Some time ago, I joined the Fediverse. Why and why now? I actually gave it a try few times already I tried it many years ago with Friendica. I actually run it for a while and posted there but I can’t find any traces of it anywhere so it was a really really long time ago (sometime before 2015). It was nice, but social network by myself is kinda boring so it eventually died out.
Next I tried to enable Social in Nextcloud. There I also started following Nextcloud, so it was a little bit better, but my federated URL was ugly and I had no idea to get it prettier and it eventually broke with some update. It seems to be reviving nowadays, but in the meantime, I already went in a different way.
My last try that seems to be working and seems to have a future happened when everybody started leaving Twitter because changes that Musk did. Everyone was fleeing from Twitter to Mastodon so suddenly I had people to follow. That tempted me to give it another try. And when third party apps for Twitter were killed, it became my main social network.
When I decided to give it a try, I decided to host it myself. I’m doing that with my web, with my Nextcloud, with my DNS, partially with my email and others. I like to have things under my control and to mess with them :-)
When choosing the software, I decided to go with gotosocial My reason was mainly the ease of setup and how easy it is to confine it. One golang binary with few assets and supporting sqlite backend. Simple to run and store everything in one directory. If I decide later that it is not for me, I just stop the process and delete the directory. No wasted days of setup, no tons of Python dependencies to get rid off. If I decide to keep it, I can migrate to MariaDB backend and deploy it properly/package it. I decided to use it despite all the alpha software warnings. Especially since I saw plenty of activity on their GitHub.
So far it works well. I did several upgrades without any problems and I even upgraded to several rc versions. I run into few smaller issues. Not everything is implemented already. The one feature that I miss the most is working hashtags. But I am writing them, just searching them doesn’t work and leads to 404 page. But that looks like they might start working once they get implemented :-)
Little drawback I found was also that there is no UI to actually use the network. You have to install client. Either to your phone, desktop or as a separate web application. But there is a plenty to choose from and you can actually choose whatever fits you the best.
Long story short, I’m now part of the Fediverse and I plan to stay there, find me at @email@example.com. And if you haven’t tried it already, I recommend to give it a try. It is not a ghost town anymore.