๐Ÿ“‘ Praxis and the Indieweb

Bookmarked Praxis and the Indieweb (lipu.dgold.eu)

Iโ€™ve come to believe that the movement as it is currently structured can never move into widespread acceptance, that it is both target blind and exclusionary, and that, as a consequence, I donโ€™t want to devote any more of my time to it.

Daniel Goldsmith reflects on the IndieWeb and where it is heading. He lays out a number of concerns and criticisms, including that you never really own your own data, that there is a design bias towards a few select individuals, that the technical requirements are too high and that cost is often exclusionary.

This reminds me of Clive Thompson’s piece on the limits to open source development:

Why didn’t the barn-raising model pan out? As Eghbal notes, it’s partly that the random folks who pitch in make only very small contributions, like fixing a bug. Making and remaking code requires a lot of high-level synthesisโ€”which, as it turns out, is hard to break into little pieces. It lives best in the heads of a small number of people.

As well as the discussion about what is really meant by a ‘domain of one’s own‘:

When I created a domain, it didnโ€™t become mine. Basically 

  1. I donโ€™t own the domain name. I pay for it every year. That looks like rent
  2. I donโ€™t own the actual hosting. I pay Reclaim (whom I love and trust) for shared hosting because I assume they will do a better job of the hardware/backup etc

Having a home is more than a matter of shelter, itโ€™s the presentation of a certain kind of survivorship, assessed in cultural competence, the assertion of literacy, the visible privilege of know-how. And like home ownership, domain ownership is the practice of insiders, survivors, using the skills and languages that flex their cultural power by asking to be taken entirely for granted, not just in terms of what appears on the screen but increasingly in terms of the coding that lies beneath it.

It was also Interesting listening to Chapter 17 of Martin Weller’s 25 Years of EdTech and his discussion of Connectivism. One of the points made, taken from a paper written in 2011, was that the cost of connecting people has collapsed. However, what is overlooked is that there is still a cost. Maybe it is a part of the business model to provide a basic level for free (see Edublogs) or maybe it is goodwill to provide such services, such as Granary or Aperture. However, this is also free as the payment comes through our data. Although there are criticisms of the IndieWeb mimicking or being privilaged, I wonder what other business model there is that does not fit the same model.

4 responses on “๐Ÿ“‘ Praxis and the Indieweb”

  1. This is a commentary on the Praxis and the Indieweb post we covered here last week. Aaron Davis comments “the cost of connecting people has collapsed. However, what is overlooked is that there is still a cost.” I don’t think anyone has overlooked that, seeing that we’re all paying costs for computers and phones, bandwidth, software, and services. We pay with money, with labour (to get access through our employers), and personal information. And yes, our home on the internet, our domain of our own, looks more like rent than ownership. But this is true generally, including for actual homes (try not paying your rent or your taxes or your utility bills and see what happens). It costs money to live in society, and you can’t live outside society, and this leaves us all in a perpetual state of need. The hope of the Indieweb is to reduce that need, but the issue isn’t cost. Not really. No, the issues are (as I think the original Praxis post said) design and inclusivity.

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