Human protocols

In reply to Tracy Durnell’s post “IndieWeb interactions: what builds connection?

Perhaps it’s the human rather than technical protocols that will drive digital biodiversity on the IndieWeb. Blog carnivals are a fabulous example – I entered my first one earlier this month. And put my name down to host one next year.

No special tech required. A simple, creative process that gave me a feeling of participation, allowed me to discover new blogs to follow in my RSS and built a small email connection with the host.

Starting a post on your own website with “In reply to” is also a human protocol. Yes, there might be a techie thing called webmentions underneath, but that’s neither mandatory nor important.

This protocol enables the readers of your blog to discover and connect with others. It also reinforces that posts don’t have to project themselves as individual opinion silos. It’s perfectly normal, and human, to build viewpoints from foundations laid by others.

(A slight digression – as I write, it occurs that there’s a big difference between a reply and a reference. This post is clearly in reply to the one made by Tracy who I’ve never connected with, and who may never read this. But I have also referenced, through a link on my “digital biodiversity” phrase, a really important recent article on Noema. The ideas in that article are central also building connection on the IndieWeb.)

Another example of an IndieWeb human protocol is the inclusion of a blog roll on your site. We are actively encouraging our readers to click away from our work. We do it, not because we expect reciprocity, but because we know that it creates a robust and stronger digital ecosystem that is more resilient against the crushing monoculture of big tech platforms.

In summary, the IndieWeb will thrive because of the human protocols we develop by using it. We don’t need a central standards body to define those protocols. Instead, we will refine them through continuous conversations with ourselves.

Read more on this topic . . .