Announcing: DigiByte.social

I’m pleased to announce the immediate availability of DigiByte.social, a cryptocurrency-friendly federated social media platform based upon the open-source Mastodon platform and the decentralized ActivityPub protocol.

This service has no ads, and will run entirely off donations for the maintenance of the platform. Best of all, you will be in control of your data, and are free to export it, back it up, take it with you, and redirect that data at any time should you so desire.

DigiByte.social is similar to many of the social media websites you know and love (Though the 500 character limit is amazing!), but with the intention of you the user being more in-control.

Best of all, you can join now, at https://DigiByte.social !

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Why DigiByte.social?

Following the recent YouTube bans of Christmas 2019, it has become more and more clear that users need to be more in control of their social-data, as well as a cryptocurrency-friendly space where crypto users and advocates don’t need to fear being de-platformed.

The need for an inter-operable service has been growing more and more clear, with changes regularly occurring on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and more that have users questioning “What if I woke up tomorrow, and this was gone?”.

It’s a question that users should definitely be concerned about.

DigiByte.social aims to introduce and support users in their quest for a federated and decentralized social experience, encouraging cryptocurrency enthusiasts and newbies alike.

This won’t replace YouTube though?

Nope, not at all. There are still limitations around just how much video can be uploaded to DigiByte.social, but you can do short clips just as you would on Twitter etc.

The amount of storage / bandwidth required for the likes of YouTube to sustain their 300 hours worth uploaded every single minute is insane and less suited to a decentralized solution such as this. Others may be willing to take on that kind of an adventure (Such as LBRY.tv) but even they have very strict limitations.

Is this stored on the DigiByte blockchain?

Nope, nothing at present is stored on-chain. If it is in the future, it will be 100% optional, and likely begin with something like a tipping-bot.

The fact of the matter is most users don’t want their social media statuses kept on a blockchain publicly available in perpetuity. They would act very differently if everything was completely permanent. That is not the goal of this initiative, but rather to assist people in getting in to a decentralized crypto-friendly social media platform where they are in better control of their data.

Who can participate?

The service is an open-registration and equal opportunity to all. This is not just a DigiByte-specific server, and I would encourage people from any blockchain / cryptocurrency project to get involved. If you’re a Bitcoin maximalist, a Litecoin fan, or you like to meme it up with Dogecoin, you’re still most welcome.

Where can I find the Code of Conduct?

The DigiByte.social Code of Conduct for it’s users was taken from the Mastodon.social, with additional clarification around cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects. You can find this here:

What if I want to move my account?

No worries!

With your account on DigiByte.social, this is welcomed! You can import your data and move to, or export your data to move away from DigiByte.social at any time. Unlike traditional social media platforms, with DigiByte.social you are not coerced in to remaining there by any means, and full export of data options are available to you in your account profile page:

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There is a more in-depth walk-through available too:

So DigiByte.social talks with other servers?

Yes, you’re participating in an existing social network, this isn’t being started from the ground-up, but participating in a pre-existing set of standards.

In fact if you want to find out more about the apps available already for your platform, use this link:

Couldn’t anybody start up their own server? It’s all open-source right?

Absolutely!

I would personally encourage that where users are skilled enough to do-so and experienced enough with how Mastodon works, setting up nginx, postgresql, Ruby, and general linux server administration.

For those who are not, they will naturally need to use a service such as DigiByte.social.

If you would like to find out more about the code, you can view it here:

If any other projects were to start up their own server / instance, say a Navcoin server, a Vertcoin server, a Verge server, a Litecoin server, or even a broader crypto.social server, then that would still be beneficial! That’s more discussion that’s happening overall on this kind of decentralized and distributed network which DigiByte.social is directly compatible with, rather than on a closed platform. We would be benefiting still from the network effect, in that aspect.

In fact, I would encourage that!

Will you stop posting on Twitter then? Should we move away from it to just DigiByte.social?

Not at all, at least not to begin with. There are a lot of people on there who still need to be reached, so it makes little sense to “Do a CSW” and disappear from the platform.

What I think makes more sense is to continue in both places. For the longest time people would have both a MySpace account as well as a Bebo and a Facebook account. Why not post to both and foster discussions on both the old and new platforms?

What longevity options are there for DigiByte.social?

The DigiByte.social platform will rely on donations, from the users and broader community. It is not a high-cost platform, with most of the requirements being around bandwidth and storage. Even the primary mastodon.social server only costs around the equivalent of USD$300 per-month, however it has several hundred thousand users.

The running costs for DigiByte.Social are expected to only be between USD$15–30 per-month in the foreseeable future, so quite minimal and should be easily covered through a donations mechanism, as almost all Mastodon servers are. There will be no paid advertising on the platform that goes towards the running / maintenance of the service.

The plan is to join the Mastodon Server Covenant shortly as well, so users have additional peace-of-mind that the platform is not a “fly by night” operation and will remain around longer-term. You can read about the Mastodon Server Covenant here:

If you would like to donate (Please do), you can using the following address:

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digibyte:dgb1q0sxlcf9378gph0s3ksvuuzq53j0zjfqp8rhmv4

All donations will go towards the ongoing maintenance of DigiByte.social in the form of direct server-costs / domain registration, backups, site-monitoring etc. Any surplus donations (if any) will be donated towards other supporting services for the DigiByte community, such as DigiStats, or gifted to the likes of the DigiByte Foundation / DigiByte Awareness Team.

All administration / moderation time is conducted on a purely volunteer and intentionally unpaid basis.

I’d love to help out, how can I?

Sign up, start being sociable, and over time we’ll be looking for more people to assist with any moderation as / when required.

If you are familiar with CSS and are able to help with customization of the WebUI to theme it similar to the Android / iOS DigiByte apps, please contact me: @dgb_chilling@DigiByte.social

I am also looking for somebody who can assist with a tipping-bot, I would like to see users able to easily tip other users with DigiByte on the site, and there are a number of API’s that you can leverage to accomplish this so please reach out if you can assist.

I’ve signed up, now what?

Time to go find some friends. Search through hashtags, add a display picture, and try out the custom emoji (For example, include :DigiByte: ) in your next message.

It’s naturally not expected that “everyone” will be there immediately, though we do hope it will grow in time. Keep in mind you can talk with others, on other servers too, not just @DigiByte.social ! If you have somebody who’s on, say, @Mastodon.social then you can still interact with them too. Your new @username@DigiByte.social is kind of like an email address, but with two “@’s”. If you’re talking with somebody on the DigiByte.social server, then you don’t need to specify anything after @username :-)

So go ahead and have some fun, be sociable, and welcome the other people who you can see are new. Let’s create a better and brighter future, where users are more in control of their data, and one single entity doesn’t decide what’s acceptable and what’s not. Let’s make the future together!

Written by

I write interesting things about cryptocurrency, especially DigiByte

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