Since the Twitter meltdown started last year, new networks have been popping up here and there.
One of them is Nostr, which is a peer to peer text transfer protocol.
As far as I understand it, it works by users getting a secret key (used for logging in and posting) and a public key (used for viewing and otherwise make your presence known). So you can see it as the public key is your username while the secret key is your password.
The network functions by way of "relays". These are fairly simple server components that just transfers text to and from clients and other relays. Like a mesh network.
So what better way to find out what Nostr is than joining it. So I did. You can find me by searching for my public key in your Nostr client. The key is:
But that's not all. I went a step further. I also set up my own relay. But it's public, so you can use it too if you like. To use it, you can add this to your relay list in your client:
You can join too, by installing a client or visit a website and then generate a key pair. Just like you would a GPG or SSH key pair.
The software I use to run the relay is called nostr-rs-relay written in, you guessed it, Rust. It's really easy to set up in docker and it's very light on resources. Mine has been running for a couple of days and it's taking under 1 MB of storage.
There's a lot of clients popping up these days, and many web clients, like Primal and Snort. But there is an open source Android client called Amethyst, which is what I use. You can get it in f-droid.
I've only been a part of the network for a couple of weeks, but it seems like a community in an exploding phase.
People are friendly and helpful. You can follow individual users, join group chats, talk in DMs and follow hashtags.
I have a feeling that your choice of client makes a big difference. I chose mine, because it was mentioned on a podcast I listen to, it's open source and has lots of features. Among them is Value4Value (eg. giving and receiving Sats) in the form of Zaps, likes, Verification using other platforms like Mastodon and the ability to edit your relay list.
So come and say hi, My ID was mentioned earlier in this post.