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Hans Gerwitz

I'm an old geek who has long been a curmudgeon about the control big brands have over my identity.

I have called St. Louis (Missouri), Seattle, and Amsterdam home.


I experiment at, which I envision becoming a canonical store of my "cultural products" and other data. You can learn more about it at /site and its README.

I try to be a good web citizen with the projects published by my design agency.



Most of us that publish any content to the web pay attention to doing the right thing for Google, Facebook, and Twitter. But the only value they seem to add is exposure and, in some cases, contextual conversation.

To get more of this or other values, they want to take our content in-house, and if you're reading this, you probably find this distasteful.

What kinds of value might we provide to the indie web that can add some balance?

Commenting is a great example, though Facebook seems to be out-competing Disqus. (The opportunities Disqus are missing for moderation, silo integration, community formation…they astonish me.) I'm afraid the IndieWeb community is a little too obsessed with "owning my own comments" to address this in a market-ready way.

750 Words has "private" as part of their value to users, but if a similar service existed atop "any words you syndicated to your domain" I hope it could motivate some PESOS.

Site-specific search would be great, though that's more helpful to static sites than self-hosting broadly. Tapir never even tried to monetize, and Google site searching is terrible for many reasons.

There have been some tools that sought to provide platform-agnostic "favorites", but none with the wherewithal to promote themselves or keep browser extensions up-to-date.


I don't care to "publish a blog" but professional concerns mean I need to have some consistency in what I share in any given venue. Today, that means I post "work" articles to the company blog (and PESOS, and sometimes syndicate to Medium), "personal" articles to Svbtle (and PESOS), and only purely-personal content directly to my own site. POSSE would be cleaner, but the setup and maintenance cost is too high for how little writing I do.

Personal Data

There's a lot of data that I don't mind sharing (being a not-very-vulnerable White American Male) like location, media consumption, health data. This lives in silos and I want to aggregate it. Zenobase is a start at what I imagine, but I think I will someday finish a home-brew project for this. (originally inspired by Buster Benson)

Future Proofing

I can't help but fantasize that some future historian will find my life useful to consider. I definitely am a lazy geek who want to avoid spending too much time reacting to dependency updates, security vulnerabilities, or technology fashion.

So I prefer old, boring stacks. Static HTML content websites, Ruby server-side code, basic JQuery on the frontend when bling must be added.

Content vs Community

Although I feel strongly about "indie" content control, the conversational elements of silos like comments and throwaway @replies don't seem worth preserving, to me. So my enthusiasm is strong for most of the IndieWeb brand, when discussion turns toward chasing every silo feature down to reactions, I quickly ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.