Hey everyone - Eric here.
The more I work on Junto, the more deeply I feel the importance of this mission. The current paradigm of social media thrives on extractive revenue models fueled by our attention. This has created generational issues of addiction, mental health, and privacy while our data is being aggregated at scale to predict and manipulate our behavior.
The good news? This is all a matter of intention and design. Crafted properly, social technologies can activate higher manifestations of our expressive capacities. Imagine how freely we can express ourselves in an environment without design patterns that harm our psychology. Picture the collective intelligence we can create when our attention shifts from a competition for superficial social currencies towards things we actually care about. Envision the transformation of our relationships and well being through a global community designed to empower and support each other.
This is not far out of reach. Many of you have been patiently waiting for the release of Junto and it’s almost time for this next chapter to unfold. Here are some important changes you should be aware of and how you can get involved to make this happen.
1) We are going to give Holochain and Holo some more time to mature. Good things take time to build and while they’ve made great progress, there are still several core features and challenging networking issues that need to be resolved. We want to have something up and running as soon as possible and we can make significant strides in product development and community building in the meantime. As a result, our initial release (alpha) will run on a centralized API. Junto’s beta will be fully decentralized and will open when both Holochain and Holo move into beta.
Some things to note:
Our teammate Josh is writing our centralized API in Rust. Rust is a low-level programming language, which means our application will be extremely fast and cost-efficient. I’m personally excited to see this in action.
Just like our Holochain API, the centralized API we use for alpha will be open source. Anyone can review our code and we will be as transparent as possible.
We will still be actively building our Holochain API (which you can track on Github) and will even open up a test network shortly after we release our alpha. This will be a separate, experimental version of Junto running on the early stages of Holochain/Holo that people can try out.
Using mature, production-ready technologies while Holochain/Holo develop means we can focus on creating a one of a kind product and grow our community to 100,000+ people before beta. That’s 100,000+ people ready to shift towards a decentralized web powered by Holo.
We will never sell your data, have no incentive to do so as a nonprofit, and will ensure you have full ownership of your data once Holo is ready.
I’ve also enlisted another mobile developer to prepare for launch these next few weeks. We are very close and will circle back with an official release date in our next update. I’ll also introduce him the next time you hear from us here :)
2) Junto will grow from its initial community members - you. To start, only those that have waitlisted or contributed to our crowdfunding campaign will have access to our alpha. From there, it’s up to you to invite people into this community. Start thinking about people to bring into Junto! This movement is as much yours as it is mine.
3) I will be joining Douglas Rushkoff on his podcast Team Human to talk about Junto early October. Those of you that are journalists, bloggers, or podcasters, we’d love to collaborate with you in sharing this vision with the rest of the world.
4) We ran the numbers and have a clear path to financial sustainability. When we move into beta, we will offer an optional subscription service people can purchase to access premium features. Until then, we are raising another $200,000 to ramp things up. With this capital, we will hire key team members, focus on building, and move far more quickly. If you feel called, you can email me or make a contribution here.
I’m grateful to have you as the core community of this initiative. I have no doubt we will bring about a more regenerative social paradigm together.
// email: email@example.com
Can you make a contribution today?
Everything we do is open source and not for profit. This is because we want to maintain the integrity of Junto long term. Help keep this initiative going by contributing at our PayPal below!
NYC - we’re co-hosting an event at the Assemblage Nomad with one of our community members Nariná Danielean! Come play, share, and connect as we explore our shared sense of interconnectedness. RSVP here: https://events.theassemblage.com/interconnecteddivetickets
Have you checked out the new landing page? Feel free to visit https://junto.foundation/ and let us know what you think.
Join us on Telegram! Our channel is https://t.me/juntofoundation
We want your feedback.
Like what you see? Share it! Think we can be doing things better? Let us know. We’re open to ideas so DM us at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop any of the team members a note at their individual emails listed on our website here.