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Owl logo Keith J. Grant's Hello, World Wide IndieWeb!

Noob question time! I have installed the 2016 indieweb fork and the 2016 child theme, and activated the latter. But I notice from my themes page that the default 2016 theme is also installed. How can I tell which parent theme the child theme is using, so I can be sure it's using the indieweb one?

Khürt Williams's IndieWeb on WordPress

Why I've migrated my mail, calendar and contacts to Fastmail

5 min read

Up until this weekend my mail, calendar and contacts services were a little disparate:

Now I have all three hosted by FastMail

So why was I using those particular services, and why have I now moved away from them?

ProtonMail

I migrated from Gmail to ProtonMail when it was still in beta. As part of the IndieWeb journey I've been on since 2014 I've been trying to move away from silos and big data as much as is practicable.

I supported the concept of what ProtonMail were doing (and still do), particularly the privacy ethos and the ad / tracking free nature of their offering. From a geek perspective I liked the tech behind the way they secure email at rest and (claim to) never be able to access your emails, though as email is inherently insecure that isn't what tipped it for me.

Moving away from Gmail meant the 'trinity' of email, calendar and contacts being all on the same service was broken. But the change seemed to be low-friction for me, and anyway at that time I was planning to keep calendar and contacts with Google until such time as ProtonMail supported all three (spoiler alert: at the time of writing their contacts support is better but still no calendar)

I did have a few niggles with ProtonMail:

  1. Contacts support was poor. At that time it was just name + a single email address per contact (e.g. two separate contacts for one person if they had a personal and work email!), and so I had ended up retaining my main contacts list in Gmail and having a duplicate contact list of emails in ProtonMail. This was a real pain to keep in sync.
  2. Price / value. I don't mind paying for a service, but having two domains and needing about 15-20 email aliases pushed the price up a bit and I was soon at the limit I felt was value for money. I did feel that paying around US$90 ought to have led to a bit more genorosity. (Everyone has different limits of course.)
  3. No calendar support.

Google Calendar

Like any well-honed silo, the water is warm at Google and so it was with their Calendar. It just works, and the UI is a dream. It had all the functionality and connectivity I wanted, so from that perspective there was no incentive to change (which is why most people won't, of course). It's what sits behind it all that is the worry for the community: 'you are the product' and all that!

Moving email away did lead to some friction, as I could no longer directly accept Gmail calendar invites sent to my non-Gmail main email address. Instead I had to either ask people to send invites to my Gmail address (defeating the purpose of moving email away), or do an export of the invite to an *.ics file and then import it into Google Calendar.

Nextcloud Contacts

My IndieWeb user page tells me that I migrated my contacts to OwnCloud in January 2017 (and then to NextCloud in June).

The main reason I did this was because contacts support in ProtonMail was poor (see above).

OwnCloud/Nextcloud has a contacts app with CardDav support, and so I was able to use that to migrate contacts away from Google and so scratch off one of my itches. But it didn't solve the 'two contact lists' issue, which I kicked down the path for another day!

I have been happy with this service, and it was only my need to re-unify email, calendar and contacts that led me to leave.

So why FastMail? Aren't they a silo too?!

I had considered using the NextCloud calendar app instead of Google Calendar, but it was quite slow and not as feature-rich as I wanted. (One showstopper for me was the lack of single-event deletion for repeating events.) So I decided to look for something else that would better meet my overall needs.

Well, yes FastMail is a silo I guess. But I read plenty of reviews about them and pored over their privacy policy, and was satisfied that the trade-off was worth it. They are ad-free too.

At $US50 a year I get all three services I want in one place, with no domain or email alias restrictions. CalDav and CardDav support is built-in so no problems syncing with my mobile devices.

Usability is good: for email and contacts it is better (for me) than ProtonMail / NextCloud respectively.

The changeover was relatively easy to do (the usual tension of waiting for new MX records to propagate across the internet notwithstanding!), and so far I'm happy with my decision.

Early days, though, so let's see how it goes....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interesting read, Jeremy.

Just on the plumbing side of things I'm currently thinking how I want a more comprehensive main page for myself (currently trying out a WordPress instance), whilst having my Known posts show up on the same page. That way I won't have two completely separate streams. I don't have the plumbing skills to do the manual stuff you have, but it's interesting that those of us on the journey are wrestling with similar principles.

Obviously one size will never fit all (or we may as well go back to silos!) but it's certainly useful to see the different sizes on offer!

