Why don't we just use Facebook or Nextdoor something?

Submitted by jimurl on Tue, 02/23/2021 - 15:01

Online big data services are not inherently bad (I will not mention any by name in this post), but I am very cautious about them. In the case of Bozone Orgs group, us citizens are better served with a different supporting platform.. There are 'costs' to sending our conversations through the big data provider services. Obviously, 'Free' is not really free. Our eyeballs are the product, and we are not the customer; they provide services to advertisers. They learn more about us through the volume of email messages that they process for us than we know about ourselves! That's disappointing, and we can avoid it to some degree, but not completely, of course. Many of us use a giant free email provider (myself included), which probably Hoovers up most of our conversations anyway. Nevertheless, the more we can constrict our sharing of information with these massive multinational conglomerates, the better. 

I am not silly enough to think that the flea of the Bozone Orgs email list will have any effect on the elephant of the Big Data Service Providers; but it's a philosophical stance worth taking, if only in some measure. But, like storming the castle, one has to try. I'm sure Zuck is trembling in his shoes in the face of our community email list.

And by using our own custom system, we can leverage some nice custom features while not being stuck with 1001 features that we don't need or want.

To make this all work, we use a collection of Open Source software packages. Open Source doesn't necessarily mean free of monetary cost, it means free to use, configure, update, edit, and pass on to others -- as long as you credit the original source. Because any computer science graduate student can download and look at this code, they have fine tuned and perfected the software over decades.

Our little email list serve stands on the shoulders of giants. This open source software has been written, engineered, and fine-tuned over decades by some incredibly smart, dedicated, sharing individuals. Their main desire was generally that people would put it all together in ways that help communities, and that is what we are doing. This is a different kind of software ethic than "Move fast and break things."

Here are a few Geek-terms, the  FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) packages that are used in Bozone-Orgs: Linux,  Debian 10, Apache 2.4 , Mysql 5.7, PHP 7.3, Drupal 9, Postfix, Dovecot, phpMailer.