something that Ben Werdmuller and Erin Jo Richey built and created and it kind of started just three years ago. I'm really glad that Ben is here again this year to talk about what he's done. How we've gone from five years ago. I think last year we were at 1000s of sites, and now we're at 10s of thousands of sites.

This also brings together, remember that technology I was talking about Vouch? I would say at this point we're kind of at like Defcon 3, for when we're going to get some massive spam attack on webmention. It really kind of raises the importance of looking at vouch, implementing vouch, making sure it works in the positive cases at least, get comments and stuff back and forth, and also to block all the automated spam type stuff as well.

Success is great, but also brings new challenges. So this is where we're at. If we continue on this trend of 10xing the number of indieweb sites per year, it's going to happen real soon. Something to be proud of and to be keeping in mind.

Last year SWAT0 demo

The last thing I want to show you guys is what we finished at the end of last year's IndieWebCamp.

How many people were here last year? (show of hands)

A lot of new folks this year.

This is the SWAT0 demo. I'm just going to play this for you.

I think SWAT0 is pretty awesome. If you want to get your site working on SWAT0, as one of the players like that, I think that would be a great goal for the weekend.

This weekend

The key thing this weekend is to make something, anything, like for yourself, for your own site. Whatever that is, nothing is too small.

Try and meet someone you don't know. Lot of new folks this year, that's a good encouragement, meet somebody you don't know.

Help somebody out. One of the reasons we are a community is because we have different levels of expertise in different things, whether it is in engineering, development, different languages or frameworks, whether it's design, visual design, even like copy-editing, people that are really good at writing small bits of text, which is sometimes one of the hardest tasks.

This is a really diverse community, with diverse skills, when you meet people, find out what you can help them with, what they can help you with, help someone out.

Lastly, show something. This is where I really want to emphasize, don't let the pursuit of perfection stop you from making progress. It's really easy to think I have to get things just right before I show them, to my peers, to be proud of what I do, I don't want to have it be off by pixel. Don't worry about it.

Get something working, make some progress, don't let the goal of perfection stop you from doing that, and then show it and then iterate. We're all iterating here, as you can see even the wiki itself with the new theme, that's something that could use some iteration.

Dream something up, make something, and share it.

And that's the State of IndieWeb 2016.

Thank you.