Thanks very much for taking the time to give your take on the IndieWeb. It was both interesting and valuable. There are a few rabbit holes to dive down. I’ve not read much Anarchism since Kropotkin and that a long time ago.
After leaving this reply for a fair time and a couple of listens my response is still a disconnected series of ramblings. Not arguing against anything you said but bouncing off some corners.
My own interest in the IndieWeb came from being a blogger who was saddened by the lack of commenting on sites after twitter. The comments that used to live on in a blog were now scattered to twitter.
Rather than read up on the principals or figure out how things worked I just loaded up a few plugins and clicked things. As you say the IndieWeb is not made for folk who do not enjoy digging into the tech a wee bit. I am testament to the fact that some of the technology can be used in a fairly careless fashion.
This toe dipping bumbled along for a few years until Micro.Blog appeared. Using micro.blog cost nothing for someone like me with a blog to join in. It took me a while to get my head round Micro.Blog. Partially it is an RSS reader that you can use to interact with your own and other folks sites.
Manton, who is behind micro.blog has explained that he doesn’t want the service to scale to twitter size, but more sees it as a model for how communities of independent bloggers can work. That is the way I see it, I would love to see an educational ‘micro.blog’ a place where I could follow other bloggers and what would ease some of the friction, but not too much, of blogging and responding.
The other thing that micro.blog solves is the ‘like’ and ‘follower count’ problem.
If I like something on micro.blog it is more like a private bookmark, the liked person doesn’t know I’ve liked them. I need to write a reply. Now I am quite shallow, I like getting likes, that is why I still manually posse my photos to instagram. I can however see and feel the benefits. In fact I find myself, 1. spending less time on instagram and 2. when I am there writing comments. The community conversations on micro.blog are slower and richer than on twitter in my experience.
Just as I don’t know who reads my blog I don’t know who follows me on micro.blog. This is interesting. Quite a few big name bloggers signed up for micro.blog I don’t seem many of them being very active or even posting. I suspect lack of follower numbers and knowledge of who is following you make it hard to use micro.blog for more commercial bloggers. I’ve not got anything against commercial bloggers but I want to be in a community that the conversations are two way.
Back to the IndieWeb
You used in your micro.cast to the idea of the complexity of IndieWeb as turtles all the way down (I am paraphrasing). This idea is much in my mind about technology in general. Even my best attempts to ‘own my data and technology’ relies on so many layers of thing I cannot fix. I can host a website on my Raspberry Pi, but that depends on hardware and software. Even it if that was all open source is far beyond my understanding. So to the complexity of the IndieWeb. I am not sure if mastodon has any less turtles than the IndieWeb. Micro.blog certainly show the way to simplicity.
I’ve found the IndieWeb to be tricky, bits don’t work for me, or need twiddling, or more time and knowledge than I have. I see it as an add on from the activity of blogging, which I’ll do anyway. It is not in opposition to mastodon or federation, but for me is just a few more cogs and pipes. If the IndieWeb breaks or goes away my blog will still be there. If twitter explodes the replies to my blog posts will still be in my database.
So I an a blogger first and see other things as an add-on to my blog. I understand the need for a less commercial and algorithmic network with a low technical entry barrier.
Mastodon has not yet clicked for me, I did for a short time have my posts syndicating there, but I’ve broken that somehow;-) It might yet. Other things might come along, I continue to keep half an eye on Moodle net.