All it costs to fulfill the average person's needs for digital services is a $5 per month VPS instance. It's even cheaper if you buy a single board computer and host your services at home.

We've been letting companies steal our personal data and sell it to the highest bidder and destroying democracy in the process all to save what? A coffee a month?

This is one of the worst deals in history.

#privacy #selfhosting


@njoseph the $ cost is not the major barrier. I have a friend who can do email and FB, but thinks a wiki with a WYSIWYG editor requires a "tech whiz" to operate (their words). Geeks tend to heavily under-appreciate how much experience-based knowledge we hold, and how complicated learning new digital tools and processes is for most people

@njoseph IMHO breaking folks out of the requires every geek to set up a VPS (or box-in-the-closet) for their tribe (150 closest family and friends), and actively trained anyone keen to learn how to do the same; more so than

@strypey @njoseph Oh, and don't forget the empathy to not make people feel like shit because they don't know something.

@akkartik @njoseph Amen to that. I'm trying to retrain myself to patiently explain to people why I avoid FB and suggest they do the same, instead of getting all exasperated and sarcastic as if it should be obvious to everyone by now. Again, it's easy to forget how much experience-based knowledge I hold as a fulltime geek activist

@strypey @njoseph I think we also need to reduce the cost of doing so by providing betters tools for that (for those who wants it), both the cost or time involved in that and the time needed to learn that.

Doing what you describe is a huge involvement in time today sadly (just think about handling emails...)

Freedombox and others are working on that but we really aren't a lot doing so :/ (it's not the funniest thing to do)

@strypey @njoseph

I agree. It's not so easy to self host. It requires choices, knowledge, time...
Many users jusy want to communicate easily.


Woah. I think you just landed a major way geeks can help move this sort of thing forward.

Declare yourself captain of a small ship, metaphorically speaking.


@RussSharek @strypey People are already doing community hosting. Some notable examples are #framasoft and #disroot.

FreedomBox was involved in community hosting too, in a few villages and university campuses. That reminds me. I should continue writing this WikiBook.

@strypey @RussSharek Yes, in fact, I maintain a list of alternatives to #FreedomBox.


Maybe I should put this list on my wiki.

@njoseph @RussSharek definitely good to have this list available on a public web page. Are they all distros that can run on a box-in-the-closet though? That's the use case for F-Box, F-Bone, and YUNO. My understand is that Cloudron and Sandstorm, for example, need more resources than a box-in-the-closet can realistically provide

@strypey @RussSharek Added them to my private wiki for now. Have to decide on which public wiki to put it on later.

Will update the urls soon.

@njoseph @RussSharek ae, I'm aware of the great work do, and I'm a user (and a user for more than a decade). What I'm challenging is the idea that the end goal of -hosting is atomized individuals hosting only their own individual stuff. I'm not against that at all, it's a legitimate option for those privileged to have the skills, but I don't see it as realistic or even desirable for everyone to do it that way.

@strypey @RussSharek I'd say that it's no longer a hardware problem, since today's ARM boards are more powerful than the servers of 20 years ago. It's just a matter of creating software that makes it convenient enough to do self-hosting.

Isn't one smartphone per person inefficient too? If each person can have an ARM device in their pocket running client applications, they can also have another ARM device at home running server applications. We just have to build the software for it.

@njoseph @RussSharek see my original posts. No, it's not a hardware problem, and yes better for hosting distros will help. But there's a reason most people don't grow their own veges, even though they could. Human communities learned a long time ago that specialization is a more efficient use of human effort than everybody doing everything as an atomized individual.

@njoseph @RussSharek it's not practical to share pocket-size client devices (eg "smartphone") in the same way it is to share a VPS or box-in-the-closet. But I'd like to see a return to more shared client devices too, eg a shared PC-as-a-screen ("Smart TV") that families use to take turns pulling up short videos to watch together, or playing instrumental versions of songs to sing along to together

@strypey @RussSharek Well, I want to grown my own food and harvest my own energy. Guess I'm a weirdo! But I totally agree.

I'm thinking about a use case where self-hosting becomes a commodity like smartphones. It might still not be desirable for everyone, but it should be possible and not very hard to do.

Ideally, these companies shouldn't have forced us to resort to self-hosting in the first place. I fear the same may happen with agriculture in the near future.

@njoseph @RussSharek again, I'm not saying *nobody* ought to run their own server or grow their own veges. On the contrary, if you have the skills, the time, and the resources, go for it! Even if you don't have the skills, learning through doing is a great way to acquire them. But I observe that most people would rather delegate jobs like that to specialist services, and those don't have to be mediated by corporations (and it's better for many reasons if they're not)

@njoseph @RussSharek to some degree, the false dichotomy of be livestock on , or pure , is part of what keeps people on the datafarms. It's important we create and promote third options; family self-hosting, organization self-hosting, cooperatives, not-for-profits, social enterprises etc etc. Part of that is articuating clear criteria for why corporations are a problem here, and how replacements need to be different ie *not* VC-funded startups

@strypey @njoseph @RussSharek The problem I've seen with the 'family-/household-hosted' model is that often, the job of maintenance, upgrades, etc gets left to one person to deal with.

If that one person moves out, or has a falling-out with the family, or otherwise no longer has the time and contact to deal with those issues...

Even if family/household/group hosting is an option, it's still important to ensure that there's more than one person who can handle that side.

@dartigen @strypey @njoseph @RussSharek there is also a privacy / trust issue here. If a single person was looking after server instances for their 100 to 200 friends, then it would become a big deal among that community for that person to be trustworthy. People could no longer tell themselves 'who would want to spy on me' because the relevant person would know them personally.

@highfellow @dartigen @njoseph @RussSharek
true, the ongoing skill-sharing and tech mentoring is important to the sustainability of community hosting, as I mentioned early in the thread

@highfellow @dartigen @strypey @njoseph @RussSharek

Yes this!

This kind of thinking illuminates a big part of why I'm interested in people getting together (forming communities/commons) for the production & maintenance of services & stuff (I've currently got a big focus on food)

It brings possible upsides and downsides of that thing back into focus, rather than being obscured behind what is often massive, complex opaque infrastructures of delivery.

@dazinism @RussSharek @njoseph @strypey @dartigen that's an interesting way of looking at it - to put trust and other issues into the foreground rather than just one of those many background issues that leave me for one feeling uneasy about my relationship with information tech.

@strypey @njoseph The dendency of geeks to assume that what's easy for them is easy for everyone bugs the ever-livin' hell outta me.


This is exactly my experience. It is astonish how little the mainstream know/ care about the technic they use on a daily base.


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