In the beginning, creating a Peertube instance seemed to be not as difficult as it was. It turned into a several-hour-long process and even stretched into a second day. Never thought it was going to be as intense as it was and even then I thought by following the instructions everything would fall into place.
My experience with taking on projects that require some level of competency is decent in my own opinion. I know that my own level of knowledge isn’t that high but if you give me a walk-through, I can go through the process with not much trouble. With the setup process of Peertube, I haven’t had as much trouble with anything else as I did with getting a working instance of Peertube. Do not get me wrong as I absolutely love the project and everything Peertube stands for. What I couldn’t get through my own mind is the methods of getting it installed. Going through the install directions is one thing and the amount of steps involved can be a deterrent to a large portion of upcoming users.
When I installed Owncast, the process was extremely straightforward. You could get an Owncast instance up and running within ten minutes. This was the opposite of Peertube and I truly think that the problem is the length of time it takes to get from step one to step end. Having to go through each of the dependencies required for Peertube before even getting started. Working with the one-click install that you can get by using a VPS on Hetzner, you can even cut the time down more. This isn’t to say that one procedure is the correct course. This is just to bring the attention of the developers that work on these projects that if they wish to have a more diverse adaption rate. Install procedures have to be simplified or even have it streamlined.
We can proclaim to the masses in giving these alternatives at least a chance. The general masses will not truly adapt to the open source initiative as, putting this as lovingly as possible, the general public, or even those interested in this, are lazy. I too don’t want to spend the majority of my time in the setup process as what I want to do is use the software and get to creating content. If my time is going from content to administrating server and software infrastructure. It’s already soured me on the experience. What I would love to see is a movement from the likes of YouTube to Peertube. Unfortunately, this will not happen within my lifetime as YouTube commands so much public attention. There isn’t going to be a movement away from them unless there is a massive social or global crisis. Much of the issue is there is a lacking of reliable monetization for the creators on Peertube. True, you could direct your audience towards the likes of Ko-Fi, Patreon, or even many other methods of supporting a content creator. It’s the same story of trying to direct your audience to use an outside third-party system. With Peertube there isn’t an algorithm as, unlike YouTube, there isn’t a central hub in which a normal person could easily search for the content they are interested in.
Again I remind you that many if not most of the users have only known a centralized network. To toss them into a decentralized network, they will not really understand things even to the point that they may even resent being pushed into the scenario. This is a detriment to the entire open source, decentralization movement. We really have to pull ourselves back and put ourselves into their shoes. We can’t have our bias in creating these networks overcloud the project. You have to simplify it to a level the majority can have no problem in trying it out. That’s the first part as the second is getting normal people to visit and use the services you’ve made. This is going to be a long struggle and us within the open-source community need to understand this. Don’t simply dismiss a users complaint that what you perceive as trivial, can be difficult for them as a user. Try being compassionate with our you create tutorials or install instructions. Don’t assume everyone is at your level of engineering and even more importantly, Do not think of others as beneath you. To ignore them as brainless centralized lovers of a corrupt system.