Another interesting contrast¹ in the #IndieWeb community is that most of us have both:
* a domain name² — for posting our content, replies, likes etc.
* a chat-name³ — for chatting in our discussion channels

Ideally, we would have a discussion system that “just” used our domain names as identities (IndieAuth for Web sign-in) to chat with each other, but no such system exists (yet).

No we’re not going to all setup XMPP servers on our domains and attempt to hook them all up. Nearly no one wants to pay that admintax. Nor would XMPP let us “just” use our domain names. Like email, XMPP requires a separate “username”. Sure we could fake it like Bridgy Fed does for us with 'domain @ domain', but why would we work harder for a worse UX?

So instead of making things more complex than domains, we took the opposite approach, and based our chat on IRC, and our chat-names on plain nicknames.

Using a chat system like IRC lowered the barrier to participation in the IndieWeb community, so you could for example, ask about how to pick a domain name² instead of being stuck in an actual catch-22¹ of needing a domain name just to ask about a domain name.

By putting our chat archives on the web, we were able to reduce our chat system requirements, provide a simple minimal web app for brief chats, and bridge our IRC channels with multiple other chat systems, like Slack, Matrix, and even Discord. This has the significant advantage of much greater chat client choice for community members.

However, we did realize that our statements in the chat archives could be more closely tied to our domain identities, including our personal icons¹⁰. Rather than a complex system or new protocol, we just put our flat list of nicknames in templates with images & domains on the wiki¹¹.

Thus our chat archives, despite being based on IRC, show icons for people, and link their chat nicknames to their personal domain names, again striking a pragmatic balance.¹

The flexibility of using a wiki template allowed us to add personal time zones as well, to enable things like asking in chat, “what time is it for tantek”. This works well enough, except does not account for cross-time-zone travel, though you could update your chat-name entry if you wanted to while traveling.

Having all our chat-names in a single list¹¹ on a page like that revealed another interesting aspect: we have folks across all the timezones in the US & Europe, some in the Middle East, Australia, and most of Asia as well.

As a result, the IndieWeb chat channels have people awake and often discussing various topics 24 hours a day.

Drop by and say hi, and be sure to have a look at our Code of Conduct.¹²

This is day 24 of #100DaysOfIndieWeb #100Days

← Day 23: https://tantek.com/2023/027/t4/five-years-websub
→ Day 25: https://tantek.com/2023/029/t1/indieweb-beyond-blogging

¹ https://tantek.com/2023/026/t1/indieweb-priorities-balance
² https://tantek.com/2023/004/t1/choosing-domain-name-indieweb
³ https://indieweb.org/chat-names
¹⁰ https://indieweb.org/icon
¹¹ https://indieweb.org/chat-names#Nicknames
¹² https://indieweb.org/code-of-conduct

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