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Molly White is optimistic about the #IndieWeb

Recent video interview between Flipboard CEO Mike McCue and Molly White is worth a watch for people interested in the IndieWeb: it relates directly to controlling what and where you write and having a better sense of where what you read comes from. Watch on Flipboard.Video. They also talk federated social media in terms of Mastodon and Fediverse and about the “formative time” we’re currently in. I’ve pulled out some quotes to whet your appetite:

On the resurgence of blogging:

…something I’ve tried to argue for a long time is I have this strongly held belief that everyone is a blogger. I feel like the word blogger has become an insult over time where it’s like, Oh, you’re just a blogger. You’re not a real writer. Twitter. It’s like, now people want to be substackers. I’m like, But you’re just a blogger. That’s what blogging is. I think that’s great. I think everyone should be a blogger. If that means that you’re writing to your own web page or you’re publishing a sub stack or you’re just tweeting, any writing on the web, I think, is essentially blogging, and I think that’s great. I think blogging is a really healthy activity for people, and it’s something I think everyone should have a blog. This is my little blogging soapbox.


POSSE is an acronym for Post on Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere. There are slight variations to it sometimes, but that’s the general gist of it. The idea is that instead of writing your material on Twitter and just having it live in this walled garden that is Twitter, you first write that content in a place that you control–a website that you fully operate yourself and have total control over, and then you syndicate that post to anywhere else you might normally want to have your content. And so for me, it’s Twitter, Mastodon, and Blue Sky, but you could hook something up with just about any other software you wanted to. And it’s a model I’ve adopted recently after admiring it for a really long time. I just didn’t have the time to do it. But it’s something that’s come in really useful, as I mentioned earlier, with the whole proliferation of social networks. I actively use at least three social networks, some more that I use with personal friends and things like that. It became overwhelming to write something on one network and then manually cross-post it to the other ones or decide if I wanted to or not.

And she talks about how that works for her own writing:

Now I can just write it on my site, click a button, and it goes out to wherever I like to post my ideas. I still have the main copy of it on my website so that if Twitter goes up in a ball of flames like it seems likely to do, I don’t lose the things that I wrote when I was publishing there. It’s something that I’ve really enjoyed building out. It also allows me to build out the features that I wish those sites had, which has been really enjoyable as well.

And on the challenges of getting that capability into the hands of “regular people”:

I think there are a lot of indie web projects that are trying to do things like this. I’ve seen people developing plugins that will post your WordPress blog to the Fediverse or something like that. It’s pretty straightforward to just download the plugin and write your WordPress blog, which is also meant for people who are not super technical. I think that there is some acknowledgement among the people who are developing software for these types of projects that it isn’t user friendly these days. I think that alone is progress. I saw a blog post recently that was like, as soon as you’re telling someone to type in npm install, you’ve gone too far. That is just not the level that we’re looking for here. I thought that was really accurate. It’s like, okay, we realized that this is asking a lot of people. But yeah, I mean, I think Blue Sky is a really interesting example of trying to straddle the line between federation and this very open protocol, but also make it a little bit like Twitter, so that it’s recognizable to people who’ve used Twitter for 10 years. If you just want to sign up, you can use @bsky, you can just log in and it looks pretty similar, and you can follow people.

See: Entering a New Phase of the Web, with Citation Needed’s Molly White (post)
Entering a New Phase of the Web, with Citation Needed’s Molly White (video)

five comments so far...

Super cool! I’m definitely encouraged to see places like WordPress getting in on the Fediverse, and I hope we also see some more ways of accessing IndieWeb tools without having to type any code/terminal commands

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