So, how do people run their own personal instances? What software? Self-hosted or paying for hosting?

To do my part in ensuring the fediverse stays diverse, I think I'd rather not use mastodon. Also, I'd rather not run that kind of bloat on my small homelab when selfhosting

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@yarmo running a friendica server for another collective, but the ui is quite unfriendly to new or not tech savvy users. So I'm eager to learn about all the new Mastodon compatible applications mentioned here.

Other than that I started hosting several rocketchat instances, but that's not really federated like the fediverse mostly is.

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Fosstodon

Fosstodon is an English speaking Mastodon instance that is open to anyone who is interested in technology; particularly free & open source software.