Hi Fediverse ๐Ÿ‘‹

we keep on preparing the launch of our new website. And I'm happy to tell you that we will be sponsored by the hosting provider Greenhost.


They are one of the few providers being privacy-friendly, running on renewable energy and supporting ".software" domains. Additionally they embrace free and open source software ๐Ÿ™‚

PS: As often mentioned before, the preview of our new website can be seen here:


@jaredmoody hmm, I don't know anything about Google Groups ๐Ÿค”

Is it like mailing lists? This could be done with :


Or more forum-like? Then maybe ?

@canteen True, and I don't know anything about Bandcamp yet ๐Ÿค”

Opened an issue for this topic:

Hi @rob ,

like @DC7IA already suggested you might give a try. I used it at work some time and it seems to be a good alternative ๐Ÿ™‚ At last for the usecase we had.


There are also .io and , both of which I haven't tried personally though:



So I was recently asked why I prefer to use free and open source software over more conventional and popular proprietary software and services.

A few years ago I was an avid Google user. I was deeply embedded in the Google ecosystem and used their products everywhere. I used Gmail for email, Google Calendar and Contacts for PIM, YouTube for entertainment, Google Newsstand for news, Android for mobile, and Chrome as my web browser.

I would upload all of my family photos to Google Photos and all of my personal documents to Google Drive (which were all in Google Docs format). I used Google Domains to register my domain names for websites where I would keep track of my users using Google Analytics and monetize them using Google AdSense.

I used Google Hangouts (one of Googleโ€™s previous messaging plays) to communicate with friends and family and Google Wallet (with debit card) to buy things online and in-store.

My home is covered with Google Homes (1 in my office, 1 in my bedroom, 1 in the main living area) which I would use to play music on my Google Play Music subscription and podcasts from Google Podcasts.

I have easily invested thousands of dollars into my Google account to buy movies, TV shows, apps, and Google hardware devices. This was truly the Google life.

Then one day, I received an email from Google that changed everything.

โ€œYour account has been suspendedโ€

Just the thing you want to wake up to in the morning. An email from Google saying that your account has been suspended due to a perceived Terms of Use violation. No prior warning. No appeals process. No number to call. Trying to sign in to your Google account yields an error and all of your connected devices are signed out. All of your Google data, your photos, emails, contacts, calendars, purchased movies and TV shows. All gone.

I nearly had a heart attack, until I saw that the Google account that had been suspended was in fact not my main personal Google account, but a throwaway Gmail account that I created years prior for a project. I hadnโ€™t touched the other account since creation and forgot it existed. Apparently my personal Gmail was listed as the recovery address for the throwaway account and thatโ€™s why I received the termination email.

Although I was able to breathe a sigh of relief this time, the email was wake up call. I was forced to critically reevaluate my dependence on a single company for all the tech products and services in my life.

I found myself to be a frog in a heating pot of water and I made the decision that I was going to jump out.

Leaving Google

Today there are plenty of lists on the internet providing alternatives to Google services such as this and this. Although the โ€œDeGoogleโ€ movement was still in its infancy when I was making the move.

The first Google service I decided to drop was Gmail, the heart of my online identity. I migrated to Fastmail with my own domain in case I needed to move again (hint: glad I did, now I self host my email). Fastmail also provided calendar and contacts solutions so that took care of leaving Google Calendar and Contacts.

Here are some other alternatives that I moved to:

