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Discussion on: Introducing ProGram: An Open-Source, Self-Hosted Instagram

prahladyeri profile image
Prahlad Yeri

As you said, the plebeians of the world (including myself!) are going to take the path of least resistance. The problem is that Google has intruded just too far into our lives. We use GMail for sending emails, GMaps for navigation and knowing traffic friendly routes (Ola, Uber, etc. they all use, so we depend on it indirectly), GDrive for sharing files at workplaces, etc. Heck, we even use Android, the very OS that sits inside our smart phones!

There is no dearth of creative solutions, there is for example, which is a twitter alternative. But how many people use that? Hardly 0.1% in comparison to twitter! And suppose they start using it, then what? Do Mastodon or ProGram (those who'll self-host this) have enough resources to handle millions of requests?

No. Its simply impossible for us plebeians to compete with large tech companies like Google. What we can do, however, is to increase competition by giving a chance to other tech companies. Ditch GMail for a while and start using Hotmail, use Bing instead of Google search. Instead of GDrive, start using Dropbox and Microsoft's cloud platform. Thus, we can ensure some competition to the limited extent that we can.

nickdex profile image
Nikhil Warke

Good point. Maybe decentralized tech can help tackle that problem.
Eg IPFS (for storage), scuttlebutt (SNS), matrix (IM) etc

_nicovillanueva profile image

There are great competitors in the "day to day internet usage" world, without even looking back again at major players. For instance, I've switched from Google to DuckDuckGo, -progressively- from GMail to ProtonMail, GChrome to Firefox, etc. Selfhosting carries it's own share of responsability, but ownCloud is a fantastic open source service in the same vein as GDrive.

Playing the revolutionary game and ditching big soul-sucking capitalist companies is, for now, a lone game. As you mentioned, almost no one uses Mastodon and those who do are likely to be ridiculously foreign for oneself (everytime I visit it's all asian postings which I understand absolutely none of). Changing one's habits, when these are simply "single-player" tools is not that hard, but asking people to change their virtual social circle is tough.
Of course competition in this field is necessary too. I'll be damned the day I stop kicking people in the shin trying to convince them to switch from WhatsApp to Telegram. But switching from Facebook to Diaspora is all kinds of a different undertaking. The bigger the participants' sphere of influence (?), the tougher to migrate them; and the problem is that, for some, their social network of choice, is their whole sphere.

utkarsh profile image
Utkarsh Talwar

Precisely. You put it together nicely, Nico.

biros profile image
Boris Jamot ✊ /

I don't think that replacing Google's apps by Microsoft's is the solution. What's the difference between them, except that Google's ones are more popular ? None. Both sells our data for some ads, none of them respect our privacy, and both want to kill alternatives.
You should have a look at mastodon again, it's very dynamic and more user friendly than Twitter. Pixelfed is also a very credible Instagram alternative.
The whole fediverse is just awesome !