Boris Mann’s Personal Blog

Jul 2020

Is an open source Instagram possible?

The Sunlit 3 beta is available, and now open source.

Is an open source “Instagram” possible?

I had a long discussion with an artist about moving off Instagram and Facebook. I told him he was putting photos up inside a mall, and he didn’t disagree. Because he can sell inside the mall.

He was uncomfortable about it. That I was kind of accusatory, shouldn’t he go first, to walk out of the mall and lure people outside instead.

So how do we encourage people that doing street graffiti is something they might want to do?

Putting my technologist hat back on, an open source mobile app like Sunlit is an interesting starting point.

Supporting Micropub and WordPress are great starting points.

Now what about a SquareSpace interface? Drupal and Joomla? Mastodon?

Tumblr? Flickr?

This mix of open source and protocols and networks gets us to an interesting spot.

Does multiple forks of Sunlit help? That is, say other people use the code and deploy apps to the App Store. Can that be additive to a network of users using open protocols and platforms? I’m sort of asking if we can kickstart a more open and federated network.

What if that app added “Buy Now” buttons? Where users could add their own links to a place where they could buy what is in the photo. Or tip the photographer!

Thanks @manton for open sourcing. That begins to give us the opportunity to contribute and build upon what’s there now.