October 20, 2012

Tent is a decentralized protocol for social networking. It aims to provide alternatives to existing, centrally hosted and controlled sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Dropbox, and GitHub, letting us accomplish what all of those sites do, but with full control of our data and the choice to host that data with any provider we like. It’s a frighteningly ambitious project. It’s very awesome.

Over the past few weeks, my excitement about Tent has driven me to participate daily in the Tent network as it exists now — about 17,000 people using the TentStatus microblogging app, mostly hosted at Tent.is with a few brave souls running their own instances.

“Microblogging app”, if anyone’s unclear, basically means it’s like Twitter. But because Tent is approximately 5 orders of magnitude smaller, it feels pretty different from Twitter. It hasn’t graduated to the level of “publishing medium” (yet) — it’s closer to a single community.

I wrote TentRSS, a Tent to RSS-feed bridge, and presented on Tent at the local Python meetup pyMNtos earlier this month. I’m eager to build more stuff using Tent as a base, including, potentially, a blogging app to replace the one you’re reading right now. Sign up at Tent.is (or run your own Tent server), and you can follow me on Tent by copy-pasting the main URL of my blog: https://scott.mn into your Followings list.

(Updated: I’m now hosting my own Tent server, so the URL to follow me changed.)

You can follow me on Mastodon or this blog via RSS.

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