Content Silos

A content silo is a close structure within which we put valuable resources. Consider Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (Ello? is it still going?) and the others as content silos. When you see a funny video posted on your Facebook feed, it often difficult to share that with someone who does not have a facebook account. Once you put it in, it is stuck there—by design. An excellent choice for the company that is monitoring all your input but not so good for you. In return for all our data, we get a rich user experience, ads and news feeds tailored to our personal interest bubbles, etc. A good strategy for the provider but is it good for me? I’m beginning to wonder.


I’m inclined to think otherwise and as a beginning to this transformation am going to buy in with the IndieWeb crowd. The term POSSE stands for Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere. This is a very simple idea, with a lot of internet magic under the hood. It goes like this: 1. You get your own domain (say 2. On that domain, run open source software that allows you to push content from a wide variety of sources (web, phone, tablet, browser, IFTTT, etc.). I’ve chosen to use WordPress.orgfor my interface. 3. Configure it to such that it automagically sends out permashortlinksfor all the content I publish to other providers such as:

            * [Facebook](
            * [Twitter](
            * [Tumblr](
            * [Instagram](

  4. Because each post is 'given' to these silos as a link back to your own site, any comments, likes, and interaction you have with it are also propagated back to your own site. 

The benefits of this are many and quite meaningful. First, under a model like this, you own your own content. If tech company X goes under, you still have access to all your stuff. This is Ownership. Next, anything you post can be seen and interacted with by all your friends and acquaintances, not only those who participate in the same silos you do. This reduces dependencies on these third parties. It also ensures that as long as the internet is around, you have control of your content at a dedicated address in perpetuity.

I’m totally in on the IndieWeb philosophy. For more information, go right to the source.

Behavioral Changes

The main drawback is that I’m going to have a more difficult time discovering things to repost to my friends… Lately, I’ve taken a liking to things like: and and These just ‘arrive’ in my various feeds and I pass them along. Under this approach, I may have to go and actively search them out… ;-)

Featured image by Christopher Short (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Father, Husband, Brewer, Professor

Middle aged guy trying to keep it all together and figure out how to best navigate the world as it is. Technology geek, practitioner of fermentation sciences, researcher, biologist.