own your data

From IndieWeb

own your data is an IndieWeb principle with two key parts: 1) your data lives primarily under your own domain, and 2) you are able to retain your access over time.

If you’re looking for the primary technique for owning your data on your domain, while distributing across platforms so your friends see your posts where they read streams, see:

  • POSSE — Publish on your Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere


First, using your own domain gives you control over where people find and interact with you online. When you migrate to a new hosting provider or CMS, if your site stays on the same domain, everyone will still find you, regardless of whether they follow your site in a reader, land directly on your permalinks from other sites or search engines, or even type your domain directly into a browser.

Second, they say that change is the only constant, and web sites are no exception. Whether you stick with a host or CMS for a year, a decade, or a century, you're likely to change something eventually. When you do, you'll need usable access to all of your existing data. This includes export and import, data formats and standards, tools, protocols, permissions, rate limits, and more.

Also see why.


The Basics

Per Silo

Commit to owning your data by using your site, instead of a silo, for each silo you currently use.

Each silo you stop directly using (POSSE is ok), and use your own site instead, is a step forward in owning your data.

Per Post Type

Commit to owning each kind of post you publish, by using only your site to publish particular kinds of posts (again, POSSE is ok).

Each kind of post you stop posting directly to any/all silo(s), and use always use your own site to create instead, is a step forward in owning your data.

Per Post Type Per Silo

A more incremental but still significant step is stop posting a particular type of post to a particular silo, and always use your own site to publish that type of post instead of that silo.

IndieWeb Examples

INDIEWEB ALL THE THINGS Add yourself here if you:

  • have an indieweb site, and
  • are using it exclusively to post either
    • a particular kind of post (e.g. notes), and/or
    • if you are posting to your site completely instead of a particular silo (e.g. Twitter)

and note what date you started owning your data of what kind(s) of posts, or instead of which silo(s).

For the purpose of this page, please succinctly list, only

  • specific silo(s) you have replaced usage of with your own site. E.g.: I use my own site instead of Twitter (notes, replies, favorites)
  • post type(s) you use your own site for instead of / before any silo posts. E.g.: I post notes on my own site instead of Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc.
  • post type(s) instead of specific silo - what post type you use your own site for instead of / before a specific silo. E.g.: I post notes & replies on my own site instead of Twitter.

Optional details, for each of the above post types / or "instead of silos", optionally note which projects or tools help you do so.

Examples of what doesn't count:

  • You post some notes on your own site, and some notes directly to Twitter.
    • Why: All or nothing. Either you've committed and are following through with posting all your content of a specific kind to your own site, or you don't yet "own your data" of that type.

Examples of what belongs on your user page instead:

  • owned other things besides post types / instead of silos (sites, domain names, project installs)
  • what other sites you post to

Examples of what doesn't disqualify you:

  • A small number of test posts on any given silo of any given content type, especially if you're doing it as research for how to best POSSE to that silo, especially if you document the results of your research here on the wiki. Though for research purposes, you really should create one or more separate test accounts on silos.

gRegor Morrill

gRegor Morrill has:

  • owned articles since 2002-01-26. [1].
  • owned photos since 2017-04-15 [2]
    • POSSE manually to Instagram, occasionally POSSE to Twitter with Bridgy Publish, backfeed via Bridgy


Tantek Çelik has publicly:


  • not yet ownyourreplies. I can't say I yet I follow "ownyourdata" for ALL my replies, as I still post replies directly to Instagram posts, and the past have posted replies directly to posts on Facebook (stopped in 2020), whereas I should be posting even those replies on my own site first, and then POSSEing them to Facebook manually. Thus I've scoped my "ownyourdata" of replies to only being a replacement for my use of Twitter and GitHub to post replies.
  • not yet ownyourlikes. I also can't yet say I follow "ownyourdata" for ALL my likes, as I still like photos directly on Instagram, and posts on Facebook (stopped in 2020).
  • not yet ownyourRSVPs. While I have owned my public RSVPs (especially "going") since 2017-01-01, I still RSVP to private events on Facebook. I’m not sure how to avoid this short of giving up on private FB events. I also have been clicking the "I’m Going" on IndieWeb HWC Events pages without always posting an RSVP on my own site.
  • not yet ownyourissues. While I’ve owned 100% of my public issues posted to GitHub, I still post issues directly (and without my own copy) to Bugzilla.
  • no private posts yet. I don't have a mechanism for publishing private posts yet, so I am still manually posting those elsewhere, like Swarm checkins, comments, and likes, and private GitHub repos for example.


Ryan Barrett has:

  • instead of Instagram, posted:
    • posted photos on his own site always [23], POSSEd manually, backfed via Bridgy
    • read his Instagram stream via instagram-atom instead of the Instagram app
  • instead of Google+, posted on his own site:
    • articles, notes, and photos always, POSSEd manually, backfed via Bridgy


bear has

  • owned his articles since 2003-12-18. [24].
  • owned his own replies since May of 2014.
  • owned his own replies to others since November of 2014 but until I add in-reply-to' markup I cannot call them comments.

Aaron Parecki


Note: kartikprabhu.com links appear to have stopped working (2022-10-24 or earlier) without a redirect. Manually add www. at the start until these links have been fixed.

Kartik Prabhu has:

Sebastiaan Andeweg

Sebastiaan Andeweg has:

  • instead of Instagram, posted to his own site:
    • photos and POSSE to Instagram (since 2016-11-22, with import of all earlier photos)

Marty McGuire

Marty McGuire has:


  • Not yet owning all replies. Still making some replies directly on Twitter, Facebook.
    • Can and does reply to IndieWeb-enabled posts on his own site since at least 2016-11.
  • Not yet owning all likes and reacji. Still like some posts on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook
    • Note: uses Perkeep to keep an archive of all tweets liked.
    • Can and does post likes of IndieWeb-enabled (and other) posts on his site since at least 2016-11. Reacjis since 2017-10.
  • Not yet owning all bookmarks. Still bookmarks privately with Pinboard, but posts some bookmarks publicly since 2017-04.
  • Not yet owning all RSVPs. Still RSVPs to some events on Facebook.
    • Can and does RSVP to IndieWeb-enabled events on his own site since 2016-06.

... add yourself ...

Previous Examples

These are examples who owned their data for periods of time, but either went offline, or resumed posting silo-first or silo-only content at some point.

Ben Werdmuller

Ben Werdmüller has, since 2013-07-11, using Known:

The Dod

dubiousdod.org links appear dead as of 2022-10-24 (or earlier — need to check Internet Archive for when it went offline and document that here with permalinks to belowmentioned post types) ĎÚβĨŐÚŚ Dod had:


#ownyourdata is a rallying cry hashtag for aggregating content across indie web sites and 3rd-party silos about "owning your data", "owning your own data" etc.

#ownyourdata posts tend to be a a subset of Posts about the IndieWeb.


Following a discussion [37] between Aaron Parecki and Peter Molnar that was triggered by specific wording found in an indiweb critic post [38], namely the sentence:

   Legally, any and all content that you post to a silo is no  longer  "your  content"

See Also


  • Zero Data: apps and protocols that focus on storing data in sovereign spaces.