Monday, June 11, 2018

New Continuous Integration Build and Deployment Systems

We've fully modernized GetFire's custom deployment pipeline!
It is now ready for maximum collaboration, scaling and efficiency.

Be sure to stop by! Use your words!

Friday, May 25, 2018

A Note on Blockchain and New Currency

Blockchain, and its starchild, cryptocurrency, stand out most in two ways:
 1) Their potential impact on society, and
 2) The general lack of understanding about them.

I want to share some thoughts and impressions as Fire enters the tech arena.

Blockchain can (and in most cases probably should) be used for anything requiring a secure, trusted, distributed knowledge (data)base/ledger. Examples are many, but include the internet itself. Blockchain also empowers the speed and reliability of a network, making this technology, at least in part (if not fundamentally), the perfect platform for mission-critical digital communications and wealth exchange.

The question foremost in my mind (and perhaps others') is where the value of digital currencies comes from. The fact that a currency exists, can only make its denominations so palpable. The first-to-market digital currencies did benefit by virtue of their existence - during a time when using blockchain for currency was still novel, a common exchange without jurisdictional oversight was itself a source of abundance. Since then, speculation from all (mostly affluent) corners of the globe has increased the stakes of every pioneering (and tag-along) currency.

As blockchain becomes commonplace, where is the value of new coinage coming from? Proof-of-work, or 'mining', requires running difficult calculations in exchange for some allowance of a currency. These calculations could be an injection point for value into a blockchain system, but only if they serve a common purpose, akin to SETI for something useful. Heavy expenditure of energy is otherwise not a feature of blockchain or a source of wealth. Other strategies include incentives, stipends, and gamification. Bitcoin for example, was seeded and nurtured by the in-game economy of the MMO Second Life, imbuing the market with a sizable commonwealth and diversity of goods. There are also social networks leveraging "content views" as a source of value to back some new currency.

On a basic level, in an age of fiat, money is worth something by common exchange.
On a basal level, the source of all wealth is time invested in creation or maintenance.

So, start by trading time for subsistence. In a healthy marketplace, minimal wealth affords comfortable subsistence (increasingly so with the efficiencies of industrialization and automation). The usefulness of a currency will be tied to how readily basic needs can be satisfied by its exchange. Any new currency without a close relationship with physical supply-chains is either built on inherited inefficiencies, or fantasies. Valuable digital currencies can be leveraged to contribute back to the health and wellness of communities, empowering individual well-being, and the sustenance of human rights. From this foundational perspective, I suspect regional federations of digital currencies will emerge amid a global marketplace, based on shared logistical concerns and local values. Anyone with a bit of time to spare will be able to participate and thrive.

Whatever course blockchain and blockchain-assisted currencies take, I am looking forward to the possibilities.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Version 0.5

What's new?
  • Server migrated to AWS
  • Upgraded all dependencies
  • Activities Feed completed
  • WebRTC (Voice and Video) improved
  • Improved user engagement
  • Improved alerts and interactions

What to look forward to?
  • Growth

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Version 0.4

What's new:
 - Topic hosting
 - Topic ideals
 - Improved landing page user engagement
 - Voice and video calling
 - Visual and functional UI improvements
 - Improved topic map

What to look forward to:
 - Glyphs
 - Improved haptic & audio feedback
 - Improved voice & video
 - Command line functionality

(Update 4/29: v0.42 - visual and functional enhancements)

Thursday, November 3, 2016


Thanks to Patreon for hosting the Fire Crowdfund!
Patreon encourages recurring monthly contributions, which aligns well with the planned subscription-based revenue streams. Crowdfund contributions will be tallied for equitable recompense.

Show your support!

There are many opportunities for collaboration and partnership. If you or anyone you know is willing or able to contribute to a full-stack web startup, please get in contact: email

Monday, June 20, 2016

Seed, Revenue and Liquidity

Fire will be revenue-generating. The goal is not to inflate the valuation or showcase IP for a quick exit, but to build a self-sustaining ecosystem of free and premium users with demonstrable value-added for individuals, communities, and businesses, small and large, local and diasporic.

To not aim for an early exit means both posturing in the long term for IPO (or otherwise restructuring ownership among interests so that equity holders recoup their investments and monetize gains), and posturing in the short term for self-sustaining, scalable revenue generation.

