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My quick thoughts, back stage, and rants as I try to Teach kids about the Web while learning how to help others build a better Web.


Come Journey Through the IndieWeb Sites


Greg McVerry

@bradenslen Have you checked out fedwiki? Sounds much like the use case you describe. There is a WordPress version called

Greg McVerry

@chrislarry33 Been working a piece in html, markdown, and google docs. can't beat Google docs for collaborative writing. Etherpad closest.

Did have idea @holden's wordpress fork might be use case for your project.

Greg McVerry

Some #IndieWeb Firsts

I spent my time digging through my archives trying to find my first #IndieWeb posts My first (I think mention) of #IndieWeb on Twitter: ( Cant find

2 min read

I spent my time digging through my archives trying to find my first posts

My first (I think mention) of on Twitter:

( Cant find the meme, but I wanna know how I turned Kevin Marks into a kid on bike shouting"I want my IndieWeb") 

I think this post about reclaiming academic publishing on December 2, 2015 was my first ever to mention

I installed this Known instance on 2015-02-19. I have 14 intances currently running. My first post:

A post on trying to brigde and : 2015-12-19

First time using NoterLive to live blog an academic conference 2015-12-04

First time (of many more)trying to Tom Sawyer the community: 2015-09-17 of course Chris Aldrich was first to reply.

Greg McVerry

Replied to a post on :

Great post on OER @audreywatters In the end there has to be some kind of platform or if we are going platformless with OER some kind of standard that allows resources to have tagged metadata.

Do you know how good people are at when it comes to tagging?

I agree OER needs something such as GitHub. So I have a challenge to everyone go get three teachers. Tell them to take there three best lessons, convert them to Markdown, and get them up on Github.

Watch heads explode. 

It has taken me a year to get to a point where I am comfortable enough to screw things up on GitHub. You can not ask teachers to open up terminal and expect any contributions.

So I have hopes for — or something similar. I think fedwiki is awesome but it suffers from the same problem as github only worse. Any UX that needs or looks like documentation is a non-starter for norms.

Thus Mike Caulfield’s need to puddle participants at conferences in order to grasp at meaning.

Yet OER does not need to be an act of titling at windmills or involve pink elephants at all.

What OER databases need, and this is something Hannah Kane has written about ( is a content creation first approach. That is something the Mozilla community is focused on. We need a lightweight, dare I say, CMS that has two buttons: publish and remix. 

I am hoping whatever we create will be as platformless as possible but there needs to be some level of discovery, and discovery takes search, and search takes tagging.

. Hopefully much of the sausage making will not be visible.

This vision is what Mike Caulfield brings: curriculum not as a repo but as an organism.

Greg McVerry

Talking #fedwiki to think about #digped and #indieweb unity

I had a wonderful conversation today with Dave Bovill and Ward Cunningham about Federated Wiki today. For over an hour we hacked around with a tool designed

3 min read

I had a wonderful conversation today with Dave Bovill and Ward Cunningham about Federated Wiki today. For over an hour we hacked around with a tool designed to support the open Web.

Federated Wiki works as a space between wikis and blogs. Wikis seek a collective voice. Blogs represent  individual thinking. Fedwiki is about forkable thoughts. I was turned on to by Mike Caulfield and I have been playing since.

Basically users create pages that can be forked and added to their site. There are a series of pages within each "site." Groups of users can gather in neighborhoods. This allows you to fork any page and bring it back to your wiki.

Technically I was at a total loss when Dave and Ward talked about how easy plug-ins are to create since the system is built in json (I have no idea what json means). Yet it was great to talk to them about the possibilities of federated wikis.

Some of the use cases we covered:

  • Curriculum writing- I am in teacher education. We write many lessons plans. This usually involved students copyong and pasting ideas from the web into a lesson plan template. Why not celebrate this textual poaching (Jenkins, 1999)? Using federated wiki we could create a database of lessons.

  • Conferences-This was Dave's idea. He has created a for the Chaos Communication Conference. I was intriguied by this idea as my first use of was to present my session using the tool. Remote attendance of conferences is a matter of equity and access. Seeing what Dave built made me realize that maybe the best way to organize a conference program and materials.

  • Narrative Writing- Dave brought up that someone used to create a forkable storytelling experience. My guess it was probably Terry Elliot. I am totally going to do this in my children's literature class this fall.

There are a few issues:

  • Metaphors- Federated wikis use some metaphors that are not too accessible to norms. Forks that look like flags and flags that look like squares. The idea of "neighborhoods" or adding a "factory" to add content just don't seem like a concurrent fit. There seems to be a dissonance among the target and vehicle of the metaphor.

  • Documentation- The documentation supporting users is written by technical folks for the coding crowd. Norms would struggle to follow along. I will add that Mike Caufield has some great step by step videos on his YouTube channel. I know I will have to make some for my classes.

  • Difficulty- The two previous issues compound a difficult tool to use. The UX/UI will be a challenge for my students to overcome. Most have never peaked at the source code of a website.

 I am excited to play with federated wiki and explore its uses. 


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