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>> May 5, 2022 - What is the Fediverse?

I've made a post mentioning I started using Fedi a bit ago, but it's a bit of a weird place. I figured I'd make a more understandable post (and by understandable, I mean something that is understandable to my friends that are sick of my nerdy shit) explaining what it is, who it's for, and what it's good for.

What exactly is the Fediverse?

As Wikipedia puts it, the Fediverse is "an ensemble of federated (i.e. interconnected) servers that are used for web publishing (i.e. social networking, microblogging, blogging, or websites) and file hosting, but which, while independently hosted, can communicate with each other". Holy shit, who writes this and thinks it's understandable? Here's a comparison that should make this make more sense:

Imagine Twitter #1. Twitter #1 has some users, rules, and posts. Twitter #1, for some reason, bans all cats from being posted, and has 200 frequently posting users.

Now imagine Twitter #2. Twitter #2 thought that Twitter #1's rule was dumb as hell. Why would someone ban cats? #2 banned all dogs from being posted. It has about 500 users who post frequently.

These are not totally seperate services, though. Users from Twitter #1 can like posts from #2. They can comment and interact with them. While they may be separate sites, they are not totally disconnected. In fact, infinitely many of these servers can be made, all with their own users and rules and more, and they can all interact. This is called decenteralization. There is no single, centralized server like Twitter or Facebook or Instagram. There are instead many decentralized servers that are all connected.


Who is the Fediverse made for?

Fedi is made for people who do not like centralized platforms. It is also made for people who do not like the rules of mainstream platforms, which is why Fedi has a bit of a reputation for harbouring extremist opinions. This is not the whole of Fedi - you only will come into contact with these opinions if you choose specific instances or if you seek it out yourself. You can choose what you do and don't interact with, after all.

Fedi is also good for people who like self hosting. Want to host your own instance and do whatever the hell you want? Go for it!


What's a front-end (FE)?

They are different user interfaces that Fedi instances might have. They have different features and appearances. Instances can offer more than one FE for their users. Explaining them all would take a bit, so have some screenshots of popular ones:

Mastodon:

Pleroma:

Soapbox:



Is it hard to use?

No, not really. It's vaguely like Twitter.


What are some good instances?

Remember that multi accounts are allowed and even encouraged, so try out everything that sounds good! There's so many not listed here - these are just the ones I'm slightly familiar with.

shitposter.club - Lives up to its name. I use this instance and I fucking love it.
nixnet.social - Calm instance with nerdy people.
letsalllovela.in - Don't know much about it but the people seem cool.
poa.st - Edgier instance focused on memes.
mastodon.social - The instance that most people have heard of when they learn about Fedi. Uses the Mastodon front end mentioned above and has a very large population of users.

Add me, I'm at dommymommy@shitposter.club ;D Please excuse the horrendous unchangable username.

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