Revenue streams from the Fire web application will include:
  • Advertising
    • An in-house advertising platform will contextually and geographically match promoters and content providers with their target audience.
    • Fire will provide demonstrable ROI for advertisers.
  • Premium features
    • In addition to the full-featured free version of the service, premium users will enjoy full audio and video capabilities, expanded service functionality, hosted topics, and a variety of cosmetic enhancements and bonus features.
    • Fire premium features will balance utility with luxury.
  • Partnerships and integrated services
    • As a 'communicative hub' and 'social media aggregation' service, Fire will provide plug-in functionality for other web services, and an audience/platform for other services to showcase their functionality. Establishing such relationships within the 'web space' will be mutually beneficial.
    • Fire will encourage cross-functionality/cross-compatibility and foster cooperation among web services.

Majority ownership will be retained, and include portions for options and progressive causes. The remaining equity will be used to raise funding, establish partnerships, and include a portion for an 'early adopter' friends and family fund which will serve as Fire’s 'financial seed'.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Version 0.3 Beta

What's new:
 -Visual/interactive topic map
 -Private link feed
 -Window/tab notifications
 -UI improvements

What to look forward to:
 -Whispers and emotes
 -Top comments
 -Device alerts
 -Audio and video integration

(Update 9/16: v0.33 - visual and functional enhancements)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Version 0.2 Open Beta

 -Implemented moderation tools
 -Improved sharing interface
 -Functioning topic previews
 -UI adjustments

Monday, June 1, 2015

Moderation, Anonymity and Profiles

Fire is built to assist communications between both friends and family, unmet acquaintances and complete strangers. Fire provides a clear visual and functional distinction between private conversations with individually known 'contacts', and public conversations among user-created 'topics'.

Users moderate their own private conversations by clearing their "conversational slate" or by simply removing/ignoring unwanted contacts. Moderation of "public topics” is a more democratic affair. Each user is able to cast a vote in favor of, or against, individual comments. Comments “positively-voted” via this interface will frequent the 'preview' view of a topic and gain longevity, whereas negatively voted comments will risk being omitted or negatively impacting the service for that user. Users decide what is reprehensible behavior, and act, by stating their preference towards comments and behaviors, as a 'first line of defense' against malicious activity. Such “user-assisted moderation” should ease the necessity of active moderation, allowing its deployment only for outstanding instances of spamming, bots, scamming, and immoral/illegal activity.

Similar to other 'login providers', fire references a user's e-mail address as a proof-of-individuality and a means to communicate outside-of-service. Instead of linking to a single web service (which may entail a person's real identity*[*a topic due its course]), each of a user's 'profiles', referred to as 'cards' in-app, provides users, under a header and moniker of their choosing, with a custom collection of links to their own works and interests, blogs and social-media accounts. A "default card" is provided for, and will be assigned to new contacts and topics. Beyond which, users are free to associate with any 'card' (or 'profile') they wish, offering a unique 'online presence', for example, to each; friends, family, co-workers, classmates, teammates, cohorts, roommates, and any number of web communities and other groups with common topic of discourse.

A cohesive solution, amplifying users' ability to engage with one another, restricted only by an individual's ability to access a web-enabled platform. A solution with an accessible user interface, respect to open policy, community moderation, and motivated by 'best practices' and ‘value added’. A solution which may find common appreciation enough to support and promote vibrant communities.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Open Source & Intellectual Property

Open source contribution is regarded as a "virtue" for hackers, and intellectual property as a foundation for modern 'creative economies'. Ideally these contrasting ideas needn't conflict, but special consideration is warranted during pivotal moments in the growth of a business.

Open source code offers a reserve of knowledge and wealth, without which, this project (along with many others) simply would not exist. Publicly available code enhancements and solutions can be likened to 'good-faith donations' to the community, the value being inherent in the coder's investment of time and effort. The philosophy of 'open source' fosters environments in which one can't help but occasionally wish to 'pay it forward' by personally contributing to the priceless reserves of available code. Intellectual property law, by my shallow understanding, offers, in exchange for demonstrable novelty, limited government-mandated financial protection (a temporal buffer, if I may) against mimicry. All things able to be replicated eventually (to date this post, '3d printers' will soon be able to reliably reproduce [for example] musical records, which could have unforeseen implications on the music industry), 'intellectual property' offers financial security as incentive towards innovation.

Unfamiliar with every detail, and without proper council, I am left to lean towards the merits of intellectual property law, temporarily eschewing any attempt to foster an open source community. But if I abide by one, I must regard the other. As such, I (as 'Fire') currently seek technical partners and legal protections, intending to revisit open source involvement at a later date.
(Edit: specifically, Fire will become involved in the open source community once its core business and functionality has been established, and begins producing excess, well polished code.)