on Sep 03, 2020
from Ridgecrest, CA
Last updated on Jun 09, 2021
Hello World! The first feature has been added to Lookaway Content Management System: Posts. You can now post content and share it with the world!
When starting to learning Django last year, I learned how to make a very basic social media application. Once I learned the ropes I set out to create some example projects to begin to build my portfolio. After a couple of application specific web apps, I felt the urge to return to a social project. That is how Lookaway Content Management System began... well sort of.
By the start of 2020, cancel culture was already in full swing. Although the first sacrifice had been cancelled some time before 2020, it took a few months before the major platforms decided it was proper to start removing accounts and content en mass. I had been off social media since 2011 however as a recent Computer Information Systems graduate, was closely following the issues surrounding these platforms.
Jumping back into social media for someone with my worldview was not an option especially with the emerging crackdown on non paid political speech.
Open minded people were having their livelihoods destroyed by a reneged promise by corporate social media that you can be supported financially and emotionally by your readers and followers by investing your life and work as consumable content on these "free" and "open" platforms. Somehow I began to feel the calling to share my unique world view more than ever.
My only option was to create my own platform and so Lookaway Information was born. Looking back, my digital destiny has always pointed toward this undertaking. Growing up in Palo Alto in the 1990's I had a front row seat for the unveiling of every new digital innovation that emerged from Silicon Valley. When I was still in middle school, the predecessors of Facebook and Twitter were already out there and there were zero cost options. I speak of Angelfire and Geocities for those were alive and online for that. It was during this time that I published my first webpage. Convincing my friends at school to follow suit was effortless. Before we know it, we all had webpages chock full of original and ingenious content. At the bottom of each page were links to each other's URLs. Despite the fact that Internet access was not ubiquitous at that time, even in Palo Alto, we had our very own social network in 1996.
It dawned on me that social networks were an age old artifact of human communication. The Internet and sites like Angelfire were simply the digital extension of the neural way in which we connect and communicate. I also knew we weren't alone in the idea that the Internet would take this concept to a whole new level. Reading and hearing the horrors of modern social media brought me right back where I left off in the 90s. I knew this was the year to finish what I started. Creating web apps is several orders of magnitude easier now than it was back then. I chose Django to build Lookaway for its emphasis on rapid development.
My previous projects solved specific problems and didn't use a lot of media. After a first attempt at creating a functioning platform, I realized I needed to first build a stand alone system for handling user content and media, the stuff of websites. That's when I started over from scratch and built Lookaway CMS.
Four months later, I used Lookaway CMS to build my first app, Lookaway Information, a proving ground for what happens when you form a great membership base and let them decide on what should rise to the top without silencing or cancelling anyone. With a very limited budget, I can only support so many members, but you can download the code and stand up your very own Lookaway powered platform for free from my Github repository.
GitHub - kylebruder/lookaway: A quick and dirty CMS for guerrilla publishing and content sharing.
A quick and dirty CMS for guerrilla publishing and content sharing. - kylebruder/lookaway