The Internet is different than I imagined it would be.
I’m 32 years old today. Born in 1987, I’m right in the middle of of the Millennial generation. I came of age at the same time as the Internet. When I was a kid, my Dad was part of the computer science faculty at the technical school in my small hometown. This meant we had a computer in my house before most families did. My Dad would bring those off white color desktops computers home when he had extra work to do, and he’d let me play games on it when he wasn’t using it.
We had a computer long before we had the Internet. I remember getting those AOL CDs in the mail and getting mad at my Dad when he couldn’t quite make me understand why the AOL CD was no good without a physical connection to the Internet. I thought he just didn’t want to go to the trouble of setting things up.
I was too young to understand why AOL wouldn’t work without a connection, but I inherently understood that a vast, worldwide network of computers was a game-changer. At the very least, I knew this would give me access to more computer games.
We finally got a dial-up connection when I was in my early teens. I marveled at Geocities and Angelfire sites. Everyone who wanted it had their own little corner of the web. The sites were simple. Most of the content was of little to no use to anyone, but every site was different. You got a little taste of someone’s personality when you visited their website.
This is the Internet we have now:
It’s different than I imagined it would be. It’s not a place where everyone looks different. It’s a place where everyone looks the same. It’s a place where a few corporations have trapped you and nearly everyone you know.
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are not the entire internet. Take control of your online identity, and build your own website.
So What is the IndieWeb?
The Indieweb is a place you can take some of your sovereignty back.
The idea of building your own place on the web isn’t new. It’s just not as popular as it once was because the huge social media sites is where everyone you know is congregated. The IndieWeb community has come up with a novel approach to this problem. Build your own site. Post your content there. Then syndicate that content to the social media sites where everyone else is. It’s a compromise.
You can still interact with the rest of the web that’s locked away in walled gardens, but your content will originate from your own website.
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.
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.
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 example.com/ideas. These links are permanent and will always work.
So What is JHSheridan.com
JHSheridan.com is my personal website. Like a lot of personal websites, it’s got an about me page, it’s got a page showcasing my professional work, and it’s got a page where you can find my contact information. What makes this site different is that it also serves as a repository for other things I post in other places on the Internet. That way, if I’m kicked off of Facebook, or if Twitter shuts down, or if I just can’t stand Instagram any longer, that content doesn’t just disappear. It will always have a home here. The content is mine. I’m in control.