Feb 2019 update

2019-02-05
André Staltz

Dear backers, thank you for your commitment, your contributions are adding up together to make a steady foundation for this project. 2019 started well, you are now in total 39 backers and 2 organizations!

This last month, I put in about 92h of programming work on the mobile app, out of which 13h were funded by you. I still need to fund most of the hours from my own finances, so once in a while I need to pause this development to make a living. But that's okay, this is a long term project, and I'm positive that this year we will find larger grants to donate to Manyverse. I don't want to celebrate too early, but just want to inform that it's a real possibility.

Here is how the project went forward since the last newsletter.

  • Images in fullscreen. Since version 0.1901.16, you can now tap an image to open it in fullscreen and pinch zoom. The screen also tells you the hash ID for that blob (image). A button on the right lets you copy that blob ID. Long press the button to copy the markdown code so that you can paste repost that image elsewhere.
  • Several small fixes to names and avatars. Since I upgraded scuttlebot to version 13, avatars and names were a bit incorrectly calculated. In version 0.1901.14 I fixed this and made avatar and names load quicker. I also managed to remove a big library entirely, reducing app size and simplifying the code base.
  • Thanks screen. This was a quick feature to build: a popup that you can open to show who are we grateful for, that means you! It also has the purpose of showing users how they can donate too.

A graphic design where there is a phone on the right, displaying the Manyverse app open, and text on the left; The text says

In the Scuttlebutt community, this is a particularly exciting month. Right now, about 40 people are preparing to travel to a retreat in New Zealand for the first gathering of community members, developers, and contributors. This is being held as an invite-only event, but it's the first of many, and we're expecting a lot of great ideas, plans, and energy to come out of it. It'll be historical!

Lately, moderation through blocking has become an important maintenance of our communities, to preserve psychological safety. We are probably by now not a community, but "communities" in plural, as people are customizing their social circles instead of accepting anyone onto their local databases. Moderation is important for scalability. In December 2018, Manyverse got its first moderation feature (blocking), but very soon it will get more features, for instance message flagging is coming up soon. I compiled a visual graph that displays who are the most active moderators and what accounts are they blocking, see below.

A visualization of a social graph under the perspective of blocks; a visualization on the left gives bigger size to nodes that are being blocked by many, i.e. outcast nodes; a visualization on the right gives bigger size to nodes that are blocking many, i.e. moderator nodes

One feature that has been really exciting is the development of Bluetooth syncing of data. This has been under silent construction for many months, and I want to save the actual announcement and excitement for later, but here is a teaser video about it.

Finally, two more news: we've begun writing a Wikipedia article for Scuttlebutt; and me and Manyverse were mentioned in El País, the largest media in Spain!

Have a good month, and until the next newsletter. :)

– Regards,

Andre Staltz