An Indieweb Web Directory

My random thought for the day.  These can be dangerous.  Hold my beer.

What would happen if you combined a standard web directory script with features like webmentions and such?  I think you could end up with a very powerful tool for a directory. I have not the slightest idea how one would actually do it.

Presuming that both parties have webmentions here is how I see it working:

  1. Editor adds a website to the directory.  The directory (equipped like an Indieweb blog, send out a Mention to the page and/or root URL that was added.
  2. The owner of the URL that was added to the directory, may keep or discard that Mention but at least they now know that they are listed.  They might want to go to the directory and “claim” that listing and edit it or not.
  3. For the directory there is a chance that the directory gains a link.  It may well be a nofollow link in a facepile somewhere but as long as it is a clickable link back there is a gain for the directory.

Potential for Abuse

There are two kinds of directories 1. rare legitimate directories that are trying to be a navigation aid on the web, and 2. link popularity directories that are basically there to sell a link to websites for SEO purposes.  A mention from the former should be welcome to any webmaster.  And a directory that is trying to be a legit web navigation aid needs to attract searchers to use it. Win-win.  On the later, I could see spam directories trying to abuse this. The moderating factor is unlike a decade ago, very few new directories of any type are being started these days.


The web has changed in 20 years.  Webmasters no longer run out and submit their sites to directories, they are used to social media and the search engines just find them eventually.  So a very high percentage of listings in a new directory are going to have to be added by an Editor rather than by a submission to the  Add URL form.  Because of this it is even more important for the directory to let webmasters that have not submitted to the directory know they have been listed.  It’s a point of contact.


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2 responses on “An Indieweb Web Directory”

  1. Ok, sorry to be delayed in replying to you, Brad. I’ve had a broken blog for
    about two weeks. Rest assured, I’ve been reading along—around the time it
    broke, you wrote that Thank God for The Indieweb post and I couldn’t help
    but feel similarly, given that I started my blog around the same time.
    I think you’ve got a great idea here—basically that Webmentions could be used
    to negotiate between two websites, to legitimize each other.
    Maybe ‘nofollow’ links materialize into bona fide links once they each Webmention
    each other. I like that it could be started up from either side too. Someone who
    includes my directory in their blogroll is probably a good candidate to be in
    the directory.
    One thing that I love seriously love about Webmentions is that they can
    just be easily killfiled. On, I can just nuke a mention and it’ll
    never come back. This means I don’t need any moderation tools built into my
    static blog, I can just use WIO directly.
    So I think WIO is a great tool for a directory like this, because you
    could just build it in static HTML. In fact, this is what I’ve been doing with
    my directory—I am generating static HTML from a list of link descriptions.
    This allows me to easily host the directory aaaaaand now that you’ve mentioned
    this idea, I can hook up WIO in a few simple lines and have a built-in
    submission system!
    So, yes, be flattered—I am stealing this/have stole. 😘

    Also on:

    1. I’m glad you got your blog mended. Heck, I’m glad I actually had a useful idea. Use away.

      I am now actively planning a directory or two so some of these ideas are fallout from my ruminations, whether I can use them or not. The more directories of different kinds the better. There is no one single right way to build one. There are only opinions on the best way. The only way to fix the current broken state of the web is to (re)build it the way we want it. Anything less is surrender.

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