Sound approach for a p2p social network which falls back to current web
Saturday 15 October 2022

Spree near jannowitzbrücke, Berlin


Following the last 2 posts (A general idea of a peer to peer social network , Follow up on peer to peer social media network solution ) and other videos in the past weeks. The following will continue on the same track of a peer to peer social network.

I’ll build the idea as layers over each other so:

Data format

  • I will write my notes, recipes and any activity I want as JSON file on my filesystem.
  • To have a common schema I’ll use specifications to present my activities.

Protecting my data

  • I will create an openPGP key pair for signing and a sub key for encryption
  • I will sign and encrypt my files with the keys so only me can read it and make sure no body else edits it.
  • Files are now formatted in openPGP format on disk.

Exchanging my data

  • To exchange a note with my friend
  • My friend will upload his public key to a keyserver
  • I will get the key and verify the signature in another channel
  • I will add him as a receiver to the file I want to share
  • I will send the file to my friend in an email or chat message or any other channel.

Organizing my files

  • To separate files that are created by me from my friends I will create a subdirectory for each keypair named after the key short form.
  • Now I can see all files shared by one friend in one directory

Browsing my files

  • I can build a CLI tool or a UI to create files signed/encrypted by my key and also for a friend
  • I can extend the UI to show the files content in a user friendly presentation ordered by creation time latest first
  • Now I have a timeline of my activities and my friends
  • Now I can filter the files with a subdirectory which makes it my friend timeline.

Syncing with friends

  • I can extend the client UI to join a kademlia network that connect me to my friends
  • I can make the client UI send the missing files to my friend and delete the files I deleted locally

Social interactions

  • Liking/disliking and other interactions can be also files
  • That will make them ordinary files which has save privacy and exchange mechanism as normal activities
  • The UI can choose how to display the social interactions.

Falling back to the web

  • websites are using for SEO
  • my client UI can read the webpage and extract parts and render them like any other post
  • I can subscribe to a website which will make the client crawl it regularily and extract the parts and save it to a separate subdirectory for this website.
  • Having the peers interact together over HTTP will make it easier to use the same code for crawling the websites.
  • Having the peers exchange format will make the code reusable.
  • My client can have another interface that render my public activities as HTML pages with microformats in the same page and a HTTP proxy server can sync regularily with the client and serve my social feed over HTTP
  • Having the activity as a JSON file without encryption means it’s a public data so anyone on the internet can download the file and read it.

Sharing content

  • A file I exchanged with a friend is encrypted for him and other receipients
  • My friend can create shareAction that reference my file address as the “object” attribute value.
  • He can exchange this file with his friends
  • His friends will retrieve the file from me if they’re one of the recepients
  • My client will refuse to transfer the file if the user requesting it is not one of the recepients.
  • Even if my friends transferred the file to them without my permission the file can’t be decrypted by their client.
  • If my friend added his friends as recepients to the file and transferred it to them it is technically possible but it will be breaking my trust in him. similar to taking a screenshot of private messages. technically possible but a social violation.


See Also