Friendica is a community project, and people around the world have started to create and collect resources in other languages. If you know of any sites bundling such efforts, please drop us a line.
So you’re running your own Friendica site, possibly on a shared host, and would like to take a few friends on board?
That’s good – excellent, in fact. It’s part of what this project is about. And as long as you don’t exaggerate, you shouldn’t have any problems whatsoever.
But what would actually constitute exaggeration?
This question is largely linked to the Facebook connector. And we are glad Facebook solved the problem for you, by not allowing such connections anymore...
A quick explanation: The reason most public Friendica sites restrict Facebook connectivity is that the Facebook bridge is resource-intensive and rather unpredictable. What’s unpredictable about it? The fact that you can’t know how many Facebook contacts a new user might bring along. Most people seem to have between 20 and 250, but some have 1000 or more – and that can be a problem if you are running an open server and end up with numerous users of this type. Also note: It’s not just about activity – i.e. whether these people or their Facebook contacts actually issue a lot of posts. It’s about the system regularly polling those contacts in case they (or their own contacts) have added or changed anything. On a large scale, the unpredictability can cause problems, unless safeguards are implemented.
On a private server, you’ll generally wish to avoid the restrictions public servers impose on Facebook communication. But this comes at a price. You will have to be a bit careful about the number of users you take on board.
How can you be careful?
That doesn’t mean you have to panic! Hosting five to ten friends will generally be fine, even on a really cheap shared hosting deal. Depending on various variables, you might even be able to accommodate rather more (once you have gathered a bit of experience). Just use some common sense, some easy settings and policies - and relax:
So what does that mean in real numbers?
We can’t tell you how many Facebook contacts a really generous shared-hosting deal might be able to handle. So we can only issue a rule of thumb that should work almost everywhere: Don’t go much beyond 2000 in total. That figure might strike you as conservative – and it may very well be over-cautious in some environments. But we can’t know how far you might be able to push things in your specific case. So play it safe!
When you’re approaching that figure and thinking of letting a new user on board, ask how many Facebook friends that person will be adding to the total sum. Don’t be afraid to say no to a person who’s going to add another 500 Facebook contacts to the pool.
Another way of putting it: five to ten "non-power-users" is a good number of members for your site. Don't go above ten or include real power users unless you're an experienced sys-admin type. Below that, the software should mostly take care of itself. Upgrade every month or so and otherwise just let it run.
If you have reached the stage of rejecting new members, you can always offer to help people set up their own Friendica servers. And offering everyone a shabby service is rather less chummy than offering a good one to a few – especially if you are lending a helping hand to everyone else.
Granted, all that is fine... unless you have already ignored or only just seen the above advice - and are experiencing difficulties already. If that is the case - for instance if your site has become extremely sluggish - stay calm. There are plenty of things you can do. But do them as soon as you can.
And now… enjoy!