On this page you see examples of websites you can host yourself. I'll use Mastodon as an example since I've used it. I know about hubzilla slightly but have not used it.
Mastodon is a platform you can run on your own server. That server you're running is called an instance. You can also register on an instance someone else is running.
Think of a single Mastodon instance as a clone of Twitter. One nice thing is: Your server, your rules.
Then, you can also allow your Mastodon instance and its users and their posts to be discoverable by other instances.
I think it's said to be federated because no one entity controls the content that is being shared. the information is passed around from instance to instance by rules that are defined on a per-instance basis.
They're also looking to implement OpenID2 so it can be used to log into websites just like Facebook currently can.
Also note that email is federated, yet the majority of users have congregated around Gmail.
I predict that the same thing will happen with Mastodon, and that is not the type of future we should have.
Instead, I urge everybody to use P2P/decentralized networking, where even though there might be strong/reliable federated hosts, YOU fundamentally control your identity and it does NOT belong to a federated host.
With latest WebCrypto, this is perfectly possible now: http://hackernoon.com/so-you-want-to-build-a-p2p-twitter-wit... !
Yeah, owning ones identity and also your followers/friends/etc connection to your account should automatically be updated if you choose to move instances. This is what I believe will allow federation to flourish.
When the shortlived Great Migration to Mastodon took place last year, it was terribly cumbersome if you wanted to move instances — you would lose all of your friends again, at which point you’re required to somehow alert every account which follows you and expect them to go through the steps to add your new account. This is just too messy and for people who have spent years building their perfect social net, this is a pretty severe roadblock when one is forced to choose between a new instance with better culture but losing years of work connecting with interesting people.
I think federated networks are perfectly fine and a good first stepping stone into better decentralization, P2P usually has some problems in usability and moderation/administration.
Mastodon instances allow people with similar interests to live together as a community with a strong bond than what you'd usually encounter in purely P2P networks.
W3C Recommendation: https://www.w3.org/TR/2018/REC-activitypub-20180123/
All the clever positioning breaks down on the iPad mini I’m sitting in bed reading this on. I just get two columns of circular images, with captions nearer to the next image than the one they’re supposed to be for. It seems to work properly if I turn to landscape but...
You’re missing Secure Scuttlebutt. And the decentralized video sharing network whose name I can’t remember.
Most decentralized video sharing services I've seen are built on blockchain which this site explicitly denounces in regards to social media. The only federated video sharing alternative I'm aware of is PeerTube: https://github.com/Chocobozzz/PeerTube
Here's a list of instances that you can try: https://instances.peertu.be/instances
I wonder if
- two peers who streams in different resolution (say 360 and 1080p) can share data through P2P to lighten the load for the main instance.
- if it will be possible to associate a magnet link (for instance, taken from TPB) with a hosted video to allow for peers to leech from the network.
perhaps https://d.tube ? it was on HN somewhat recently
That said, this is a sad commentary on open source social networks. The largest would appear to be Mastodon at ~1M 'accounts'. Facebook is what, ~2 billion active? if you want to believe their numbers.
Now they have a nice web UI (nicer than most IMO, which I didn't think they'd be able to pull off with it being federated) and some really nice desktop clients (I really like madonctl with ansi colors enabled, I just added it to my .fvwmrc.)
It is decentralized though, which is great.
That's exactly what Usenet is, and Usenet with 1990-era terminal clients was superior in most respects to most current web-based forum systems.
Jon Udell wrote an excellent book in 1999 on building collaborative systems with NNTP servers, web technologies, etc.:
I'm meaning decentralized reddit.
Servers as subreddits, federated multi-reddits, only registered server accounts can vote on certain pieces, server by server moderation etc.
I eventually moved on because I couldn't figure out how to solve some of the social problems, but I still think something like that could work out.
This is a really cool idea. I never really understood what "the social web" was really about in the mid-aughts. The Internet was always a social tool before Facebook and Flickr and all that happened. It's nice to see it come back around to being distributed again. I hope protocols take over again.
Services like this would do well to integrate the Signal protocol, although I don’t know how well it scales with federated servers, I can’t recall any actual tests of that functionality yet.
Regardless, I enjoyed the summaries. One suggestion would be screenshots.
The average Facebook user needs a visible face to trust.
Here there is nothing like it.
Tell Elon Musk. That would be a blow.
If you really want to win at Facebook, you need to play. with your owns weapons: advertising and people.
I'd heard of most of these projects, but there's some I hadn't heard about so I'll be sure to check them out.
One issue I've got is that there's no real rhyme or reason to the layout, or why they're put where they are.
What’s up with scrolling on that site? I’m on iOS safari, and when I click through to one of the pages (say Mastsdon) and do a quick “throw scroll” (you know, when you move your thumb quickly across the page and lift up and the page keeps scrolling by inertia), the page stops immediately after my thumb leaves. (See any HN page for a working counter example.)
Why does this happen? Why is someone overriding scroll events? Why not just leave stuff alone and allow a consistent experience? Why? Why? Why?
There are Reddit and HN for crowd discussions, there are WhatsApp and Telegram to chat with friends, there is Twitter (with relaxed message length limit, finally!) to post your updates if you want and to contact people publicly. All we actually need "a facebook" for is to present ourselves.
However, if you want something that actually promotes social, it is NOT posting stuff about what happened in the past. What you read, saw, some news article about what happened. And then enlessly waste time contributing comments about it.
No, it's this:
Now you know.
The GPL's copyleft terms only kick in when you redistribute the software. Allowing other people to run the software remotely doesn't count.
(This is my understanding; do check for yourself.)