I'm Andrew. I write about the past and future of tech, music, media, culture, art, and activism. This is my blog.

Tech meets DIY/Punk

Posted: November 25, 2016

This morning, I spent 20 minutes hacking to gether a basic social media service for Of Many Trades. It’s not much, but it’s functional. It lives here: TradeSocial. There’s a simple reason that I was able to get it done so quickly: I cheated.

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See, most social media applications are designed to serve hundreds of thousands of users. At the moment, I’m worried about 15 - 20 (we may grow as high as a few hundred, one day. If you’d like an account for Of Many Trades, just let me know!) By recognizing that Scale is a Trap I was able to build something fully functional for a small number of users in a short amount of time. By working at the Human Scale, I was able to make Tech DIY again.

The service is super simple. It is missing some “key features” like filtering by user, and interacting with posts. Fortunately, all of those key features can be built using the same DIY/Punk ideology. I can whip together a few dozen lines of bash scripting, and suddenly we have notifications, or the ability to follow specific users (rather than the whole stream.)

At the moment, our community is small enough that we don’t need these features. If the community decides they’d like them, then we’ll add them.

That’s the beauty of DIY Tech, it grows along with it’s community.

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