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The Tiny 'Net

Gemini? I barely know a guy!

The past few months I’ve lurking around the Geminispace and having a grand ol’ time. Gemini (not to be confused with the cryptocurrency scam or Google’s AI scam) is a new Internet protocol designed in 2019 to be a sort of Gopher 2.0, but without trying to replace Gopher or HTTP. It’s text-focused and lightweight, able to run on very slow or old hardware. It’s a small hole-in-the-wall so to speak, with around 2500 active capsules (their equivalent to websites). And I love it to pieces. I run a Telnet BBS in the Year of Our Luigi 2024, of course I’m a sucker for tiny Internet alternatives to the Web.

Gemini capsules are barebones but are by no means boring. You’d think this kind of thing would be full of dry technical people talking about dry technical things like protocols and networking and nothing else. And there’s plenty of that here, which is totally fine, but it has attracted all kinds of people posting all kinds of things. I’ve come across some really interesting poetry, short stories, personal blogs, essays, even photography (you can host images but they’re never inline; you have to choose to download them)! I’ve even found a few Icecast radio stations hosted on Gemini. It’s not all completely static sites either. One capsule I enjoy is called Station and it’s a simple message board that gets a handful of posts a day. Another is BBS but is less like a bulletin board system and more like Reddit, with different “subspaces” to post in.

After months of lurking, I finally set up my own capsule on my own server the other day. I used Agate and, when I followed the correct instructions and not a 3 year old out-of-date tutorial, it took less than 20 minutes to get everything up and running. I’m excited to contribute to this fledgling Internet project, even if it’s just writing random crap I don’t feel like putting on here under my own name. Oh yeah, I’ve decided to take on a pseudonym and get all experimental with it. I won’t be linking to my capsule here but if you find it and figure out it’s me, send me an email :-)

I think the reason I like online spaces like these is because it makes me feel confident that the ongoing collapse of the Modern Web won’t kill the general desire to connect with people online. We’ll find ways of communicating with each other that have nothing to do with giant corporations spying on us and blasting advertisements at our faces 24/7. We don’t need the Metas or the Xs of the world, and we never have. We’ll build our own digital third places and we’ll be just fine.


If you want to check out the Geminispace, you need a Gemini client. Your web browser is not compatible with the protocol. I highly recommend Lagrange—it’s available on Windows, Mac, and Linux and is just fantastic. Other options, including text-only Terminal based clients can be found at the following link, along with a number of other Gemini resources.

The aforementioned link to Gemini resources

Nicky Flowers - 03/25/24 - Keep posting and keep dreaming (editor's note: god that's corny, find a better way to end the blog post before publishing please)