FediSearch: Search people on Fediverse

Submitted by Stopka on Fri, 01/07/2022 - 16:43

I love opened and federated technologies, so I was looking for opened social network. I wanted someting that works the same as E-mail does. Everybody can choose if his E-mail account will be hosted on Gmail or for example on Yahoo or if he builds his own E-mail server. Because it doesn't matter where man signs up. Message from user on one provider will find it's way to to mailbox of other user on different provider. In other words Alice on Yahoo can easilly send messages to Bob on Gmail, because E-mail service is federated.

And this property I was looking for in social networks. On Facebook I can subscribe only to other users on Facebook, but I can't subscribe to users on Twitter. I have to register another account on Twitter for it.

So I disovered Fediverse. A social network composed of many independent providers. You can choose from several types of servers. you want to write short text posts like on Twitter? There is a large choice of Mastodon servers. Or you would rather share pictures and images like on Instagaram? No problem, you can create an account on one of PixelFed servers. You upload and watch videos like on YouTube? One of PeerTube servers could suit you. And it is all federated. As Mastodon user I have posts from people on other providers on my wall. Perfect.

Federalization allso has it's down sides. One of them is searching for people to subscribe. Traditional social media have all it's users in single database, so it's easy to search for people there.  Fediverse doesn't have such central database. Batch of people is on mastodon.social for example, another batch has account on tilvids.tv

To solve this searching problem for myself I created a small web application. It browses through Fediverse servers and looks for user accounts. Found accounts are stored in single database, which can be than searched easilly. I named it a Fedisearch. Links to sources and to my running instance of FediSearch is below.