From IndieWeb

Homebrew Website Club (HWC) Lisbon meetup 29 Oct 2014

present: Pierre, Jose, Mirjam, Michiel.

Michiel asks how we can get more people interested in this meetup, and how (if at all) HWC can make sense in Lisbon.

We discuss the size of other Lisbon tech meetups - most are around 10 people (php, crypto party, bitcoin), but the javascript meetup is significantly bigger (around 30 people). We agree to come back to this point once everybody is on the same page about what IndieWeb is, and what the aim and topic of HWC is.

The network effect made monoculture Federated Social Web efforts (Diaspora is mentioned as an example) of limited usefulness, therefore POSSE is better if your friends are (still) on facebook.

Jose defends email as the best way to communicate, but the problem is people now check their Facebook inbox more often and are less on mailing list (e.g. even to promote this meetup, you would have to post it on Facebook).

We consider the possibility of running e.g. a VOIP/telephony server at home, but mention that it's a lot of hassle to maintain one.

Pierre mentions an automated mail responder he once linked to Facebook messages, that would ask people to continue the conversation outside of Facebook, but somehow Facebook did not relay these replies to the Facebook message sender. is mentioned and discussed.

Jose presents his personal website, archived link - he basically uses it as a humans-only business card (gmail address displayed in a GIF image). His PGP key and a png image of a link to his Facebook account is also on there. It's hosted on Google Sites, with Google Analytics on there.

Jose remarks that Google is more trustable than smaller hosting providers - he doesn't want to put his website on a hosting platform whose business model he does not understand, and who may not be there in 5 years.

Jose also shows a Blogspot site which he uses mainly to display an embedded widget of his account, and a blog about seismology which he runs and which is updated automatically through Yahoo pipes.

We talk about Yahoo Pipes, IFTTT, and Twitter closing down RSS support.

Pierre tells Jose about "web sign-in" (IndieAuth), but Jose questions the utility of it. Mirjam asks why a big website like for instance EuropCar would allow customers to log in with IndieAuth. Jose questions what percentage of people would meddle with their html to set up IndieAuth.

Pierre defends that activating IndieAuth is easier if you use e.g. a WordPress plugin.

We talk a bit more about how the personal site (e.g., the identity provider (e.g. Twitter), and the relying party (e.g. work together in IndieAuth.

In response to Jose's concerns about html being hard to edit, Michiel mentions the new IndieHosters project as an effort that could help IndieAuth reach a broader install base.

Jose mentions that blogs are anti-chronological, and shares a tip for WordPress users - it has a 'book' option, which makes it chronological.

We look at Mirjam's site,, which uses scanned-in hand drawings to achieve layout effects which would be a lot harder to achieve in pure html. Mirjam asks how she can set up POSSE, to share the feed of her website to Facebook, and reach a bigger audience with news updates. Even though the site has a static content design, it has a rss feed, which could be POSSEd to Facebook.

We discuss the difference between privacy concerns and identity ownership concerns.

We discuss click-twice Like buttons which avoid tracking (like the one on

We mention

Mirjam wants some posts to appear in her feed but not on the main page.

We discuss if signing up for more web 2.0 silos (like for instance leads to more tracking and privacy invasion, or whether it actually democratizes things if you give your data to lots and lots of advertising companies instead of to just a few.

We discuss how to be safe as an activist - best option: don't use technology at all! :)

Unfortunately we don't have any time left to do any actual work on anyone's website (also, only two out of four participants had their laptop with them).

Where can we take this meetup from here?

  • we could share tips and tricks
 * help with implementing own website
 * options to avoid commercial silos
 * general tips for how to use free and open technology
 * exchange knowledge about how for instance cookies work
  • what would make you happy that you didn't miss next meetup?
 * if we learn useful tips about using the internet in a safe/good way
 * announcing beforehand what the topic will be could help with this. But that goes a bit against the spontaneous nature and barcamp-ness.
  • Jose mentions that maybe encryption is the only real way to be free
  • Mirjam mentions that this is not just about keeping activists safe, but also about just limiting the power of silos on all internet citizens
  • We discuss how to differentiate HWC meetups from more generic Internet Freedom meetups. We could do a meetup about basic hygiene for internet users (e.g. prismbreak, ToS;DR). Discussion about why it is important.

We should ask people from the Internet Freedom group why they didn't feel attracted to attend HWC the first two times.