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Alternate ssb networks (your own personal distributed social network)

By Ev Bogue - October 28th 2016

A few days ago Dominic implemented the ability to fire up alternate ssb networks with Scuttlebot. The original idea was to use this feature to create a 'testnet' that could be used to test replication load on the distributed network, but I got it into my head to try something else with it -- create alternative distributed social networks!

To create an alternate ssb network, all you need to do is add a line into your ~/.ssb/config that uses a different hash generated by crypto.randomBytes(32).toString('base64') to generate a string such as zjmEqnm2ApnztLY+1ksRkMX0VW3eCrbPpVrEZFEltvk=

It'll look this way:

"caps":"aOpWdwdjgK2ekIW8Vzu4Aiotc4GuvSqYUKBJDJvWuZM="}

If you look at the photo below, it will appear to be a normal instance of the Patchbay liteclient. However, there is one thing different: it's on a different network. I started calling it 'fuckaroundnet', but it could just as well be called anything you want.

fuckaroundnet

This opens up the cool possibility of creating distributed social networks for teams. While the main ssb network will always be available to join, you can also fire up your own social network for a few people to collaborate for short or long periods of time. This opens up the possibility of setting up distributed invite-only social networks for any type of organization you can imagine.

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