This page details the multiple attempts I had made to set up alternative services to the common communication services of Facebook and the history of what are now my personal web resources.
The Convoluted History of nui.nz
The domain nui.nz was originally set us as an Oxwall site to be trialed as an alternative to Meetup.com and Facebook for organizing social outings among a private group of friends (Originating from the Auckland Hiking Group Meetup and whom did Milford Track together)
The Oxwall installation never really gained favour and was increasingly utilized by myself to simply throw up photos to share among Friends and Family using the inbuilt Oxwall photo module. After some time, Development on the Oxwall platform by the Oxwall community eventually slowed down and ceased. It was then I ripped out Oxwall and replaced it with WordPress to act as a personal photo Gallery.
From 2005 up until about 2016, youngnz.com had been my primary personal domain hosting my Email and a static HTML website through Fastmail (whom could only handle static HTML content). From 2014 – 2015, had linked to nui.nz from youngnz.com simply as a sub site hosing my own photo gallery
In 2016, decided to adopt nui.nz as my primary domain replacing the static (and sorely outdated) HTML website that had existing for a decade at youngnz.com
The PERPLEXING History of KAHA.NZ
Later in 2016, Discussion among friends again alluded to the problems of Facebook and I was encouraged to give another go at setting up an alternative service. Most friends of the time suggested that any replacement to Facebook should be a Web forum, so I set up PHPBB3 on peak.nz. While initially being more successful than nui.nz at attracting activity, it soon petered out completely as the network effect of Facebook pulled those friends who bothered to try it out, back to Facebook messenger.
Later on, I ripped out PHPBB3, and replaced it with BuddyPress, to test drive and evaluate in private as an alternative to Meetup.com. Apart from showing one friend, I never had the faith to really promote it fearing it was going to be another failed attempt. I reconfigured this site back to a normal wordpress installation, where I threw up all sorts of random thoughts, laying the way for peak.nz to become my personal blog (what you’re reading now).
As of November 2019, I am thinking of changing peak.nz possibly into a Mastodon instance or another platform that is compatible with the ActivityPub protocol (which Mastodon utilizes)
The COMPLEX History of MANA.NZ
In 2017, based on my friend’s usage patterns, It was determined there was more of a draw towards using private chat groups for organizing events, parties and other such social outings. It was then I started looking for a decentralized instant messaging solution and Riot/Matrix came up as the first choice to look at – by virtue of being seemingly the only modern chat system that was federated and self hostable. After a few days of dabbling around and encountering lots of usability issues, eventually forgot about it.
At the end of 2017, some concerns were raised among another group of friends about WeChat (how it needed all these permissions to even be able to send messages). I was asked if I could add on a chat service to nui.nz.
It was then I decided to have another look at Riot/Matrix, deployed a small VPS and registered mana.nz (being freely available for registration, and the most favourable of the domains I had searched) to attach to the VPS. While the road in preceding years have been rocky, The Riot/Matrix combo I feel has matured to a point where it is most certainly a usable chat solution.
So far it seems, mana.nz has been my most hopeful attempt at establishing an alternative service that my friends could use in place of Facebook’s services. It is hoped that the Matrix messaging protocol will continue to grow in popularity to be seen as a mainstream alternative to the proprietary chat platforms.