All this WordPress 5.0 Gutenberg stuff got me thinking.  With WordPress it seems like the Indieweb starts making serious and cool progress and the WordPress people come along and knock the game board and pieces off the table.  And it sounds like the disruption from WordPress is going to continue for a couple of years.

Why not take a page out of Apple’s playbook and take control higher up in the food chain? Why not come out with an Indieweb compatible blog engine of our own?  Either fork an existing open source project or build new?  This does not mean you have to make it exclusive but make it the way the Indieweb wants the Indieweb elven magic to function.  Also put in the standard blogging features most people expect.  Why keep trying to adapt the Indieweb stuff to blog or CMS platforms that are at best indifferent, never designed for or just that don’t want to play ball?

This isn’t a slam on the coders who are working so hard to make everything work on WordPress, I’m just asking if maybe it’s not time to find better terrain to fight from.

If the Indieweb really wants widespread adoption they need to come out with a turnkey solution.  It would act as a solution for many and a proof of concept for others to emulate. Something that can be put in hosting C-panels for one touch install. Something that just works, is easy to move to and move away from. Something supported, active, growing with enough polish that it inspires confidence in the user.

I’d really like to hear serious discussion on this.

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In reply to: Distributed Digital Transformation | Ton Zijlstra

Source: Read: Distributed Digital Transformation | Chris Aldrich

Yes Ton you are right.

We need to learn to see the cumulative impact of a multitude of efforts, while simultaneously keeping all those efforts visible on their own. There exist so many initiatives I think that are great examples of how distributed digitalisation leads to transformation, but they are largely invisible outside their own context, and also not widely networked and connected enough to reach their own full potential. They are valuable on their own, but would be even more valuable to themselves and others when federated, but the federation part is mostly missing.
We need to find a better way to see the big picture, while also seeing all pixels it consists of. A macroscope, a distributed digital transformation macroscope.

Great article!

Yes we need a macroscope.  The first practical thing that needs to be done now is to publicly catalog all these initiatives as a first step in building that macroscope.  Part of that cataloging (indexing) requires defining just what is a worthy initiative and explain it. Then we we figure out how to network.  And part of it needs to be practical, boots on the ground stuff, because we don’t have infinite time to come up with perfect solutions.

Those steps I listed above, are doable right now.  Somebody needs to start. If there is a way I can help, let me know.

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The video below is of interest to SEO’s, webmaster’s trying to create their own informational websites, and the Indieweb.  The video, featuring Rand Fishkin, is 32 minutes long but packs a lot of current information.  I agree with Rand through the first 2/3rds of the video where he is making his case. I disagree with his conclusions in the last third because I’m not an SEO, I don’t have clients that are trying to sell things and I’m not trying to sell things.

via The Future of SEO is on the SERP | BrightonSEO 2018 – YouTube

Why this matters to:

  1. The Indieweb: Rand touches upon the social network silos, and how they are increasingly not linking out. They want to keep your content within their walled gardens.  Google is now doing this too, especially in mobile search.  This is not by accident but by design.  This is why I keep hammering away that Google is one of the the bad silos that the Indieweb should be concerned about, especially with Google controlling 90% of search traffic.  When the social network silos implode we will still be left with Google as the Gatekeeper.
  2. To Content Websites and Webmasters: we see in the video, that on the mobile SERP, Google is just posting their own information or information scraped from our sites and reused as their own without providing any click through links to the originators. eg. weather, celebrity news, sports, travel and tourism, food and dining via Google maps, accommodation etc. and its growing.  Commercial content websites which rely on ads to pay the bills are not getting many ad impressions if Google borrows their content or or otherwise fails to provide click through traffic.  As Rand points out the tacit agreement with search engines (I call it the Search Contract) is that in return for providing content and letting search engine crawlers use our bandwidth to index our sites, the search engines supply traffic.
  3. Commerce Websites: This is where Rand and I part ways.  His conclusions are probably realistic if you are trying to market a product because Google, the social networks and Amazon are all putting you in a squeeze play.  It’s the money making sites that hire SEO’s and good SEO’s have to do what is in their client’s best interest.  In this instance you have to play the game, when your business depends upon sales, it is probably not the best time to launch an anti-Google crusade.

Conclusions

Watch the video, you will learn something even if you are not an SEO and don’t care about search engines.  Rand’s presentation and the slides are telling.  Or at least watch the first 2/3rds until he gets to the recommendations for SEO’s.

It explains why I think decentralized search is so important for the Indieweb and the general health of the web and why we need guerrilla search solutions.

robots.txt

BTW Rand mentions one clear solution for content sites early on:  if, over time Google is not sending you traffic, bar Googlebot via robots.txt.  Give Bing and the smaller search engines an exclusive, if they are smart enough to take it.  If Google is not sending traffic you are not out anything.  I say this as someone who has just launched a web directory.  I don’t know how Google treats web directories anymore and I guess I will find out.  But if after a year or two, I’m not getting any traffic or appear to be penalized by Google, I have no problem barring Googlebot from the site.

 

This was also posted to
/en/indieweb.

 

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After Gutenberg drops and we see the damage to WordPress and after Known blogging platform reaches a stable ver. 1.0, who’s going to start a turnkey, managed, Indieweb hosting service?

I mean you choice of WordPress (with all the Indieweb goodness plugins and themes* already installed) or Known ready to go.

It won’t be me but it seems like a natural extension.

