A Weblog of Artem Dudarev

Open Up, Build a Community

David Cameron talks to members of the community at Sir John Hunt Community sports college in Plymouth Image credits: conservatives.

In Donetsk, we have monthly barcamp-style meetings for developers nicknamed coffee’n’code. This month one of the discussions was led by Pavel Mitin, its topic was “What technologies should we pay close attention to for the next five years?” There were many answers from different people, but an unanimous answer repeated by everybody was HTML5.

A few days later, Christian Heilmann gave an impressive talk about the potentials of HTML5, convincing me to focus on studying it more systematically.

My goal for Locovidi is to have as many online video providers as possible, so that their videos could be easily connected to places. Popcorn.js, the HTML5 media framework, does not focus on this particular issue, but in the future may become a unifying way to enable many online video providers in a webapp. Meanwhile, relations between hundreds of videos and places are already collected with Locovidi. It would be marvelous to make mashups with this data using popcorn.js or other frameworks. This brings us to the next idea.

John Resig’s talk has inspired me to open up the data and code of the application. I always thought that I will do it eventually, but the excuses not to do it were along the lines that now the code is raw and the data structure will be changing. Now I am giving myself a deadline till the end of July to publish the code and data on Github. Also I should think about the processes to keep them updated with the newest versions.

Another very valuable thought from John was to seek feedback from the users. For Locovidi there will be at least two types of users: the ones that use it just like a media, and developers using the data. For the first type, I have already set up a feedback form as John suggested. Other thoughts about community building were also very valuable, but for Locovidi this is still thinking for the future.

Finally, an issue not directly related to the lab itself. In various open communities I am participating, I see how negative and toxic people are sucking creative juices from the masses. John’s answer to a related question was very helpful: to seek an answer from the negative people about what makes them unhappy. But I also found very insightful links in the Twitter feeds of Laurian Gridinoc and Phillip Smith, other MozNewsLab folks. The links may be found in my personal wiki.

By the way, the links to the lecture notes containing links to recordings and slides also may be found in the wiki.