Hello! This is the first of (hopefully) many posts I make for this blog, so I
thought I'd start it off by explaining why I made this site, why I chose the
name I did, and what I plan on doing with this VPS in the future.
So, I really like decentralisation - I think it's great. You take a generalised
platform like Matrix, Email, or ActivityPub, and you open it up so anyone can
create something and hook it up to the wider network. It means people can create
content in exactly the format they want and organise it exactly how they prefer
and have complete control over that content, but still be connected with
everyone else. For anyone that cares about privacy and security - especially of
personal information - it's the dream.
Arguably the most decentralised you can get is to host everything yourself with
your own domain and your own server, so that's what I'm going for. At the moment
it's just really this website. I'm running a Riot instance on here too and you
can theoretically just use it, but I'm leaving it idling for now because I have
plans for it later on (explained further down).
I want to use this domain like a little hub for myself. I already have this
little site (which I'm so-far very pleased with), but there are plenty of
decentralised platforms that I think it would be really cool to have a personal
instance of. Over time, as I get the hang of managing a VPS properly, I want to
start experimenting with running a Matrix homeserver, Mastodon instance,
Peertube instance, Email server, Git server, and an issue tracker.
The first of these that I'll be experimenting with is Matrix. It's definitely
the easiest to work with when decentralised as communicating across homeservers
is very coherent and you almost don't notice it. This would be a single-user
instance, so it wouldn't be open for anyone to join.
Another thing I'd want to create a personal instance of is Mastodon, however
it's unlikely I'll be doing this any time soon. Because Mastodon instances are
much more contained with a local timeline only showing instance traffic and the
crowded and unfiltered federated timeline, it makes a personal instance very
isolating and makes discovery incredibly difficult. If it was possible to merge
the local timelines of other instances into the local timeline, then it would be
a great option and I'd be working on that straight away.
All that said, the main part of this domain is definitely this site and the
blog. I'd probably think of it like my Mastodon posts (or "toots"), only drawn
out and more structured. Mastodon might have a long string of toots as I go
through the process, which would then be followed up on by a blog post
explaining what I actually did.
Overall, I'm looking forward to seeing how this all goes. I'm likening having a
personal site to how I feel having my Linux installs. It's personal and fun and
I can make it do whatever I want. It's a responsibility to take care of it, but
the reward is liberating.
Copyright Oliver Ayre 2019. Site licensed under the GNU Affero General Public
Licence version 3 (AGPLv3).