Christoph Fahle
July 25, 2011

Startup Of The Week – #3: unhosted

Using the Internet today implies giving up control over a lot of personal data, because the same people that provide a website you want to use also store all the related data. Facebook for example not only offers a social network but also saves your name, age and profession, even fotos and videos on its servers. The providers leave you no choice and I think this needs to change!

betahaus: Who are you and what are you doing here?

Michiel: I´m Michiel de Jong and I´m trying to decentralise the web. I want to make it an unhosted space.

What exactly does this mean: "an unhosted space"?

Using the Internet today implies giving up control over a lot of personal data, because the same people that provide a website you want to use also store all the related data. Facebook for example not only offers a social network but also saves your name, age and profession, even fotos and videos on its servers. The providers leave you no choice and I think this needs to change!

End-users should be able to decide where their data are stored just like they can decide which email host they want to use. So basically, "unhosted" is a project that tries to separate the locality of web-application from the locality of data storage.

Sounds like a non-profit-project?!

In deed, it is. I started "unhosted" as a hobby-project on a programming-holiday at the beautiful beach of Bali. As I got a lot of positive feedback, I quit my job as a scalibility engineer in Spain, started focusing full-time on "unhosted" and now it is a non-profit-project funded by donations.

You could work everywhere. Why did you come to Berlin?

Because Berlin is cheap. Plus, I heard a lot of stories and everybody told me to come here (smiles).

… and why to betahaus?

Coworking is flexible and rather cheap. As "unhosted" depends on donations, those are two very important criteria. After some time at co-up, another coworking space in Kreuzberg, I switched to betahaus. I really like the structure of the place, its design and atmosphere.

What are you still missing here in the betahaus?

To me personally, the desks are a little too wabbly. They should be more stable.

How can people participate in the process of changing the web into an unhosted space?

For most of the people the best, easiest and only way to help the project move forward are donations. We are grateful for any amount (and will mention you on our thank-you-page if you write your email adress in the payment subject)! If you give more than 25 Euros you can get a nice "unhosted" T-shirt. Apart from donations you can help programming - which we are doing at the moment - or marketing - which we will probably do next year (smiles).

From within Germany, donations go to:

Account Number (Kontonummer) 069428100

Bank Number (BLZ) 10070848

International donations go to:

IBAN: DE08100708480069428100

BIC: DEUTDEDB110

You can visit unhosted online, on facebook and on twitter

In the last few weeks the event spaces at betahaus | Neukölln were packed with cool events. We opened up the Hide-Out with BETAPITCH Berlin 2019 in the start of April. The hotly contested pitching event saw 12 startups reveal their visions for improving accessibility in public transport. Here’s a recap video from the event.

Photo by: Dominik Tryba

On 27th of April we celebrated 10 years in beta. For our coworking anniversary we transformed betahaus | Neukölln into a party venue and an art exhibition. Artists from our community filled The Basement with art, The Garden was full of fun activities and inside in The Club we had our favourite DJ's playing. In case you have missed it, here’s a recap video from the event.

Photo by: Dan Taylor

We also welcomed the LongHash Crypto conference and enjoyed 3 days of workshops and panel discussions on all things blockchain. And speaking about conferences, our friends from GitHub also chose the betahaus | Neukölln spaces for the workshop day of their biggest event - The Satellite conference. More than 600 developers, executives, and industry leaders from around the world came to

Photo by: Dominik Tryba

After you’ve taken care of your paperwork and you’ve signed up both in Bürger- and Finanzamt, you are all set up to start working. One of the best ways to get integrated into the city fast, meet like-minded people, and even find clients is by working from a coworking space. There are tons of benefits for freelancers and luckily Berlin has a lot to offer in this way. A coworking space is a physically collaborative shared workspace, which brings all kinds of creatives and entrepreneurs together. It’s a perfect place for startups, freelancers, digital nomads and even corporates searching for innovation. And it’s the biggest advantage towards the typical office space is that it pushes a collaborative exchange between its members and facilitates the creative process and networking.

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