If you don’t know the PRISM program, you’re probably living under a rock. These days, we’ve seen an increasing number of social media platforms under scrutiny, mainly due to the breach of privacy. Even though you’re positive, you’d still know that there are people spying on your data. You’ve to accept the fact that the CIA, NSA, or any other agency has access to not just your email but your text messages and smartphone pictures as well.
Many protocols that are in use today, such as XMPP, email, and CalDAV, were designed keeping self-hosting in mind. Universities, massive corporations, and nerdy individuals with sound technical knowledge resort to self-hosting as they can’t risk their data. They have their own mail servers in order to protect the data. On the contrary, we as users have resorted to trade our privacy for certain benefits, and that’s how advertising companies are making the most of our negligence. The growing awareness about users is leading them to adopt self-hosting and store their crucial data on their own network.
Today, we’re going to dive deep into the world of self-hosting by reviewing one of the biggest self-hosting communities on the internet – r/selfhosted.
Examples of self-hosting
Before we discuss the community, I think it’s only fair if I share certain details about self-hosting, so even if you’re new, it’s easy for you to follow what I’m sharing.
In computer programming, using a self-host program, you can modify, interpret, and compile our own source code. It is generally used to create a new version. In web apps and cloud service, the software you install or the server itself is maintained by the user via Virtual Private Servers. I’m sharing some Saas examples which can be open-source, can be freely downloaded and installed as per your need.
These include Browser configuration and web data, Dashboards, Cloud storage and synchronization, DNS, Document Management, E-mail services, File Sharing, Groupware, Games, Media storage and streaming, Photo, and Video galleries, Remote access, Proxies, RSS, VPN, and Service monitoring and analytics.
Now that we have a fair idea of what self-hosting is, let’s move towards r/selfhosted.
My recent experience on r/selfhosted
The most recent post on r/selfhosted that I interacted with received about 450 upvotes in less than 15 hours. Herein, the user shared an HTML page of his own brand SUI. It had a clean interface and had over 17 applications. The user shared this so the fellow community members could add links manually and enhance their overall experience using the user-intuitive dashboard.
About r/selfhosted – Community & Members
r/selfhosted is a community where people can share alternatives to popular online services that can be self-hosted without giving up privacy or locking you into a service that you don’t control. The community has 77,900 members, out of which 500-800 are active at any given time. This subreddit was created on July 8, 2014, and in just less than six years has built a niche community comprising people who don’t want to compromise their privacy.
How to access r/selfhosted?
If you’re already a Reddit member, you can simply type ‘r/selfhosted’ in your search bar and join the subreddit; however, if you aren’t well-versed with Reddit and are not present on the platform. You’ll need to create an account and confirm your email address. Once you do so, you’ll be able to follow subreddits, comment on posts, and even post anything on any of the subreddits.
Moderators of r/selfhosted
As opposed to r/AppleTV, where I was disappointed with the number of mods, I kind of understand why r/selfhosted has limited mods. Allowing more people to have control over the page can cause a lot of differences in opinion. And with just under 80,000 members, I don’t think the mods would want that headache as yet. At the time of writing this review, I found 4 mods on r/selfhosted – ‘tamale_uk,’ ‘goguppy,’ ‘kmisterk,’ and ‘shwikibot.’
Why should you follow r/selfhosted?
r/selfhosted is packed with quality content. You’ll find dozens of alternatives to each popular software to ensure that you can watch media while keeping your privacy in check. You’ll find various posts regarding ‘Personal Dashboard’, ‘Proxy’, ‘Docker Management’, ‘Cloud Storage’, ‘Media Serving’, and ‘Self Help’. Each post provides you a creative alternative and an option that you can opt for based on your needs. For instance, if you want to store your data on Cloud, you’ll get posts related to the topic. By hosting your files on your own cloud, you don’t have to worry about data manipulation.
The community engagement on r/selfhosted is not much. For every post, you’d have 3-5 average upvotes and 1-2 comments. There are a few posts that are able to set a record in a single day, but not all. The post that I shared above managed to attract over 450 upvotes within 24 hours and was able to become one of the top posts ever on this subreddit. Nonetheless, I’ve received feedback on all the queries that I’ve posted on this subreddit. Sure, the responses weren’t too many, but I can appreciate people responding, even if there are a couple of those.
Browsing & Navigation
r/selfhosted just has up to 500 members streaming simultaneously. Thus, there’s no problem browsing and navigating this sub. Furthermore, most of the content on the page is image-based and thus you can even browse and navigate when you’re on a data pack. As a new user, I’d urge you to check the filter by flair option, so you can navigate seamlessly without any hassle.
Filter by flair
I appreciate the Filter by Flair option on this sub because it makes it easier for the users to find the content. There are five different filters – ‘Personal Dashboard’, ‘Proxy’, ‘Docker Management’, ‘Media Serving’, and ‘Cloud Storage’. Using these, you can get rid of a barrage of unnecessary posts that are not related to what you’re searching for.
Important rules you must know before joining r/selfhosted?
Before you join r/selfhosted, there are certain rules and guidelines that you must follow in order to prevent yourself from getting banned. There are only a few of them, but you need to make sure that your post doesn’t violate them.
1. Violation of Reddit self-promotion rules
2. No Shills – If you have a relevant product or service that you wish to tell r/selfhosted about, then be upfront and say who you are and why it is of interest. Any under-hard shilling of products or services will result in action, and many include banning your account.
3. Hate speech & Harassment – Hack ideas, not people
4. All Reddit Rules and Policies apply
There’s not much to talk about design since everything that you see on r/selfhosted is quite standard. The custom community logo looks cool. Other than that, the filter by flair option is nice. Expect to see certain banner ads in the sidebar but don’t worry; they won’t affect your browsing experience in any way. Make use of the sorting feature to check the latest or top post from this week or today. If you want to add a post, you can do so using the section under the header. And before you do, make sure to read ‘Wiki’, and guidelines.
Most Upvoted Content on this subreddit
1. A lot of people have been showing off their grafana dashboard so here’s the one I made in quarantine – 879 upvotes
2. To all the 2020 posts about what services we run. This is me after the same posts in 2019 – 877 upvotes
3. Local = Better (My Dashboard – 797 upvotes
4. Rant: If you “self-hosted” app requires a proprietary online service to work, then it’s not self-hosted. – 668 upvotes
5. A proposition to make this the subreddit icon? – 630 upvotes
Most Upvoted Content 2020
1. Olaris Media Server, a free and open-source media server – 604 upvotes
2. When your friend texts you that Micro Center just got a shipment of 4 GB Pi 4s, you get in the damn car and enjoy your 40 minutes ride there and back – 576 upvotes
3. The pain of email self-hosting – 529 upvotes
4. Opensource.builders – find open-source alternatives to commercial apps that can be self-hosted – 526 upvotes
5. You can now install 70+ self-hosted apps and services via HomelabOS with one command. – 521 upvotes
Everything that you share on the internet is accessible by agencies and corporations if needed. If you think that’s worse then think about Facebook and Google who are easily able to access your data through a lengthy agreement that you don’t think twice about before accepting. These platforms and search engines are notorious for keeping track of everything you do, so they can sell the data to the advertising companies. Using r/selfhosted, helps you stay up to date with the world of self-hosting and ensure that your data is safe in your own hands.