Quick thoughts on project ideas from IndieWebCamp NYC 2018

I attended IndieWebCamp NYC 2018 and it was a blast! Check the schedule for links to notes and videos from the awesome keynotes, discussion sessions, and build-day demos. I am so grateful to all the other organizers, to all the new and familiar faces that came out, to those that joined us remotely, to Pace University's Seidenberg School for hosting us, and of course to the sponsors that made it all possible.

I have a lot of thoughts about all the discussions and projects that were talked about, I'm sure. But for now, I'd like to capture some of the TODOs and project ideas that I came away with after the event, and the post-event discussions over food and drink.

  • A Micropub Media Endpoint built on Neocities for storage and Glitch for handling uploads and metadata. It would allow folks to store 1GB of media files like photos, audio, and video for their websites, for free. It would be usable with all kinds of posting tools, no matter what backend you use for your site.
  • Improve the IndieWeb Web Ring (πŸ•ΈπŸ’.ws) to automatically check whether members' sites link back using Webmention. (I managed to make a small but often-asked-for update to the site during IWC)
  • Improve how my website handles all these check-in posts which are made when someone else checks me in on Swarm. I would like to show who checked me in, at least, if not some of their photos, or maybe even an embedded version of the post from their site.
  • Keep doing the This Week in the IndieWeb podcast! I had been feeling some burnout about this and falling behind. It was so great to talk with folks who listen to it and rely on it to keep up to date with the goings-on in the community!
  • Offer a hand with aaronpk's new social monster catching game, built on IndieWeb building blocks.
  • Offer a hand with jgmac1106's idea to issue educational course achievements (badges) via IndieWeb building blocks.
  • Work on closing down Camura, a photo-sharing social network I helped build during the awkward age after the first "camera phones" and before Facebook introduced "Mobile Uploads". It has over 100k photos and 50k comments from around 400 folks. I'd like to let it down gently, make sure people have access to those photos, and maybe even preserve some of the best moments of human connection in a public place.

More generally: I think there's a really cool future where IndieWeb building blocks are available on free services like Glitch and Neocities. New folks should be able to register a domain and plug them together in an afternoon, with no coding, and get a website that supports posting all kinds of content and social interactions. All for the cost of a domain! And all with the ability to download their content and take it with them if these services change or they outgrow them. I already built some of this as a goof. The big challenges are simplifying the UX and documenting all of the steps to show folks what they will get and how to get it.

Other fun / ridiculous ideas discussed over the weekend:

  • Support Facebook-style colored-background posts like aaronpk did at IWC. I love the simplicity of adding an RGB color as a hashtag.
  • "This American Bachelor" (working title only) - a dating site as a podcast. Each episode (or season??) is an NPR-style deep dive into the life and longings of a single person looking for love. Alternate title: "Single". The cocktail-driven discussion that produced this idea was a joy.

I am sure there are fun ideas that were discussed that I am leaving out. If you can think of any, let me know!


Amy Hurst
Douglas Beal


Marty McGuire Marty McGuire at said:

Baltimore's first Homebrew Website Club of October met at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center on October 3rd. Here are some notes from the "broadcast" portion of the meetup: jonathanprozzi.net β€” No updates since last time for his personal site. Was burned out after a lot of frustration with Gatsby + WordPress headless. Got to the point of feeling helpless and like he couldn't figure out how to progress. Started porting to Next.js and has some renewed energy because he is making progress …