RE: Whither pubnixes?
cmcabe recently updated their phlog with a wonderful entry
that wonders after the current state, and potential future(s) of
When I was in my early teens in the early/mid 90s I used a few
bulletin board systems via dial up, generally running wildcat.
Then the world wide web started to gain in popularity and I went
with that trend, creating geocities and angelfire sites for the
bands I played in. All was well... or well enough. As I have
detailed in other phlog updates, I came to pubnix via gopher. I
was/am pretty disillusioned with "the web" as it stands right
now. I read about gopher and thought: that sounds like what I
have been missing! I started building out a client for myself
in order to experience gopherspace (I like building my own
tools). Through gopherspace I found my way to SDF. SDF was cool,
but the comminity was not exactly what I was looking for. It was
too big, but did offer some cool things. Through SDF I found
circumlunar.space. I have really enjoyed the community here, and
was inspired to make my own server (as mentioned by cmcabe in
their phlog entry).
That catches us up to now. cmcabe used the term micro-pubnix. I
think that fits really well, and I will likely use it. I work as
a web developer and have always lamented a lack of easy ability
to host at home and control my own information dissemination.
Gopher and ssh are less locked down by my ISP. The amount of
data transfer seems to fly under their radar, so far at least.
It feels good to control my own services. I have yet to attract
many users (just a few friends that are testing things out for
me, but dont really get it), but am ready for any that arrive.
I do wonder what the future will hold for small Pi based servers
like mine. I think if software can be developed to connect these
types of systems without homogenizing the offerings that make
these small spaces unique, then there could be a really cool
future in store for these types of systems. Without that though,
I worry that various ones will come and go as their communities
grow and die...(an inevitable part of any kind of social space).
I do plan on adding a calendar, note taking, and some form of
private messaging (adding server federation if possible). At the
very least, those things will add usability for me and help to
offset my departure from google as a service provider.
I really hope that more people decide to take control of the
software and systems they use. All in all, it was pretty easy to
set up most of the pi server stuff. I get that not everyone will
set up a server with the same level of ease, but I really think
that a reasonablt determined person of any background COULD do
so. I'm sure it will not become the regular thing for everyone
anytime soon, but if those of us that have the ability to create
and promote these kinds of spaces actually decide to do so, then
I think we will see growth as more and more people grow
frustrated with the state of affairs on the web.
I just hope that communities can stay healthy in the process and
provide a good space for those that need it. I love the wildly
different offerings people have created. Lots of different
flavors mean more people have a good chance of finding what they
are looking for. I do think that interserver communication will
become more and more important as things grow. While providing
services that connect servers, admins will want to be careful to
not offer that in lieu of local content. The local content gives
character and creates community, which are the strong points of
many current systems. Adding inter-server communication creates
convenience, but at the cost of potentially watering down your
local community/culture. It will be a careful balance, and I'm
sure a number of servers will rise and fall while trying to find
a good balance.
I am hopeful that things will keep moving in a good direction.