Third party services usually make it very easy to add something to your digital life online. At the same time it always means a loss of control over the material you share through, store in, collect with such third party services. If one such third party shuts down, decides to pivot, pulls up new pay walls and restrictions, blocks or deletes your account, you have no
The IndieWeb, basically an open web approach, starts with the notion that you have control over your own material. It’s your creative expression, your data. For that it’s useful to have your own domain. As long you have that, you can move whatever material you share there to other servers, services etc. Second, whatever material you share outside your domain on third party services, should originate on your domain, or end-up there as a copy. For instance I share messages to Twitter that I write here. I used to share check-ins made in Swarm/Foursquare to check-in entries on my site. In both cases whatever happens to Twitter or Foursquare, I have my own online original or copy to which I can link. When I want to link to something in a conversation I share the link to my own domain.
I treat my domain name as ‘the mothership‘ of all my online traces. It is how my blog keeps being my avatar.
These are the ways my domain(s) is / are my mothership:
- My articles, here on my blog
- My messages to Twitter and Mastodon written on my blog
- My slide decks hosted and sharable on my own domains, not using slideshare/scribd
- My photos, here, linked to my off-site copy Flickr
- My shortened URLs using Yourls on my own domain tzyl.eu
- My code repositories on Github have their own URL redirect from a domain I control, so I can move to another code hoster or my own and keep the same links I shared with others
- My check-ins when I used Foursquare, copied into my blog