Hello! I'm Ben Werdmüller, a web product manager, platform architect and developer. Right now I'm CTO at latakoo, an enterprise video startup; previously, I co-founded Elgg.

I'm working on idno, a new kind of open source social networking platform (which powers this site).

I'm based in San Francisco and Santa Rosa, California. My email is hosted by Google, I keep documents on Dropbox, and my server is hosted in Dallas, Texas, on SoftLayer. My phone number is powered by Google Voice.













Replied to a post on twitter.com:

@haverholm PS: any comments / feedback / "applause" you'd be willing to share would be really appreciated: https://www.newschallenge.org/challenge/2014/submissions/idno-a-collective-storytelling-platform-that-supports-the-diversity-of-the-web #indieweb

Replied to a post on twitter.com:

@haverholm Idno is switching to MySQL over the next month for this reason. #indieweb

I'd missed this, but it's a great introduction to the #indieweb and why it's interesting: http://kartikprabhu.com/article/indieweb-love-blog

There's an #indiewebcamp at the Harvard Berkman Center this Fall. Totally awesome: http://indiewebcamp.com/2014/Cambridge

Hearing about IdentEngine as an #indieweb solution, but it seems to be stopped. Dead? http://www.identengine.com/

I wrote this back in 2009. Fantastic to now see this kind of thing coming out of the #indieweb community: http://benwerd.com/2009/10/12/danger-in-the-cloud-a-proposal/

Replied to a post on twitter.com:

@dougmckown Definitely want to make Idno easy asap. But I don't fault #indieweb for selfdogfooding with developers for now.

"#PESOS from Secret am I doing this right #indieweb" https://www.secret.ly/p/wcoubyckjckgvstnwkkrcmrbbr

"X service is blocked in Y country" are silo problems. As soon as the conversation is distributed & re-shareable, it can't be blotted out. #indieweb

Seeking an #indieweb alternative to Google Voice

The whole time I've been in the US, I've been using a Google Voice number to communicate.

Here it is: +1 (312) 488-9373.

The reasons are numerous: I can get phone calls on any of my connected devices, even when I'm out of the country. I can change phone service providers at any time. I can make calls in places with wifi but no cellphone reception. I get voicemails as text, so I don't have to listen through an endless series of recorded messages.

Phone numbers themselves are kind of an archaic technology, but it's not feasible to ditch them just yet. So I was disappointed to read that Google Voice is going to be rolled into Hangouts.

That's Google's prerogative. Any silo service provider could make a similar decision at any time. So the question becomes: how can I create my own Google Voice setup on my own infrastructure?

I want four things:

  1. Phone calls that come to me wherever I am, on whatever device
  2. The ability to change phone provider without hassle
  3. Voicemails in my email
  4. Cheap international calls

I also don't want to use Skype or another proprietary provider.

I'm really not sure what to look for here. I know about SIP and Asterisk, but setting up and maintaining them sounds like a pain to me. Is there something user-friendly I can use?

I'll be following up in a subsequent post with what I discover.

Loving the new, super-clear #indieweb description over at http://indiewebcamp.com. Nicely done.

Wow! @mapkyca is going from strength to strength with Idno plugins. Embeddable posts: http://www.marcus-povey.co.uk/2014/03/06/embeddable-posts-in-idno/ #indieweb

Twitter now not letting you create apps if you don't have a cell no. on your acct. #posse implications? #indieweb

As a general policy, if your site supports #indieweb & I'm replying to you, I won't syndicate the reply via third-party sites (unless I want people there to be able to see the conversation, eg if it's a more public thread).

Replied to a post on jeena.net:

Blogs were a kind of social web in themselves. I'm really hoping that the #indieweb tech we're all developing now brings some of that back.

Today in "why silos are awful": iOS holds your phone number hostage if you move from iPhone. http://blog.benjaminste.in/post/75389520824/ios-holding-my-phone-number-hostage-the-worst-bug #indieweb #iamnotanumber

If I had @kevinmarks's #indieweb livetweeting app, I'd only use it to make fun of sporting events. Just as well.

Friends asking me about a London chapter of Homebrew Website Club. Is there something close? #indieweb

Another great evening at Homebrew Website Club. I'm once again feeling privileged to get to hang out with the #indieweb community.

Thanks to everyone who came to RockIT last night! Great questions & ideas about #indieweb. I had fun.

Powered by idno