I have never really been a part of an online community. But I think I have finally found the first community I really want to stay. So here’s a rant on it:
About the Fediverse
What is the Fediverse?
The word Fediverse comes from “Federated” and “Universe”. It’s a decentralized Social Network which is build upon an open protocol. Everyone with some technical skills can setup his own server and build a community. The microblogging platforms Mastodon and Pleroma for example behave differently and have different userinterfaces. But because it’s built upon an open protocol, they can interact with each other. A person wich has an account on a Mastodon instance can interact with a person on a Pleroma instance.
There’s not just microblgging platforms on the Fediverse, even they seem to be most widely spread. There’s also alternatives for youtube like Peertube or an alternative for Instagram called Pixelfred. You can interact with many websites via your Fediverse accounts and leave comments. There is plenty more software available. if you want to get a peak you cah get displayed some service at Fediverse.network.
If you want to start explore the Fediverse you could start for example at Mastodon
If this explanation of the Fediverse does not satisfy you or you’d like to know more about it I can recommend you to read the Wikipedia Article about it.
Why is the Fediverse better than mainstream Social Media?
I’d say the main reason it’s better is because really everyone can have or choose their own instance. This makes Cencorship really hard. Also Instances can block other instances from reaching each other, so if an instance goes rouge it usually gets blocked by others. But on the other hand you can choose instances that very rarely block other instnaces, for example only if they are posting illegal content. I for example have setup my own Pleroma instance in which I am the only user. This puts me in an position where I can choose which instance I want to federate with and which I’d rather block. Also I represent only myself and therefore I an interact with really any instance and am only beeing blocked in theory because of my own actions. I have also the possibility as a technical person to make sure my posts get actually deleted on my server when I choose to do so.
There are less and more restrictive communitys and you as a user are free to chosse, which one represents your interests and which one you’d like to trust. Mainstream Social Media suffers in my oppinion really hard from cencorship. Also it lacks of quality. I don’t want to fool you. you won’t only find quality conversations on the Fediverse and sometimes even extreme content. but you are free to choose. You are the king of your own experience and data. This is what makes the Fediverse this much better!
Why didn’t I hear of it then?
This Article from eloquence discribes it better than I could possibly do. If you don’t want to read the full article, it’s basicially because there’s not much money to make out of it for coperations. So no money no advertisement as simple is that. But don’t be fooled, the Fediverse has Millions of very active accounts and is more alive than ever.
My conclusions regarding fist experiences with Fediverse
My first experience with Fediverse was on the Mastodon instance Fosstodon. I was greeted with a heartly welcome and took part in many great discussions about open technology, Linux, Selfhosting, Blogging and many other topics. It was an awesome experience and I tooted like mad and still am. I very soon began to realize that this is one of the greatest things I came across on the Internet since a long time. I met so much likeminded people, free speech activists and nerds, that produce quality conversations. I still can’t beleve I haven’t head of it sooner. Not very short after I decided to host my own Pleroma instance to get the full featured experience. This is where I am now. Just yesterday I had a very alive meetup with 2 BSD users. It accidentially went a bit sideways, but not on purpose. Anyways, I already met so much great people, I am still a bit buffed. I can recommend anyone to try it!