Zach’s ugly mug (his face)

Zach Leatherman

Own Your Content on Social Media Using the IndieWeb

October 17, 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 IndieWeb Avatar for https://www.netlify.comNetlify. He created the IndieWeb Avatar for https://www.11ty.devEleventy site generator and is still fixated on web fonts. His public speaking résumé includes talks in eight different countries at events like Jamstack Conf, Beyond Tellerrand, Smashing Conference, CSSConf, and The White House. He is an emeritus of Filament Group, NEJS CONF, and still helps out with nebraskajs’s AvatarNebraskaJS. Read more about Zach »

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


Beko PharmJustin SherrillDanny de VriesAlexandru Pavaloige ricciross✨JoëlFredrik MathesonXΛBknutJulienAdactio LinksFrank TaillandierMike AparicioJohn LaceyMatthias OttJack-o-weinbenderDave RupertSteven BeeckmanPhil Hawksworth at #JAMstackConfjailGift Egwuenu ✨Matt BiilmannChris BachTim ChambersEleventyRégis Philibert at #JAMStackConfMattPayneOrg


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  1. IndieWeb Avatar for

    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. IndieWeb Avatar for

    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


    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


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

  3. Mark Boulton


    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


    awesome watching now. thanks for sharing the link

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