proof of work

From IndieWeb

proof of work is a way of responding to questions or requests with a challenge to the requester to do some work before questions are answered; in the context of the IndieWeb such work includes asking what is their personal site, what is the next thing they want to improve on it, all as ways to refocus abstract or plumbing questions on practical personal site selfdogfooding.


Why ask for proof of work?

  • Encourages people to start being productive with their own indieweb needs, e.g. focusing on Get Started
  • Discourages abstract questions/requests with no actual use-cases.
  • Refocuses abstract/plumbing/architecture astronomy discussions into practical personal site focused, UX-first discussions, per principles.
  • Keeps the IRC channel focussed and less-noisy for anyone following the discussion live or reading the logs.[1]

Questions to ask

Good proof of work challenges to ask people that show up in IRC with abstract/plumbing questions or statements/discussions:

  • What is your personal site?
  • What is the next thing you want to improve on your personal site?
  • Go ahead and add yourself to
  • Document that next thing you want to improve on your user page per wikifying
  • Document what you are working on in a "Working On" section on your user page
  • What is the use case you are trying to solve? add that to your "Itches" section on your user page.

If they're not interested in having a personal site, ask them if they post publicly on silos like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr etc., and if so, ask them if they care about control, ownership, and longevity of their posts, as compared to the history of site-deaths.

If they're not interested in a personal site, nor ownership, nor longevity, then point to the IndieWeb principles as the focus of the channel, and if those things don't interest them then they may have better luck getting their questions answered in other channels.

Use any or all of these to refocus abstract / plumbing / architecture astronomy questions or discussions onto practical personal site focused, UX-first discussions, per principles.

By responding to abstract questions with challenges for the requester to actually do something with their personal site and / or document what they're talking about, you make them do some work that is productive for the IndieWeb community before spending time answering their questions, and hopefully you can help refocus them on more pragmatic rather than abstract topics and approaches.

See Also