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What is this, anyway?

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Submitted ⁨4⁩ ⁨weeks⁩ ago by jd@hoot.goldandblack.xyz to Development@hoot.goldandblack.xyz

Hello! Welcome to the fediverse!

Chances are, if you're seeing this post you might have some questions about what this is. You might be concerned about things happening on other sites, and wonder how this site is any different.

I'm here to answer that, but I'm going to do this at two different levels of expertise.

BASIC EXPLANATION:

This is a "Federated" BBS/Link Aggregator system. This means that if you post something on one server, people on other servers can see it and comment on it, sort of like a cross-post on Reddit or other legacy link aggregator systems. The software is open-source, meaning that anyone who wants to can put it on their own servers and run it themselves without having to pay for a license for using the software. The benefit of this is that if you want to, you can create a community for whatever interest you'd like, and host it on your own hardware. This means that, since you control the hardware, the communities you host are controlled by you and your users, instead of a possibly un-aligned 3rd party who might not appreciate your point of view.

Even if you run your own server, however, you're not on an island. Your posts can be seen by people all across the network, and you can see their posts, too, if you'd like. You can follow communities on entirely different servers, and people on entirely different servers can reply to posts made on yours.

It's sort of like e-mail. Hotmail and Yahoo users can send mail to each other, despite being on different servers. Whoever you go to for email is who is responsible for cleaning up spam, it's all decentralized.

SLIGHTLY MORE ADVANCED EXPLANATION:

lotide is a backend service that uses a protocol called activitypub to communicate with other servers. It has two front-ends, "hitide", which is the front-end developed by the creator of lotide, and "Hoot", which is a work-in-progress that is in active development, and should be available soon once we have a few kinks worked out. The purpose of Hoot is to provide a modern, accessible, user-friendly interface. You can go to the sourcehut page for lotide and hitide to get instructions on running your own server. It is written in Rust.

You can see the code for Lotide (backend server) here:

https://git.sr.ht/~vpzom/lotide

You can see the code for Hitide (frontend) here:

https://git.sr.ht/~vpzom/hitide

Any normal Unix server can run this software, and once set up correctly, it should be able to interact with all the other servers.

If you would like help setting up a system, check out our Keybase:

https://keybase.io/team/redditreplacer

There, we have a chat and can assist in setting things up in your server. You'll need basic familiarity with the Linux shell and SSH to get started.

If you don't want to spin up your own server, you can create a community on this server. Please be aware that though the software is usable, it's far from complete, and this instance makes no guarantees of any sort. This includes uptime.

Check the comments below for some examples of users from other servers replying to topics on this server. :)

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