The Gemini Protocol
In my last post, I briefly mentioned the Gemini protocol as a way of re-discovering bloat-free internet. In this piece, I'd like to dive a little deeper into the protocol, it's potential for average folks, and how you can explore this niche community for yourself.
Gemini is for Everyone
Since I'd last discussed Gemini, it has grown quite significantly. There are numerous sites (called capsules), and even some social applications built on-top of the existing framework. Though the content still leans tech-oriented, there is a growing sector of non-tech capsules and blogs on the network.
Even with all its growth, the protocol remains unchanged in its 'minimalist' quality. Gemini is still 'text-first' in all regards, and that has made for a greater focus on the quality of the text published. Where a writer no longer needs to concern themself with how the text will look with CSS or HTML, in Gemini they simply write, and the reader's browser will add whatever styles the reader wants. The headings, text, and links remain unchanged, and as such the writer's work remains front-and-center.
If you're someone who does a lot of reading online in the form of articles and blogs, you'll be quite familiar with the distracting and often invasive advertisements that occupy a majority of the screen. On Gemini, there are no ads or pop-ups. The protocol is purpose-built to discourage monetization of content and integration with harmful trackers. People publish content on Gemini because they have something to share, and not for 'likes' and 'retweets'. It really is a breath of fresh air.
The first step is to download a browser to access Gemini. One of the most popular Gemini browsers is Lagrange. It is feature-rich and works very much like a normal web browser.
After you've downloaded the browser, you can start clicking through links and discovering content for yourself. Below are a few aggregators, search engines, and directories on Gemini that can provide you with a nice starting point:
- Medusae.Space (gemini://medusae.space/): A Gemini directory
- Antenna (gemini://warmdel.se/~antenna/): A Gemini Aggregator
- Kennedy Search Engine (gemini://kennedy.gemi.dev/): Gemini Search Engine
- Waffle News (gemini://gemi.dev/waffle.cgi/): Read News Websites on Gemini
- smolZine (gemini://gemini.cyberbot.space/smolzine/): A Periodical Gemini Zine
- Midnight Pub (gemini://midnight.pub/): A Hosted Blogging Service
- Smokey's Capsule Collection (gemini://tilde.team/~smokey/capsule-collection.gmi): A Collection of Various Capsules
If you'd like more information, there's a great Gemini Quickstart Guide and the Gemini Protocol's Official FAQ. If you are more technically inclined and would like to learn how to create and host your own Gemini Capsule, the Quickstart Guide has links to different servers you can use.
Gemini is a worthwhile space to explore if you haven't already. The growing community is very active, and I believe there's plenty of opportunity for more unique and diverse content to make its way onto the network.