Types of universes
Different universe types correspond to different server and network environments that contain your online community’s data and how that data is exchanged among members. These options allow us to support communities with specialised requirements on data security and moderation practices.
|Collaboration features||Chat + Threads + Newsletters (coming soon)||Chat + Threads + Newsletters (coming soon)||Threads-only|
|Server & network||Cloud servers operated by Aether on the web||Your servers on public or private network||User computers forming a peer-to-peer network|
|Data location & retention||Cloud provider of Aether, unlimited retention||Your on-site or remote servers, unlimited retention||User computers, 6-month retention|
|Access control||Public or private||Public or private||Public-only|
|System admins||Aether||Your admins||None|
|Moderation models||Traditional or democratic||Traditional or democratic||Democratic and subjective|
|Security||Cloud infrastructure secured by Aether||Your security measures (e.g. access via VPN)||Flood network with cryptographic identities and proof-of-work spam protection|
|Privacy||Aether has privilege, similar to other centralized platforms, but we do not track individual user behaviour||User data and content on your infrastructure||Cannot track user behaviour since content navigation is completely local on user computer and identities are pseudonymous|
|Source licenses||Restricted use and published for audit||Restricted use and published for audit||AGPLv3|
|User applications||Web app (desktop app coming soon)||Web app (desktop app coming soon)||Desktop app (Mac, Windows, Linux)|
|Recommended for||Work teams, classrooms, events & conferences, public & private communities||High-security organisations with data residency and traceability compliances||Groups using Reddit and Discourse, open source projects, mostly-offline coordination, activists and political organizing|
|Get started||Email us (coming soon)||Download P2P app|
In general, you will want to start your community as a Hosted Universe as it offers the most features for day-to-day use cases. An On-premise Universe essentially shares the same software as a Hosted Universe, except it runs on your own server and network, so you have full control over data storage and transfers. We currently are not yet offering this, but please email us to tell us your use case, and we can discuss timelines.
The P2P Universe is an experimental public space, where data is stored on user computers and there is no global admin. Its moderation model is not only democratic, but also subjective. In this context, democratic means default moderators are elected by the members of a sub, and subjective means moderation actions, such as content censorship, enacted by a moderator can be ignored by any individual user. This allows for a sub to implement consent-based governance in a delegative democracy, which also maximizes the freedom of individual members.