Consider my mind blown. I kind of expected I would get to this Unconference and there would be a bunch of white young guys talking mostly about node-js, Ember.js, Angular and all the other kind of boring web things which according to HackerNews is the hot stuff going on in the webdeveloper community.
This was not the case at all, there was the woman who is a technical writer with the coolest domain ever http://www.yourmom.io/ who is really opinionated about lots of stuff, particularly about REST-API documentation like this thing called Swagger which I never heard about.
There is the guy who has a pebble and posts every bike ride, every coffe and beer he drinks and a lot of weird things on his website which I kind of assume no one ever reads anywhay, but he has lots of fun with it.
There is this girl who at first seems extreamly shy but in the end gets the most people engaged in her live demo of the chat application she just developed.
There is the really colorfull guy who has at first glance has pink trousers, a pink MacBook and a pink Firefox theme but when you start talking with him he seems knowledgeble about basically anything and is a more then awesome moderator in conversations who can lead everyone from one topic to the other, and if I didn't get it compleatly wrong he's intrested in trance music and tarot card reading communities.
There is the girl who posts literarly everything she buys on her website inclusive a picture, the geo position where she bought it and the geo coordinates where she bought it. Awesome project, scary but awesome.
There is the guy who just highjacked his wedding website with some IndieAuth things so he could be able to log into the IndieWebWiki to RSVP. There is the girl who has been working as a web developer for ages and seems to know a shitload about all the things I mentioned in the first sentence. There was the guy who helped lead development of the Macintosh version of the Internet Explorer. There was the guy who told me where to get cascade hops for my brewing sessions back home which you only can buy around here before I get home to Sweden. There was the guy who will start working for the client I am working right now in Portland, just two weeks after our projectc ends.
There were many more interesting people who I've been talking and listening to. And me with the "Fuck hell, I will go to Valhalla!" T-Shirt. So quite a diverse group, I really wonder how they do it because back in Germany and in Sweden when it comes to meetings like this there was almost always a really homogenous group of white internet-dudes. I would love to learn how to get such a diverse croud. It wasn't perfect obviously, so only causasian people attended, no Asians, no people of Color, no Indians for that matter, and so on. But still much more diverse than I expected.
And the sessions were also quite different to what I expected, which was like talking about the protocols and tools on what to use to do what, etc.
But it was really different to this. The first session I attended was just called something like "Community", and we kind of went all over the place. As far as I remember it started with non profit organisations who use Facebook and after the changes lately can not push information to everyone but have to rely on the mercy of Facebooks algorythm to get it to the people who follow them. It went on to the IndieWebCommunity as a thing. Then I pulled the example of my band Hoggatah and our fans as an example of a community and we have the same problem as the non profits on Facebook, but there is not really an alternative to engage with the fans. And the discussion goes on, you can read a nice transcripbt on the etherpad: http://etherpad.indiewebcamp.com/community
The second session was called Network flow it seemed not to be really clear to anyone in the group what this would end up be about but the title sounded cool and computer sciency so I attended. It started with some silo examples like posting to Twitter so people can either act on it and/or relay it. It went on to syndication of content, people as multiplicators, how to find them automatically through algorythms on graphs, we even talked about curation of content as an art form. Even the buzz word "Big Data" got used, haha, awesome!
Then I attended my own session where I tried to find out about the IndieWebReader. My opinion was that we should continue the work with RSS, Aaron tried to explain where we are today with using the HTML and microformats instead. We even identified some problems and kind of got to some proposal on how to solve it. In the end we came to the conclusion that implementing a IndieWebReader with all the features we envision will solve about the same problems as the proposed in SWAT0 which is "The Social Web Acid Test - Level 0 is an integration use case for the federated social web.", and it is quite complicated.
The last session I attended was about Podcasting from your own website. I'm not a podcaster myself but I consume a lot of podcasts so it was sort of interesting, and I knew about Podlove which is a WordPress plugin which makes your WordPress website into a full blown Podcast hosting provider with pages for every episode, etc. We also talked about the problem many have who use external providers that if you don't own url of your podcast feed then you're not able to move from one provider to another because most of the providers don't give you the opportunity to use HTTP 301 (Moved Permanently), and even if they do, iTunes takes weeks to update that and many clients don't implement that anyway.
After all those sessions it was time to get some beers at a local pub. We went upstares to Bailey’s Taproom where they had nice beers on tap. We continued with a lot of discussions there.