Apps to capitalise on ease of publishing via the Safe Network

A brainstorming discussion arising from the thread ‘what’s our marketing hook?’

I suggested that it’s particularly easy to publish on the Safe network because you don’t need to find someone to rent server space from, and you have a ready made Javascript API to work with, so you don’t need to learn extra server side programming.

With good Content Management System (CMS, eg. Wordpress, Medium, MySpace) apps that have networking capabilities, Safe could have a much smoother continuum of social media post at one end, through personal blogging site, to company website at the other end.

To put it another way, there is an awful lot that can be done with a ‘static’ website, together with the Safe Network API.

With some demo apps that establish a template for a workflow that capitalises on the benefits of Safe, this could be seen as a ‘killer feature.’

What I personally had in mind was apps that would run in the browser, and would provide the front end services needed to conveniently interact with data both in your own Safe, and in other people’s Safes.

For example, you might upload some videos using the Safe Network App, which will be stored in a file system that appears similar to that on your computer, or on a cloud storage system.

However, it would be relatively easy to build an app that gives me an option to create my own website called ‘David’s Great Videos’, customise its appearance, and then point it at my ‘videos’ folder, and display and play any videos that I’ve made public, or when it’s me that’s logged in, display both public and private videos.

If I’ve labelled my videos, it can look for any similarly labelled videos that my contacts have made public, or alternatively for any that my favourite (Safe) websites might have put up. I can also configure where this search function looks first, (eg. ‘Safetube’ might be one of my favourite sites, and therefore more likely to have similar videos than ‘Safemaps’ which is also one of my favourite sites.) Optionally I can also make my own search configuration available to other users of ‘David’s Great Videos.’

We can also make it possible to upload via the CMS with which ‘David’s Great Videos’ has been created, rather than via the Safe Network App.

The same workflow could apply to any kind of media, and my thinking actually comes from applying it to indexes for general search.


Anybody heard from Shawn?


Shane. No, I sent him a DM a month or two after he left off last time, but never heard anything back. It was just before the last lockdown I met up with him in Manchester, so that’s nearly a year ago now (seems like a lifetime!) Hopefully he’s okay.


Not sure of the exact architecture Shane had in mind, but I guess another way of looking at what I’m trying to suggest here is designing Content Management Systems to act as a bridge between app-agnostic data held in one’s account (via the Safe app,) and the discovery layer in the form of the browser.

Not rocket science, and been said many times before, but sometimes a certain way of looking at it can make things click into place for people.

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Just throwing this out there - ‘content management system’ I always found to be a bit of a flimsy term in general, I remember hearing it first and thinking: A system for managing content? What could that be? What content? I haven’t looked into the origins of the term, but it still doesn’t sit right with me. Imagine taking a pen out to write a story for no particular reason, and saying to yourself, ooh I’m enjoying making this content…

I say this because the flimsiness of the term becomes even more apparent here, it is reaching its logically inane endpoint I feel. If it is just me reading it that way, please carry on :smiley: if not, some sort of new name for this concept is in order. It’s not your ‘content’, it’s your data, your stuff, your memories, your ideas, your hopes, etc, that you would potentially be smoothly sharing in a nice continuum as described in the OP


Totally agree with that. I had no idea what it meant when I first read it!

I use it here because I think people understand it as a personal, customisable website such as Wordpress enables.

A better term would be great, but might be confusing until there are examples out there for people to latch onto.


His github may still be up - if we search back a year ago, the exact
URL should be in the forum somewhere

Yes, I think it is better to think about how easy it will be to share content than how easy it is to build a website.

Consider this: a website is just an app, which displays some associated data. On safe network, the app is loaded directly from the network, which is also just a type of data.

Then consider that every data item is directly resolvable via a URL. Whether it is a file, an immutable blob, an item in an (appendable) list. It’s just data which can be retrieved, when it is found at its location.

So far, so meta… but any data can be stored. Public data can be stored by any user. Any public data can be read by any user. We have a situation where apps and the data they consume are fluid - they are interchangeable, some may be fungible with others of similar types.

Still a bit meta. To put it another way, we can have apps which can act on any data of a type known to it. The type could simply be formatted text (e.g. JSON) and the apps can present that data how every the user requires.

To put some more skin on the bones, what differentiates Twitter from a blog? What differentiates an instant message from an email? What differentiates a web site from a news feed or a social network? What separates comments from messages intended for other apps?

What about messages which can define how they should be processed? Can a message include a script? Does that make it an app as well as data? Can we have apps within apps?

I’m not entirely sure how far the rabbit hole we can go, but I can see how our relationship with data and the apps which filter, manipulate, present and share it could be very different. It could open up a whole new world.


