Hey netizens, please, *please* stop doing unpaid marketing work for YouTube by embedding their videos on your websites. I understand continuing to upload videos there to reach the large audience that already use it, but that doesn't mean you have to link to them. If you also upload your videos on a #PeerTube instance, or some other more independent video host, and embed those on your sites, you can help to grow the audience for ethical video hosting networks.


@strypey Another option: host the videos yourself.

It doesn't have to be complicated, just put the file on your server and link to it with a <video controls> tag.

> on your server

I don't have a server. Most net users don't have a server. If publishing text on the web, let alone video, required having a server, the net would still be a niche medium for geeks like it was in the early 90s.

In the early 90s, I had an internet service provider who gave everybody their own server automatically, just needed to follow some easy config instructions. As usual, the tech world has been crapified...


@bhaugen I feel like there's some lost history there, of exactly how and why this happened. When I got online in the late 90s, I feel like this was still kind of a thing. But they had also started offering much cheaper "all you can eat" net connections to people who just wanted to browse and chat. That made the net much more accessible to more people, but at the expense of the ability to be a first class netizen.

@strypey Well, I was assuming that if you had a website you had *some sort of* server you could upload media to...

And how I wish browsers built in one of those peer-to-peer DHT protocols? That'd partially adress the need for a server, though you'd still need one for reliability.

> I was assuming that if you had a website you had *some sort of* server you could upload media to

Fair point. But most net users don't have a website on their own server. They use some kind of third-party service like Wix or Squarespace, for the same reasons they upload video to YouTube; a) they can't afford the hosting fees, and b) they don't have the skills to admin their own server. This is why I'm suggesting replacement web services. It's accessible to anyone.

@strypey Wix & Squarespace can't host videos?

Wouldn't be the first time Wix surprised me...

> Wix & Squarespace can't host videos?

Not on the gratis plan. Maybe on some of the more expensive paid plans. Again, there's a reason people use YouTube (or Vimeo or other corporate datafarms).

@alcinnz I've only leased server resources as part of collective projects I've served on the governance bodies of, but the impression I get is that you get charged separately for both storage and bandwidth. So even if nobody watches your videos, it costs you money every month just to keep them on your server. The centralization of the webhosting industry into giant datacentres has typical #monopoly effects.

@strypey @alcinnz
In my experience, people host videos on YouTube or Vimeo because even a small number of hits will eat into your data (bandwidth) allowance in no time. A 100k webpage versus 100MB video makes a huge difference.

@fitheach And a habit of recording video and putting it on your server means a further step from hosted to virtual server rental to having a physical server with some hardcore raid setup I don't understand. I administer servers now (mostly rental, one a community favour), but video storage is impractical on all of them.

@strypey @alcinnz

Even the cheapest VPS offers, often come with 20GB. That potentially could be a lot of videos. That wouldn't be the problem. If you had some popular videos your cheap VPS probably couldn't support the requests, and your bandwidth would be gone in no time.

@strypey @alcinnz

@fitheach @krozruch @strypey And still there's ways around that bandwidth problem, primarily BitTorrent. How I hate how much that's been villified?

@alcinnz ... which brings up back to PeerTube, which uses WebTorrent, which uses BitTorrent, and which non-geek webmasters can use to upload their videos to existing instances and embed those on their sites, which is a solution that is accessible to people *now* ;)
@fitheach @krozruch

... and it's as slow as treacle. I'll grant you, I've not watched that many videos from PeerTube, but they have all stuttered or stopped. Sorry, that is just the truth.

I'm not on some superfast fibre broadband, but then not all users are. I rarely, if ever, had problems with YT or Vimeo, for example.

@alcinnz @krozruch

@fitheach @krozruch @alcinnz @strypey

bit torrent can stream HD video just fine. if there's a problem with peertube its that servers don't do enough proactive seeding to help keep the swarms healthy.

if you want proof download webtorrent.io and grab a popular video torrent from somewhere.

@xj9 @krozruch @alcinnz @strypey @fitheach > if there's a problem with peertube its that servers don't do enough proactive seeding to help keep the swarms healthy

Yeah, that's exactly the issue, and yes, it happens. People usually can't spend that much on servers and it's extremely rare to have viewers constantly seeding every video you upload.

