From IndieWeb
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Building blocks are key design-patterns, technologies, and methods for building and improving your independent website.

See also:

  • User actions and building blocks, a diagram of common IndieWeb actions and which building blocks are used for each.
  • IndieMark, a way of measuring "how indieweb" is your website, and a good step-by-step guide to what feature(s) you should consider implementing next.


Why building blocks? This early quote from Tim Berners-Lee's Weaving The Web Chapter 4 page 39 summed it up well:

... if I had insisted everyone use HTTP, this would also have been against the principle of minimal constraint. If the Web were to be universal, it should be as unconstraining as possible. Unlike the NeXT computer, the Web would come as a set of ideas that could be adopted individually in combination with existing or future parts.

As was the Web, so is the IndieWeb.

The IndieWeb also comes as a set of (additional) ideas (as building blocks), that can be "adopted individually in combination with existing or future parts".

From a systems perspective, designing a modular system is harder than designing a monolithic system; however over time a modular system has a much better chance of evolving and adapting to changing needs and a diversity of uses.

It is for these reasons that the IndieWeb is built with a set of building blocks, instead of a monolithic "stack".


The act of having a personal website immediately creates an online identity which can be better established with:


Posts and variants are perhaps the building block of an indieweb site:

Stuff in/of posts:


in addition to permalinks, the following building blocks help with citing posts in constrained destinations such as limited character count POSSE destinations, or print:


syndication, the ability to post content on your own site and push it out to 3rd party silos.

Reverse Syndication

Reverse syndication (AKA backfeed) refers to pulling silo activity around your syndicated posts (e.g. silo likes, reposts or replies) back to your personal site.


The ability for one webpage to let another know the first has linked to the second is a vital indieweb building block.

The key mention technology for the indieweb is:


The ability to use your online identity (domain) to authenticate yourself on the web.


Web Actions

A web action is the interface and user experience of taking a specific discrete action, across the web, from one site to another site or application.

Link Preview

A link preview is what posts show about one or more embedded links, e.g. a headline, image, summary from the link destination.

Reply Context

A reply context similar to a link preview, except is the information that a reply post shows about the original post that it is in reply to. E.g. original post author (name, photo, link), original post content (or abbreviated summary).


  • SWAT0 originally from the 2010 Federated Social Web Summit.


See building-blocks-historical.

See also