Digital identity or digital presence?

Number 23 with colorful blocks

Source: 23Things course image

One of the big items I have had on my to-do list for too long has been to take a serious look at my digital spaces and outposts around the web. While I had great intentions of using the #indieweb POSSE method and related tools, in reality they are a bit tricky to use on a consistent basis for those of us who don’t have a deep and broad knowledge of the admin side of various systems.

Over the course of the next few months, from now until early December, I’ll be taking part in a UK-based course entitled 23 Things. The course is divided into small chunks that will introduce us participants to a range of digital tools for personal and professional development in various areas of our lives whether that’s as academics, researchers, students, etc.

I’m planning to use each of the Things to take a deeper look at my digital presence with the goal of gradually re-evaluating and redesigning it. I’m particularly inspired by Laura Gogia’s thoughtful work in this area: if you are not familiar with her, pop over to her blog and website and prepare to be amazed. I spent several enjoyable hours last Sunday reading about Connected Courses, Collaborative Curiosity, and the dissertation that resulted from those (and other) courses.

2016 adventures in reading

12x12 Challenge #3 - 3

As the close of the current year draws near, I like to reflect on my plans, goals, accomplishments…typical change of the year stuff…and start to think of a couple new challenges to add to the mix. One of the ideas I had for 2016 was to tackle my goodreads list. Each month, I will randomly pick a number and read the book on my list that corresponds with that number. So, to start the year I have the following book on hold:

jan 2016 book selection

After finishing each book, I plan to post a short reflection, which led to some exploring of POSSE options for goodreads and personal webspaces…looks like there’s a couple options either in development or that would work if one had enough tech chops to set it up…although a bit beyond my current skill level. Always something new to learn 🙂

Getting started with indieweb

Several months ago, I came across a Wired article that described the IndieWeb movement and the history behind why its developers started it.

icon 4611.png 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. By joining the IndieWeb, your content stays yours and in your control.

icon 31635.png You are better connected

Your articles and status messages can go to all services, not just one, allowing you to engage with everyone. Even replies and likes on other services can come back to your site so they’re all in one place.

icon 2003.png You are in control

You can post anything you want, in any format you want, with no one monitoring you. In addition, you share simple readable links such as These links are permanent and will always work.

~taken from IndieWebCamp~

While I loved the principles that underpinned the idea, and was keen to see if I could figure out how to make it work, actually doing the work seemed to call for skills that I did not have. Some intense programming and software/web development knowledge. I put it off for a while. When I came back to it some time later, I discovered that several events were happening in June 2014. In Portland. In San Francisco. In New York. In Germany. Which led to this:

And the suggestion from Aaron Parecki:

Fast forward a few weeks and it turns out that others had the same idea. Thanks to Nicole, an Indieweb Minneapolis Homebrew Website Club meetup has begun. I attended one of the Minneapolis meetups earlier this week. Scott and I shared our website plans, and explored the IndieWeb wiki.

We both left with some goals as to what we wanted to accomplish prior to the next meetup in two weeks. Thanks, Nicole, for organizing it even though you were not able to attend! The location was easy to find and quiet.

Progress to date:

  • installed IndieWeb plugin
  • completed the IndieAuth setup
  • tested the web sign in with Roa-roh. Facebook and G+ not linking back. Not sure if Pinterest supports the rel=”me” format, but added it to see what would happen. (short answer = does not work.) Does this mean that it’s not possible to POSSE with Pinterest, or was it a setup error on my part? Something to look into.

Next steps:

  • figure out a better theme to showcase tweets, facebook posts, webmentions, etc. (ex, SemPress?)
  • figure out what else needs to be installed and how to do that. It looks like since I already installed the IndieWeb plugin, I may not need this one.  Another thing to look into.
  • dig into some of the web taxonomy
  • read a few more entries on the IndieWeb wiki (ie., what are microformats about?)
  • see how other WP users using POSSE have their site set up. There are several examples in the WP section of the IndieWeb wiki.
  • implement RelMeAuth. It is different from IndieAuth, but I need to read through both explanations/sites a few more times for it to conceptually make sense.

I think this puts me at IndieMark 1.2 and one-half.