New blog, OSCAL 2023 and going indie

Published on: 18/09/2023

Hi all, this is my first blogpost, on my brand new indie blog. I've wanted to have my own website for a long time, after letting my old github pages site unupdated for years, but never got to the point of building a new one. This time i finally managed to finish it, with the help of 11ty, some inspiration from neocities and rediscovering the indieweb movement, so here is the result. As the saying goes, the site is always ⚠️ under construction ⚠️, but it's good enough to start posting on it. More details to come on how it is built.

Today I want to tell you about my experience at OSCAL 2023. OSCAL (Open Source Conference Albania) is a annual conference dedicated to free and open source techonologies, open knowledge and free culture which has been taking place for 8 years (with a 2 year of pause during COVID). During two days you get the chance to follow presentation, workshops and visit info booths about FLOSS techologies, projects and initiatives. It's the first and only conference of its kind in Albania, and throughout the years it has earned a fantastic reputation among FLOSS enthusiasts from all over Europe and beyond.

About 100 participants, among which FLOSS technology users, developers, designers, hackers, activists and academics gathered in the 2nd and 3rd of September in a venue on the outskirts of Tirana to share interesting projects and perspectives, and to learn from each other. This year's edition theme was "Standing in the shoulders of hackers". It aimed to celebrate the knowledge gathered and created by people and hackers before us, and also acknowledge the importance of maintaining, enriching and sharing this knowledge for future generations. Topics ranged from technical ones, to ones related to OpenStreetMap, Wikipedia/Wikidata and policy making.

The organizing team from Open Labs Hackerspace had done a fantastic job given the period, short time frame and limited human resources, and delivired a smooth and delightful conference. A special thanks also goes to all the volunteers that helped during the days of the event. My personal contribution was building and updating the OSCAL website, with design from Kristi and support from flowrivers.

I also happened to host a presentation this year, titled "Moving away from the corporate web: an indieweb primer". It was an overview of the state of today's web from a user's perspective, and how we can invision a revival of the web's core principles of openess, neutrality and decentralization by embracing a set of techologies that stand under the umbrella of the IndieWeb. The slides for the presentation can be found here. This was also one of the main motivations for creating this website, as it served as a way to hold myself accountable by having to learn and practice all the things for which I was going to talk.

So what's next? I'll write a detailed blogpost based on the presentation where I will explain in details the steps needed to become part of the IndieWeb. I'll probably also host a workshop at Open Labs with my comrades hacktivists where we hopefully indiwebify all of the participants' websites, or at least get them started on creating one. All updates will be posted on this blog, because that's what blogs are for, right? So if you're interested, subscribe (via rss), follow (on mastodon) and like/repost/reply via webmentions!

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