We launched this blog less than three months ago to explore the latest in Open Web technologies. Things like the IndieWeb movement, blockchain apps, API platforms, Open AI, and more. AltPlatform has always been an experiment, as I made clear in our introductory post. However, from a publishing point of view the experiment hasn’t worked out as we had hoped. To put it plainly, the page views haven’t eventuated – at least in a sustained way. So it’s time to try something new. We’re going to pivot into something a bit different…soon.
Before that happens, I wanted to provide a kind of wrapup of my learnings so far.
My own primary focus over the past three months has been exploring the IndieWeb movement. The main goal of IndieWeb is to enable individuals to own their own content, so it isn’t under the control of proprietary platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The idea is to post everything on your blog and then syndicate that out to the platforms. This way, you’re in control.
The IndieWeb community is small, but I found it to be very helpful and friendly. Mostly made up of developers, the community has provided a set of plugins for WordPress to onboard others to the IndieWeb. There is also a wealth of useful and inspirational information about IndieWeb, some of the best of it published right here on AltPlatform by Chris Aldrich.
Despite all that, I soon discovered that IndieWeb didn’t quite mesh with my own view of blogging. The problem I have with it is that IndieWeb contributes to information overload, rather than solves it. Frankly, I don’t want to tweet or checkin from my website. I rarely want to checkin at all, and I certainly don’t want a bunch of other peoples’ checkins clogging up my feed reader. I wrote about these problems here on AltPlatform, but didn’t get much response. So perhaps others don’t see it as an issue.
For me, blogging is primarily about connecting to other people around ideas and shared passions. And yes, I admit one of my goals for AltPlatform was to try and find a blogging community again – since that was how I contributed to the Web world from 2003-2012 (with ReadWriteWeb).
That’s not to say there hasn’t been some excellent innovation in blogging from IndieWeb. There has been a lot of it and I particularly like the Webmention technology. This allows you to respond to someone’s blog post by writing a comment inside your own blog. It’s kind of like trackback, but much enhanced. It’d be great if this feature took off, because I think that would kick-start the type of blogging I love again.
Outside of IndieWeb, we’ve been writing about Open Web technologies like blockchain and AI. There are a lot of fascinating developments happening – see Emre’s latest initiative, Phở Networks, as one example.
But of course the question is how to create a community around these Open Web developments, or at least feel like you’re contributing to the conversation, via blogging. We haven’t yet found the answer, but that’ll be the focus of our upcoming pivot.