IndieWeb and WebSub

This is another interesting project from the group at

You can now subscribe to realtime updates of IndieNews feeds via WebSub! (formerly known as PubSubHubbub)

While the project appears to be fascinating, it's also another overly technical concept for the masses who prefer to use silos.

The IndieWeb got going around 2010. Some ideas are based upon old concepts that are tweaked and enhanced. And the IndieWeb has created new ideas too.

The IndieWeb is taking a long, slow approach. More people are joining the IndieWeb movement each year. It will take time for the features to exist in the background that can be used easily or maybe unknowingly by the non-technical users. The IndieWeb geeks have to work through the features first.

My favorite new or enhanced addition to the IndieWeb is the WebMention, which is similar to the old pingback and trackback functions .

I considered using the IndieWeb's MicroPub protocol or spec in my Tanager JavaScript editor, but after studying MicroPub, I considered the spec to be unnecessary for my needs. I may revisit it. It does more than I require.

MicroFormats are interesting too. The IndieWeb didn't create MicroFormats. The IndieWeb makes heavy-use of MicroFormats, and the group has enhanced the tag set.

I use some MicroFormats in my Junco and Wren web publishing apps and maybe in my other apps too. I don't remember.

Wren is a static site generator or SSG. Wren is my latest web publishing app, and I want it to use the most IndieWeb concepts.

Indieweb supports a wide variety of post types, such as articles, notes, RSVPs, images, bookmarks, quotes, and on and on and on. For Wren, I support posts or simply content, and that content can be anything.

My other web pub apps supported a difference between articles and notes. Notes don't have titles. That's the main difference. The difference is stored in the MySql or CouchDB (NoSQL) databases, which permits different display options.

In my web publishing apps, my create and update content forms have always been simple. I reduce the HTML form junk to hardly anything, mainly a textarea box, a preview button, and a post button. My stream pages (doesn't exist in Wren) contain only a small textarea box and a post button.

Many IndieWeb users have created their own web publishing apps, since some are programmers. I've seen screenshots of their apps, and their HTML pages for creating new content are rather cluttered with many options.

And that's understandable, since their apps can automatically syndicate to silos, and their apps support the numerous content types. This requires drop-down menus, radio buttons, checkboxes, text input fields, etc. I don't use a text input field for the title. My code pulls the title, if it exists, from the first line of the post.

The IndieWeb users enjoy using social media apps, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. They don't focus only on their own personal sites. They want the interactions with social media.

In the summer of 2016, I deactivated my Facebook account because I didn't use it anymore. I created my Facebook account in September 2006 when Facebook opened up to everyone. When I worked at the Black Swamp Bird Observatory for 4.5 years, I used my Facebook account to manage one of the org's Facebook pages. But when I left the BSBO, I rarely logged into Facebook.

I don't post to Twitter. I have a couple Twitter accounts that I have used for testing over the years, but it's rare if I log into Twitter. I occasionally access the Twitter feeds of orgs and individuals. No apps. I use the web browser to read Twitter, and Twitter's UI/UX is terrible, in my opinion.

I used to post to Instagram. I liked that service. I used it like a journal or photo blog with short text posts. And I used Instagram as a photo storage place to permit me to embed photos in my blog posts, although that's not the intention of Instagram. I went back to using Flickr for image storage.

For discussions or interactions with others, I have my own message board,, for that, which has existed since January 2003. But I don't syndicate or interact with from my other web publishing apps.

For the past few years, however, I have been saving my comments and thread-starter posts to one of my other websites. That's the lo-fi, manual way of owning content. Sometimes, I create the Toledo Talk post here or at JotHut and then post it to Toledo Talk.

I first learned about the IndieWeb in the summer of 2013, and that fall, I added WebMention support to my Junco web pub app that I created in 2013. I use Junco to power JotHut. Recently, I added WebMention support to Wren. I support receiving WebMentions. I don't have Wren set to automatically send WebMentions.

I consider the IndieWeb to be the best advocacy for personal publishing while still interacting with social media. The people who have supported the IndieWeb since early this decade have made excellent contributions to creating an alternative web that also improves the web.

The IndieWeb recommends a set of validation tests that inform personal web publishers how much their sites support IndieWeb ideas. The more concepts supported, the higher the level or ranking.

Independent web publishing means a person can support all, few, or no IndieWeb ideas. The IndieWeb is not strongly opinionated. It's not a club that rejects users. They collaborate on ideas, and then they define them. People can choose which ideas to support.

A person can support no IndieWeb concepts, and the site can still be independent, obviously. I support the IndieWeb ideas that I find useful to me. I won't support all of the concepts in my Wren app because it can either bloat my code, or the ideas are unnecessary for my web usage.

I still support Indieweb concepts even if I don't use them myself. In the future, I might change my mind about an issue, or I might have a project that could be aided by an Indieweb idea.

The best idea produced by the IndieWeb is the idea of owning content. The IndieWeb encourages people to post on their own domains first and then syndicate elsewhere, and nobody needs to support WebMentions and MicroFormats to accomplish content-owning.

The IndieWeb is a global community of hackers, tinkerers, and makers that are creating communication protocols, libraries, and software to power a decentralized social web. The IndieWeb [focuses] heavily on “dogfooding” or using these experimental new technologies in [their] daily web activity.


In May-June 2017, I added more IndieWeb features to my Wren code. My Wren code does the following:

July 2018

HN discussion

"WebSub: Open protocol for distributed pub–sub communication on the internet"