Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Spread Memes, Grow Networks

I've had some free time recently and I went back and revamped the Dendrite Network to be simpler and more streamlined.
Try it yourself! This link is a "bump" URL for this very blog post.

From the main page it's a quick three-step process to create a "bump" URL (and I'll be adding a "Tweet this link" button soon to make it even easier to share the URL.)
  1. You choose an URL to represent yourself. This can be something like your twitter or facebook home page or a specific page you've created for this.
  2. Enter the URL of the meme you want to spread.
  3. Copy the generated "bump" link and send to your friends.
When your friends visit the link they'll see a page with two options: Pick an URL to represent them and continue to the normal "bump" URL, or just visit the shared meme URL directly (without participating in the DN.)

Once you've chosen an "avatar" URL to represent yourself it is stored in a cookie and picked up automatically when you visit a "bump" URL. The upshot of it all is that you no longer have to manually manipulate the tags, it's all done automatically.

As people share the "bump" URL, registering their own "avatar" URLs in the process, a graph like this gets built up:
Each circle is an "avatar" URL and each link corresponds to a visit to a (non-anonymous) "bump" URL recorded in the DN log.

The log is public, as are the URLs, so everyone can watch the network grow.  Part of the complete Dendrite Network concept includes various ways to provide feedback on the memes being spread, and this currently includes the rejection messages that you can post to the log about a meme.

Last but not least, if you have a commercial offering (like the course on web app development I'm thinking of offering soon) you can spread the information about it through the network and reward people for aiding you to reach interested customers. (Like a super affiliate program.)

I want to create a simple easy-to-use system that lets normal everyday people make a bit of income using the Internet.  If you don't have something to sell yourself you can use the DN to help those that do reach the people that want what they're offering.

I don't know if this will work, but I have high hopes once a critical mass is reached that it will really take off.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Seeing the Results of People Using Dendrite Network

The Dendrite Network works by logging interactions and publishing that log.  You can then use tools to sift through the log and find the information you're looking for.

The simplest tools to use are the venerable command-line file processing utilities that come with most GNU/Linux systems.  Here is an example of finding all the unique URL registration events in a log file:
$ grep register dendnet.log | awk '{print $4, $5 }' | sort | uniq

1fvuqxgdentxqnnpc0071hq45 u'https://github.com/PhoenixBureau/DendNet'
1p9d4ew8a7mf2gpabrdqhtgdh u'http://openkeyval.org/'
d2i04eshhhg10lz6szytitcsh u'http://www.phoenixbureau.org/'
If we break it down it works like this:
grep register dendnet.log
That command finds all the lines in the log for URL registration events.
awk '{print $4, $5 }'
This prints out each line with only the tag and URL, separated by a space.
 sort | uniq
Last but not least, we sort the lines and remove duplicates.