tl;dr We have launched Makr.io, a sister project to D* that tackles different, but related problems to giving people ownership over their data. Makr, is not replacing D* in any way, and it will complement it even more in the future.
We wanted to take a little time to talk about what we have been working on recently—a project called Makr.io.
During the last two years that we have been building Diaspora, we have uncovered lots of interesting problems related to our core mission—giving people ownership over their data.
We started working toward this goal by pursuing a technical solution; building a social web that put data in hands of its users. We realized after a while, however, that giving people ownership over their bits was only part of the problem. It isn’t just that people need to be able to own their own data, it’s that user data as it stands has no tangible meaning. We believe that ownership of data can be more valuable when you have the ability to create meaningful moments and experiences with your community.
Makr.io is solving the second part of the problem. It is an exploration of social communication that lets people make things they are proud of, and collaborate with other users. We’ve been using it to make jokes with our friends, but you might find something even more creative to do. We have loads of cool ideas for features to showcase how people sharing and building off of each other’s ideas. The goal is to make everyone feel like they can be a part of a creative conversation on the web, and own that feeling of being a maker.
So do us a favor, try it out, and keep checking back in the next few weeks to see how it evolves. If it is not your cup of tea, that’s ok too. Embrace your creativity, invite your friends, see what happens, and have fun.
And of course, Makr.io is being made possible by the very thing that drives it: the open source ecosystem. It’s freely available for developers to check out and improve. The complementary nature of Makr towards the Diaspora project will allow both of them to share important fixes and improvements, and will help one another grow. You can track Makr’s development here.
We will have more about Makr in the coming month.
Why is this not just in Diaspora proper?
Makr is still heavily in development. Since we are still figuring out exactly how its going to work, we did not want to burden our current D* with lots of rapid (and possibly breaking) changes. It also helps us to work faster.
What happens to D*?
D* needs something like Makr to exist; we need a way to share where people feel they are actually contributing and building something, rather than just capturing side effects of everyday life. D* gets better in a world with Makr.
Will Makr be merged back into D*?
The word has come to refer to historical mass-dispersions of people with common roots, particularly movements of an involuntary nature, such as the expulsion of Jews from the Middle East, the African Trans-Atlantic slave trade, the southern Chinese during the coolie slave trade, or the century-long exile of the Messenians under Spartan rule.
Recently, scholarship has distinguished between different kinds of diaspora, based on its causes such as imperialism, trade or labor migrations, or by the kind of social coherence within the diaspora community and its ties to the ancestral lands. Some diaspora communities maintain strong political ties with their homeland. Other qualities that may be typical of many diasporas are thoughts of return, relationships with other communities in the diaspora, and lack of full assimilation into the host country.