I'm curious what, if anything, you all think that the IndieWeb as a community could do or do better to make things easier for Generation 2 users?
Additionally is there something we all (as Gen2 users) could band together to do to make it easier for others like us not to have to "suffer" as we did? Comments back to this are welcome, as is conversation in the #indieweb channel, or even brainstorming on the wiki (perhaps the generations page: https:/
I'm curious what, if anything, you all think that the IndieWeb as a community could do or do better to make things easier for Generation 2 users? by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (Chris Aldrich) Hi Chris,
I am not sure there is much that the IndieWeb as a community can do more that the amazing efforts that are going on at the moment.
This reply turns out to be a bit of a ramble…
I think at this stage of the development of IndieWeb there is bound to be friction for new users.
I am certainly aware that some of my posts must sound like ungrateful whining (this is hard, I don’t understand, I am so confused…) hopefully if seen in the round some enthusiasm for the IndieWeb will shine through.
I doubt very much I can really add much to what the indieweb community already understands what they need to do. A stroll through Chris’s #indieweb channel makes that pretty clear.
Even in the short time I’ve been attempting to implement some of the principles here it has become simpler. I started with sempress at the end of 2014 but didn’t really take it much further although I read a bit and installed known.
It took micro.blog where I began to see the effects of webmentions from more than tweets to accelerate my interest.
Even in the short time micro.blog has been around the process has improved. The WordPress plugins seem much improved.
From my POV there seems to be several possible sticking points.
I’ve instinctively alway enjoyed the idea of owning my own online space. This was backed up with an understanding of the Domain of one’s own idea through #DS106. This took a long time to think through, often with practical experience (posterous). We are really just scratching the surface of being online and everything that this brings with it, many folk will just not be interested in owning their own space.
In the U.K. there is a strong culture of home ownership compared to, say, Germany where renting is more popular it might be worth exploring the cultural reasons for decisions made between owning and renting.
I’ve approached the IndieWeb from the same angle as I’ve taken to other technologies. I poke about a bit, try things out, change parameters and avoid reading instructions unless I am stuck. When stuck I search feather than read from the start. I am more likely to read a blog post that a manual. This method works well up to a point. With something that is a complex in both principal and execution as the indieweb I think it has some drawbacks. I’ve headed the wrong way a few times.
Engaging with members of the indieweb community is a really marvellous way to make progress. I didn’t really find my way into that until I used micro.blog.
The manual is pretty good, but there is a lot to understand.
Getting Started on WordPress is great too.
Perhaps shorter how-toos that don’t link off too much might and have a smaller scope might help generation 2 & 3? I am not the best person to judge this.
Some friction comes with the power. Especially if you have already got a blog, workflows etc going. I’ve found quite a few assumptions I had were slightly wrong.
nuts and bolts and choices
One of the difficulties that I found is that there are several ways to do most things. This is of course good, but can be confusing.
I had jetpack publishing my posts to twitter. When I started using micro.blog I took up a subscription for posting to Twitter, to see how it went and to pay something for the service.
I really like the way micro.blog posts images to Twitter, they look good, but they do not get webmentions in the same way other posts that go to twitter do.
I don’t like the way likes and replies that are posted on my blog are displayed on twitter. They include the Twitter card from my post and look like there should be some blog content behind them. This is fine for a article or longer note but doesn’t really work for replies or like. I guess I’ve not fully worked out how things are happening. Possibly I need to adjust the posts length or titles. I also dislike the way a quote at the start of the post can look as if it is my content rather than the person quoted.
I do like the way Chris’s replies are cross posted to Twitter. The look pretty much like normal replies except they are posted from his blog.
I wonder if using the bridgy publish plugin to send out my posts to twitter would be better.
This is just one example of a process I am, if not struggling with, am in the process of resolving. For me the process is interesting and certainly worth going through, I can see why some folk would not bother for the sake of owning a tweet.
All of this is harder than using a silo.
As I’ve tried the odd reply, like and bookmark here, I’ve had to slow down a bit. For replies at least this might be seen as an advantage. Moving toward a slow web avoiding this: You like my like of your like of my status on Vimeo.
Something’s I’ve decided, at the moment at least, to leave in silos, I like flickr, love it’s api and have the originals locally. My Videos on YouTube are mostly throwaway and I don’t think I could afford to host. They can wait while I slowly deal with what are more interesting issues to me.
This will probably not help Chris but it did help me realise that I’ve made some progress, enjoyed it and will continue. I don’t need to build my space in a day.
