Obviously I like having my own website quite a bit. And I like indieweb and micropub, and the idea that I can use my own website as a hub for my social activity. And I’ve just gotten started with this stuff, so I’m still learning all the ins and outs. But there are a few problems with indieweb culture that I’m starting to notice.
The biggest is the fact that you need your own personal website for most of this stuff, and free hosting will not do. That’s not a problem for me, but it is a barrier to entry for a lot of folks. Heck, even micro.blog lacks a free version. Maybe as time goes on we will find a way around this obstacle and more people will be able to take advantage of this cool way of interacting with the web.
Another problem is that indieweb seems to be very individualist focused. The idea is to “own” your data and content and keep it out of corporate hands. With noted exceptions, however, I haven’t found much in the way of community building resources outside of a few forums dedicated to indieweb stuff. I personally find that a bit unnerving. Community is very important to me. I’m mainly on the web to make friends. Of course integrating my blog and social media profiles seems to be helping that, but the idea of “owning” my data doesn’t appeal to me. I’d rather no one own my info.
That being said, there’s a lot with indieweb to like. The fact that I can choose what sites to syndicate to makes me feel like I consent to how my data flows. There is a lot of stuff here that an anarchist can get behind. The startup cost is still an issue, but I don’t think its an insurmountable one. And I’d like to see more indieweb people focus on accessibility.
Overall I like this suite of features and will continue to use it, but I hope that these issues get addressed eventually. I would like to be able to recommend indieweb functionality to my friends, but at the moment it is still something that requires an investment of both time and money.