With the shenanigans going on at Twitter, I, as a lot of people, have been looking into alternatives. I had heard of Mastodon (open source Twitter!), but had not tried, or even looked much into it.
One of the many times things nearly collapsed, I caved and went and signed up. I will mention that signing up for new things is something I am becoming more reluctant to do these days, which is probably a different post.
I signed up for Mastodon to give it a try and from there found out more about the Fediverse. So, what’s that? Fedi.tips says:
The Fediverse (or “Fedi”) is a collection of thousands of independent social media servers that talk to each other seamlessly. This means that the millions of users on these servers can interact with each other as if they were on a single social network.
What does that mean? It means rather than there be one site, i.e. Twitter or Facebook, there are lots of them, and each runs the server background to have these social sites. But then the magic happens.
Fediverse sites us a protocol called ActivityPub which connects all of them together. So a post on one site can be seen and commented on by another. You can follow people on different servers, even different apps, all from your home.
And it is pretty cool. It means there isn’t a central control over the site. Sites can be set up based on subject, or locations, or any other grouping. Want a social network for your family? here ya go.
AND, you can still interact with people on different sites.
I’ve decided to jump in. It is exciting and combining both the connection of social media, but the control offered by self hosting makes it doubly appealing.
I’m still looking into how I will host my microblog (i.e. Twitter replacement), and whether it will be Mastodon, Misskey, or something else.
But I have done two things. The first is set up this very blog to be on the Fediverse. With an ActivityPub WordPress Plugin you can now follow this blog on Mastodon, Pixelfed, Writefreely, etc.
Just look for @jake
The second is to set up a BookWyrm instance on books.jacobhaddon.com. BookWyrm is like GoodReads, which I had long since abandoned. I’m going to give it a shot, and see if reading in public is something I want to do. It is a sweet setup, and has been easy to use so far.
So if books are your thing: @firstname.lastname@example.org
And there will be no doubt some others. I would like a PixelFed instance, but am currently having some issues getting it set up. (And I’ve made a new page to list my accounts here.)
What is the end goal? Why do this? I think the big thing is that the current state of Twitter is showing us all that leaving these things up to just a few corporate entities is not the way to go. ActiviyPub makes social networking more like email than a closed off system.
Sound interesting at all? Check out this page on Fedi.tips, which is a list with way more information on the Fediverse and its options. Mastodon is a great starting point, but there is much more out there. You can sign up on servers that already exist, or if you are so inclined, you can set up your own.
Social, but on your terms.