First off, great points Aaron. But I think you have to re-align your viewpoint a little.

I am left wondering how do we achieve the permanence of print on the Web?

I’m continually scratching my head over this. Since when has print been permanent? The only reason we have scrolls, manuscripts, antiquarian books is not because it was on paper (papyrus, parchment, etc.) but because some body found the content valuable or of interest. Think of the amount of print we don’t know even existed. What was the 310th thing printed on Gutenberg’s press? Anyone? Bueller?

For me this is the coup-de-gras of the #indieweb. That you, the creator, own the content and have the canonical version to keep. Your two points are completely valid (and worrisome) but at least now I have the chance to move hosting or, heaven forbid, self-host. With the magic of Google, Bing, and Yahoo there’s the chance that my content if of interest, can be found again even if my domain name and hosting went in a puff of smoke.

The same can’t be said for the millions of authors whose works are lost permanently because a publisher no longer wanted to print copies. Also the content we are generating now is easier, I feel, to transfer to new mediums than hand copying & illuminating by candlelight ;-)

I know this isn’t the main thrust of #indieweb, just my two cents, on my own blog, syndicated to Twitter and your blog.

Also on:

2014-10-24 22.55.20

Inbox by Gmail invite

So yes I bitched about not getting an invite for the shiny & new on Twitter. But lo and behold, couple of days later I got my ‘Inbox by Gmail‘ golden ticket.

The app install was nice and quick. I didn’t have to enter any details or log-in by the traditional means. It just asked which Gmail account I wanted to use and checked to see if the invite was in that account. When it was, I was in.

What is does…

It shares a lot with similar email management apps such as Boxer and Mailbox. Swiping for different actions, ‘snoozing’ the email until you are ready to look at, etc. New things are setting reminders, pinning your email, and pre-sorting to Gmail’s content detector.

I’m not a big fan of the content detector in Gmail (promos, social, etc.) so I disabled it in Gmail, but with Inbox it’s front and center.

What it doesn’t…

Inbox by Gmail doesn’t work with paid accounts, so I can’t use it on my work email. I know people who solely use this option feel left out, but I am sure it’s only a matter of time before that gets rolled out too.

Another thing I noticed is that there’s no delete functionality unless you open the email. I think this could be part of the “why delete, just archive” philosophy. One thing I liked in Boxer was the “long swipe” to delete.

Now on the web…

This morning I came in to find I could access Inbox through Chrome, instead of my normal Gmail. I like that it has a different URL and still “sits on top” of Gmail.

It follows the new material design rules, though it’s not responsive as the header features overlap each other when the browser window gets smaller.

Inbox by Gmail on web

So far so good. I’m taking off other mail apps while I try this out, as I’m getting 3-4 notifications per email.

And yes, as soon as I’m able, I’ll send invites to to the few that mentioned it if they didn’t get in already.

Also on:

ELI is a leader in experiential-based entrepreneurship education for ordinary people, from all walks of life. It’s run by some very knowledgable folks, providing a framework for understanding and implementing an entrepreneurial mindset regardless of limitations or constraints.

I’m happy to show support for ELI by voting for them in Chase’s $3M Mission Main StreetSM Grants program. You can vote too, by visiting

Also on:

While I’m still on the fence of moving (if I can) fully over to Known as my blogging platform, one thing that is swaying me over WordPress is their bookmarklet.

Whilst chatting, Tantek summed up my issues like this:

the hurdle for me is copy & pasting tweet url’s into [my posting UI] to reply to them. Known’s [bookmarklet] makes that a lot easier

It’s a great add-on to your browser that takes you from the URL that you’re on and lets you share, reply, bookmark it. That’s incredibly powerful and highlights one of the huge hurdles the indieweb has to jump.

URL’s are the nervous system of the web. They connect everything together, passing information along with them and let us do a ton of the fantastic stuff we can do today. But the problem with silos like Facebook and Twitter is that a lot of people still don’t use the web interfaces. They use the apps on their devices. This makes it incredibly easy for you to create content in these silos. Problem is they don’t create or expose URLs in the same way that working on the web does. This means, as far as I can see, pretty much forsaking the use of these apps to have 100% of your content on your site.

Now this isn’t too much of an issue as a lot of social media have pretty good “responsive” sites that work well on all devices. Downside is that Chrome (and I suspect other device browsers) doesn’t let us use bookmarklets. So it’s now down to you to copy and paste all manner of URLs, content and tags onto multiple tabs on your device. Tricky at the best of times.

If we can get these bookmarklets to run on those mobile browsers, or even create OS-specific indieweb apps that sit as a background service and let you share via them such as Evernote or Instapaper does, then I can see the friction diminishing for those of a wider audience.

Also on:

As I explore more ways of implementing the #indieweb, the more I come across the reasons why we need it. Content is getting increasingly difficult to reach within the silos that is Google, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc.

One thing that I’ve been stuck on is replies. How can we reply continually across these silos? It’s something like what we’ve been grappling with in the UX community for a while now. There we call it ‘cross-channel‘, moving between “mobile”, “web” and “physical” channels in an experience.

The tech parts involved are POSSE and webmention. Both work really well.

But keeping a continuos reply thread going, across silos, while posting on your own site breaks and falls down, at least for me, a lot of the time when you reply to a reply.


1. Someone I know on Twitter posts a question
Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 10.18.02 AM

2. I answer on my blog (in this case I’m trying out Known) and link to the URL of his tweet
Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 10.19.14 AM

3. It shows up in Twitter as an ‘@’ reply with a link back to my post.
Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 10.19.36 AM

4. My blog now has a link to the originating piece of content and my reply in the form of a post.
Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 10.19.14 AM

5. Someone now replies to my post using their own blog.
Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 10.38.24 AM

6. Great! Now my blog shows a link to the original tweet, my reply post, and now the other persons reply to my post.
Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 10.20.24 AM

So the conversation is taking place across Twitter and two different blogs. On my blog I can see all of it laid out chronologically with links to each piece. But this is where everything breaks. How do I now reply to him and keep this chronology?

Well I tried adding a reply on my blog. But that doesn’t connect to anything. He won’t see it as there’s nothing to notify his blog about my reply.
Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 10.37.50 AM
And this is the same on WordPress, not just Known. The chain has now been broken.

I have to create a new post on my blog and use his posts link as the reply-to.
Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 10.23.56 AM
Now we’ve started a new conversation.

Luckily the indieweb community has an IRC channel so I hopped on there and posed the question and I got chatting with some very smart people about context threads and reply contexts.

I’ve rambled on too long, but what I’m hoping for soon is a way to keep the whole conversation going across the silos.

Also on:

I love my Nexus 4 phone. It’s the first smartphone I really felt comfortable with, especially as you get the latest build direct from Google. Now there’s the rumoured specs of the Nexus 6, and we’ll see soon enough, but if those rumours are true I’ll probably be getting a Nexus 5.

You see the one thing I don’t want is a huge phone. I’ve held & tried a couple of the Samsung monsters and it’s not for me. The iPhone 6+ just seems like a “we can do that too” play. I have a tablet so I don’t need another, slightly smaller one, to carry around with me.

I’m not really bothered who builds it, and don’t get me wrong, I’d love a phone with a 13-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization and better battery life, but not for the sake of screen size.

So if the Nexus 6 does end up coming in just a large version, my next phone may well be the Nexus 5.