TheLoneRider
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Technology

NOSTR: Decentralized Social Media March 7, 2024

NOSTR: Decentralized Social Media

Website: NOSTR

NOSTR Glossary
  1. Protocol - a procedure agreed upon by all the stakeholders. E.g. The Nostr protocol is passing messages around on the internet.
  2. Clients - these are apps, can be web, desktop, or mobile apps. On the WEB, the recommended clients are Nostter (this is what I opted for), Coracle, noStrudel, Snort, Rabbit. For Desktop, the favored clients are Gossip, more-speech and Lume.
  3. Signature - a form of validating events. The signature ensures that the event can be proven mathematically that they were created by whoever happens to be their true author.
  4. Private key - this is the equivalent to a password, but cannot be reset. If it is compromised or lost, you lose your identity (and followers) in Nostr - you will have to rebuild it from scratch. Best not to give this key to the client but instead have it for safekeeping with the browser extension. I used nos2x extension.
  5. Browser Extension - this is the best place to keep your private keys because it allows the web client to use your keys without knowing them. I use nos2x for my extension.


Social Media Alternative?
Social media is more and more controlling, becoming outright tyrannical. Anything posted contrary to the mainstream agenda is de-platformed. The public knows this but is helpless to do anything against - there is no alternative. Until now!

Edward Snowden Talk
I stumbled-upon Edward Snowden's streamed talk at Amsterdam's 2023 Bitcoin convention and learned of a new social network that has an open-protocol, decentralized and censorship-proof - NOSTR. Snowden touted that this is the way to free society from the controlling grip of the mainstream - to build a new ecosystem insteado of finding hacks within the controlled system. I looked it up and it gave me the same excitement when I first heard of Bitcoin and Web 3.0.

NOSTR: Decentralized Social Media

Client
Nostr per se is not something you interact with -it's the Client. The client will have the interface you interact with, like interacting with Twitter. I chose Nostter client - it was one of the recommendations of Nostr. All it needed was a name and you're off to go. I still have difficulty with the interface. I couldn't see any icon for "follow this guy" - and there was no tutorial on Youtube for this client.

NOSTR: Decentralized Social Media
nostter client interface

Web Browser Extension
Nostr recommended not to give any Client the private keys because a client's site could be hacked or sabotaged. The software could have bugs and breaches. Nostr recommends using a browser extension for Nostr and have the private keys there. I chose another Nostr recommendation, nos2x This way, web clients (like nostter) can use your keys without knowing the actual keys.

NOSTR: Decentralized Social Media
nos2x Chrome browser extension

Bitcoin Donation
integrated into the client is a Zap feature where your readers can very easily donate you bitcoin (in Satoshi denomination) if they liked your content. It's as easy as "like".

NOSTR: Decentralized Social Media
Zap for easy donation in Satoshi (Bitcoin)

Ending Thoughts
I'm still very green at this new ecosystem and there's more to learn. I hope it lives up to its promise. Last time I got excited about some new technological breakthrough was Qortal, but that seem to have fizzled out.

--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
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