If you notice that this site looks a little different, that's because I'm just back from a terrific IndieWebCamp in Brighton this past weekend, and I had set myself the goal of setting this theme free on the hack day. Success, although there are still lots and lots of things to do, mostly quite minor, that I am adding to my snagging list. Like, I just discovered that I neglected to offer a search option on the home page. I should probably fix that, though the challenge may be more than minor.

All travel was essentially troublefree, so I'll just ignore that.1 On Friday evening many people met up at a pub and it was a real pleasure to see old friends and meet some new people. UK pubs, though, have become so very noisy that a decent conversation can be very elusive. The great thing about this pub, The Craft Beer Co., was that the beers were absolutely excellent and the staff more than willing to help me nagivate the range on offer with little tastings.

The camp took place at Clearleft, an exemplary space kindly provided by Jeremy Keith. Thanks to Jeremy and all the other organisers.

After introductions, Saturday was the by-now customary self-organised sessions, which covered a huge range in complexity and, selfishly, in my ability to do anything with what I was learning.

I enjoyed listening to ideas about fact-checking Twitter and other online spaces, even though I have long been firmly of the opinion that facts seldom change anyone's mind.

A session on displaying tracking data, which I proposed, was united with one on daily summary data, from Aaron, and was very informative. Obviously people want to share different kinds of data and for different reasons, but one thing that came out was that brainstorming in real life can offer real insights. I will definitely go back and read the notes. Often.

Local first, offline first and no-cloud was a complex session, for me, not least because right now that isn't something I am thinking about or need to think about. When push comes to shove, I always have paper and pencil.

Licence detection was similarly interesting but not, yet, a direct concern for me. One of the biggest problems on the internet is that many people simply have no concept that what they see out there is somebody's property. They don't regard using that stuff themselves as theft, they regard it as, well, using. So while licence detection is an interesting problem, it doesn't (and, to be fair, nor does it claim to) solve the problem of misuse.

Photos and videos was also about technical solutions to the representation of different kinds of content that make use of images, still and moving. Photo post, photo essay, illustrated article, album, collection, shoebox, portfolio, exhibition; these are all ideas that have a real existence that has been transferred, with varying degrees of success, to the web. Many people seemed to feel that each requires a different kind of machine-readable mark-up to enable things like feed readers to display them as the creator intended. I wonder. I like seeing things in my reader, but it is very much a first pass for me. If there's something that takes my fancy, I'll usually open it in a fresh tab to look at it. YMMV.

I went along to using Shortcuts with MicroPub fully expecting to see magic happen, and it did. It wasn't just Rose doing an Aaron and building a posting service before my amazed eyes. It was also seeing phones much newer than mine prompted to do things by simply getting close to a sticker. Or a contact-free credit card. Or even a travel card, like the Dutch equivalent of London's Oyster card. Abracadabra, just like that.

Later that evening, I was a spectator at my own Hack Start as Rose built me a shortcut so that I can share my location in real time with someone. Yes, I know various apps have this facility. But doing it with Overland is way cooler, and much more IndieWeb.

Here endeth the first day. More tomorrow.


  1. The one exception being the opacity of UK train ticket machines. 

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