The IndieWeb Movement: Owning Your Data and Being the Change You Want to See in the Web

Jamie Tanna (

The IndieWeb Movement: Owning Your Data and Being the Change You Want to See in the Web

Jamie Tanna (



  • What is the IndieWeb?
  • What is the indieweb?
  • Principles
  • Building Blocks + Ecosystem
  • Getting Started

Screenshot of title slide

🚨 Audience Participation 🚨

  • βœ‹ if you post content on Twitter/Medium/
  • βœ‹ if you have a personal website
  • βœ‹ if you post content on your personal website
  • βœ‹ if you've heard about the IndieWeb before / know what it's about

Why are you here?

We strive for Free and Open Source software in the world, on mobile, desktop and server. But what about the Web? The IndieWeb is all about taking control, owning your data, and scratching your itches through Open Source and Standards. We're working to take back the Web, and you can, too.

What is the IndieWeb?

IndieWeb vs indieweb

Via (emphasis mine):

  • Have a website;
  • Own your URL;
  • Make it available.

Those three steps are what you need to do in order to be part of the independent, or indie, web. But that's lowercase i, lowercase w. The IndieWeb – check that casing – is a bit more specific than that. The IndieWeb is an attempt at moving behaviours and functionality away from large, corporately-owned online communities (what people involved in the IndieWeb refer to as "silos") and onto independent websites. Specifically, the IndieWeb is focused on online social behaviour.

As a toolkit


Maybe you're trying to create a consistent experience across different digital channels, so that if someone likes a Tweet about your article then that "like" shows up when on the article? Sounds like you need to implement backfeed

Or maybe you want an easy way for people to comment on a page without needing to sign in? Webmentions will probably help you out

Looking for a way to consume RSS that feels a bit more like a two-way conversation? Check out social readers

Want to easily publish ideas directly from your phone to your website? Micropub might be what you're after


  • Own your identity
  • Own your data
  • On your site first
  • On your own infrastructure?

Break free from silos

  • "Open"
  • ownership of data


Writing on your own website associates your thoughts and ideas with you as a person. Having a distinct website design helps strengthen that association. Writing for another publication you get a little circular avatar at the beginning of the post and a brief bio at the end of the post, and that’s about it. People will remember the publication, but probably not your name.

Shouldn't you get a choice of what to do with your content?

πŸ’° πŸ‘€

Be Your Own Platform

  • guidelines
  • revolve it around you!
  • make the changes you want/need
  • support from the community
  • don't just accept the state of play

A Political Statement


Own Your Data

πŸ“† - currently 308 in total!

  • Step count
  • Photos
  • Diet
  • Gaming
  • Listening
  • Watching

Use & Publish Visible Data

  1. human readable
  2. machine readable


Make What You Need / Scratch Your Itch

Solve your problems, not someone else's

Scratch Your Itch!

Homebrew Website Club Nottingham - "when is it again"?


Use what you make / Dogfood

Document Stuff

<img class="fragment" style="width: 50%; height: 50" src="/indieweb/img/blog-about-it.png" alt=""That's so interesting. I shall go write about it in my blog"" />

  • Let others know you've done it
  • Help/motivate someone else
  • Learn by documenting/teaching
  • πŸ¦†

Share under Free/Open Source Licenses

UX/Design is better than technical specifications


"platform agnostic platform"

"small pieces loosely joined"




Don't force others to move

Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere (POSSE)

Building Blocks







Web Actions

Reply Context

Indie Ecosystem


<div class="h-entry">
  <span class="p-author h-card">
    <a class="u-url" href="">
      <img class="u-photo"
        src="" alt=""/>
      Jamie Tanna
  RSVP <span class="p-rsvp">yes</span>
  to <a href=""
    class="u-in-reply-to">IndieWebCamp Amsterdam</a>
Jamie Tanna : RSVP yes to IndieWebCamp Amsterdam






Won't it just go the way of RSS?


POST /webmention-endpoint HTTP/1.1
Host: aaronpk.example
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded


  • backfeed
  • syndicate

Web Sign In / IndieAuth

Text box requesting URL of user signing in

Authorization server requesting OAuth2 consent for new sign-in

HTTP/2 200
server: nginx/1.14.0
content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
cache-control: no-cache
link: <>;
link: <>;
link: <>;
link: <>; rel="self"
date: Wed, 04 Sep 2019 17:44:15 GMT
strict-transport-security: max-age=2592000
x-no-cache: 1
x-cache: BYPASS
<link rel="authorization_endpoint"
  href="" />
<link rel="token_endpoint"
  href="" />

Rel-Me Auth

<a rel="me" href="">
  <i class="fa fa-gitlab" title=" Profile"></i>


  • indieweb - have a website on a URL
  • IndieWeb - more political, replace silos with Open, Social, platforms
  • Existing tooling, standards, and open discussion to support new ways of doing everything

Getting Started