User Driven Services: 6. Self Hosting

6. Self Hosting

monitor faceUser Driven Services can be hosted on users’ own machines.

If we can’t host our own services, we become beholden to those who can. This creates an artificial barrier to portability, limiting user choice and allowing service providers to charge unnecessarily high costs for their services.

User Driven Services assure users credible alternatives to traditional hosted services. This means that there exist multiple, independent options for users to host their own service running on their own machines, and there also exist hosting solutions that allow users to run their own service on hardware at a co-location facility or running the service on a generically available website hosting provider. These options may be commercial or free, proprietary or open source. Preferably there is at least one open source, free option. It is even better if there are multiple such implementations for different platforms, different programming languages, and different storage and network technologies.


The LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl/PHP) stack allows anyone to host and run their own advanced web service with custom capabilities. If you own your own machine and have a connected IP address, you can host your own server for email, FTP, gopher, website, Jabber, MUD services, etc. You can host your own blog, fully integrated via pings and trackbacks into the global conversations occurring throughout the blogosphere.  Free and commercial software enable you to host any number of services, either on your own hardware or hosted at standard hosting providers online.


  • Can users host their own implementation of the service on their own hardware?
  • Can users host their own service at third party hosting companies?
  • Are there free or low-cost licenses available for self hosting?
  • Can users host on a variety of hardware and operating system platforms?

This article is part of a series. It is the sixth of ten characteristics of User Driven Services


  1. Checklist with Silver UserImpulse from the User
  2. Control
  3. Transparency
  4. Data Portability
  5. Service Endpoint Portability
  6. Self Hosting
  7. User Generativity
  8. Improvability
  9. Self-managed Identity
  10. Duty of Care

More soon…

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Award Number IIP-08488990. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect teh views of the National Science Foundation.
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