Giving Up On IndieWeb

Status:

(Further update:  webmentions are working!!!)

(UPDATE: It’s now been a year since I first posted this. Just today I discovered a year-old blog post which mentioned this one, and an ensuing discussion. Of course I knew nothing of this because – well, I couldn’t get webmentions to work! I have moved this blog to a new platform, and they have a webmentions plugin, so I’m going to link to/reply to the post in question and see if maybe, just maybe, this will work now?)

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.

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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.

6 Replies to “Giving Up On IndieWeb

  1. I have a feeling I saw this same post on a Grav-powered site, and would have responded from my own Grav site to the effect that it is not easy to get indieweb going with Grav, unless you are more adept than I am, but it is possible. Now, here you are on WordPress. So, not sure what is going on. But hey, each to their own.

    And I will PESOS this comment back to my own site just to confuse matters further.

    1. Well, up until a few days ago, this site *was* on Grav. I did manage to get basic outgoing webmentions working, but I had no way of having any reply show up on my site, and definitely no way of replying back to it. So thank you very much for your reply, but the only reason I can see it is because I converted the site to WordPress and set up all the IndieWeb plugins. As much as I like the *idea* of hacking away at PHP, IndieWeb is fairly complex if you don’t code for a living.

  2. I have a feeling I saw this same post on a Grav-powered site, and would have responded from my own Grav site to the effect that it is not easy to get indieweb going with Grav, unless you are more adept than I am, but it is possible. Now, here you are on WordPress. So, not sure what is going on. But hey, each to their own.

    And I will PESOS this comment back to my own site just to confuse matters further.

  3. I’m glad you ultimately didn’t “give up” but yet managed to get things sorted out to work the way you wanted them to. And with a few days to spare before your post made it to its one year anniversary!

    Of course things are still rapidly evolving and the barriers to entry are becoming lower every day…

    1. Yeah, also – I feel like I was a bit caustic in this original post. I’m glad to see the momentum is building and services are popping up everywhere. But mostly I’m glad that I was able to get things up and running without having to hack a bunch of PHP files. LOL

      Thanks for the reply!

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  • Chris Aldrich

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