Indie Tech Rocks

Indie Tech Rocks logo

You didn’t know? In which case I have just the website for you:

On this site, we collect products that don’t screw you, the user. Eventually this will include all sorts of things, from social networking tools to toaster ovens. While there are plenty of lists for, say, open-software software, or privacy-protecting technologies, as far as I know, nobody has ever assembled such a list focused on products.

The idea is that next time you, or me, or anyone, is in need of something — let’s say a new home thermostat — they can first consult and see whether there’s a home thermostat that does not screw you. If there is, you have your answer and can buy it. If not, well, you have to decide whether you can live with products that don’t meet our values.

Did I say “values”? Yes. “Doesn’t screw you” isn’t exactly a well-defined term, so we tried to make the definition clearer. Products listed on this site must meet the following three values, quoted from the site:

  1. We have control over our data. We can have access to all of it. We can move it somewhere else and take it away from a vendor who has lost our trust. We can delete it if we so like. We can do all sorts of things with it, only limited by our imagination.
  2. We have options. It means no lock-in. It means we can stop our relationship with the vendor, and go somewhere else, without substantial loss. For example, open-source in inherently forkable, so an open-source project cannot really lock us in. But even if a product is not open-source, it might still not lock us in.
  3. Nothing happens behind our backs that we don’t know about or cannot prevent. For example, no selling of our data, our click stream, or behaviors, even in aggregate. Unless we specifically consent and can revoke that consent at any time.

I put this site together during Indie Web Summit in Portland, OR, last weekend (24/25 Jun 2017), with the help of Mitch Kiah and Jack Jamieson. Kartik Prabhu designed the (animated!) logo, in pure SVG and CSS of all things.

Most importantly: additions welcome. Simply file an issue on Github here or, better, submit a pull request with the changes to this file you want to make.