Yeah, he tried to show me how he’d set it all up, but I was a bit bamboozled!

I’ve got his phone number, but I don’t want to hassle him. I think he was in touch with some of the Maidsafe guys too.

A lot of the work I did last summer actually ended up being around customising and theming, so I’m reasonably confident in my own stuff, I just need to do some more work on it!

And it would be nice if anyone else had any ideas for apps along these lines too!

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I remeber getting a fair bit of it working in the browser and was just waiting on his latest updates when it all went quiet, Then I got laid off due to COVID and had a lt of other shit to worry about -like trying not to die and money…


This is where I’m seeing an opportunity, and where I think the way data is displayed is quite important. And the point is that the data should remain independent.

A website just happens to be an easy to build app that runs in a standardised environment that end users are familiar with, and people are used to viewing and making links between websites in a way they aren’t between other kinds of apps.

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I would think that a replacement for bittorrent seed servers (terminology???) where people could make curated catalogues pointing to uploaded files.

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Just the kind of thread I dig!

This is the sort of thing I hoped we could get in to when thinking about marketing and building for end users, because even quite straightforward little features and tools could prove to be super useful, and really expand the network quickly early on.

I’ve always thought a Bit torrent replacement could be very handy, and we could make it very simple to use. A one click, or drag and drop affair.


When it comes to creating sites straight onto the Network, and CMS etc. I think something like a Wordpress equivalent, or full blown CMS is way overkill for me. My gut instinct, when we take away so many infrastructure hurdles, is what more can we take away? Just how simple can we make it?

So I’d say why don’t we start with Markdown to Safe site conversion? So I type a new URL in the browser address bar, hit edit, and add markdown and hit publish: done, page is live.

Or, I type markdown in my text editor of choice on my desktop, highlight the text, right click and hit the option to publish right from there. Easy!


I also think there is a amazing opportunity when it comes to archiving clearnet content.

Now, this is a bit more complicated, and I don’t know how it’s achievable technically, but this is a brainstorm right!

I’m thinking of something like a clipping service for the clearnet. And content I see on the web, I can highlight, and archive to the Safe Network. Or indeed with a browser plugin or similar, I could check if a webpage, or any bit of content already has archived versions on Safe.

Perhaps this would need a parallel NRS system, that would reference the clearnet URL? Or somehow the original URL is hashed into the content, so it aligns. How we do this without the ability to spoof I don’t know, but it would be magical if it could work.

See anything on the web and save it to Safe, like a screenshot on steriods.


The basis for decentralised search right there!

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Not saying I disagree with the angle you’re coming from here, but in one sense I was looking at it in the opposite way, of making content as valuable as possible.

My view of simplicity is that apps can leave the heavy lifting of managing data to the network and Safe Network app, and concentrate on front end, and/or making connections with other people’s data of a similar nature (which also ensures data remains stored in an app-agnostic way.)

For example as a musician Safe has done most of the work that releasing an album should just be about uploading it to my account and hitting publish. The front end(s) to make that a reality aren’t trivial obviously, but definitely much more within reach than in the current scenario.

Yeah absolutely agree.

It’s the content itself—the blog post, the album, the thought—that’s the important bit. How do we make the journey from having that thought, or playing that melody, to having it published and then found and enjoyed by someone else as quick and seamless as possible?

To my mind thinking about it like “we have these CMSes on the clearnet, and people are used to them, so let’s try and recreate that” misses the opportunity.

If I can just highlight some text on my desktop, and click publish, and it’s live then that’s one part.

The connections and findability is another.

One of the simplest features in this regard, that just starts to demonstrate the differences form the clearnet, if how publishing with SafeIDs can turn in to a network wide feed for consumers.

So, I could ‘subscribe’ to an @david-beinn feed, and then see all the new content you publish with that SafeID, regardless of its location. Or perhaps I filter that down by label: just tell me about music files that David posts etc.

The publishing side of this equation can be very quick and easy. And then aggregation of that data on the other side can be rich, and need not be so linear.


CMSs as they exist isn’t really the angle I’m coming from.

What I’m trying to take from, say, Wordpress is that you don’t have to know any code to make a website, but I would agree that ‘website’ is probably trying to do too much, which comes back to the kind of simplicity you’re advocating.

Too quick and easy maybe! My only concern is that if people get in the habit of publishing carelessly into a void, as is currently pretty easy in the case of social media, then the data becomes quite specific to the app it was created with, and there is little incentive to organise and reuse that data, and people don’t see the value of their own data.

What I was thinking of was apps that are designed in a way that really highlight the role of the Safe Network App, and the benefit of app-agnostic data.

Not that I think that’s incompatible with any of the ideas you’re suggesting, just maybe a slightly different way of coming at it.