Building the front page website for the internet

I have a new project, and here are my notes.

If I had to describe it in one sentence, it would be something like, “a website to share stories with friends”. But of course I’m making it much more complex. :smiley:

Who?

Okay, who is involved in this?

Well, if you are reading this, you probably are. But I doubt you are reading for that level of self-affirmation, so I’ll explain. Oh, this would be a good time to tell a story of me trying to “network” at a mansion party. :face_with_monocle:

Haha, not much of a story, that’s it! I tried, and I’m gonna say: failed!

As a freelancer, my main point of contact is my email: support@maiki.xyz. That’s my actual email, see how freely I give it out!

But networking in the Bay Area, in 2023, at mansions, revolves around scanning QR codes from LinkedIn. And then… well, nothing (except the spam they will all send each other as “influencers”, but that’s another story…). They won’t, ya know, socialize. I know, because I asked them!

One person has 19,000, um, “connections” on LinkedIn. The way they explained it to me stuck with me, along the lines of, “since I was in college I’m been connecting to every person I meet. It’s like a Pokedex, these are all the people I ‘caught’ while networking”.

:laughing:

I do like the idea of a just a collection of contact info from folks! It’s kinda wild how difficult it is to get that done. :person_shrugging:

Anyhow, that mansion thing was the prelude of a week of networking at a conference for community managers, where many folks were looking for work, so it was constant LinkedIn scans all around me.

Hmmm, did I feel left out? :thinking:

Yes! And gratefully so. I seriously can’t stand distractions on the level of the LinkedIn platform.

But it also showed me the dire condition “networking” around me was in, and unfortunately the Bay Area has a lot of influence on the rest of the world (probably because of all those pesky influencers!).

So I walked to the room in my mind archives marked “Are the Worlds Ready?!”, and brought out the burnt-orange folder with lime green trim, and reviewed the issues. :mag_right:

There were notes on how “networking” sites are sustained, and how that directs the applied patterns, many of which I find unacceptable. A folded over card with bright gold lettering inside proclaimed, “It’s not for you, maiki!” Gaudy, and to the point.

After looking at the the timestamps on some of these thought-essays, I put the notes back in the folder, sat up from my hammock on the beach, and placed the folder on the conveyor belt that would return it to the back room. Yes, my mind archives utilize useful technology and geography.

When I review and distill, here is the shape of what I want: to meet people, get to know them, and then be introduced to their friends and repeating the process.

A friend-of-a-friend network is what I have, but not online (despite how long we’ve been trying). I wish I could see what was happening with a select group of people I knew or will know.

To me, this is not merely a potential internetwork, it is essential. It is the internetwork. :tada:

But of course that is a mouthful, and when you look at it, it kinda says, “internet work”, which isn’t really the vibe I’m going for… so I dropped off the “work”.

And I now know who is building this site with me: the internet.

Who is this project for? Myself, and the friends I bring along, and their friends, too. The internet. :+1:

What?

This project is primarily expressed as a website, but I really think of it as “the front page”. Like a newspaper. But a website, so ya know, magic!

I’ve been building these things for myself and others since the web started, yo! And even tho in the last decade a lot of useful technologies have gotten only better, the web is generally promoted as a commercial platform and “consumers” therefore stick to platforms of scale.

For the last couple of years I’ve been building really useful integrations into our family’s communication platforms, and I realized many of them are useful for contributing to online discussion. Lots of public data, that kind of thing.

So we’ll be building a story sharing platform that provides assistance to the folks using it. Not as a novelty, but informed tooling and instruction.

The idea is that folks could use this site as “the front page” of the web, rather than whatever commercial portal users are driven to currently.

On the content side, I have what amounts to a series of “features”, or collections of stories/articles/essays/howtos that I have to share; this is what I mean by “story”, and I honestly don’t expect folks to understand at this point in time how that actually looks. One reason to build this site is to demonstrate how it is done. :slight_smile:

Oh, and it will be public domain and invite-only. :laughing:

When?

I’ll use this question to go over how this project will end. :slight_smile:

When the website is done, it will be split apart into components, which will be used to build a new set of tools and services for the internet.

It’s possible this happens before the “end”, as an experiment gains momentum it may become a separate project, for instance.

Because the public content is public domain, it will be stashed somewhere for the future to deal with, ala talkgroup archives.

As for launching the site… well, it depends on what we mean. :laughing:

I’m an “build-launching” now, this topic did it. There are some folks who will initially start the internet, and that would be considered a “soft launch”, where everything is public, but very little activity and no new users, until a “hard launch”. But that depends on the existing members to obtain the training needed to invite others, so… yeah, our “launch date” is more like a schedule of milestones. :slight_smile:

All that said, I’m looking to promote the website by April, 2024. I always aim to launch stuff on April 1, to ride that whole thing, and that gives me about half a year to get it together.

That seems like a lot of time, but I’m probably going to be busy the whole time getting this together.

Turns out: there’s a lot of decisions to make for this kind of project! Not fun ones, like “how do I subvert the prominent paradigm with Animal Crossing memes?”. Boring, empire-stuff, like terms of service, licensing, code of conduct, policies, and guidance for all those.

I plan on a series of dives into each aspect, so as I make a decision I can explain it using the knowledge I have. This serves two purposes:

  1. Learning in public, so others may collaborate and build their own, and
  2. To check my assumptions and working understanding of the technologies and policies I’m interacting with

I’m incorporating this into my daily routines, so this topic will also serve as a microblog of links to relevant resources and discussions. :+1:

Where?

Terrestrial Earth. This includes temporally and spiritually! If you transition beyond the lower atmosphere, timeline, or physical reality you may lose access to the website.

This is a challenge of the nature of websites, and we will work on improving the where as we develop new technologies. :+1:

That leaves the practical matter of dealing with human nation-states. :sweat_smile:

This raises an interesting question: in this moment, where is the best place to host a website?

Anyplace I host will likely be in a nation. I don’t know any data centers in the ocean that I would trust with basic operation, so that means we want a place that can support a stable, reliable data center, which means infrastructure and regulations and geopolitical conflict. :weary:

If I want the internet to include anyone on the Internet, where would be a prudent place to host a server, so the most folks could access it easily? :thinking:

Why?

I’ll take multiple passes updating this post, since there are a lot of reasons!

I need a writing project :sweat_smile:

This year I took time to myself, I was inhaling. A lot happened! And tho I’ve shared a lot, I’ve kept most of it to myself. But I’m ready to share, and I am confident in how I want to, so… it’s time to exhale.

:face_exhaling:

Keep this in mind! At the end of the day, whatever this thing becomes (and it’s changed a lot since I last wrote about it… :upside_down_face:), it is a writing project for @maiki. :+1:

In a lot of ways this is demonstrating that my passion for storytelling is stronger than any urge, ego, or assessment of how the world works, in this regard. Like, no one created a platform where I can perform.

So I’ll build it.