True Fans Microfunding Development


My name is Jacob Dalton, and I’m about to hit the road for Missouri. Along with Brad Lewis and Aaron Makaruk, I’ve been developing a True Fans microfunding web application. This week I’m going to Factor e Farm for a Dedicated Project Visit with the goal of releasing the True Fans application before Christmas.

We’re not the first to try and build such an application—previous work on the wiki has informed ours. We’ve listened to those that went before us, we’ve made some adjustments, and now it’s time share that work with the community for feedback and input.

So what is this application? What does it do? Take a look:

It’s a sharing application. It allows True Fans and supporters to make personalized/customized videos and share them with friends, colleagues, and the rest of the OSE community. It’s an opportunity to add your voice to the project and invite others to it.

But the work is not done yet. We need your input. The basic idea is this: a True Fan or supporter goes to the app; logins into the wiki; and, using a webcam, creates an awesome video about why he or she supports Open Source Ecology. After adding a message, he or she uses the app to share the video with friends over email, facebook, and/or twitter. The video gets sent to the contacts supplied and boom we change the world. A little bit at least. Hopefully a lot.

I made a video to illustrate this process:

We think videos are a really effective way to personally introduce other people to this project, but we don’t know quite how this will play yet. Are people comfortable making short videos in front of their webcam? Do they need extra help? What would motivate you to contribute this way? We want there to be a lot of choices so that you can contribute in a way that is authentic to you. However, we also want to make sure that the process is easy enough for everyone to join in. We need your help to find that happy medium.

Perhaps not everyone wants to make videos, but there are other ways to contribute too. If you’d like to help develop, design, or test the app, you should get in contact with me (jacobrdalton AT gmail DOT com). The code is publicly accessible on github if you’d like to take a look. We have test server running the app right now. Let me know if you’d be interested in giving it a go. There’s also a project page on the wiki .



  1. Osten

    Hello there, I would like to ask/suggest in general. Is this not inherent to the project’s larger achievements such as for example being acknowledged in Time Magazine. This is the only portion of the project that I do not see a future in. It seems like a hasty attempt to speed up the growth of the project(a growth that until seeing this I was convinced was very healthy). Is that what’s desired here?

  2. Jacob

    This isn’t just about financial growth. It’s also about engagement and recognition with those that support the project. Currently we recognize True Fans with an entry on the wiki that’s sort of clunky and difficult to work with. This greatly improves that situation, and gives us a technological platform to create further interaction with True Fans.

  3. Miquel

    Hi Jacob,

    the MediaWiki extension looks pretty cool.

    We actually have an organization account for Open Source Ecology where you could host it instead:

    It is a pitty we are not really using it anymore…

    Ping me if you want to move there.