Numa

A federated social network, built on Ethereum and IPFS.

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#4 Product of the DayApril 03, 2018

Open source, on Ethereum, with built-in support for federation.

No walled gardens here.

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Discussion

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Hank StoeverMakerHiring@heynky · Nerd and gnar
Hey Product Hunt! I'm really excited to share a project I've been working on for a while now. It's a distributed social network, built on Ethereum. This is great because it means you have full control over your data, instead of being dependent on a centralized third party. It's free to sign up and get started. All your actions are saved into a 'batch', which you can submit to the blockchain in one very low-cost transaction (i.e. $0.01-0.10). I don't take any fees on top of that. It also has built in support for federated standards, so you can follow and be followed by people on other federated social networks, like Mastodon. Everything 'just works' in the background, so your posts automatically show up in your follower's timeline, and vice versa. Happy to answer any questions! This has been a blast to build. I've learned so much about Ethereum and distributed apps while making this. Thanks for checking it out!
gilbert mpanga@gilbertmpanga12 · Founder at paidReview
@heynky have checked it and well feels like magic . Do I have to pay every time to submit data on the ethereum ? And looks like you are a blockchain rockstar what resources did you use to develop this ether app? Thanks :)
Hank StoeverMakerHiring@heynky · Nerd and gnar
@gilbertmpanga12 Thanks, I'm glad you like it! You can batch all your actions into a single, low fee transaction. You only have to send your batch to Ethereum when you want to, and until then, other people can only see your content on numaverse.com . Posting it on Ethereum means your content is truly distributed, otherwise it's just on a centralized server. When you do post on Ethereum, transaction fees are just $0.01 USD, or roughly $0.05 if you want your transaction to go through quickly (this depends on how 'busy' the network is). There are a lot of great resources out there for building dapps, and I definitely read a lot of blog posts and documentation. I think there still is a ways to go towards making dapps really easy to build, but a lot of people are working on that.
Ryan HooverPro@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
While today's dapps are often far inferior to centralized incumbents (e.g. Twitter), there's a big opportunity to rethink social networks with an alternative incentive structure and development process. What's next on the roadmap for Numa, @heynky?
Hank StoeverMakerHiring@heynky · Nerd and gnar
@rrhoover agreed on all fronts. I've tried to make Numa as frictionless as possible, but there are still a lot of points that make Numa more confusing and hard to use than what people are used to. I'll continue to work on that, and hopefully the existence of more great dapps will help consumers get used to their workflows. Lots of stuff on the roadmap, and a lot of basic feature didn't make the cut for the launch (otherwise I'd never be able to ship 😜). Here are a few upcoming features: - Tips. Pretty basic, and a mandatory feature of any social dapp. A lot of the logic is there, and I just need to put some final touches on it. I'll make tips live in the next few days, if not tonight. - Support for token curated registries (https://medium.com/@ilovebagels/... ), and other interesting blockchain-based curation tools. Basically, support for decentralized ways of fighting spam and curating great people and content. I can imagine third parties building 'registries' as smart contracts, and then other people can apply to join. Existing members can vote to let new people in or vote them out, with financial incentives to do so. Reputation networks go in here as well. This is where some of the true benefits of the blockchain could come in to play, and there is a lot to be excited about. Other than that, there are so many small features that aren't in Numa yet, embarrassingly. You can't even see your list of followers! I'll have stuff like that shipped this week.
Davis Baer@daviswbaer
Awesome work Hank :) What are the biggest differences between Numa and Leeroy or Peepeth?
Hank StoeverMakerHiring@heynky · Nerd and gnar
@daviswbaer I love peepeth! I think the UX is really smooth and clean. Here are some of the differences between Numa and peepeth (and leeroy) - numa is fully open source, which I think goes a long way when building a distributed product (easier for others to run their own 'gateway' on top of Numa data - I intend to support all different types of posts, whereas peepeth is strictly microblogging. Right now I only built support for microblogging and articles, but I also plan to add stuff like polls, image albums, calendar events, and whatever else people want - we both support batched transactions, which is crucial for ease of use. On peepeth, you can't batch your sign up transactions, so you have to pay with Ethereum before getting started. On Numa, your sign up can be batched with all other actions, so you never have to pay anything until you want to. Numa also lets you batch unlimited items, whereas peepeth maxes out at 15. I think that's just an arbitrary number that they can change, though. - Numa support federated standards. This means you can follow and be followed by people on Mastodon, and other federated networks. My hope is that every new social network these days supports federation, it goes a long way towards a more open social web. It would be awesome if peepeth built support for federation, but I haven't heard anything from that front. Even if they don't, I might build a way for you to be able to follow peepeth accounts from Numa. They are on Ethereum after all, so it's super easy to fetch their timeline.
Tom Bielecki@tombielecki · Cofounder, PrintToPeer
Ctrl+f "friends": 0 results. Products like this need to succeed. The time is right. But who is this for exactly, and how much impact do you want to have? I hope I can provide some constructive criticism for your project that I'm sure you spent a great deal of time and effort on. When was the last time a social network became popular because of the tech behind it? Or with a 'nerdy' group of early adopters? I can't think of any. Facebook had real names, Twitter and Instagram had a content restriction, Snapchat was mobile-first, Ello had better policies, etc. these are the things normies care about. I'm glad you built this but IMO you're doing a disservice to the actually necessary 'social' part by not launching with good marketing copy/design for normies. I'm not going to share this with my friends because they don't know what this is or what it means; in fact words like "blockchain" "ethereum" and "walled gardens" will make them leave the page.
Hank StoeverMakerHiring@heynky · Nerd and gnar
@tombielecki Hey Tom, I'm 100% on board with your sentiment. Even successful dapps like Cryptokitties are pretty confusing and hard to use for 'normies'. It's a problem that we as a community have to solve. > I'm not going to share this with my friends because they don't know what this is or what it means; in fact words like "blockchain" "ethereum" and "walled gardens" will make them leave the page. Again, totally understood. I talk to my parents about this project, and they're pretty technically literate, but I basically tell them and other non-tech friends that it's just too confusing right now to try. To sign up, you have to install MetaMask, or use a dapp browser, which is a pretty large friction point. There is a reason that using those apps are required, because it would be really insecure to trust me or other dapps with your private keys. And don't even get started on actually buying Ethereum from an exchange and spending it. I think a lot about how I can make this more approachable. Maybe some users would rather just have a username and password while we manage their private keys. I actually built that into the app at first, but decided to hold off for now because it's such a security risk. In the future of blockchain apps, we might have to build solutions like that, or otherwise create wallets / apps that make it easy for everyone. @toshi is an app from Coinbase that includes a wallet and a 'dapp browser', and it's really easy to get started and use. So to your question - who is this for? Yes, right now it's really more for Ethereum and decentralization enthusiasts. In time, hopefully things can become more inclusive. > When was the last time a social network became popular because of the tech behind it? I would argue that Mastodon because popular because it supported federation and is pretty easy to self-host. But, your larger point stands.
Taylor Milliman@taylor_milliman · Cooking, Coding, Enjoying Life
This is awesome. Approximately how long did it take you to build? Do you have anything you'd like to add to it going forward?
Hank StoeverMakerHiring@heynky · Nerd and gnar
@taylor_milliman so glad you like it! I started hacking on an idea for this about 4 months ago. I've been working on it full time for the last month. So many features in the roadmap, and I covered some of them in my reply to @rrhoover. Tips will be live very soon. Support for posts other than just microblogs and articles, like polls, albums, etc. And whatever else the community wants!