This is day eight of my attempt to write something, anything, every day for 365 days in a row.
I thought it was only just last year (2018) or the year before that when I learned about tilde.club. It was actually 2014 via this article by Paul Ford on Medium that documents Pauls accidental creation of the ~Tilde network within which I first learnt of their existence.
Today's post is inspired by this toot by @dirtycommo on their ~Tilde club nand.club.
While I am not old enough to have enjoyed the BBS networks of the late 80s to early 90s or the vibrant technology home-brew scene. I do get pangs of nostalgia at the thought of low-tech online communities of people working together. It's for that reason why I believe ~Tilde clubs resonate with me on a personal level. They are small, vibrant communities made up of people from many different geological locations and social backgrounds. You could say ~Tilde is a BBS renaissance, albeit sadly a small one.
There are several other ~Tilde clubs that have sprouted up since Paul's creation of tilde.club (with a few similar projects that had been around in the years before.) Their creation speaks to me a shared feeling of people wanting to work together, people wanting to build a community. We are after all a social species.
The Fediverse and the ever-increasing list of software that interoperates with it, while not a ~Tilde club, speaks the same energy of community building. Of providing a space where people can communicate with one another, build things, share and come together to build something better than the sum of its parts.
In many ways my creation of Wordsmith shares that narrative. Wordsmith isn't a ~Tilde club, it is a privacy-first publishing platform that communicates with the Fediverse. I want Wordsmith to become a vibrant community, full of interaction between creators as they use it to publish their essays, poetry, articles, stories, notes or anything at all.
Much like a ~Tilde club Wordsmith is dependant upon me to keep it operational, however unlike a ~Tilde club I am also dependant upon the Write Freely project spearheaded by a single developer: Matt Baer.
I have high hopes that Matt will drive Write Freely in a direction that is in line with how I see Wordsmith growing, however if at some point in the future those ideologies diverge I am not against forking the project and writing the features myself.