IndieWeb: it’s about first ownership

Last Saturday I briefly visited Indie Webcamp in Amsterdam. I was able to join a discussion on how to POSSE your photos to Flickr. I had no idea what that meant, as I’m not immersed in IndieWeb lingo, but it was clear to me that I could learn something, as a long term Flickr member.

The main question we started with was if it would be technically possible to publish your photos on your own domain and then automatically send them to Flickr. The discussion ended with the conclusion that it would be very difficult to emulate the beautiful interface Flickr comes with for presenting your photos, in albums and including all metadata. And no-one present knew how to POSSE your photos to Flickr.

One thing kept me thinking over the weekend though. When asked, nobody present at the table was having any objection to uploading photos to Flickr. There was an ironic laugh at that, because this was a group that was actively promoting individual ownership of ones online data.

But when I think of it, it’s not such a weird conclusion after all. The idea behind IndieWeb:

your content stays yours and in your control.

Uploading your photos to Flickr, to share them with friends and family (and the general public) is mainly for its convenience: it is a better presentation of your photos and saves anyone from the burden of downloading many gigabytes of (unwanted) data. However, the photos you upload are a copy. While uploading them to a different server owned by Flickr, you still own them. You have them stored somewhere on a location you own and have exclusive access to.

When it comes to posting to Facebook or Twitter, you play a different game. You write and post it on their servers, therefore those companies own your data, not you. A photo (or video for that matter) is a special kind of data. Its file size creates limitations to its distribution, but no matter where it’s uploaded, it is always owned by its creator first. Status updates on any platform are owned by the company first and can only be copied to the creator. That is why I think it’s important to use IndieWeb: if you publish updates on your own site and then POSSE them to the big silos (where your friends still hang out), you own your updates first, just like you own your photos.

Door |2019-09-30T12:24:31+02:0030 september 2019|flow|7 Reacties

Crafting {:} a Blog

With so many old school bloggers in the room, discussions about blogging were imminent during Crafting {:} a Life. Some never stopped blogging, but were lonely writers for a long time, such as Peter. Others have moved their writing to the corporate silo of Facebook, and then there are people who refound their joy of blogging, such as Ton and me.

I’m glad the event created a space to not only reminisce, but also project a path forwards. Reconnecting to the lost trade of distributed conversations shared publicly, using indie web technology. The discussions even resulted in Rosie setting up a blog.

One of the things that I heard myself saying during one of the sessions was to lower your expectations for sharing online. I noticed during my own FB detox that I got so used to the social media metrics of scoring views, likes and comments, that letting go of them felt like social abandonment. Now that I’ve cleansed this from my system I’m all the more focused on the few connections that matter. I’ve stopped measuring traffic and will only know if you read this when you leave a comment (or web mention). Apparently most of the bloggers in the room did the same thing, acknowledging how much of a relief that was.

Peter never stopped writing because he wanted to document his thoughts, mainly for his son so when he grew older, he could read back about the first years of his life. So his intended audience was one. The most valuable one. If I look back on Peter’s blog, that audience of one resulted in developing a very unique style. Only Peter can write like Peter about Peter’s life. That is the reason why it’s so much fun to read his blog.

For me blogging has always been about thinking out loud, because only when I try to formulate my ideas, I actually know what I’m thinking. Often, while typing, I see fallacies in my own thoughts. There are numerous thoughts that I erased and never published, because they were not holding up once out of my head. So my audience of one is me, but I do like that my actual audience is slightly bigger. The fact that Peter comments every now and then, reveals him as my most loyal reader. And I do hope that my writing is of the authentic quality as Peter’s is.

Door |2019-06-12T16:06:01+02:0012 juni 2019|flow|4 Reacties
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