Related: this is a really fun listen from Doug Belshaw. He discusses IndieWeb and the issues he sees with it.

Doug has a preference for the Fediverse as an approach to an open web, and says the political philosophy of the IndieWeb is a type of right-libertarianism, because it lacks social equality, and without that it is just a focus on individual freedom.

My gut response is that I disagree of course. But it's a great jumping off point for some thought/reflection...

@neil I'll give this a listen, but I don't see how someone could say the fediverse is an appropriate approach to an open web but not the indieweb. Hopefully, after I listen, I'll have some specific rebuttals, but I'm with you on the gut response.

@neil I just listened and I agree with most of the points in Greg McVerry’s response. I don’t think scale is necessarily the goal.

Also, I find it a bit unfair to compare Mastodon (built on the ActivityPub protocol) to emerging standards built by hobbyists and say it has more scale. It’s farther along because it has a standard already. The indieweb is still in a more nascent stage. But even this early in its development, there are platforms, such as WordPress, Known, and, that can be the same type of gateway to the indieweb that mastodon is to the fediverse, without requiring system administration or technical knowledge.

Lastly, I think Doug’s criticism missed all of the benefits that the indieweb has over the fediverse. The indieweb is built on top of the web and having multiple, smaller standards means existing sites can build those features in. Webmentions and microformats have gotten adoption outside of the IndieWeb proper. I doubt we’ll see many existing sites build AP support and actually join the fediverse,


Love Greg's response too (cc @jgmac1106 @dajbelshaw - thanks for both these microcasts!)

Agree scale is a loaded term, but I do think mass liberation should be a goal - enabling people to move in significant numbers to more positive social media experiences. A glacial 'one domain at a time' doesn't cut it when the big platforms and their patronage are feeding various existential threats.

@0x1C3B00DA @jgmac1106 @dajbelshaw

Disagree about ActivityPub having a head-start, or IW being hobbyist - both standards developed at the same time through the same working group I thought (and were almost the same thing!

@0x1C3B00DA @jgmac1106 @dajbelshaw

Regardless I see IndieWeb and Fediverse as complementary parts of the open web, not an either/or that are competing in some land grab for the 'alternative' space. I see little difference at a macro level. Both you can self-host and own your data, both you can be part of a shared instance. Just different plumbing.

@0x1C3B00DA @jgmac1106 @dajbelshaw

Also discussing tactics is obviously important, but also we don't want to be Marxists and anarchists ragging on each other about the finer points of revolution while fascists crush us both...

@neil i've been thinking about this a bit lately. i don't think there's anything inherently rightwing about indieweb-type of approaches to things. i _do_ think that the indieweb stuff is essentially a hobbyist approach to a civilization-scale problem.

there's nothing wrong with hobbyist approaches. a healthy civilization needs them. they just aren't usually set up to address systemic failures and massive power imbalances...

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