Regular readers will be aware of the rather feeble attempt I made earlier in the year at replicating Facebook in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Readers with much longer memories will be aware that I am a massive fan of self hosting and run my own servers for a number of activities. Any way I was on the hunt the other day for some self hosted web based software to work for “yet another bright idea” when I stumbled across GNU Social. It is a cut down clone of Facebook and twitter and certainly less involved than Hubzilla, which my previous feeble attempt was based on.
Anyway when I couldn’t sleep earlier this week I installed a copy on one of my webservers.
First impressions. It is certainly a “light” piece of software, maybe it needs some more development. I certainly might make a few little tweaks to the HTML soon. It is certainly less involved than Hubzilla and a basic network was easy enough to construct. Getting some basic and varied content onto the platform was easy enough too.
Can this software replace the three main social networks of Facebook, twitter and Linkedin. No is the simple answer. Yes is a more complex and convoluted answer. It can certainly help build wider communities, where other software might not work. For example the software I use for the Trade Lounge (a small but growing business network concentrated on a few distinct topics) is not suited for this, a basic social network that displays some varied and diverse content to a network of friends, associates and contacts, scattered all over the globe (Fear not. Jokes about Man Utd and Spurs are in the pipeline!). Its like comparing apples with oranges.
Will this iteration, fare better than my first attempt and building a social networking platform. Hmmm. I think only time will tell and I think it is still early doors. It needs a lot more content for a start. I am happy to give it 12 months and see what happens. As I said above I will want to make some little tweaks soon.
Here are some links: