Imagine a place on the internet where you can comment on YouTube using your Twitter account, where you can share videos on YouTube and comment on Insta using Twitter. Imagine a place on the internet where every platform connects to the others and where information comes together. This is called federation. Delivered to you in chronological timelines without spying on your behaviour to deliver the best suggestions as possible, so you get to decide what you want to see.
Still can’t imagine what federation is? Let me explain.
Photo by April Pethybridge on Unsplash
A common comparison for federation is email. Did you ever notice that you can email other providers than your own? As firstname.lastname@example.org, you can email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. So even though you’re using different services to use email, you can still contact each other as email is just based on a protocol. This method is used in the Fediverse to connect between different networks.
The example from above with Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube won’t work. Sry! Those platforms aren’t in the Fediverse. There are awesome alternatives though. Give them a try!
Mastodon is a platform to share mostly text. When you share something, it’s called a “toot” on there. To -again- compare it to email, you need to select a server first (a so-called “instance”). You can join any instance you want!
After you registered on an instance, you will (assuming you are on the website, not an app) see three timelines. Some short explanations:
Home – toots from users you follow
Local – toots from users on your instance
Federated – toots from users of all instances
Join one of the thousands of instances from here, or join mastodon.social if you can’t decide yet, but please move to another one later.
Pixelfed is a platform to share photos. It looks very similar to Instagram and if you’re on an instance which supports importing from Instagram you can do so. Similar to mastodon, you’ll also see three timelines if you’re in the new UI:
Home – posts from users you follow
Local – posts from users on your instance
Global – posts from users of all instances
In addition, you can also create albums (so-called collections) which others can view.
Join one of the hundreds of instances from here, or join pixelfed.social if you can’t decide yet.
Peertube is a platform to share videos. Again, join any instance you want. Keep in mind that you can only watch videos on followed instances. This means the admin of your instance would need to allow other instances to be visible on there. So join an instance that has videos you find interesting.
Join one of the hundreds of instances from here.
Write.as is a platform for blogging.
Join one of the hundreds of instances from here
BookWyrm is a platform to share your reading progress and share your thoughts about books.
Join one of the instances from here, or join bookwyrm.social if you can’t decide yet.