The Small Web isn’t about going back to the days of GeoCities. It’s about going forward differently, using modern tech in a non-colonial manner.

It’s not about building clones of Twitter, YouTube, etc. There’s no way anyone can self-host a dozen different services. Instead, it’s about having a single-tenant place on the Web that you own and control without technical knowhow; a place you can add Twitter, YouTube, etc., *features* to.

Not everyone can manage self hosting. Ultimately, the problems come down to modern software being to brittle, having too many bugs, and not being user friendly enough. It's sad because you're right, we shouldn't be paying with our freedom–but the reality is in order for someone to have access to modern services someone needs to be patching/updating/debugging/tweaking and paying.

@awaspnest Your first sentence is exactly what I’m saying in my post :)

@awaspnest (That doesn’t mean we built multi-tenant services. It means we build a single-tenant service that can be set up and used without technical knowhow. And then we make it so that the mechanism for doing that can be hosted by anyone with technical knowhow. And further, we make it so they can do so sustainably within the current socioeconomic system and in the better one we hope systems like this will help usher in…)

I've only poked around on your website a bit, but you're making a web application right? I think just running a debian server with nodejs on it is well beyond the reach of most people (In order to host sitejs). But maybe I'm missing something?

@awaspnest When it’s ready this will be your experience:

1. Go to
2. Choose a name
3. Either pay €10/mo (or maybe, for example, your municipality will give you a code, so enter that instead.)

In under 30 seconds you’re up and running with your own place on the web.

(And anyone with tech knowledge can run their own at their own domain. And you can easily move your place from one domain/host to another.)

Very early demo:

@aral @awaspnest once it's a bit further along, I would love to offer this as part of!

@amolith @awaspnest Neat! I’m trying to make it as easy as possible for you to do so with Domain and would love your thoughts and feedback when it’s a little further along (it’s going to take me a week to two to create the first version of NodeKit and swap that into Domain so I have a bit of infrastructural yak shaving to do before concentrating on Domain itself again.)

I think this is all good until there's a zero day: Who's doing the updates and patches? Yes you can automate setups, but maintenance? It seems like at that point you're just running a platform with more steps. I really like the concept, I'm just a little pessimistic given my own experiences (as a reasonably skilled computer person) in making generally useful Webservices. Still I'll keep an eye on it.

@awaspnest @aral well you're paying minimal rent for those zero-days and electricity

Also, and maybe I missed this somewhere, but you should copy this toot and put it on your website somewhere. It seems like most links about what you're doing lead to hour-long live streams.

@aral I am totally inline with that view.

When thinking about it, I was wondering if Peer2Peer was not the way to go. Or a variation, Peer2ManyPeers for group discussions...

Well, of course we need ActivityPub for federating the Fediverse. I like the word "single-tenant" for bringing up the idea :)

Sometimes, I feel it would be great to have such a piece of software running on a standard computer, not 24h/24h online. But this brings challenges for exchanging the data between nodes...

@aral Maybe we could rely on trustful relays (let's say 2 of them for availibility) that we select, and use as a post office. This brings back some centralisation, but we would not be dependant of the relay if we can choose any, including our own "single-tenant" (in which case, of course, there is not much added value for the non 24h/24h running tool, except if we separate client UI and messaging).

Just throwing some ideas :)
(I have no time at hand for now for doing anything concrete)

@aral Have you seen Olia Lialina's "From My To Me" discussing the structural differences in between self-owned places (home page) and big tech profiles (feed) from a user perspective? It might be interesting for what you're building.

@aral Yes! A place on the web that users, errr, people :-) can own. I need to say that I also dream of a place wherein I can make my own terms of use, and privacy policy.
Currently ToU and PP are always a one-way notification from the service provider towards the user. A long text WHICH YOU HAVE TO READ.. and if you understand & consider it all, you actually do not want to accept (But still you do).
Now how to make my webplace in such a way that Google, Facebook et al HAVE TO read my terms? ;) If I reset my router, so that I can access the settings (I am locked out for some reason), I could self-host a website with its own RSS feed.

@aral Do you think Freedombox has the potential to evolve into something like this?

@aral Your mission is good! Best of luck!

There might be some useful tools for you here...

@aral I think there is something we need: a protocol to send or share contents among computers on the same network without having to send to external common computer (aka server)

@aral Yes! We don't need the whole shebang, you only need to add those features to your space which you value enough :) (i set up a honk server this morning, serendipitous that you post this~)

@aral I think both approaches have value. Best to think of the current #fedivere as a stepping stone.

The outcome is balence between Client/server as society is a balance between social and individual.

We need to respect diversity in our social change/challenge.

Stepping/bridge :)


@aral I believe every household should have a server, and for most services you'd access your own server from anywhere rather than someone else's. In a world where governments and big tech believe censorship is their right and duty, we have no choice but to own the infrastructure together.

@sj_zero Sure, and there’s nothing stopping anyone from installing what we’re building on a raspberry pi and plugging it into their routers. But we can’t expect everyone to do that. That said, I can see us providing preconfigured little devices that folks can just plug in. Been prototyping them. Easier than ever to do today.

@aral I think that is something that can be the next big thing.

I've got a NAS that has a bunch of pacakages you can install including nextcloud. It doesn't include what I think you'd need, but something like what you're talking about would be perfect -- it's a big change in looking at the world realizing that our Internet connections are 2-way.

Best of luck to you on that!
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