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.
IndieWeb building blocks, you say?
Still reading? Here's some (too much) history.
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.
So, I built and stealth-launched Kapowski built on Glitch back in 2018. I didn't use it myself very much (but definitely some), and even shared it around some IndieWeb events, like when I talked about mobile posting at the 2019 IndieWeb Summit.
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.
Giphy, the original service Kapowski used, was bought by Facebook with the intention of, I don't know, tracking all the GIFs people posted. I didn't like that, so I switched things over to Gfycat. (Although with Facebook (Meta) being forced by UK regulators to sell off Giphy, maybe it'll be time soon to bring it back.)
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.
(This "micropub kit" isn't ready for public consumption at all but it is available for looking-at if you want. Here's the micropubkit source.)
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.
If you aren't ready to reply in words... maybe a GIF would do? :)