*Themes:  Folks that’s another thing.  Indieweb needs more certified, exemplified, notarized to work with Indieweb WP themes.  Not “kinda sorta” work but work.  The Indieweb is big enough now we need 3 – 4 working themes.  And they need to be in the WordPress.org theme directory.

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… can I keep it?

It’s a sorta selfdogfood directory called Indieseek.xyz.  I hope this will encourage others to try their hands at small directories or search engines of the fun web, the Independent Web.

More from the source in a bit.

 

 

Special thanks to:

Kicks Condor – for the discussions on directories, discovery, advice and encouragement.

Chris Aldrich – for the early encouragement to keep experimenting (complete with cow picture.)

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Bookmark: Home | Solid

(From the Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Inrupt.)

Solid empowers users and organizations to separate their data from the applications that use it. It allows people to look at the same data with different apps at the same time. It opens brand new avenues for creativity, problem-solving, and commerce.

Note: Ownership of your own data and having control of your own data are very Indieweb.org concepts. Solid brings the concept to more to mobile and apps but it applies to the web too.

This was also posted to
/en/indieweb.

 

 

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My response to Nick Montfort’s recent article asserting that the era of the open web as the main platform for digital writing has forever passed.

Like: Fogknife : Rejecting the “Post-web era” while embracing The Future (5 minute read)

The cool part of the web is that you can carve out your own little chunk of it.  We can build whatever web we want.

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This blog is just a couple of months old and same for the domain.  I was looking at my Comments admin panel and I have just over 200 approved “comments” this includes both written comments and mentions which appear on site as “facepiles”.  I’m thinking only about 3 or 4 of those comments were from the traditional comment forms at the bottom of each post.  The rest come from Indieweb style webmentions from other Indieweb blogs, Micro.blog, Twitter and G+.

I’m not telling you this to brag.  This is still just a insignificant, dumpy, tiny, newish blog.  But I have blogged before, and while I have had participation, I have never had this level of good, thoughtful, helpful engagement. It just does not happen on a new blog by a nobody.  Ever.

200. On. a. new. blog. Unbelievable.

Part of this is I stumbled upon the Indieweb which we bloggers never had before and they responded. Part is due to the great Micro.blog community.

I can also tell you this much: people do click on those links I left commenting on other peoples blogs and equally people are clicking on the links other people leave on this blog.

Yup, these Indieweb folks are definitely on to something.

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#search engines #social networks #silos #indieweb

I hear a lot of people wanting the social network silos (mainly Facebook and Twitter) to go away.  I too want them to go. Eventually.  But before they do, I want to examine some things in this little essay.

Some Good Things that the Silos Did

Search: Facebook and Twitter punched a hole in the Google search monopoly.  Before these social networks, Google and Google alone dictated what you would find on the Web. And you did the finding through Google.  With, first Twitter and later Facebook, suddenly you didn’t need Google to find stuff on the Web.  Suddenly a little obscure website could become famous without or in spite of Google.  If you really sit down and think about it, that is no small thing.

Moreover, that hole in Google (plus Google’s bad record on privacy) gave smaller search engines just enough breathing room to try and become established (ie. Duckduckgo, Qwant, Mojeek.)

Web Advertising:  Again, before Facebook and Twitter, Google had a lock on both search advertising and display advertising.  Facebook in particular opened that up. Suddenly, sellers had an alternative place for ad campaigns besides something owned by Google.  If you are not selling stuff this means nothing to you, but if you are in business, large or small, it means a lot.

Traffic:  Posting on Facebook and Twitter can drive a lot of traffic to your website or blog.  Syndication (crossposting) is just another way of posting.  I’m convinced that a whole new generation has grown up that really does not remember the times before Facebook, Twitter and the other social network silos.  I can see it by their actions and inactions.  They don’t know how to get traffic besides syndicating to Facebook and Twitter.  What happens if those two cut off syndication?  What  happens if everybody leaves FB and Twitter so nobody reads your posts?

See, right now as a blogger, I don’t really need Google traffic.  I have Indieweb webmentions, Twitter and other social networks for traffic.  But if Twitter goes down or walls itself off, it is going to be lean pickings for visitors.

My biggest fear, is that if Facebook and Twitter suddenly crumble, we will go right back to having Google control everything.  By that I mean Google will control both traffic and discovery on the Web.

Yes it won’t be quite as all pervasive as it was before, at least as long as Bing sticks around and does not jump the shark.  Indieweb stuff is good but still a tiny niche (heck blogs are a small niche).  Smart things are being worked on, experimented with, new kinds of automated directories, new innovative webrings, – all discovery tools but they are not ready yet, that and nobody among the public know how to use them.  Things like RSS, which is a good source of repeat traffic, are experiencing a revival, but again this is just a small segment.  Given time I think RSS will be big but it ain’t there yet.

Google is a silo too. And I can tell you Google is part of what sucked all the fun out of Web 1.0.  Facebook and Twitter were not even around.  It was Google. And living under Google dominance is no fun.  Right now the Facebooks and the Twitters are still around so word can spread without Google.  It’s a rare opportunity but you better hurry.

Seriously, if FB and Twitter unravel quickly, how do we counter the Google silo?  Ideas?

 

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Indiepaper is a read-later service built for the open web. Save your articles, and …

Source: Indiepaper, an open alternative to Instapaper and Pocket | Cult of Mac

This is a great how to guide.  I use Indiepaper myself and highly recommend it. I’m replacing Pocket with it.

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