Last year, around November, a wave of #TwitterMigration happened and, even though there were mixed reactions online about it, I would still say it raised a lot of people’s awareness on free and open software alternatives out there.
Obscure ~ not clearly expressed or easily understood.
I was part of that wave, and first signed up with fosstodon.org, a Mastodon community around Free and Open Source Software.
Like a lot of us new there, I loved the features that we didn’t have in Twitter, like editing posts, super flexible content filters, and the capability to get updates from communities outside the one we signed up on.
But maybe the biggest thing that made me want to stay and invest in this is the realization that people can come together to form communities and create software that works for the benefit of the people.
So when the December holidays came, I spent some time and resources to set up my own Mastodon instance.
It Didn’t Stop There
Since then I have not ran out of new things to discover… to the point that when I think of a problem there’s almost always a software solution that is being built to address it.
So here, I list some of them that I am currently using.
Mastodon - Social networking that’s not for sale. It implements an open standard protocol that enables people in multiple communities to interact with each other. There are other flavors/forks of this and they all form what we generally call the Fediverse (Federated Universe)
SourceHut - Suite of open source tools taken from the wisdom of the most successful open-source communities and turned into a platform of efficient engineering. It’s quite hard to explain, but it removes all the usual drama and just focuses on everything necessary to create good software. Posted about it here and here
webmention.io - This is a hosted service to allow receiving webmentions which is an open web standard (W3C Recommendation). It allows people and websites to receive interactions across the web. I use it for this blog. Scroll to the end of this post with a lot of interactions.
brid.gy - if webmention.io is the service I use to receive webmentions on this blog, this service is what I use to send interactions from Mastodon. Basically it scans my latest posts and if I have one linking to a blog, it will send all interactions to that post into the linked blog. Neat combo!
lists.sh - A simple way to publish lists via plain text files. I’m still on the edge on this one, as I still don’t know how it fits my “workflow”. I mean, I could also just publish lists on this blog… but I find it really interesting as it allows publishing via tools that you most probably already have on your machine:
scp. It’s a promising workflow, to say the least.
Pixelfed - A decentralized photo sharing platform. It’s part of the fediverse too, and maybe one of my favorites. It reminds me of the early Instagram days when photos being posted were actually good photography. Now every other popular place is just a variant of TikTok. Haha, anyway, here’s my pixelfed account
But Wait, There’s More
The ones I listed above are the ones I have been using so far.
The following are some that have my attention now, but I just don’t have the time yet to explore:
- PeerTube - An alternative to Big Tech’s video platforms
- FunkWhale - A social platform to enjoy and share music
- IndieWeb building blocks - basically the rabit hole if you’re interested in protocols and open web standards 🤯
I’ll probably post more when I get to try new ones.
I love exploring these solutions as they usually lead to meeting people who think outside the box and me learning a lot from them.
Please do share if you know of others! :)