October 17th, 2012

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Fealty up for Golden Geek award!

[Reposted for mindways]

Fealty's a nominee for the Abstract Games category of the 2012 Golden Geek Awards! If you enjoy it, and use BGG, I encourage you to go vote and rank it well!

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geekawards/boardgame

It's got some stiff competition - Kingdom Builder is much more widely known, which will tend to get a game decent rankings just on the basis of recognition - so every vote counts! (Well, if you rank Fealty better than Kingdom Builder, that is. ;)
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Querki is Go

It's actually been a week or so, but I've been busy enough that I hadn't dealt with posting yet. Kate and I sat down a week or two ago, and I presented her with my business plan: less about *what* I am building, but more the concrete assessment of when I'll be making how much money, and what is my minimum level of success before I give up. Within those parameters, she's given me the thumbs-up to go for it.

So: as of this month, I am now nearly-full-time on the Querki Project. This is a new garage startup, but a much more hard-headed one than CommYou ever was, with a fairly detailed business plan, expectations of what will be done when, and a self-imposed requirement that I actually start making money at this before *too* long. It's going to be a radically transparent open-source project (again, much moreso than CommYou was), but that's going to be paired with a real website that is expected to make some money.

I'm starting to move my pile of notes from Google Docs into the official-for-now Querki Wiki on GitHub. There isn't much there yet, but feel free to keep an eye on it -- I'll be moving files there steadily in the next couple of weeks. I'll also be burbling about it here: I'll be tagging all of it "querki", so if you really don't want to hear about it, filter out that tag. I'm hoping folks come along for the ride, though.

I hope you decide to join me on this. I need lots of help, not just on the programming side but even more on usage. This isn't a programmer's lark -- it's a tool designed to help people get things done. My Use Cases file is already stuffed with ideas from many of you, but I want every idea I can get, so that I can be building tools that people will actually use.

More info shortly...
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The Querki Development Community / Blog

Following up on the previous, I've just created a new LJ community, querki_project. This is going to be the development blog / forum for the project, at least until Querki is stable enough that I can start running the blog in Querki itself.

For the time being, I'm going to cross-post major entries between here and that community -- honestly, I'm trying to drum up some interest. That'll be where I post the more detailed entries, especially the more technical ones; once there seems to be a critical mass over there, I'll slow down the posts here.

So folks who are curious, please join or follow that, and come join in the fun...
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Vision Statements

[Also posted in the Querki wiki.]

I'm still working on the elevator pitch for Querki, but here are some of the thoughts, to help get the idea across. The most concise marketing slogan is:
Spaces for all of your Things
Although I like the technical one a bit more:
Easy Solutions for the Easy Problems
If we get a little longer, we can get to the meat of it:
Querki lets you keep track of all sorts of things online, in a way that is easy to use, convenient and social
In technical terms, Querki is to an online website-building platform like Rails essentially what a wiki is to an ordinary website: less powerful, not really designed for Big Corporate Use, but one *heck* of a lot easier for ordinary folks to use. It's a platform that will let folks develop Little Apps very, very quickly and easily, especially the ones that involve keeping track of stuff.

We all need to keep track of things all the time, and usually wind up just making do, using documents and spreadsheets and things like that. We get by that way, but often find ourselves wishing for more. Yeah, I can just keep my shopping list in a document, but I want to be able to check things off -- and for it to keep track of what I've bought before, so I can just pull it up again. I want to be able to jot things down on my computer, and check them off from my phone. I want to be able to share it with my lady. All of that should Just Work, without lots of fiddling and hacking.

On the other end, when people *do* try to make something better, they have to resort to big cutting-edge tools to do it. Sure, Rails is much better than the old way of building a website, but it's still serious programming. Normal folks don't want to program -- they just want to tell the system what they want, and have it deal with that.

That's the goal here: to fill that middle ground. We're building a platform that will be *much* easier to use and create than the powerful enterprise tools, but much more powerful than just doing stuff by hand.

And yes, it's going to be social to its heart. Figuring out how to organize things is useful, but the real fun comes in sharing it -- letting others adapt your applications, letting friends know what you've been adding (under your control, of course), and working with others on projects. Querki is going to work with the rest of the modern Web, to provide a lot of power that traditional systems haven't even thought about yet.

Tomorrow: A Few Minutes of Querki