Giving Up on IndieWeb

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Mood: very ranty!

While I love the IndieWeb concept and the general ideas behind it, the current set of implementations are so complex, so mind-blowingly difficult to implement that I am making a self-care decision and deleting almost all of it from my computer and sites. There is a reason that the handful of people who actually care and talk about this stuff have careers in programming. At this point, that is what is required to get this up and running.

What this means is that a decent level of implementation and adoption is still years away. Yes, I've read how the W3C is about to officially 'recommend' it, and how there is a WordPress plugin for it. Still, just spend some time with Google and read some sites. It's a god-damned ghost town out there.

The only way this is going to gain any sort of widespread momentum is for it to become baked in to other services. Core, not plugins. If it takes an extra effort, or a lot of command-line typing, people just aren't going to do it, and the adoption levels will remain close to where they are now, almost zero.

After the initial spurt of activity surrounding IndieWeb as a concept, there was a brief flurry of activity. Almost every solution I looked into shows this same pattern. Since 2014 a few plugins were built for the Kirby CMS. Known started up. An IndieWeb plugin was created for WordPress. So how is the adoption rate for these things?

  • WordPress IndieWeb plugin - 3 years, 300 installs
  • Known - no longer catering to individual bloggers - targeting education market
  • Kirby plugins - I installed both micropub and webmentions - as far as I can tell, neither work as expected.
  • Brid.gy - almost 4000 accounts in six years, but no idea how many are active and connected to a real blog

And that's about it. That is as much traction as this concept has been able to get. A few scattered developers have worked on bits and pieces of it in their spare time and have implemented it for their own sites, but it's still all small disjointed strings of code floating around, waiting for you to lovingly hand-code into your own html.

So I'm calling it. No more indieweb implementations for me. I'll still have my own blog, and it will still be closely tied to my 'silo' identities around the web, but I'm not going to waste any more time trying to get micropub or webmention code to work. Maybe someday someone will get this packaged in a more user-friendly way. Until then, I'm just going to blog and share and interact when and where I am able.

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