This is a good observation. In my mind Flickr for instance isn’t about sharing per se, but I see it as an off-site archive next to my photo archive on my laptop and a NAS at home. That it allows for easy re-use of those images in my own site is an added bonus. Will need to write a bit about my own thoughts from this session too.

Liked IndieWeb: it’s about first ownership by Elmine (InFullFlow.net)

A photo (or video for that matter) is a special kind of data. Its file size creates limitations to its distribution, but no matter where it’s uploaded, it is always owned by its creator first. Status updates on any platform are owned by the company first and can only be copied to the creator. That is why I think it’s important to use IndieWeb: if you publish updates on your own site and then POSSE them to the big silos (where your friends still hang out), you own your updates first, just like you own your photos.

IWC Amsterdam day 2 focused on doing. We started with a round of idea pitches that the dozen people present intended to work on, as well as listing things people could assist with.

IndieWebCamp Day 2All work ideas on a ‘windows wiki’

Then we all worked in different constellations until lunch, which we enjoyed at Hannekes Boom. Lunch, just like yesterday, took a bit more time as conversations were animated. We got back to work later than planned therefore and moved our time for demo’s correspondingly. Demo”s were live streamed, with Frank joining us remotely. With a final group picture we closed Indiewebcamp Amsterdam.

Lunch Day 2During lunch

On the train home I am jotting down notes for future editions.

Find the local others
First of all, while we did have more local, meaning Netherlands based participants than last time, we didn’t get any tangible interest from the networks Frank and I have access to. Without the interest of the wider international Indieweb community and holding the event in conjunction with two similarly themed international conferences the event would not have been a success (We had just over 20 people on day 1).
Though for the Utrecht event last spring it might have been because we announced it relatively late, this was definitely not the case for the Amsterdam event. This I feel at least partly comes from not being clear enough in explaining the intent and purpose of Indieweb. That is most likely why three of us dutchies worked on Dutch language texts to draw more people in. E.g. by avoiding jargon until you’re sure the reader gets what you’re saying.

A better on-ramp for new participants
Organising an indiewebcamp is fun and not particularly difficult if you have done small informal events like barcamp before. I think we do need to become better at catering to all levels of proficiency so we can be more inviting to those we think we want to include, especially locally. Perhaps by having a few preset intro sessions as a track you can announce, in contrast to the otherwise unconference approach.

Eventbrite not fit for this purpose
Both for the IndieWebCamp Utrecht and for this Amsterdam edition I used Eventbrite for registrations. This I will not do again. First it feels like a clash with the IndieWeb spirit, and there are IndieWeb ways for this available. More importantly it leads to fake and spam registrations, as well as a higher percentage no-shows. Where for a more formal or bigger event, Eventbrite can be really useful (I’ve used it for organising international conferences with up to 350 participants), for small informal ones like this the promotion Eventbrite itself gives to a listed event through their own channels only creates unwanted noise. Meet-up might be more useful in comparison even, as that is based of building up a group of people, and then host events for them. That fits the model of seeking to create a wider active audience for IndieWeb much better.

Setting a rhythm
I think for next year doing two events is again a good option. We will need to work harder though to get a more local crowd. Having our IndieWeb colleagues from abroad visit us is great, and most welcome (to both ensure connection to the wider community as well as for the enormous experience and technological knowledge they bring with them), but not enough to sustain doing these events. Having two in a year may seem contradictory to this, but it likely can serve to set a more observable rhythm. A drumbeat that can draw in more people, and can mean someone not able to join one event may be motivated to commit to the next one if it’s already on the horizon. I think Frank and I would do well to fix dates early for both events and announce them both at the same time.

Ability to live stream
Being able to stream the sessions is a key element of IndieWeb events, but we’ve now depended both times on existing experience and gear from outside. In Utrecht Rosemary brought everything we needed from Vienna and set it up for us. In Amsterdam she volunteered to do it again but ultimately couldn’t make it. If not for Aaron also participating, we would have gone without live streaming as he happened to have the gear for two simultaneous streams with him.

Have a third organiser
Due to family circumstances the Utrecht edition was mostly done by Frank, and this Amsterdam edition mostly by me. Not a problem, and I felt fine doing it throughout, simply because I’ve done loads of these type of events. Yet, being able to hand-off things to each other makes for a smoother experience all around, especially facilitating during the event itself. Frank and I need to bring a third co-organiser on board I think to be able to set the pace of doing two events next year, and avoid that most of the work falls to just one of us. Again, not because it can’t be done, or was an issue, it really wasn’t, but it is a continuity risk, and it’s more fun together.

Frank during his demoFrank on-screen doing a remote demo of his work today

On my way to Amsterdam for day two of IndieWebCamp, that I’m co-hosting with Frank. Today’s focus will be on doing, based on the conversations and ideas we had yesterday. I’ve published a few pics on Flickr.

IndieWebCamp Lunch
The IndieWebCamp Amsterdam bunch at lunch

I have three ideas I might work on

  • Writing some Dutch language intro’s and explainers about IndieWeb, following up on the session about making it easier for people to engage with IndieWeb options
  • Figuring out how to flip the presentation of a quote/snippet and my remarks in my RSS feed (in a posting it is [my remarks] [snippet I’m discussing], in the feed it is [snippet] [my remarks]. This makes my content disappear from e.g. Micro.blog that presents my feed
  • Enable Webmention and Brid.gy on my company’s website, so we can directly tweet from posting something on the site, as well as receive interaction back to the site.

The first is I think the most important. The second is about figuring out how WordPress creates my RSS feed, and which plugins influence it. Likely takes a lot of time and frustration outside the scope of a day. The third seems the easiest, given my experience doing the same on other WordPress installs. So I’ll start with the first, and use the third as fall back plan.

Yesterday I visited CODAM, a new Amsterdam coding college. It’s part of the 42 network, which originated in France, and offers a free 4 year curriculum to learn how to code (one or more of unix, graphics, machine learning). The education is free, and aimed at those who didn’t fit or couldn’t afford the regular educational options, dropped out or never had the opportunity to opt-in. The commitment is however large. The first month is a heavy filter, expecting students to keep a steady rhythm, and afterwards a high attendance is expected (some 50 hours per week).

CODAM’s mission of allowing students from all backgrounds to increase their capabilities, using coding skills as a path to agency, has a good overlap with the IndieWeb’s ambition of allowing people to own their own on-line identity, be in control of what they publish and share, and connect and interact outside the silos.

A month ago CODAM’s Lisa Stamm, the community and communications person, offered CODAM as a venue for IndieWebCamp Amsterdam. Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit their location on the old Amsterdam naval yard, near Central Station. CODAM and their location are a good fit with IndieWebCamp’s needs, so the conclusion was easy:

IndieWebCamp Amsterdam will take place at CODAM on September 28th and 29th.

Registration is already open, and free of charge. Both the View Source conference and the Fronteers conference take place in the days after, so if you’re in web dev you could turn it into a full week in Amsterdam.

Some pictures of the CODAM venue, and its surroundings below

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