I've been thinking about the potential of altnets to fulfill the promise of Bluetooth.
When I was younger there was a hyped promise of Personal Area Networks which would unite all your personal devices into this pet cloud that would follow you around. Bluetooth was seen as the wireless protocol to make your cyberpunk dreams true. That promise was never truly delivered, we sidestepped this dream and moved headlong as a society into Software as a Service which binds each one of us into subscriptions and third-party clouds as custodians of our data. We're now finally realizing that we might have taken the wrong path there and are turning back into self-hosting and decentralization.
The power of gossip
Gossip is a very powerful feature of SSB-like protocols, it makes it possible to have services working without actually having servers or a single point of failure. Still, I'd be a bit uncomfortable carrying some very private data through SSB mainnet. I want the benefits of SSB but I want them separate from the main network.
Altnets will rescue me
So, instead of just self-hosting stuff on a VPS. I want to have small apps gossiping to each other passing stuff that concerns only me around them in a personal scuttlebutting network. I want to be a part of SSB main network, interacting with our beautiful scuttleverse, while still being able to store and replicate my most private stuff and maybe share them with trusted friends through a separate alternative network.
I think that I can run both the main network and an alternate network at the same time provided they use different keys and ports. So I want to experiment with making it easier to run multiple networks in Scuttle Shell in the future. If it is as easy to add a new network to scuttle shell as it is to add a mail account to thunderbird, then, we might end up using them more.
I will not do this anytime soon, my priority is delivering #patchfox, and I see Scuttle-Shell as a important step to fulfill this objective. Only after both of these are working fine, I plan to devote time to this. But in the meanwhile I'd like to collect your thoughts on these ideas.