I Am Making Progress

documenting a new internet venture from day one

The last year

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What’s up with Feistie?

Its been more than a year since my last post. http://www.Feistie.com is still up and running though there are little to no active users anymore. During it’s existence Feistie has seen about 100 users make accounts, 500 artists and over 1,000 videos added. These are not staggering numbers for sure but I suppose it could be worse. I am currently working on a version 2.0 of Feistie which will finally introduce venues and events into the fold. In the process I am completely rewriting the entire codebase from scratch. I will import relevant data from the old site before launch but other than that, it will be 100% new.

What’s new?

Mission: Answer the question – what’s going on tonight? For the last 6 months I have essentially believed in this as the new mission. Now I see it slightly differently. I do not have a succinct, catchy mission statement but it mainly concerns connecting with the people at the places you like to go or would like to go.

Answer the mission question?It’s been an interesting last year during which I’ve looked at countless apps for events and networking with people nearby as well as studying the stories behind sites such as Facebook and Yelp. I might write a post about what I’ve learned and why I am choosing the current direction for Feistie. All I will say for now is that I believe the answer to this question is about allowing for information to flow between people in a way that wasn’t previously natural or easy online.

RailsThe biggest structural change is that Feistie 2.0 will be a Rails 3 app. In the past year I’ve garnered a good bit of experience with Rails and despite the bloat, I find that I can develop much more rapidly with it.

Batman.jsThe second major change is that I’m using the javascript framework batman.js for the front end. I’ve gone through a monster debate about this over the past year. First is the question of whether or not it makes sense to make Feistie a “one-page-app.” I’ll leave that for another post if it seems interesting. After that, there’s the choice of framework. For the job I had been working at I made a small web app using backbone.js which hit a central API written in Rails. I’ve also played around a bit with rails_sync http://chrismccord.com/blog/2013/04/21/sync-realtime-rails-partials/ which seems really promising and allows you to stay very much in the comfort zone of Rails. I wound up choosing batman.js because it seemed to be the most complete of [angular.js, backbone.js, ember.js,…] and also it adheres to Rails conventions more closely than the others (ember.js probably a close second). The biggest drawback to batman.js has been the shoddy documentation and the small community. This is a serious drawback and sometimes I really regret choosing batman.js. All-in-all, I’ve gotten pretty far with it now and I think the framework will continue to improve, particularly in the documentation area.

Events!: The original intent of Feistie was to be a place where you could find events near you.  Feistie 2.0 will include Users, Artists, Venues, Events, Groups (possibly) as well as allow for following, friendship and favoriting.

SummaryIn the past year, I’ve let Feistie run (without crashing at all) and have plotting my next iteration. This version 2.0 will include events and venues as well, focused on facilitating connecting people which goto the same places and do the same things. All of this will be done inside a Rails 3 app with batman.js as the front end. In future posts I plan on focusing on a lot of technical things with batman.js. There is such a lack of information on this framework currently and I’d like to do my little part to help correct that.

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