I spend quite a bit of time exploring alternative and new social networks, especially those that are decentralised and federated, and even some peer-to-peer, so I decided to create this page not only to list where I’m currently posting, but also to add a few comments about each one.
There is no single “best” social network as each one differs in terms of features and what it’s intended use is, and of course the people also differ across the different networks.
Generally, I prefer some moderation applied and / or the ability to block or filter. I want to see what interests me, and I don’t want to see what offends me or does not interest me. So, I’ve often had a preference for being able to follow groups or hashtags that filter on interests I have.
You can also see my page that lists various alternative social media networks. Some of those I’ve done videos about, and some I don’t use any more. Although I post to lots of places, and much is automated, I do actually respond to everyone on the same network, and do actually actively engage on those networks. I’m using the Make service to automate many of my posts from my blog’s RSS feed. I also did a post here about how I’m using it to expand the content into posts for example on Mastodon.
WordPress blog at https://gadgeteer.co.za/blog – this my main blog that generates an RSS feed, which the Make service reads and then reposts to a number of other social networks.
RSS at https://gadgeteer.co.za/category/uncategorized/feed/ or https://gadgeteer.co.za/rss for all posts – any RSS reader can subscribe to my posts without having to visit the site.
* All posts but excluding site notices at https://gadgeteer.co.za/feed/.
* Technology only at https://gadgeteer.co.za/tag/technology/feed.
* Open Source only at https://gadgeteer.co.za/tag/opensource/feed.
* Environment/Green Tech only at https://gadgeteer.co.za/tag/environment/feed/.
* #technology posts to
* #opensource posts to https://twitter.com/Ossugsa
Yes, many businesses and news services publish on X, but it has problems that many know about now, as to be honest most individuals I know may have accounts there but do not seem to be posting much at all. My own follower count really has stalled, and my Mastodon followers for example have far outgrown the X followers. I joined in May 2008 and have 871 followers. Very little engagements on posts here. Update: August 2023: I had regular API errors on my personal X account, so I gave up posting to it, and now in August 2023 the errors continued on the GadgeteerZA account, so as promised a month ago, I’ve also stopped posting to that account now.
Mastodon at https://mastodon.social/@danie10 – I like that this has a more modern interface compared to many other Fediverse networks, and that it is built on ActivityPub so it interfaces far and wide across lots of other Fediverse networks. There are a number of interesting 3rd party apps to use and its web interface is much like Tweetdeck. Mastodon is the “go to” alternative for Twitter for those wanting to be on a widely federated micro blogging site. I joined in 2016 and by the end of 2022 had passed 1,000 followers. Mostly daily enagement on posts here.
Friendica at https://squeet.me/profile/danie10 – also part of the Fediverse but it integrates wider with other social networks, and also with Twitter (sends and receives). It is also not just confined to blogging and has some extra functionality. I’ve been on it since April 2017 and have 648 followers (some are also on Mastodon and other Fediverse sites but also includes the Diaspora network). I get weekly engagement on posts here.
Hubzilla at https://hub.netzgemeinde.eu/channel/gadgeteer – also part of the Fediverse but it integrates wider with other social networks. It is unique in having a nomadic ID as well as multiple channels links to your profile. It is also not just confined to blogging and has some extra functionality too. I’ve been on it a lonmg time as I used to host my own Hubzilla instance, and have 187 followers (some are also on Mastodon and other Fediverse sites but also includes the Diaspora network).
MeWe at https://mewe.com/i/danievan_der_merwe – I don’t like that MeWe public posts can only be seen if you login, but that said, it has groups that can be fully open to all, or restricted to just you blogging (much like Google+). I migrated to it actually on G+’s demise in October 2018. I really like the focus it brings, and I run a number of groups with my Technology and gadgets group having over 48,000 followers. I get daily engagement on posts here.
