From IndieWeb
(Redirected from instant messaging)

messaging refers to one user sending another user a message (memo, letter, txt, photo โ€ฆ) that they read sometime later; on the IndieWeb, either directly via a personal site, or from one site to another. There are numerous technologies for such personal messaging.

Messaging is one part of building IndieWeb-centric communication.


Existing electronic messaging technologies and networks.


Main article: email

Email uses technologies such as:

  • SMTP
  • MIME

Email typically allows anyone that knows your email address to send you a message, which has resulted in a poisoning of the technology, anywhere from spam, to vendor "donotreply@" messages, to badly written emails to mailing lists.

For this reason, many have abandoned email for day-to-day critical personal messaging and instead use one of the other solutions: iMessage, FB Messenger, DM, or even SMS. See below.


Private messaging. PM is a term for sending people private messages in IRC.


Instant messaging.

Proprietary clients/networks:


Main article: SMS

SMS AKA txting requires the sender to know the receiver's cell phone number. Anyone that knows your mobile/cell number can send you a text message from their cell phone.

MMS is used for sending media such as photos in otherwise "text" messages.


Direct messaging. Invented by Twitter, direct messaging uses Twitter's site and typically clients (though there is also an SMS interface) to send messages which can then be received on a Twitter client, as well as optionally in email or by SMS, or both.


iMessage is Apple's proprietary messaging network where iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) and Macs with Messsages App installed can send messages to each other similar to SMS or MMS messages.

On iOS, "Messages" *is* the SMS application, and if both sender and recipient are registered with apple (e.g. their iPhone phone numbers, or AppleID email address), then the devices attempt to route the messages directly via Apple's servers, rather than the phone/SMS network.

Github Issues

Some people opt for a github issue queue instead of email. Unlike the git repo and the wiki feature on github, the only way to get data out of issues is programmatically through the API and from the copy delivered to participants in the issue thread.


IndieWeb Messaging

Main article: indieweb-messaging

Some in the indieweb community are brainstorming how to best do messaging from one indieweb presence to another. See the indieweb-messaging page for more.

IndieWeb Authentication

Even while using other methods of communication, is it possible to use someone's IndieWeb site in the process of authenticating them to make sure they are who you think they are?

Unified Messaging

Ben Roberts wants to treat the various messaging services he uses as plumbing, unified behind his own interface. He has made some progress. See 2015/Cambridge/messaging.

IndieWeb Perspectives


From an "indieweb" perspective, I find this transition from email to other forms of communication both interesting, and perhaps useful for clues as to where/how indieweb communication should work - that is, *why* are people migrating from email (supposedly open, federated, etc.) to other solutions which are seemingly more friendly, more usable, faster / lower latency, less noisy, quicker, etc.

I think there is unexplored promise in this use-case: sign-in-use-cases#messaging

And perhaps we also have an opportunity to define what "friending" on the indieweb means - perhaps it means two people have agreed to let each other send indieweb personal messages back/forth.

(and like bret says, I have zero desire to figure out / implement SMTP or IMAP or POP on my own server.) we can do better with web technologies and how modern messaging solutions have raised the bar in terms of UI/UX (compared to email).

- Tantek 20:29, 22 August 2013 (PDT)

See Also