Creating in The Commons: Publishing Your Work
Disclaimer: I am in no way, shape or form officially affiliated with any of the projects/instances. I write/cover on this topic because I genuinely care for it.
As people become increasingly disillusioned with “conventional social media”, there's a lot of confusion among creators regarding alternatives for publishing their work.
There's been multiple attempts by vultures, usually involving crypto-currency in one way or another: these are often structured similar to Ponzi schemes and should be avoided at all costs.
However, past all of that, there is one initiative that holds promise for creators who are scared of copyright/censorship: the Fediverse.
What Is the Fediverse?
The Fediverse is a term used to refer to the ecosystem created by various interconnected instances to make one unified yet decentralized social media community.
All of these “instances” are individually hosted websites with their own rules and administration: however, they all run a common, open source application under the hood that links them all to each other.
This allows for the giant content pool of centralized social media without any of the centralized control. Don't like the rules of one instance? That's fine, just go to another one which you like more.
Due to the checks provided by federation/FOSS, the freedom often claimed by many isn't just a hollow promise. It's in place regardless of what the original creators decide to do years down the line.
Where do I publish/register?
The instance recommendations are subject to change at any time, for obvious reasons.
Registration seems to throw people off, but it's easy once you have a lead on where to look. Here's a quick guide.
- Best Service: Plume
- Recommended Instance: Official
- Replaces: Medium/WordPress
Why should I care? A lot of the popular platforms have become quasi-monopolistic, and as a result it is no longer out of the ordinary for a creator to get screwed over. False copyright claims, sporadic removals/demonetization are incredibly common and difficult to appeal usually.
I'm not sure if I want to fully commit yet.
That's fine, you can still mirror your content over to these services. This will give you a backup incase something happens to your original account and also give you a chance to try out these services.
How will I get paid without ads/crypto?
Ad-revenue and crypto both have their issues to the point that anyone who expects to seriously get paid should not expect this to be a stable source of money.
At this point, independent creators are best off relying on donation platforms; here are a few options:
- LiberaPay is a popular option with Fediverse creators, functioning similarly to Patreon but with a few key differences.
- The traditional option is Patreon, a donation platform that works similarly to a subscription model for the people who wish to donate to you.
- If you don't want a subscription or for some reason want additional privacy, setting up a Monero wallet is probably your best bet. The process is a bit more involved, so I wouldn't recommend it if you just want an easy way to get paid.