Apr 17, 2023

A social network of self-owned websites

It’s been less than a week, when I had some sort of epiphany. There is this hard problem with social media that so many groups are trying to solve these days. Mastodon and other initiatives want to make online communities decentralized, to be more fair and inclusive.

This is a good thing I believe, but it also creates a new set of problems. Which server should I be part of? How can I move to a different server? Yes, I can even create my own server and form a community, but then I’m in the role of the moderator, the gatekeeper. And why are all these new social networks looking exactly like Twitter?

Isn’t there a better way?

The original idea of the internet was that everyone is enabled to create their own little place online. I still very much like the idea, and I think everyone should have a website under their own domain. But those are usually pretty lonely.

So — how hard could it be with today’s technology to actually connect websites with one another, so they can form a truly decentralized digital network, a neighborhood?

For the past few days Nils Kjellman and I were busy building a prototype to verify this idea. Today we are open sourcing HNA-1, the “Home, Not Alone” protocol, together with a reference implementation, coded with SvelteKit.

This is still early, and there’s a lot to do, but we hope you are as excited about the idea as we are. 🎉

3 replies
Hello from a friendly neighbourhood website!
nisse.tech · Apr 17, 2023, 6:12 PM
This seems to work, awesome! 🎉
nisse.tech · Apr 17, 2023, 7:05 PM
It does. It's really fun! And no annoying email notifications. :D I mean who's not going to check the feed on their website regularly? ;)
michaelaufreiter.com · Apr 17, 2023, 7:36 PM
Running on HNA-1, the "Home, Not Alone" network. Page viewed … times.