XMPP at https://mov.im/community/news.movim.eu/gadgeteerza-tech-blog or https://mov.im/blog/GadgeteerZA – I post into this Movim channel (Pubsub), as well as to a chat channel (public) at [email protected]. I have 64 subscribers on the Pubsub channel but engagement is very low. On XMPP my address is [email protected].
Bluesky at https://bsky.app/profile/gadgeteer.co.za – it is billed as the alternative and federated Twitter, based on the AT protocol. It is still only a central server for now and is in beta. Functionality is still minimal as the it is under heavy development. There are already some 3rd party apps and web interfaces though. I have been on since May 2023 with 33 followers, but engagement is pretty low and the companies and news organisations have not really got on board yet.
Nostr at https://nostr.fan/s/danie which will resolve to https://snort.social/p/npub1g2jpj7x9rjcqd9dp3hnvja2tjr3q3hf362z3ulrfzpyfnsdw5qlqyayjj6 – On Nostr (the protocol) you use a public private key for all posting. So, what really identifies you is your public key eg. mine is
npub1g2jpj7x9rjcqd9dp3hnvja2tjr3q3hf362z3ulrfzpyfnsdw5qlqyayjj6. The reason is because there is no “Nostr server”. It consists of various relays each client connects to, using the open source Nostr protocol. So, I may use Snort on the web interface, but I use Plebstr on Android for example. Nice thing is even though it is decentralised, I use a common profile. I started on Nostr in May 2023 and have 6 followers. Nostr does have Lightning wallet crypo embedded in it IF you want to use it. That allows you to receive tips or Zaps, and to give to other posters too if you like their post.
IRC at Libera Chat channel
#gadgeteerza – users join the channel at times but IRC is live so there are no “subscribers” as such. I work through self-hosted Quassel service which maintains my connection 24/7 to the IRC channel, and allows me to maintain history of any replies, and I can use any client to connect to Quassel. Engagement though the last year has been very quiet.
Matrix room at https://matrix.to/#/#gadgeteerza:matrix.org and at https://matrix.to/#/#gadgeteerza:libera.chat – the formner is an RSS driven room on Matrix (pulling from my WordPress blog) and the latter is actually a bridge to IRC (mirroring posts and replies between both the IRC channel and this Matrix room). But I see beginning of June 2023 the bridges are broken so I’ll need to reactivate them.
LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/gadgeteerza/ – this is a company page I started in 2022 to keep my tech blog posts separated from my personal LinkedIn profile. It has 74 subscribers and weekly or so engagement.
Lemmy and Beehaw – I do post to the existing forums at these two sites. I have deleted my dedicated Reddit subreddit. See https://beehaw.org/u/GadgeteerZA.
Tumblr at https://www.tumblr.com/blog/dvdmerwe – very quiet with really only likes. There are 211 followers.
Secure Scuttlebutt at
@0Tv5f/opjv/m1ONAKl6S79HWbHdLaCtt/emdXl2MCO0=.ed25519 – a fully peer-to-peer social network. I’ve found it quite a friendly network with a couple of people seen regularly, and who also comment quite a bit. But without connecting and following some people, you’ll see nothing. Nothing is stored on any servers, and all posts are pulled from other peers. So yes, it can use quite a bit of storage. I like that it has channels based on hashtags (which you can subscribe to and follow). I have 275 connections here, and I’m using the Patchwork desktop client.
ABBa4ZQ3Tc71ZpuC3DPZgxp6AxSVUqprTByvTqDYD6WIDL+BlHaPgwELR2FkZ2V0ZWVyWkGTBmUBqMD77pIGQ4DwxPvuBAM+3ms= – also a full peer-to-peer network, but not just blogging as it includes video and file sharing, channels, forums, chats, mail, boards, etc.
Telegram Channel at https://t.me/gadgeteerza – it is subscribe only and has 33 subscribers.
YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/@GadgeteerZA – I publish a number of technology related videos (not on a regular schedule). I also replicate all my videos to my channel on Odysee at https://odysee.com/@GadgeteerZA.