Daniel Siepmann - Coding is Art

Blog Post

Contributing to the internet

Published: , Updated:

Topics: internet


The internet (more precisely the www) is a decentralized network where everyone can take part. Everyone should be able to contribute, e.g. by providing content.

I've discovered the www at the end of 90s and became a web developer. The www is one of my passions and I believe in the decentralized human build www. We should not hand over the www to a small group of big corporations.

I'll show you how I contribute to the www. Which software do I use, and what's the benefit.

My own website (TYPO3 CMS)

You are currently visiting my own website at daniel-siepmann.de. This is my place within the internet fully owned by myself. I can publish my thoughts, share knowledge and whatever I want (conforming to laws). The main website is built using https://typo3.org/ an open source CMS written in PHP. It dates back to the early 2000s and is still developed by a huge community. It allows me to create new blog posts within workspaces and share preview links to others for proofreading. I then publish new blog posts.

It also allows me to manage navigations, categories and other things via a web UI. The whole HTML and CSS was done by myself (using Twitter Bootstrap as CSS Framework as I'm more a backend developer). TYPO3 has its own template engine called Fluid which allows me to write my own Markup.

The web ui also works on mobile, so I can hotfix content issues on my website, e.g. during an TYPO3 Barcamp or Developer Days.

I find it important to have an own website in order to publish my thoughts independently of any platform. That way I don't need to read and agree to any terms. There is no other instance controlling my content. Who can see content, how content is distributed, etc. I'm in full control and can take care of accessibility and every single aspect that's significant to me.

I've used Blogger by Google before, Tumblr as well as some other open source software like Sphinx.

My own social media profile (friendi.ca)

This is the newest part of my contribution to the internet. You might have noticed what happened (or is happening) to Twitter. There were some rumours beforehand, and I've created an account over at https://fosstodon.org/ which is running open source software Mastodon. But Mastodon is just one piece of software of the so called Fediverse. There are some protocols like the ActivityPub which allows different software to interact in a decentralized way. That's following the concept of the www. So I had a look at different software alternatives and decided to host my own instance using friendi.ca. It is a bit different from Mastodon and well suited for a single user instance.

That way I have my own place within a broad “social network”. It is far more than a single social network, it is part of the internet. friendi.ca again is a piece of PHP software which I can easily run with my knowledge as a web dev doing mainly PHP.

You can find me at friendica.daniel-siepmann.de.

My own source code (Gitea)

I'm a developer and want to share my source code and projects. Most people are used to GitHub, some use GitLab and even less use services like codeberg.org. GitHub and GitLab are large corporations that have huge tons of terms you need to agree to. They also might make additional profit from your source code, e.g. GitHub Copilot. That's only one reason why I prefer to self-host my source code. I'm using Gitea right now but probably will switch over to Forgejo as Gitea itself seems to become a Corporation.

It is very fast and a simple Go binary. You can adjust the templates and CSS, but I leave it very much as it is. You can find my instance at gitea.daniel-siepmann.de.

My own "cloud" (Nextcloud)

I have a laptop for work, one MacBook Air for travelling and a smartphone. I've a boyfriend who likes to listen to audiobooks which I own. So I need some way to sync my data like calendar, contacts, files. I'm using the software mostly for syncing and as a backup solution for all that data. I've chosen nextcloud.com which again is an PHP software. It comes with a wide support for operating systems. And it has many adopters and apps which can be added to extend the feature set.

Here is a list of some apps I've added to improve my UX. They are mostly all for syncing additional data, as I'm not using the web UI of Nextcloud:

I sync Contacts and Calendar with Android via https://www.davx5.com and https://icsx5.bitfire.at.


There are many ways to contribute to the www. I believe in having my own place within the internet by paying for an own server and hosting my own open source software on it. That way I'm contributing to the original idea of the www. This is important because the www is whatever the society defines. We are all part of the www and society, so we should contribute and define the www. It should not be owned by some large coporations like:

  • Alphabet (Google) with Search, Maps, Mail, Drive, YouTube, Blogger, Chrome, … 
  • Microsoft with Azure, GitHub, Internet Explorer
  • Amazon with AWS (=Amazon Webservices), Onlineshopping, Prime, …
  • Apple with Maps, iCloud, Safari, …
  • Meta with Facebook, …
  • Twitter
  • Netflix

Further reading

Feel free to check out my desktop software.