Roll Your Own Photo Sharing, Minus The Social Networking Baggage

[Niklas Roy] rolled his own photo diary, because he found the core functionality of something like instagram attractive, but didn’t want the social network baggage that it came with. His simple system is called my own insta ;) and it consists of some javascript and PHP to create a nice progressive web app photo diary and backend that can be accessed just fine from a mobile device. It is available on GitHub for anyone interested in having their own.

This project came up because [Niklas] sometimes found himself working on small projects or experiments that aren’t destined for proper documentation, but nevertheless could benefit from being shared as a photo with a short description. This dovetails with what many social networks offer, except that those platforms also come with other aspects [Niklas] doesn’t particularly want. His online photo diary solves this by having a simple back end with which he can upload, sort, and caption photos in an easy way even from a mobile device.

Rolling one’s own solution to some small core functionality offered by a social network is one way to avoid all the extra baggage, but another method is to simply automate away all the pesky social bits with a robot.

9 thoughts on “Roll Your Own Photo Sharing, Minus The Social Networking Baggage

  1. This is cool, but it’d be even cooler if there was a decentralized app to, well make this social, by aggregating the independently hosted feeds.
    Instagram pre-facebook was fantastic. it was a dead simple way to post and subscribe to photostreams with really basic social functions. I saw, in real time, all of the content I posted and all of the streams i subscribed to and pretty much nothing else. No in-feed ads, no instagram TV, or reels or discovery or stories. No predatory data collection. I want a framework that is basically fancy RSS for photos, with a good mobile app that lets me post and consume and little else (maaaaaaaaaybe have an opt in for full rez downloads so my photo hoarding parents can save posts of the grandkids).

    The problem with projects like this is that photo diaries are inherently social, or you wouldn’t bother posting them at all. with no way to aggregate and collate streams of interest, there is no impetus to visit all of the streams you might otherwise wish to consume.

    1. Niklas here. You are right, an aggregator for this would be a nice! There’s no reason why this cannot be done, except that a few people would have to start using this first. Otherwise there wouldn’t be much to aggregate :)

      If anyone starts to throw that code on her/his server and use it, let me know and I might be motivated to start working on such an app. (Well, now that I’m here where the 1337 haxxors are, I also wouldn’t mind if anyone helped me coding this, as I’m pretty much a PHP-n00b).

        1. What about an RSS feed? That’d let people “subscribe” with no additional infrastructure or network. It doesn’t solve the “find other people using it” problem, if that really is a problem…

    2. Me too Matthew! And I agree that the most important part is aggregated feed on app, otherwise these feeds are getting dust on their surfaces.

      The RSS-photo-reader app isn’t difficult to make but it is the “backbone”. I think it should use WordPress for example (as I did for myowninsta-feed ). Currently WordPress generates this kind of RSS feed from my photos

      If anyone is willing to participate, contact Niklas or me!

      1. Hi I am trying to use the PWA hosting it on a raspberry server. I am trying to develop it for an art installation/research but seems to have problems with the uploading, also working on a mysql users login for it. I am totally noob on php, data bases, servers XD. I am probably messing it up on the “/upload” folder with an “.htaccess” and “.htpasswd” file. step. Could you help me? (Thank you for the lovely project)

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