Kbin and the fediverse/threadiverse FAQ
If you're here, perhaps you are wondering what the threadiverse is all about? Hopefully this will explain how it all works.
kbin is the name of the software running on this site. It is similar to lemmy, in that it provides access to many communities (called magazines here) such that users can read and/or contribute to the conversation.
But it also has microblogging, which is similar to, but not the same as mastadon's microblogging facilities.
What is the fediverse? The fediverse is made up of multiple websites (instances) running multiple software packages.
- Mastadon (Microblogging)
- Lemmy (Content aggregator/forum)
- Kbin (Content aggregator/forum/microblogging
- Friendica (Social media)
- Peertube (Video sharing)
- Pixelfed (Photo sharing)
- And many more.
To an extent most users of one platform can access users on another platform. For example kbin users can follow mastadon users and gain updates on their local kbin instance from those they follow. Kbin and Lemmy instances are generally able to share content in most cases as if they were using the same software.
When talking about content aggregation and forums, that is Lemmy and Kbin then these two pieces of software are often termed the threadiverse.
How does it work?
The threadiverse specifically works by having multiple instances. A user can choose to sign up to any instance. From there they can subscribe to magazines (kbin) or communities (lemmy) on their own instance, but also on other lemmy/kbin instances too. Creating a front page made up of content from all these communities/magazines.
When a user requests access to a remote community (in the format community@instance), the local instance will try to contact the instance (the part after the @) and see if they have the specified community. If they do, the user may subscribe and their home instance will contact the community's instance and inform them of the subscription.
From then on, any new content to that community will also be distributed to that instance and any users subscribed there can access it.
Why so complicated? Why not just one instance?
One of the main reasons the fediverse exists is to get away from single sites run by corporations that are primarily interested in collecting data. However since most instances are run by hobbyists or non-profit organisations, they are limited in the hardware they can set aside for these projects. Federating the content in this way allows the load of thousands of users to be spread between many instances. The instances then swapping the content between them to ensure users on all instances can access the same content.
How do I add a new magazine/community?
This is only relevant for kbin.
First you should click on the magazines (or all magazines depending on your settings) at the top of the screen. In the search box at the top type in some text of the magazine you'd like to subscribe to.
If it is present, then just click the subscribe button next to it. If it is not present, you should click the magnifying glass icon at the top of the screen.
In this new search box you should enter the full name of the magazine or community you would like to subscribe to. For example
[email protected]. If the community can be found it should show information about it. It may have already subscribed you. If so, you are done and content will soon begin to arrive, depending on how busy the community is. If not, just click subscribe. Once it shows you are subscribed, you are done.