@espectalll the other problem is the disconnect between #WebTorrent and #BitTorrent swarms. Ideally, people could share bandwidth with PeerTube instances from home by downloading PT videos using a normal BT client and seeding them. But it doesn't seem to work this way.
@xj9 @krozruch @alcinnz @fitheach

@strypey @fitheach @alcinnz @krozruch @espectalll

yeah you need a hybrid client for that. web browser peers can only speak the web rtc protocol so they can only peer with mainline torrent clients indirectly through these hybrid peers.

> I've not watched that many videos from PeerTube, but they have all stuttered or stopped.

When did you last try it? I had that experience early on and reported it in a number of issues of their code forge. The last few times I remember trying it, it was pretty good. I guess YMMV depending on the power of the server hosting a particular video. Swarm effects only kick in when a number of users are watching the same video on the same instance at once.

@alcinnz @krozruch @xj9

@strypey @fitheach @alcinnz @xj9 It has improved to some degree but I have a good connection. I have rarely, if ever, watched a video anyone else is watching, but I upload to it and embed and though I hear there was little in the way of moderation tools early on, I have seen it improve so there's reason for hope.

I watched a few this week, albeit only the first 5 minutes as I decided they weren't for me.

Since my self-imposed abstinence from everything Google I might even have more motivation to watch stuff on PeerTube(s). However, my viewing tends to be driven by particular needs (news, for example) rather than looking for something to pass the time. For my needs the PTs don't have the desired content.

@krozruch @alcinnz @xj9

@fitheach @strypey @alcinnz @xj9 It's in want of curation, for sure. I hit on something here and there and showed a couple of things to my advanced English students. They liked this, for example: betamax.video/videos/watch/4b6

@krozruch advanced searching and sorting tools that put the user in charge, rather than opaque algorithms, needs to be a major area of research for the fediverse as a whole. Especially as #FunkWhale and other such apps start federating and adding even more multimedia content to the network.
@fitheach @alcinnz @xj9

@fitheach thanks for the tip, I've been wanting something like that for a while. I note the irony of a centralized search portal for a federated network, but then I guess the web itself is a federated network so Goggle et al are similarly ironic ;)
@GidiKroon @krozruch @alcinnz @xj9

The Fediverse, in general, could do with a meta search engine. Mastodon's Web UI has a great search facility for *my* own posts, but finding other people's posts is impossible. Something like that PeerTube search for text would encourage a lot more interaction *within* the Fediverse.

@GidiKroon @krozruch @alcinnz @xj9

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@strypey @fitheach @alcinnz @xj9 I keep meaning to look into FunkWhale. I saw they have been moving towards podcasts. I'm looking into embedding a lot of this stuff in a Flask application. Ideally, I would show YouTube etc with a privacy [etc.] warning but prefer PeerTube (configured on a user-by-user basis) or archive.org video.

@strypey @krozruch @fitheach @xj9 If you feel need to link to any videos on YouTube, I recommend linking to those same videos on PeerTube instead. It's independant frontend that offers such (to me necessities) as downloads and webfeeds, at least it did last I checked.

@strypey @fitheach @alcinnz @xj9 I think my girlfriend watched The Internet's Own Boy on it months ago. She's allergic to all things Linux (anything clunky and un-slick counts) but managed fine. Too early to say YouTube's days are numbered etc. but people could be converted slowly and, yes, by not embedding that horrible Googly crap to return to the original point.

@strypey @alcinnz to be fair, a very serviceable dedicated server instance from DigitalOcean/Vultr/Linode and many others is about USD5/month, or USD60/year... that's pretty affordable. I think everyone should have one.

@strypey @alcinnz what's even better, they're largely commodity - you could move from one provider to the next quickly (if you use containers to implement your services and eschew any proprietary provider services). You'll find that the bandwidth allowances are at least a TB/month, which should be fine for hosting video if you want.

@strypey @alcinnz in terms of educational investment - even a USD10/month instance is a pretty cheap educational tool... and I'll stick my neck out and assert that any (would-be) sysadmin without their own server... isn't up to it. Gotta have a place to experiment, break stuff, and learn. It's not anywhere near as hard as many might think.

@strypey @alcinnz and, don't forget - if you want to test an idea that requires more "grunt"... then get a bigger instance for the duration of your experiment... a week of a USD40/month instance is only USD10 :) - you just have to remember to snapshot your work and destroy the instance (yes, there's a small cost to maintaining the snapshot, but it gives you the option of reconstituting it whenever you want)...