Gmail โ†’ Fastmail โ†’ Self-hosted (via Cloudron)
Google Contacts โ†’ Fastmail โ†’ Nextcloud Contacts
Google Calendar โ†’ Fastmail โ†’ Nextcloud Calendar
Google Search โ†’ Bing โ†’ DuckDuckGo
Google Maps โ†’ Bing Maps โ†’ OpenStreetMaps and OsmAnd
Google Analytics โ†’ Matomo Analytics
Google Drive โ†’ Nextcloud Files
Google Photos โ†’ Nextcloud Files/Gallery
Google Docs โ†’ Collabora Office (Nextcloud integration) and LibreOffice
Google Play Music โ†’ Spotify / Plex โ†’ Spotify / Jellyfin
Google Play Movies/TV โ†’ Plex โ†’ Jellyfin
Google Play Audiobooks/Books โ†’ Audible/Kindle
Google Play Store (apps) โ†’ F-Droid / Aurora Store
Google Android โ†’ Lineage OS โ†’ Ubuntu Touch on PinePhone (coming soon?)
Googleโ€™s Android Apps โ†’ Simple Mobile Tools
Google Chrome โ†’ Mozilla Firefox
Google Domains โ†’ Hover
Google Hangouts โ†’ Matrix and Nextcloud Talk
Google Allo โ†’ Signal
Google Podcasts โ†’ PocketCasts โ†’ AntennaPod
Google Newsstand โ†’ RSS
Google Wallet โ†’ PayPal and Cash App
Google Voice โ†’Ting Mobile

Migrating away from Google was not a fast or easy process. It took years to get where I am now and there are still several Google services that I depend on: YouTube and Google Home.

Eventually, my Google Homeโ€™s will grow old and become unsupported at which point hopefully the Mycroft devices have matured and become available for purchase. YouTube may never be replaced (although I do hope for projects like PeerTube to succeed) but I find the compromise of using only one or two Google services to be acceptable.

At this point losing my Google account due to a mistake in their machine learning would largely be inconsequential and my focus has shifted to leaving Amazon which I use for most of my shopping and cloud services.

The reason that I moved to mostly FOSS applications is that it seems to be the only software ecosystem where everything works seamlessly together and I donโ€™t have to cede control to any single company. Alternatively I could have simply split my service usage up evenly across Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple but I donโ€™t feel that they would have worked as nicely together.

Overall Iโ€™m very happy with the open source ecosystem. I use Ubuntu with KDE on all of my computers and Android (no GApps) on my mobile phone. Iโ€™ve ordered the PinePhone โ€œBrave Heartโ€ and hope to one day be able to use it or one of its successors as a daily driver with Ubuntu Touch or Plasma Mobile.

I donโ€™t want to give the impression that I exclusively use open source software either, I do use a number of proprietary apps including: Sublime Text, Typora, and Cloudron.


Hi @mike_hales ,

thanks for the input! I added the "Cookies and Milk" font to the headlines of second and third order. Initially didn't do this as the font didn't support speacial characters at first.

Also added a ticket for your Evernote / MS OneNote proposal


@szumtrzask Had a friend try it on latest iOS with Safari too, error didn't occur ๐Ÿค”

@szumtrzask Thanks I will do so ๐Ÿ™‚

And also thanks for pointing this out. I can't reproduce this on my mobile but will have a look at it.

@kura Looking at pages like this, I would like to keep related alternatives together (XMPP+Quicksy+Zom)


Or sometimes, give a more general option first and than an additional option to "complete the setup" second like here (which would be in alphabetically order by chance ๐Ÿ˜ )


Well, for now most of the ordering is taken from the original website. Let's see where the road will take us ๐Ÿ˜

I like the idea of a decent accent color, maybe later on ๐Ÿ™‚

Already thought of TOCs. But I guess if we really needed these, we should prefer making the pages shorter and/or putting more info behind links and into seperate explaining articles. Or less entries.

Comparisons indeed are a lot of extra work. Also I fear they might foster tedious discussions. Putting the alternatives in one order or another already is controversial in itself ๐Ÿค” But yes, they would be helpful though.

@kura True, the logo should get smaller as the screen size decreases. Right now it has a constant size. I'll try to do something about it ๐Ÿ™‚

And I also love dark themes and use them wherever possible. But I wanted to stay close to switchingsocial's appearance ๐ŸŽจ

@nergal Hmm, interesting question - honestly I don't know, I'm not a native speaker, English is my second language ๐Ÿค”

@sproid Thanks, will have a look at it - hadn't heard of it before ๐Ÿค”

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