principles

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The IndieWeb Community is largely based on principles (AKA tenets) such as own your data, scratch your own itches, build tools for yourself, selfdogfood, document your stuff, open source your stuff, UX design is more important than protocols, visible data for humans first and machines second, platform agnostic platforms, plurality over monoculture, longevity, and remember to have fun!

The IndieWeb community has a code-of-conduct.

Key Principles

Key principles of building on the indie web, numbered for reference, not necessarily for any kind of priority.

  1. ✊ Own your data. Your content, your metadata, your identity.
  2. πŸ” Use & publish visible data for humans first, machines second. See also DRY.
  3. πŸ’ͺ Scratch Your Own Itches. Make tools, templates, etc. for yourself first, not for all of your friends or ”everyoneβ€œ. If you design for some hypothetical user, they may not actually exist; if you make for yourself, you actually do exist. Make something that satisfies your needs, and is compatible for others, e.g. by practicing POSSE, you benefit immediately, while staying connected to friends, without having to convince anyone. If and when others join the indieweb, you all benefit.
  4. πŸ˜‹ Use what you make! Whatever you build you should actively use. If you aren't depending on it, why should anybody else? We call that selfdogfooding. Personal use helps focus your efforts on building the indieweb around your needs and consistently solving immediate real world problems. AKA eat your own dogfood. selfdogfooding is also a form of "proof of work" to help focus on productive interactions.
  5. πŸ““ Document your stuff. You've made a place to speak your mind, use it to document your processes, ideas, designs and code. Help others benefit from your journey, including your future self!
  6. πŸ’ž Open source your stuff! You don't have to, of course, but if you like the existence of the indie web, making your code open source means other people can get on the indie web quicker and easier.
  7. πŸ“ UX and design is more important than protocols, formats, data models, schema etc. We focus on UX first, and then as we figure that out we build/develop/subset the absolutely simplest, easiest, and most minimal protocols & formats sufficient to support that UX, and nothing more. AKA UX before plumbing.
  8. 🌐 Build platform agnostic platforms. The more your code is modular and composed of pieces you can swap out, the less dependent you are on a particular device, UI, templating language, API, backend language, storage model, database, platform. Modularity increases the chance that at least some of it can and will be re-used, improved, which you can then reincorporate. AKA building-blocks. AKA "small pieces loosely joined".
  9. πŸ—Ώ Longevity. Build for the long web. If human society is able to preserve ancient papyrus, Victorian photographs and dinosaur bones, we should be able to build web technology that doesn't require us to destroy everything we've done every few years in the name of progress.
  10. ✨ Plurality. With IndieWebCamp we've specifically chosen to encourage and embrace a diversity of approaches & implementations. This background makes the IndieWeb stronger and more resilient than any one (often monoculture) approach.
  11. πŸŽ‰ Have fun. Remember that GeoCities page you built back in the mid-90s? The one with the Java applets, garish green background and seventeen animated GIFs? It may have been ugly, badly coded and sucky, but it was fun, damnit. Keep the web weird and interesting.

Articles

This article was quoted nearly verbatim in WIRED in 2013

See Also