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Homebrew Website Club Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 1

(ttk.me b/4TH1) using BBEdit

Edited by Tantek Çelik,

Are you building your own website? Indie reader? Personal publishing web app? Or some other digital magic-cloud proxy?

If so, you might like to come to a gathering of people with likeminded interests. Exchange information, swap ideas, talk shop, help work on a project, whatever...

This announcement, accompanying blog post, and event note brought nine of us together on short notice in the 7th floor main meeting area at Mozilla's San Francisco office.

Homebrew Website Club members discuss what they want on their own websites

After brief introductions we went around the room in a "broadcast" phase. Everyone introduced themselves and what personal website successes and challenges they were experiencing. All already had a personal website of some sort, yet also expressed a yearning for something more. Opinions and passion were generally dominated by user-centered perspectives, about giving users (especially themselves) control over their own content/narrative, and focusing on user experience first.

Four in the group actively post content on their own site (typically in a "blog" format), and three more on secondary domains, Blogspot, or Tumblr. Two in the group already had personal website tweeting up and running using the POSSE method (Publish on your Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere). And one had an ownCloud setup working with an SSL certificate.

Homebrew Website Club members take a moment to smile for the camera.

We got into a short dispute over whether to focus on public or private content first until it was pointed out that public first is simpler and can inform private content design. There was a PESOS vs. POSSE debate, especially for quantified self / fitness data. Many in the group conveyed a general lamenting of the lack of support for Activity Streams in services and devices, until one participant noted he'd built a proxy that turns interactions from Facebook, Twitter, G+ (e.g. comments, likes) into Activity Streams.

Frustrations were shared about services that show promise yet have odd awkwardnesses like Path and Mint. On the open source side, concerns were raised about monoculture and especially the open source community default culture of assuming one codebase to rule them all.

There was much praise for the ease of use, beauty, and customization of Tumblr, especially as a good bar to compare efforts to build personal websites and provide user interfaces for future indieweb onboarding experienes. Despite their beauty or convenience, there was a sense that Tumblr, Blogger, and other content hosting silos will all rot.

We split up into small groups as part of the "peer-to-peer" part of the meeting.

Kevin Marks did an excellent job of live tweeting a lot of the conversation and posted a summary on his site while at the meeting!

At 20:00 we closed the meeting and announced that the next meeting would be in two weeks:

NEXT MEETING

WEDNESDAY, , at Mozilla's First Floor Common Area, Embarcadero & Harrison, San Francisco, CA.

Are you building your own website? Indie reader? Personal publishing web app? Or some other digital magic-cloud proxy? If so, come on by and join a gathering of people with likeminded interests. Bring your friends that want to start a personal web site. Exchange information, swap ideas, talk shop, help work on a project, whatever...

This newsletter is placed into the public domain with a CC0 dedication.

(with apologies to Homebrew Computer Club Newsletter number one )