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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

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