@lightweight @strypey I found the hard part of setting up my homeserver was to convince the Mac Mini to boot Debian. You could pretty much host a static website straight out of the Debian box!

Also had to learn DNS configuration terminology and wanted to replace Apache with Nginx, but that was nothing.

@alcinnz @strypey yep, there're a bunch of basic skills to learn, but those are arguably the "basic literacy" of the digital age... everyone should learn this stuff for sure.

@alcinnz @strypey the big problem with home networks is configuring port-forwarding for your network connection, and getting a static IP... Sadly, few NZ ISPs offer IPv6 by default... (I've recently upgraded all of my hosted stuff to be IPv6-aware, but still have some challenges there, e.g. firewalling).

@lightweight @strypey Oh yeah, I forgot about that step!

We've had a static IPv4 address setup for a while now because it helps others grant us network permissions we need for our work.

And yes now that you mention it, we did need to expose HTTP(S) ports through our NAT...

> I think everyone should have one.

Add "access to" to that sentence and I totally agree. There are thousands of kiwis on precarious incomes making choices between going to the doctor ($40 with a Community Services card) or buying groceries this week. Topping up their mobile data so they can stay in touch with friends is a stretch. US$5 may not seem like much to you, but it's an unaffordable luxury for them. That's in a rich country like NZ. Then there's China ...

@lightweight before we moved to China I spent about 20 years living on about NZ$200 a week so I could do fulltime activism. All my work helping bootstrap Aotearoa Indymedia and CC ANZ, all funded by the "community wage", as they used to call it. I know what it is to dumpster food to make ends meet, or to be at the supermarket and have to ask the checkout workers to put some of your basic groceries back because this week's money won't stretch. In those situations, every dollar is gold.

@lightweight hey sorry if that came across more ranty than intended :{ I just think it's important to make it visible. A single unemployed person in Ak lives on $250-$300 a week:

Median rent for a room in a board house in Ak is $215:

People are really hurting out there and it's not getting better, despite the new government talking a good game about being "transformative".

Then there are the guys being released from prison with $300 in their pocket, no benefit, no bank account, no ID. It's like we've build a machine for making people break the law to survive. It's not only mean-spirited, it's self-sabotaging. With proper support, those people could be contributing back to the community and would be happier doing so.
@lightweight @alcinnz

@xj9 which bits are are those, and what do you propose replacing them with (setting you up to put in a plug for your decentralized architecture proposal - go for it!)

@strypey @alcinnz

elm to start with. strongly typed FRP in a component oriented architecture. the language isn't so important, but the typing discipline is important for eventful systems. think "kafka meets elixir with a strong dose of KISS". tracker is supposed to be cross platform, currently targeting web. once we have some of the ui patterns worked out I want to shift gears to develop a native platform in chicken scheme. we'll be borrowing a lot from racket to make a solid native platform for developing languages and make elm compile to efficient machine code. the scheme platform will bind to some cross platform libs for graphics, thinking Cairo and OpenGL ES right now. protocol-wise I want to keep the component architecture so its easy to swap out networking stacks. currently planning on building on top of bit torrent and couchdb, but future versions will use named data networking (NDN). I want to keep the language diversity in the system to a minimum so you can work anywhere with the same basic tools: Elm, Scheme, C. I do want to be friendly to experimenting with language concepts, so the scheme based language platform is going to be important. I want to change where we draw the line between engineers and users. applications as we currently know them should be replaced with easy to use programming tools that users can use to take the replicated datas and transform them into comfortable interfaces that work precisely how the user means them to without interference from developers.





@xj9 @strypey Hmmm, I don't know if I have my mind entirely wrapped around your ideas here.

But it does sound like something I enjoy thinking about hypothetically, even though I'm busy exploring other ideas I find personally more interesting.

The best of luck!

@alcinnz @strypey

kinda hard to condense them into this format. i'll try to expand some in future blog posts :)
@alcinnz @strypey yelling at the wind doesn't fix the systemic problems.
I wish you luck feasibly allowing self hosted or gifted hosting at negative profit.
It's called YouTube for a reason.

@IRC @strypey For what it's worth, I am actively trying to solve some of these systemic issues. But I don't have all the answers and there's only so much I can do alone.

@IRC I received two favorite-notifications from you on that post. It got through.

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