Some notes for the IndieWebCamp Bellingham opening session, borrowing heavily from Tantek’s opening keynote at the 2016 IndieWeb Summit.

Welcome to the first IndieWebCamp Bellingham, and on Star Wars Day no less. May the Fourth be with you!

IndieWebCamp was founded in 2011 by Aaron Parecki, Amber Case, Crystal Beasley, and Tantek Çelik. The three distinguishing characteristics about the IndieWeb movement at the time were:

  • Show don't tell
  • Scratch your own itch
  • Use what you make

The community has evolved since then and generalized beyond owning your identity and owning your stuff. As you can now see on

  • Your content is yours. When you post something on the web, it should belong to you, not a corporation. Too many companies have gone out of business and lost all of their users’ data.
  • You are better connected. Your articles and status messages can go to all services, not just one, allowing you to engage with everyone.
  • You are in control. You can post anything you want, in any format you want, with no one monitoring you.

All of this starts with one goal: self-empowerment. As we achieve different levels of self-empowerment with our own websites, our hope is that together we have also built a community that can spread empowerment.

We are not just working to empower ourselves. We're collaborating to empower each other, like at this very event. We encourage everyone to document how they achieved things and share open source, to empower those we haven't even met. The site is a wiki that the community is continually documenting the "why," "what," and "how" for all things indieweb.

So that's some background about the IndieWeb movement and some of the key principles. You can read all of our principles at

IndieWeb Technologies

Members of the IndieWeb community have been incubating and selfdogfooding some protocols and formats that help us post on our own sites and interact more easily. Some of them are now going through the W3C process of standardization.

IndieAuth is a way to use your own domain name to sign into websites. It's like OpenID, but works with services you likely already use and is much easier to set up.

Webmention is a web standard for mentions and conversations across the web, a powerful building block that is used for a growing federated network of comments, likes, reposts, and other rich interactions across the decentralized social web. It is currently a W3C Recommendation.

The Micropub protocol is used to create, update and delete posts on one's own domain using third-party clients. It is currently a W3C Proposed Recommendation.

This "Weekend"

The key thing this weekend is to make something, anything, for yourself, for your own site. Whatever that is, nothing is too small.

Help somebody out. One of the reasons we are a community is because we have different levels of expertise in different things, whether it is in engineering, development, different languages or frameworks, whether it’s design, visual design, or copy-editing, people that are really good at writing small bits of text, which is sometimes one of the hardest tasks.

Finally, show something. Don't let the pursuit of perfection stop you from making progress. It's really easy to think you have to get things just right before you show people. Don't worry about it. Get something working, show it, and then iterate. We're all iterating here.