How to run a social network for your friends

Internet artist and coder Darius Kazemi wrote a guide on how to run a small social network site last July and the concept has become more prevalent this year.

The idea for the guide came from Kazemi’s own social network site called Friend Camp which he started in August 2018 for “about 50 of his friends”. Wanting to see more of the same, he wrote a document to give guidance on the setup. The entry level is accessibly low:

If you’re tired of Facebook or Twitter or wherever else and have thought that there’s got to be a better way, this is for you.

If you currently run a social network server for people besides just you, using software Mastodon or Pleroma or whatever else, this is for you.

If you have some programming experience, this is for you.

If you have no programming experience, this is for you.

And how a social network site could solve social problems:

Running a social network site is community building first and a technical task second.

And while community building is hard work, it’s often worth it.

This is my pitch to you: using big social media sites is easy, but you pay a steep price for it. You should consider running your own site, which is harder, but can be extremely rewarding.

If you want something with more control than Discord or Slack, this is a great alternative and involves open source software. Costs are low too—Kazemi says Friend Camp costs about $30 a month to run and only takes ~2 hours a week to maintain.

Read the guide for more and consider becoming a patron if you can.

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