Tomis here again with the monthly review for May!
It’s starting to heat up. I’m in Charlotte, NC where summer starts early and often, but things are heating up in Junto Land no matter where you live. Let’s get into it.
While much of our focus has been on our Holochain application this month, I want to start by acknowledging a few cool things about the centralized mobile app. First, we’ve been seeing steady growth in both number of people getting on the app for the first time, as well as overall engagement. There are a ton of new public communities for you to check out! The other wonderful thing is that as the Junto community grows, we’ve been getting a lot of super helpful feedback and bug reports that has made it easy for our Dev team to keep a steady stream of improvements coming through the pipeline. Thanks to all who have reached out to share bugs and edge cases with us! Here’s a few of the things we took care of:
Community member permissions can be updated without members having to leave. Now there’s new functionalities to add a new facilitator, downgrade facilitator to member, and remove members from a community
Only members of a community can post to that community, and so can the group owners!
URLs with capital letters work now
Join by invitation now fixed
@ Mentions now working in comments again
Member count now accurate (includes both members and facilitators)
Profile picture loading bug now fixed
Otherwise, we’ve been pretty much head-down on our Holochain application — it’s coming together quickly, but we’re also being careful to lay the foundation intentionally so that future development is speedy and sound.
*Segue to Announcement*
New Team Member
We are happy to introduce Junto’s newest team member, Leif Riksheim (pronounced like “Life”). Leif is a UX wizard and our new Lead Web Developer, who is very much a part of helping us lay that intentional foundation I was talking about. After officially on-boarding Leif this month, he’s jumped right in and created Junto-Elements — a collection of reusable web components, that enable us to write and design consistent UI with the ability to create custom themes. This could also, in the future, enable users to create plugins for Junto using pre-made UI components.
It’s been a huge addition to our team to have a dedicated UX designer and web developer, and especially important here at this beginning stage of designing our Holochain application.
We’ve been having regular discussions about what we want to accomplish with our MVP vs our long-term vision for Junto on Holochain — making sure what we’re building now is structured to support the bigger ideas. We’ll be sharing more about how this shapes Junto’s development and the insights we gain as our development progresses.
We’re on track to be testing our Holochain MVP internally by the end of the week or early next week. From there, we expect a couple more sprints of debugging and improvements — aiming for early July to begin opening up access to our supporters.
The final foundation-laying-themed update has to do with our legal structure. Junto Foundation has been operating as a 501c4 in New York State. While we want to remain a non-profit and avoid traditional venture capital structures, we need to be able to get grants and attract larger donations, so we’re looking at starting over as a 501c3 with a broader mission. That 501c3 would then create and own an LLC, which would be charged with developing the Junto software. The structure is similar to the way Signal Foundation operates and would allow us the benefits of doing mission-driven work that can attract donors and grants, while retaining our “owned by all of us and none of us” approach.
Lastly, we ended up in an article on Lifewire about privacy and the future of social media. Check it out!
Until next time,