You can help the Own Your Bits movement!
The long term goal of this blog is to promote open source and self hosting for the regular user. NextCloudPi is the first big step in that direction, and I am very satisfied with the response that it has received.
The project has hundreds of downloads per day, and they are becoming thousands of downloads per day. The feedback is quite positive, so it is hard to express the satisfaction of thinking how many people are now in control of their privacy thanks to Own Your Bits. I consider it a huge success!
I have many ideas for the future, and I am starting to work in a second project that goes in the same direction. But before I can invest much into that, I would like to make sure that the project is in a healthy state.
From here I would like to make a call to like minded people that feel the same way about open source and privacy to join forces. Even if you do not have time or technical skills, there is a lot that you can do to help.
This is a one person project right now, so anything helps a lot.
This one is pretty easy and it does not require a lot of technical skill. If something does not work for you or you run into a bug, report it. Give the thing an opportunity and be patient. It will get fixed as soon as possible.
Even better, if you have the ability to fix it yourself, share your plans for a fix and send a PR.
I am really happy in this respect. I have had tons of feedback, and that allows me to fix things that I did not detect. Nextcloud is a complicated beast with many use cases.
If you can code, adding new stuff is really easy. Have a look at this developer guide.
Even if you don’t know how to code, you have used many services for your whole life. Maybe you have this feature in that propietary service that makes a difference for you and is keeping you from making the change.
If you do have coding skills, if you can solve problems you run into yourself, send a PR! Even better, browse the issue tracker, chat with other developers or propose changes.
The fact that NextCloudPi is easy to install has shifted its userbase. Before, people had to work hard and understand many technical concepts to deploy and secure a Nextcloud instance. Right now, happily, it is as easy as owning a Raspberry Pi, which means that there is many people asking basic things.
I really love this feedback because makes me realize how things are seen from the less technically skilled people, but it is also very time consuming.
Any help in this regard is a blessing!
Even if everything goes smooth for you and you do not have the time or the skills to do any of the above, it is really easy to help. Share the latest torrent! Be aware that every now and then, I will release a new image, so the old torrent will no longer be available in the project page.
There are infrastructure costs to setting this up. The unexpected popularity of NextCloudPi has taken me by surprise. I started a low resources hosting for a blog in a cheap provider, but traffic has multiplied exponentially and downloads even much more so.
At the time of writing, we are talking about ~1 terabyte downloads a day. This week, half of the days there have been over a terabyte downloads! It’s crazy!
Unsurprisingly, my provider has required me to upgrade my hosting plan several times already, which means increased costs.
I thought the situation would be solved by sharing torrents, and even though there are always seeds, this has slowed growth but not stopped it at all.
Even if you don’t need to use the latest image because of ncp-update, download and share it. It is really valuable!
Those who have been following the blog from the beginning know that I have been offered donations several times. I have been flattered by this, but I did not want to accept them. I do this for a hobby and to help back to the community.
Given the rate of resources this is demanding, both in money and time, I feel that I have to give in on that one.
The traffic is already quite high, but there will NEVER be ads in Own Your Bits.
Whoever feels like supporting the project can now donate using the paypal button. Nobody needs to do it and I will continue to work hard towards my purposes regardless wether this works out or not, but after lots of debate I came to the decision that if somebody appreciates the effort and the cause, it will allow me to scale in resources, pay for the hosting and allow me to spend more time creating a better thing.
So there you go, if you want to help out so my wife doesn’t get on me for spending all my free time on this, kindly click this button.
Get me a beer!
Image credit: EFF