Our speaker this month is Tom Brown. Tom Brown is an open source software developer interested in digital identity, and he often attends Internet Identity Workshop and more recently IndiewebCamps. Tom has added open standards related to identity to several popular software projects. He can be found online as herestomwiththeweather.

Tom will be speaking to us about the Indieweb, a version of the internet that puts people and their direct social interactions at the center of its design. For more than 25 years, the web has provided us tools to be social online. However, as we adopt the same closed platforms, we see our experience change without our consent and we see the terms and services become increasingly antagonistic. This is often a gradual bait and switch by the platform which has locked us in as we were drawn in by network effects. In these silos, we are not in control of our conversations online as Kafkaesque algorithms decide what is seen. What should be a public space is not controlled by the public. Often times, the decentralized systems that try to address these problems are developed by a limited group of people and subsequently may not offer the user experiences sufficient for adoption. There are trade-offs in every design and we can choose which principles to follow.

The Indieweb is a people-focused alternative to the “corporate web” and is motivated by a set of principles including encouraging a plurality of projects, modularity and prioritizing user interface and design before protocols. It is possible to talk to each other online even when we’re on different sites and be in control of our social web software. In this meeting, we’ll see how the emerging Indieweb is expanding our options to regain control of the web and what that experience looks like.

Join us for the discussion from 7:00PM-9:00PM, followed by drinks and camaraderie from 9:00PM-10:00PM at Firehouse Lounge (605 Brazos St).

Capital Factory is located at 701 Brazos Street, on the 16th floor of the Omni Hotel. Once on the 16th floor, there should be a sign at the front desk directing you to our meetup. If there is no sign, and no one is on duty at the desk, we are usually in the room to the left of the front desk.

Talk will be livestreamed at https://www.youtube.com/user/austintechlive

Parking for the Omni Garage can be validated at the Capital Factory front desk, reducing the cost from $16 to $5. Details: https://capitalfactory.com/parking/