[...] this year had some absolute bangers. [...] I’ve included links to podcast episodes where I talk about the books (if applicable) and as always, links are affiliate links and you can shop directly through my Bookshop link.
tl;dr – Kapowski is a simplified tool for finding and posting reaction GIFs to your personal website. It works without a sign-in and gives you HTML to copy-paste into whatever posting interface you use for your website. It's "progressively enhanced" with IndieWeb building blocks, so if your site supports them it becomes faster and easier to use. Search and content are currently powered by Gfycat.
I really like Micropub as an IndieWeb building block. As a developer, it's easy to understand on the wire. It's very extensible because the spec provides very few constraints over what you can post with it.
However, that flexibility comes at a coordination cost. I had (have!) a dream that being able to rapidly iterate on special-purpose Micropub clients will let many ways of posting bloom. I also loved (love!) Glitch as a place to build web apps in the open where other folk can see how they work and remix them to make them their own.
I kept Kapowski intentionally simple, hoping that some other IndieWeb folks might use it, give feedback, and iterate on the idea of what a good user experience might be for posting reply GIFs on the IndieWeb.
I ... didn't get much feedback! As far as I know, few people have used it. However, I very much did notice that it kept breaking.
Multiplying this maintenance across a number of other Micropub clients I had managed to barely knock together on Glitch led to me burning out on the idea. So, I stopped maintaining it and at some point it stopped working.
Reviving the embers
That said, there are styles of web app development I am much more comfortable working in! I think I can take this stuff a lot further by sharpening the knives I already know how to use.
So, I've spent a good chunk of free time this year quietly porting some of my IndieWeb projects to PHP and hosting them on a virtual private server. That's stuff I know how to do! As I've re-built each one, I've also looked to extract the common points of similarity and complexity into a kind of "Micropub kit", with a common-but-extensible engine. That's made each client easier to build and deploy, and that's very exciting.
Since it's IndieWeb Gift Calendar season, I think I'll spend the next month polishing up and posting more about this work. If you have thoughts about Kapowski, "micropubkit", or posting weird stuff on the IndieWeb in general, I'd love to read them! Just reply to this post on your own site and send me a Webmention.