Technology Weblogging

Self-hosting continued

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Considerable discussion related to my assertion that Radio and Blogger are centralized web publication systems.

First, a caveat — the use of decentralization that I made yesterday had to do with web publication without dependence on a centralized tool-specific server that you can’t, personally, control. It had nothing to do with the P2P concept of decentralization, and it had nothing to do with the fact that you can host your individual pages on your own server. It was specifically related to the web publication tool, itself.

Based on this, further clarification on my statements from yesterday:

Any publication system that requires that one aspect of it be centrally located — such as Blogger — is a centralized publication system. Yes, you can host your published pages on your server, but you still have to use the centralized Blogger system to publish these pages. This makes Blogger a centralized rather than a de-centralized solution.

From my understanding, Radio also requires access to what Userland refers to as a “cloud” to manage part of the publication process. And my understanding is that all or part of this cloud exists on the Userland servers. It is very simple to post pages to an individual server using Radio; I’ve done this myself. However, you’re still dependent on a Radio cloud.

Am I incorrect in this understanding? In other words, if I host my Radio pages on my own server and Userland’s servers all go down, will any part of my publication process be impacted? I’m not talking about — that’s not the point. The point is, is a centralized Radio cloud necessary at some point for the publication process?

I have to think it is when I read something such as this:

Radio UserLand implements a powerful feature called upstreaming which mirrors the contents of the user’s www folder in a folder on, which is a 24-by-7 public Web server at a fixed location. When a file is changed it’s automatically copied to the server through XML-RPC. This makes it easy to publish static content to the Web even if you don’t have a full-time net connection, or if you move around. The url of each user’s folder is included as an attribute in the users.xml file.


When Radio UserLand launches and as it’s quitting it sends a hello or goodbye message to OurFavoriteSongs.Com. This sets the user’s signed-on flag true or false and records the users TCP/IP address and port, so that it knows how to communicate with Radio UserLand. (The chat facility is an example of the use of the IP address and port.)

However, perhaps all these centralized aspects of Radio — aggregation, upstreaming, logging on, etc — can be turned off to the point where you can totally decentralize your publication process from Userland. If this is so, then I apologize to Userland for making the statement about Radio having centralized tool dependencies.