Great idea, Chris. I can't think of a better person to write this book, as your introduction articles have been comprehensive yet easy to understand - not an easy combination! If there's a crowfunding for it I'm sure many of the IndieWeb community will contribute - I certainly would.

Chris Aldrich's A reply to Aaron Davis on setting up IndieWeb replies in WordPress

Hi, I'm just joined social.coop (having been over on mastodon.social for a few months), and intend this to be my main Mastodon instance. I'm keen on the movement and co-operative principles (my first job leaving school was working for a co-op!). When I saw that like-minded people were already over here I decided to take the plunge myself, so here I am :)

I've written a short blog post with my musings about the from an end-user perspective https://raretrack.uk/2017/indieweb-for-end-users---some-thoughts

Indieweb for end-users - some thoughts

3 min read

I've been mulling over this post by this post by Jeremy Cherfas , my reply and then Chris Aldrich's response asking for views on what the could do better.

My attraction to the IndieWeb has been about owning my data, avoiding silos where possible (i.e. where the friction is tolerable), and federalising content. (You can read a little about my journey on my IndieWeb user page .) I only came across the definitions of IndieWeb Generations the other day, but would label myself as a Gen2 with a little bit of Gen1 thrown in for good measure.

I've had a Known instance since 2014 with varying degrees of success with POSSEing and so on, but to be honest my focus has often been more on the 'own your data' side of things. I've needed to nudge myself to get back on track with Known and stuff.

Whilst I'm a geek I generally feel a fish out of water by the more techical content of the IndieWeb site and the conversations in the IRC chat room . There's probably a few relatively simple things that could be done to improve things, as others replying to the original post have already mentioned (easier onboarding, more user-friendly documentation, more approachable look-and-feel, etc.). Also perhaps an IRC sub-chat room for beginners (or, dare I say, some sort of more modern forum where Q&As can be asked in non-real time?). And whilst I prefer text instructions myself, a lot of people prefer videos so how about some tutorial videos?).

Here's an example from the Gen 2 bit of the Generations page:

 

What if this said something like:

Understand basic concepts of posting content on your site that's also copied elsewhere, replying to posts on others' sites from your own, and using online free tools to make this work seamlessly

(Wording not definitive; just to illustrate how simpler wording could help newer users.)

I'd also like to mention Homebrew Website Clubs. I was really attracted to these when I first knew about the IndieWeb, but have never actually been to one. The impression I got is that they were more for coding and developing than helping end-users to improve their own websites, incorporate blogging, etc. I think I'm wrong (and am very glad to be!), but do we always present an inclusive 'all levels of experience welcome' approach?

None of this is intended to sound ungrateful for what we've got and where we are now - quite the opposite. Without the highly-skilled and commited developers we have, and the shared vision of IndieWeb, we wouldn't have anything to talk about improving (we'd be oblivious in our walled gardens!). I am massively grateful for the work and efforts of the IndiewWeb community, and only want to help us collectively improve and attract others to join.

 

I'm probably an archetypal end-user. Love geeky stuff but I'm not a programmer or a developer. Have used Known for a few years now, and I'm definitely signed up to the whole philosophy. But goodness me, it's hard and silos are always there with their superficially attractive "come over, the water's warm and it all just works" message! Luckily (or perhaps unluckily) I'm quite stubborn so I'm not giving up either, but completely respect why people do.

Getting a WP blog on my site is my next itch, and this will make it much easier to setup. Thanks for going through the pain to reduce the pain for those that follow!

An Introduction to the IndieWeb – AltPlatform

Great article from Chris Aldrich - lots of to-dos for me in there!

Finished upgrading my hosted to @nextclouders instead - looking good so far :)

@ChrisAldrich @WithKnown! Happy 3rd birthday - I joined on September 14th 2014, so 4 days after you Chris :)

Happy anniversary, Chris, you are a continuing inspiration and role model for the and long may it last!

Just installed the Mastodon plugin for by @nxd4n - if you can see this test post on Mastodon it has worked! https://github.com/danito/KnownMastodon

My journey continues: migrated my Google Contacts to - sync to my phone via @davdroidapp :)

Chris, as an end user I've never been able to work out how to do what you've done here - i.e. "like" a post made on another site on your own. I'm sure I'm being a numpty, but any tips on how to do this would be much appreciated!

Wish I remembered to use @withknown to POSSE my tweets , and goodness knows how to PESOS them when I don't!