Like a kid in a candy store

A color photo of rows of glass containers filled with colorful jelly beans.

Now that I have more free time, I’ve been getting back into Second Life again. I also want to get back into Open Simulator, but it’s sort of hard to know where to start. A few years ago I tried a few different Hypergrid instances, and they were okay, but not mind blowing, so I’m thinking about making a fresh start. Hypergrid Business keeps a list of active grids, but when I look at it, I feel a bit like a kid in a candy store: there’s so many to choose from.

Last autumn, an exodus of people leaving Twitter found Mastodon and had a similar issue; where to start? Mastodon is microblogging software that uses the ActivityPub standard to connect thousands of separate servers, each run by a different organization. With thousands of servers to choose from people were often confused they had a choice. To ease some of the confusion and help people decide which server might be right for them, the makers of Mastodon created the Join Mastodon website.

A color photo showing a blue door set into a wall crammed full of books.
What it feels like to choose a server without any guidance.

Other projects use ActivityPub as well, including PeerTube which is used for servers hosting videos, and Pixelfed which is for people who want to share their images, and similar to Mastodon they setup their own websites to help people decide which server to join.

Mastodon, PeerTube, Pixelfed, and several other projects make up the Fediverse which is a collection of federated servers that can talk to each other. When thinking about the Fediverse, I often think about the Hypergrid as well because they share many similarities. The servers are run by independent communities, and each community has its own rules and expectations. On the Hypergrid, residents of one grid can visit other grids, just as people in the Fediverse can communicate with people on instances other than their own. Many servers are general purpose, but some are set up for specific purposes such as people with similar hobbies.

As much as I appreciate the list of active grids kept by Hypergrid Business, what I want to find is a website similar to the ones for Mastodon, PeerTube, and Pixelfed where I can choose the best hypergrid server to join.

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