A Brief Update on Owncast

I made a post when I pushed up my initial idea of Owncast to GitHub, but I haven’t posted any status updates to my own website since then. There’s been some significant traction lately, so I wanted to take a moment to write an update.

We’ve been making steady progress under the radar with a fantastic group of people who have discovered the project. We knew that once we completed our Owncast web admin feature that we’d let a few more people know about the status of things, since it’s an added level of polish and ease of use that might appeal to people. Little did I know how this would explode.

We ended up on the front page of Hacker News, the top of multiple subreddits, and have been the #1 trending project on all of GitHub for a couple days. My goal was to have something that was useful to people, and given the feedback from people who are actually setting up Owncast servers, I think we’re on the right track. Just like I hoped, people are super excited to go from zero to streaming in minutes, and they love the freedom and ownership over it. I have no idea how many new servers exist now, since anybody can download it and run it, but it’s exciting seeing the servers that choose to register with the directory so we can visit some of the new streams.

While I can say all of this has been unexpected, the thing that I never would have guessed is a community has started to spring up. I’ll visit people’s streams and other people who run Owncast servers or has worked on it will be in there chatting. Last night Kyle Bronsdon did a 4hr stream using Owncast for the first time and so many familiar names dropped in and were enjoying the music. The same goes with the nebunez daily stream and when Joel is streaming himself working through Advent of Code. In the most literal and organic sense, it’s a decentralized community, but it’s not the technology binding them together. It’s just people who are enjoying being a part of something fun with other people. It’s hard to explain how cool that is, and I’m immensely thankful to everyone who has been a part of it.

But it’s still early days! With all the added attention many more feature requests and pieces of feedback have come in. Every person who shares their thoughts helps influence the direction of the project, and I’ve made a few roadmap changes because of it.

Thank you again to everyone, especially the contributors and people using the software to do cool things. I’m very much looking forward to making Owncast something great with all of you.


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Gabe Kangas

Dec 23, 2020