Zach’s ugly mug (his face)

Zach Leatherman

Own Your Content on Social Media Using the IndieWeb

October 18, 2019

Originally presented at JAMstack_conf_sf in San Francisco, CA USA 🇺🇸 on October 17, 2019. Based on the blog post I’m Taking Ownership of my Tweets on this very web site.

For this talk I built a social media platform:, the only social media site exclusively for astronauts. Unfortunately midway through the presentation an investor called me up to make an offer on the site and I was left with no choice but to sell it, taking all of the user data down with it. If you use the principles I outline in this talk, you would have been able to take agency over your data, preserving it on your own terms.


You’ve been posting to Medium, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. The gardens are walled. The silos are tall.

Inevitably when we are beholden to social media, the terms of service for these sites are subject to change. What can we do to protect our stuff and take back our digital social interactions out of these silo’d spaces and move them to places that we control?

With the IndieWeb and JAMStack, this is not only possible but pretty approachable too.


This video is hosted on YouTube.


Download a locally hosted PDF copy of the slides.

This talk is also on, which you can preview below:

Zach’s ugly mug (his face)

Zach is a builder for the web with Netlify. He created the Eleventy static site generator and is still fixated on web fonts. His public speaking résumé includes talks in eight different countries at events like Beyond Tellerrand, Smashing Conference, CSSConf, and The White House. He is an emeritus of Filament Group, NEJS CONF, and still helps out with NebraskaJS. Read more about Zach »

HTTP Archive’s Web Almanac 2019—Web Fonts Edition
Making a PWA out of the 1996 Space Jam Web Site


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  1. #

    aLS Ik Al dOor De SLIdeS SCROLl worD Ik enThoUsIaSt van HEt VeRhAaL VAn ZACH. MOOIE vergElijkINgen, FraAIE oPbOuW van Zijn betoOg En nIeT iN dE miNsTE PlAatS dE ReBeL CrY: “Our uRl’s aRE UnDeR aTtACK” PS: DIe Hele siTe iS een plAAtje!

  2. Jamie Tanna

    Jamie Tanna #

  3. Jeremy Keith #

    Own Your Content on Social Media Using the IndieWeb— October 20th, 2019 A terrific—and fun!—talk from Zach about site deaths, owning your own content, and the indie web. Oh, and he really did create MySpaceBook for the talk.

4 Replies
  1. Jordan Winslow

    Jordan Winslow @JordanDWinslow #

    This is a paradigm shift that MUST happen for human evolution. 1. Eliminates censorship. 2. Potential to pay users for good content (redistribution of gains) 3. Cambridge Analytica anyone? 4. No more privacy breaches. 5. Users dictate social policy, not 15 white men in suits.

  2. Zach Leatherman ❤️’d @jamstackconf

    Zach Leatherman ❤️’d @jamstackconf @zachleat #

    Yes, I absolutely plan on doing this! It’s pretty close—stay tuned!

  3. Mark Boulton

    Mark Boulton @markboulton #

    That's a great talk! I would *love* to get this up and running on my site. Any plans to release some of the magic you've built?

  4. Derek Homan

    Derek Homan @derekhoman #

    awesome watching now. thanks for sharing the link

    10 Mentions
    1. Beko Pharm

      Beko Pharm #

      This is exactly what the #Indieweb is missing. Fun introductions to pure awesome. The irony is that I learned about this excellent example on Diaspora while introducing someone else to Indieweb principles who came up in return with this video after a short search on the net. Mayh… Truncated

    2. Justin Sherrill #

      I still feel bad about missing a week, even though that’s a self-imposed requirement. In penance, here’s a linkdump. Cabinet Magazine is blogging and it’s wonderful in a way I haven’t seen in a long time. First, do no harm… with this software. The Hippocratic License. (via) … Truncated

    3. Danny de Vries

      Danny de Vries @dandevri #

      Everybody with a personal site should watch this talk by @zachleat about taking agency over your data and preserving it on your own terms.

    4. Alexandru Pavaloi

      Alexandru Pavaloi @_iampava #

      Great talk! Really got me thinking... 🤔

    5. ge ricci

      ge ricci @gericci #


    6. I throughly enjoyed this talk by @zachleat!

    7. Adactio Links

      Adactio Links @adactioLinks #

      Own Your Content on Social Media Using the IndieWeb—…

    8. Dave Rupert

      Dave Rupert @davatron5000 #

      This was a really good talk with some really good #indieweb feels.

    9. Phil Hawksworth at #JAMstackConf

      Phil Hawksworth at #JAMstackConf @philhawksworth #

      Rather brilliant.

    10. Chris Bach

      Chris Bach @Chr_Bach #

      So good this was. A great way to end the conf.

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