Team Tito

Here’s Vito

The internet is a mess.

Day-in, day-out, tensions between privacy and security dance a duet with convenience and meeting the profit needs of tech companies. Cookie banners and much of the EU’s GDPR are the political "do what we can, not what we should" solution to a problem that should be solved at an infrastructure level.

Platforms like Mastodon do decentralisation well, but they're quite hard to set up, and it can be tricky to actually figure out what’s going on. Others refashion on the ideals of decentralisation into scams and get-rich-quick schemes.

Projects like IndieWeb attempt to grapple these tensions from a cultural perspective, and put a lot of the power on individual technologists.

Social networks have become so big that they can be difficult to navigate, and it’s easy to get lost in a sea of attention-seeking algorithms, endless ads for things we don't want, and potential for abuse and harassment.

Finally, in an effort to avoid the toxicity of modern networks, many folks have created private channels of communication, communities living on Slack, Discord, Patreon, Kickstarter, Substack etc. that almost co-exist separately from the open nature of the web.

For all of the above, harassment and abuse excepted, there are so many examples of postive uses, and indeed I've experienced these. Stephen Fry replied to me on Mastodon. is a wonderful example of a platform that embodies the IndieWeb ideals. Twitter at its best creates moments that could only exist on Twitter.

But there has always been something missing for me. Several years ago now, we hosted an event in Dublin with a handful of folks, and after the event came the question: "Where do we find each other after this?".

There are a lot of answers to what that could be, but not a lot about what it should be. Most of the obvious channels: WhatsApp, Slack etc. require sharing of personal data that is too much for a group of strangers. Larger social networks are fine, but I would regularly find myself in the position where I want to follow someone in the context of an event, but not necessarily in my everyday social feeds. Finally, many of these options disappear over time, losing the record that the interaction happened.

Vito is an attempt to build a platform that sits between these tensions. Vito hubs, as we’ve called them, are online spaces that allow you to invite groups—either strangers or not—and share content with them. In a sense, Vito shares many attributes with mailing lists, forums and blogs, but it's none of those. Vito hubs are designed to be lightweight, and easy to get started with (I created this hub in about 5 minutes), but also deep enough that you can add and build a community resource as you go.

Vito is not decentralised in any way, but because it uses a hub model, each individual hub is individually moderated: content is generally added in context, so the surface area for harm is reduced.

Despite using a hub model, we’re building Vito to be networked. A single login gets you access to all of your hubs, and if you follow folks in one hub, you follow them in another.

Vito is flexible. You can start with a single feed of posts, but you can also create a full content-driven experience for your participants. You can choose to wall the entire hub, or you can choose to make some or all of its contents public.

Vito doesn't want to know very much about you. There’s no algorithm to feed, and we don’t do any kind of tracking, so you won’t see any any cookie notices or tracker warnings on your content blocker.

Finally, I didn't mention events once here. As I was working on Vito, it became apparent that the kinds of things that events need are not limited to events: a space for folks to join, a feed of updates, the ability to interact, and an evergreen community. A great platform for events simply needs to be a great platform for community and content, period.

The internet is a mess, but we want Vito to be a little corner of the internet that isn’t.

So those are the ideals and the context in which Vito came to be. If you'd like to know more, or try it out, go ahead and sign up. Feel free to join this hub and drop a comment below, or shoot me an email to book a demo.