Is the IndieWeb bar too high?

The site defines the IndieWeb as follows:

It is a community of independent and personal websites connected by open standards and based on the principles of: owning your domain and using it as your primary online identity, publishing on your own site first (optionally elsewhere), and owning your content.

Does this definition mean if you don’t have a domain, or a website, or a digital identity under your control that you are not on the IndieWeb?

Any of those three things is a pretty high bar for most of the population to achieve. If the average digital citizen ever happened to hear the phrase IndieWeb, and went to the website to find out about it, they would probably conclude it’s not for them.

Wouldn’t it be much better to start the bar much lower? You are a valid participant in the IndieWeb if you read a blog. You are a super user in the IndieWeb if you use an RSS reader to read many blogs. If you want to create, as well as consume, then you get a website.

The tools and support infrastructure for this lower bar are very thin on the ground. If someone asks how they get on the IndieWeb, replying with “get an RSS reader and start adding feeds” is not going to help.

We need to flood the front porch of the IndieWeb with search, blog rolls, articles, directories, aggregated feeds, browser extensions, phone apps, link lists, help articles and so on. We need to extend into social media channels (including fediverse) with content that draws people to this porch. Humans need to be on hand and welcoming for these tourists from Big Tech.

There’s little point in telling these tourists about POSSE the moment they arrive. That would be like giving someone stepping off the plane at Heathrow a rundown of how the Houses of Parliament works. Most people just want an ice cream and have a look round.

Next time someone asks you what the IndieWeb is, what are you going to tell them?

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