Finally I wonder how Chris replies to several people at once? I guess it is a known feature.
A last though, as I click Publish, will this end up as a comment on Chris’s post? How will it look on twitter, on micro.blog, I can’t say I am wholly confident that I know!
Like this: Like Loading...
In reply to: I'm curious what, if anything, you all think that the IndieWeb as a community could do or do better to make things easier for Generation 2...
As I've written before, I think mass adoption of #indieweb technologies (at least in their current guise) is only likely to happen by stealth. There needs to be a big player willing to dip their toes in the water and really drive things forward in a way that is invisible to end users.
Imagine if Twitter or Facebook natively included support. There would be no need for the various "plumbing" efforts, like Bridgy, that seek to join certain parts of the web together.
But I can't see that happening. The big players are referred to as silos for a reason.
Micro.blog is built with the indieweb principles in mind (to a degree) but it relies on people wanting to own a blog of some description. And most don't.
But this is jumping ahead.
Talking 'bout my generation!
The next wave of indieweb users after the developers, otherwise known as Generation 2 (ambiguously labelled as "Journalists and Bloggers") is expected to carry the torch but I can't get away from a confused picture.
The definition of gen 2 and the expectations of its knowledge don't entirely sit well with me - that anticipated knowledge described as:
Understands cPanel, Softaculous, Fantastico, etc. has a domain name and blog.
Journalists and bloggers is vague, too wide, so the target has to be the skillset rather than the definition.
It is intended for each generation to bridge the gap to the next but I don't see that happening. Gen 2 can publicise the indieweb but, until the tools are a lot simpler, there will not be sufficient uptake to make a compelling case.
The indieweb will still be viewed as the domain of elitest geeks speaking in jargon.
Simplicity is key: themes that support the relevant markup thus negating the need for manual tweaking; a simplified plugin structure with more clearly defined roles and descriptions; better explanation of what it all does without the assumption, and seeming arrogance, that this is just "better."
Better is incredibly subjective.
Stability and predictability are paramount. Things must "just work" rather than it being a case of markup roulette.
Do A to get B, reliably and repeatedly.
Part of the indieweb principle is focusing on the experience rather than the technology so that the same result can be achieved in different ways. But, when a number of the indieweb components are working their way through the W3C standards process, how can it not be about the technology.
Standardisation leads to adoption and most won't invest the time and effort required until doing A always gives us B. The trade-off won't be worth it.
Everyone having to write their own implementation is not a viable long term solution.
There will be an element of choice but this will be merely functional and cosmetic: what subset of features do I want to use and how do I want to display them?
I wonder if the generations are still applicable and/or useful? Generation 2 is so broadly defined it is difficult to say what "they" need, because as a group of users they're not very clearly articulated. What if the focused shifted to features? ...this isn't to say away from users, but to re-articulate phases of indieweb growth by ease of use?
I think @manton's micro.blog offers a great model of the indieweb. It, like quill or webmention.io, is a microservice or set of microservices that leverages indieweb tech in a user friendly way. When the indieweb works more like the social media that folks are already familiar with (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) the less friction there is to join. So...this is all to say, in the end, I think better on boarding materials and user-friendlier documentation would go a LOOOOONG way. BUT, before one can create such documents there needs to be a relatively stable way of joining the indieweb. Between wordpress and micro.blog I think that is starting to emerge.
For me, as a generation 2 (I think!), there are probably two issues:
1. Knowing where to start and how to progress. There is some quite good documentation, but it all feels a bit disparate at the moment. IndieWebify.me is a good start, but I feel like there could be a much clearer, more cohesive process that lets you jump in at the level you're at and not end up following too many links in too many directions. I think John's on the right track with "shorter how-tos that don’t link off too much... and [that] have a smaller scope". Possibly even a single, downloadable PDF that's well structured, written in less technical language, and with simple diagrams to help adopters understand the architecture.
2. It all still feels like quite a lot of manual tinkering is required, and I don't want to go down that rabbit hole too much and get distracted from the reason why I created an indie site in the first place: to blog! Having said that, I realise IndieWeb's got to go through this stage to get to a more user-friendly state of things. The plugins certainly go a long way to encouraging people (me included) to adopt the features. I'll be experimenting with those.
Thanks for all the work your're doing, everyone. I can see some of you have invested a lot in this, and hopefully that will pay off in the years to come. Like I say, my focus is on blogging (when I'm not working or focusing on my wife and kids), so I don't have a lot of extra time and energy to spare, but where I can contribute to IndieWeb I will.
Just read this fairly frank feedback: