Repositioning the IndieWeb in 2021

In the midst of a re-write of how my site works and in passing conversation in the IndieWeb chat, I think about how to 'show' the IndieWeb as something people can invest in versus a collection of things that people have to implement - potentially from scratch if you're not using languages like PHP, JavaScript or Python. I built a small static site to not only do a bit of a facelift but to also highlight more on what the IndieWeb is aiming to convey to people.

The capture above from the site gives immediate call to actions for people who might fall under a particular interest or action - sharing, connecting and distributing (or posting). I think this is more effective and provides a way to demonstrate each of these 'pillars'. Of course, I didn't make these things up - they're based on the three things listed on the current homepage but re-positioned so your eye can travel to the image, action and then the text. Ideally, this kind of pattern can allow for people to have a reference point to what pulls them in to the IndieWeb (especially if they didn't have a point of reference before).

In a time where the need for people to own their own presence (and feeds, content, etc) online - we have to push the needle on how we're presenting ourselves so we can also feel more comfortable dropping links to parts of the site for people to learn more about. The Wiki is a powerful resource but it seems to fall into the (recently solved) case of the 'multiple-audience, one-platform' content well. It was dense and not terribly easy to follow. Now, with both the separation of content audiences (and the redesign), one can hop between either 'portal' and have points addressed in a specific context. We currently do that with 'brainstorming' for developers or thinking on ideas of how to extend things and with 'examples' to demonstrate how things have been implemented by people (thought this is very prone to link rot - that's discouraged me from working on some solutions).

What exactly am I asking for? It's not necessarily a completely separate site for the IndieWeb that can be used as a portal (or not only that). It'd be to first determine what are some entry-level things that people can do that makes them "IndieWeb" (renting a domain, using Microformats on their site, setting up rel=me to work with other IndieWeb services) and showcasing that on their own page in a manner that's solely meant to explain what it is, how it works (briefly) and then have at most 3 to 5 links to people and/or services that can help you see how this works in the wild. If you wanted to learn how to make a post, I tend to go to /posts, click on "How", get directed to /h-entry, click on "How to Publish" - figure out which of these are applicable and to not click on posts again, click on /note, scroll down a bit and finally be presented a HTML example of how to do this. There's no real way to validate this works without eyeballing it since there's no explicit testing tool that's mentioned but more seasoned members of the space (be it a developer or someone who's been on the space for some time) would have a few ideas. We need to not assume it's us reading these documents - especially when it comes to "How To" sections - and rework how "easy" it is to get started from scratch.

We have (or really need) tooling to keep those references fresh as well. Comparing how we present ourselves in our Wiki versus other communities (even when it comes to alternative social interaction platforms) is important not only for the health of the community but to also insure we can fulfill the notion of being inclusive and approachable to people. I'm hoping this post can serve as a small spark of discussion (and effort) from the community to spend some time less on ourselves and more towards communal building of these resources for people.