What is Mastodon?
Mastodon is a decentralized social network, with every person being able to host their very own instance 1 of it. This means that each and every person who is using Mastodon can be in full control over their own section of it.
This means that they can post what they wish, decide what they deem to be decent, and retain full ownership over their content. And despite the fact that each instance is separate, every one of them can talk to all others, with a number of standards-complient protocols including “ActivityPub”.
You even have the option of hosting your own mastodon and letting others join you on your instance. This is great if you wanted to set up a social network around a specific community. And those members still have the option to follow people from over the entire mastodon network.
As opposed to
In comparison, Twitter is a centralized network, with every person going through the single entity “Twitter.com”. Twitter inc. have full control over their service and can essentially do what they wish within that service. They can remove content or use that content for their own financial gains.
If you are looking to take control of your micro-blogging, give mastodon a try.
Test the waters
If you like the idea of mastodon, but don’t know how to start your own, you could head over to mastodon.social, which is currently open for new registrations. This will let you have a look at it
Alternative to: Twitter.
What is Peertube?
Peertube is to YouTube what Mastodon is to Twitter. It is for video hosting and sharing, except is decentralized by design. Each instance owner has full control over the content as well as being able to populate it by following other peertube instances too. So you essentially build up a curated video sharing website from other content creators, but only ones you deem fit for your goals.
As with Mastodon, you can either host your own instance, or join one of the open registration instances already out there. peertube.xyz is quite a popular one.
As opposed to
YouTube is without a doubt the world’s most popular video website. And as with all other Google products / services, everything you do and watch is tracked and used to build up their ever-expanding profile of you.
To tell you the truth, I don’t think I’ll be ditching it too soon, although I will be looking to use it without an account and through VPN. I believe that moving towards decentralized places, where people have complete control, is the right way to go.
Alternative to: YouTube; Vimeo.
What is Nextcloud?
Nextcloud is your very own cloud storage and syncing service. Self-hosted and under your complete control, Nextcloud has come on strength to strength over the past couple of years. It allows you the convenience that places like Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive and Dropbox do, except you are the sole owner and controller. You retain complete private ownership over your data.
You can host text files, videos, music - you name it; Nextcloud can store it. But not only that, it also has a multitude of apps that can be easily installed from within your dashboard that can provide you with even more functionality. Calendars; todo list managers; password managers; and so much more.
As opposed to
Any free service, including free file storage, will always come with caveats. In the case of the popular cloud services, they get to scan you documents and learn as much about you as they can. You are essentially put your private information into someone else’s computer, which lends itself to being abused and even shared to third parties.
Alternative to: Google Drive; Microsoft One Drive; Dropbox.
- An instance is a single installation of a piece of software. [return]