The demise of social networks

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Creating my own social network

For what seems like forever, I wanted to create my very own social networking site. At first, it was going to compete with Facebook, have reactions (before they invented it), and use open technologies. I started creating something with my custom PHP, I created the ability to register, log in and add friends. It was going great and my friends were playing around with it. A few bugs were being reported which I would try to fix, and a few months later, I got bored.

Years after my experience, Laravel (a fantastic PHP framework) appeared, and a spark reignited. I tried to recreate a social network on and off and rebooted it so many times. It was meant to be decentralised and have so many bells and whistles but after so many agonising years I decided it was time to give up the ghost.

Every social network dies eventually

I knew that Facebook and other social networks only have so long to live. We’ve seen the demise of Bebo, MySpace, PhotoBooth and so many more social networks just disappear. Facebook will have its day, and I think that day will be very soon.

The future is here

There are now websites like Mastodon and Squeet which are completely decentralised. You can download their source code and place it on your very own website then ask friends/family to join it.

These websites also connect to ActivityPub (I’ll call it AP for short), and this is where it gets incredibly interesting. AP is completely open and decentralised, it’s a data format that anyone can create and can be used on any website. To prove it, I have it installed right here on my WordPress blog although I never created the plugin, it works fantastically already. Every time I publish a blog post, it communicates with AP and gets sent to every social network reading from it including Mastodon and Squeet (to name a few).

Your very own social network in a pinch

This got me thinking, what if we could make the process so simple, everyone can have their own social network? Almost as easy as connecting WordPress to JetPack in order to connect to the WP community. What if we could make a simple static site that can be deployed to a server with a push of a button and almost be free? This would then instantly connect you to everyone via AP.

This is still a pie in the sky idea, but I honestly think it’s doable, and it will be something I am potentially looking into this year.

If you have any ideas, then please send them over. If I start this project, I will keep you all updated.

Social Network API update

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Last time I updated you guys on this, I only had a list of ideas and how it would initially pan out. I have now started the project and published the repo onto GitHub (which can be found here).

If you would like to contribute then I would wholeheartedly appreciate any contributions. Pull requests or feedback on the project are more than welcome. I must warn you guys that it has literally just started. So far I have implemented Dingo and JWT tokens as part of the API.

You can also find my todo list publicly available through Trello. You can see what I would like to be done, what needs testing and what has been completed.

I’m pretty excited about this project and I’m really keeping my fingers crossed that we can create something truly amazing. Especially with such an amazing Laravel/PHP community.

…Continued

This Blogpost was supposed to be out a while ago, and I have made a lot of progress on this project. I found a great starting project which has Dingo API, JWT tokens and CORS all setup out of the box with Lumen. This project can be found here. I now have JWT setup with user registration/login.

I also have status updates and friend request approval/ignore. There is still a lot to do and so much I need to figure out on this API, but if you would like to contribute, then please feel free to take a look and fork the project here.

Social Networking site – Starting point

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In my last post, I said how I would create a new open-sourced social networking website. I would to start out on the API.

To get us started, I am using the latest Lumen build. I will extend it with Dingo and JWT Tokens for authentication.

First and foremost, I feel that the database and API endpoints are the most important parts of our application and is what I will begin to build out.

I will start with the basics, user profile, comments, friendship etc and then build out a nice messaging system. I will be looking to implement something like Pusher for a messaging system. It looks like a nice API, and with the updates on Laravel 5.3, it seems like it could be a nice system.

After building out the API, I will then open-source it for others to contribute to. That will help me out with getting the actual site implemented and interacting with the API.

Again, the basics will be implementation first. When I am happy with the results, I will push it out into the open for others to view and contribute to.

If you would like to show some interest, then please comment below and even share on Facebook and/or Twitter and get the word out. I really hope we can build out something amazing.

The beginning of our Laravel social network

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A long while back, I said I would love to create and document making a social networking website using the Laravel framework, well that hasn’t happened, like at all.

Instead, I have started to build an API based in Lumen which I hope to open-source once the main functionality has been built into it.

Once the API starts to take shape, I would then like to build an open-source website which interacts with the API and then also open source the website.

Developers will then have a choice, they can either connect to whatever data I have on my server with the website repo. Or they can clone both the API and website and build out whatever it is they need for their own website.

Hopefully, this will be made clear when it becomes open-sourced and more people contribute to it. As I develop things further, I will throw everything up on my Blog to keep everyone who wants to follow it up to date.

Thoughts on my social networking site and what has changed

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Carrying on with my social networking website

I’ve had a lot to think about when it comes to the where I want to take my website. Firstly, do I really want to take on such a big task of trying to beat Facebook on my own, when they have a huge team? The answer to that is no, no I don’t. I have always had some great ideas with what I wanted to do. However, the fact is, I couldn’t carry this out on my own.

What could I do instead? I figured I should go for something which possibly hasn’t been done before. It could be similar to something which has already been done, that way I can keep my ideas on the straight and narrow. There have been so many instances where I would come up with these ideas and they would just explode, I would get so excited about these new prospects. However, because most of my thoughts have rarely been carried out before, I would get frustrated because I couldn’t find the help I needed.

Expanding the social idea

What if I created a website which could help like-minded people? With projects too big for them to carry out themselves? It then came to me, like a brick smacking into my face. I would create a website where users could explain a project they want to create, and then find people close by with similar ideas. They could then meet up somewhere and express these ideas, then they could create the project into something real.

My website will be about users coming in to make a project. You then find people who are interested and meet up with them to make this project a reality. As it’s initially a project, my website won’t be asking you about wages or some sort of payment, it will be up to you to make that part a reality.

I would like to apologise for the lack of posts lately. Things have been a bit hectic for me and my family. Please bear with me. I can assure you, I will still be posting. I will be making my website a reality for people to enjoy.

Social Networking Website Based in Laravel

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Laravel social networking website.

I’ve been wanting to make a social networking website for a long time, one which will rival the big guys. I also thought about maybe doing it following the footsteps of Mark Zuckerberg by recording my steps live on my Blog and get feedback to what others think. That way, I can create something which everyone wants and unleash something which almost everyone will love.

I will also release any tutorial worthy stuff as I go through my development to help anyone else who are thinking of making their own social networking sites using Laravel.

I’m starting out with the basics, such as: registration, messaging, pages etc.

What are your likes and dislikes about Facebook, Google+ and Twitter? Let me know in the comments so I can get some awesome feedback.