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A decentralized blog platform I have created


Micro Netia
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(@micro-netia)
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Recent events have led me to conclude that it is a good idea to host your own data in your own home/office. To that end I have come up with a Raspberry Pi based platform that is easy to set up that you can host a blog on (and potentially do other things). It uses cloudflare's free caching/DDoS protection service as an intermediary which makes it able to stand up to quite heavy load. The details on how to create your own etc. are at https://micronetia.devtru.st/

There are several more things I want to do with the project, such as having an RSS reader page built in, but it's available now as a simple SD card image and assorted addins and I have various other people running it successfully

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atmchuck
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@micro-nertia Have you seen/heard of https://thehelm.com? It's an appliance that performs email/file-sharing tasks, kept in your home, using a managed public endpoint for access. They can describe their approach to security better than I, especially in this brief post. But, what you are describing sounds like something that might evolve towards thehelm, or at least complement it. I'd be curious to hear what you think.

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Micro Netia
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Good question. I'm probably going to blog about this at my blog site to go into more detail.

But in summary it's quite a similar idea. Certainly we are looking at solving much the same problem.

In the main I'd say the difference is in build vs buy and to a significant degree that shows a difference in philosophy. My project is trying to build something and give users choices and options. Helm is the buy a device and let someone else have done all the hard work.

The problem with the helm approach is that you are reliant on helm. If you buy a helm device and it doesn't work you have to get another one from them. Helm appears to be somewhat closed and proprietary in terms of OS and hardware. My project is based on Raspberry Pis and there are numerous suppliers/resellers of pis, however nothing in my project requires even a pi. It would be very simple to port this to an Intel/AMD CPU platform like a NUC. The Helm project mandates using helm's cloud for backup and various other things. Mine has no such dependency. You get a domain from any registrar and so on. Yes it uses cloudflare now but there's nothing that requires cloudflare, it can be moved to a different service like ngrok if/when cloudflare decides to change its offerings. One of my intended near future developments (and by near future I mean in the next week or so) is the ability to have a second pi as an offsite backup (or more than one if you are that paranoid) that you can have a friend put on their network. Unlike helm this remote pi remains under the control of you and your friend so your data isn't exposed to anyone's cloud.

With my approach you are not reliant on anyone. My project is a binding together of a variety of existing open-source software/tools and the expectation is that the user has to get exposed to some linux sysadmin concepts. That's another intentional difference because I think people should be able to tinker and that they should do some maintenance etc. themselves. Rather like the ability to change a tire, check the battery etc. in a car. Come to think of it another related difference is the use of containers, which helm touts as a feature. Although one of my applications (the chat server) uses a snap and I recommend building the project using a docker instance, the core functionality (blog, comments and future file storage) do not use snaps or dockers or other containers and the reason is that these containers are hard to look inside of and hard to be sure that someone hasn't installed something you didn't want in them.

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Micro Netia
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Also I should add that the Helm product is email first then file storage. Mine is blog/chat first, then files/backup. I intend to add email as an option and I also intend to add stuff like DNS server and other things but the key to me was getting off social media

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