Building on the idea of an IndieWeb zine


Webmentions: 8

Riffing on’s idea of a printed #IndieWeb zine.

At last night’s Homebrew Website Club Europe/London introductions James mentioned his blog post of ideas. One idea in particular resonated with a few people in the group, including me: an IndieWeb zine.

A printed zine for the indie web. I would love to see a magazine, perhaps quarterly, that encourages contributions from people with personal websites. The zine could be about the culture of having a website and participating in the web community. There could be featured websites and tools, lists of ideas, "what's hot" sections that show new ideas that many bloggers have been experimenting with, and more. I would subscribe to such a zine.

Me too!

I spent the rest of the evening with this idea occupying my brain and a few questions and thoughts came to mind.

Publishing any physical media, regardless of quality, takes a lot of time and effort, particularly as the number of people involved increases. How might we make the process as simple and frictionless as possible for people contributing and curating?

Part of the appeal and charm of physical zines and the IndieWeb at that they embody the DIY culture of self-expression without a strict set of rules or deadlines and a sense of ‘done’. How might we encourage people to participate around time-sensitive responsibilities and milestones?

Print material is fixed (proportions, material) while the web is fluid. How might we create a seamless link between the dimensions and materials of these very different mediums?

Back of the napkin proposal


If the focus of the zine is on the IndieWeb, it only seems natural for contributors to host contributions on their own websites. This allows them to author their content exactly how they want in whatever style they see fit. It allows for the flexibility to update their content if they need to, avoiding any versioning nightmares at the moment of printing (more on that shortly). The content’s url is the source of truth.

It would also be nice to create a simple bridge between the print and digital version. QR Codes might be useful here.

Webring bound

I recently added An IndieWed Webring to my site. A webring is a curated list of opted-in websites, linked together by hyperlinks linking to the next and previous website and the webring home webpage.

Great! An IndieWeb solution for author opt-in and website curation already exists. Let’s use that!

Presumably if we only include the webring links one page we can effectively create a single page webzine across multiple websites.

Issues could be split across unique webrings, each with an index page to help with navigating across issues.

Serendipitous and unique by design

As far as I know, navigating the webring isn’t a consistent experience every time. By that I mean the next website for me won’t be the same for you. I don’t mind that. In fact I prefer it. The web isn’t a uniform experience, so if the zine reflects that, that’s a good thing in my opinion.

So far we have an online zine. What about a physical zine?

Remember print style sheets?

This is definitely a stretch goal for authors but could be a fun exercise for those design inclined. This is also where my ideas start to run dry but not entirely empty.

  • Perhaps some loose constraints around design and paper output size could help?
  • Perhaps one contributor could take on the role of print layout, combining the all or some of the digital content and creating a unique artefact? Perhaps you might see more than one print edition of the same content?
  • Perhaps someone could code something that would wrap submissions into a single document?

I like that the zine could then be printed on demand, each with their own imperfections and quirks, furthering the uniqueness of the zine.

Thats all I have for now. A proof of concept doesn’t seem out of reach thought and could be a really fun project.

Like this post? Share it