Lookaway CMS - Open Source Content Management System

Documented by kbruder tech✞ᵀᵀᴹ on Aug 27, 2020
Last updated on Jul 21, 2021


Lookaway Logo

Introduction

Lookaway Content Management System is an open source project for publishing and information sharing. It is a utilitarian approach to making content and information available in which security, privacy and respect are deeply considered at each decision in development. As much of the processing as possible is done server side to provide a better experience on thin and low power clients.

These days almost anyone can set up their own dynamic website for a very low cost. Lookaway can help you get there by providing free content management software that is simple and easy to use. Never get silenced again. Start your own platform today!


Installing and Running Lookaway CMS

You can run a local instance of Lookaway on your device by downloading the code and running the development server on a Linux command line interface. In order to use and test all of the Lookaway CMS features available, you must also install ffmpeg and mail-utils. You must also have the latest versions of pip and python installed before proceeding. Once the server starts, open a browser navigate to your localhost on port 8000.

Tip: It is recommended that you download and run Lookaway CMS in a virtual Python environment.

$ sudo apt install ffmpeg mailutils

You must have ffmpeg and mail-utils installed on your system in order to upload media and use the automated password update function.
Source: kbruder Tech

$ virtualenv lookaway
$ cd lookaway/
$ source bin/activate
$ git clone https://github.com/kylebruder/lookaway
$ cd lookaway
$ pip install -r requirements.txt
$ cp settings/development.py lookaway/settings.py
$ mkdir media
$ python manage.py migrate
$ python manage.py runserver 8000

Source: kbruder Tech

Create and Activate a Virtual Environment - Python Development

Learn how to create and activate a virtual software development environment in Ubuntu Server 20


Motivation

People want to participate in online discussions, forums, news media, and most importantly, to share their best work if it can possibly be expressed with the capabilities of the Internet. The open nature of the Internet has allowed diverse groups and individuals to create social media platforms in countless iterations over the years. By 2020 the social media market share has matured with only a few companies left in the race for category winner. However, when the task of providing social media platforms and stewarding our data is left to publicly traded corporations with a fiduciary obligation to increase profits over time, several conflicts of interest emerge.

The commercialization of data, metadata, information and inferences generated by our existence, behavior and consciousness has left us with no access or dividends and no way to know who has accessed our data. Insurance companies, prospective employers, educational institutions, and other scrupulous groups may purchase our data with an expectation of a return on investment. This means they will use our data to deny or grant our requests, determine how much debt to charge or absolve us, and to provide or withhold opportunities from us. Such are the hidden costs of the using free online services.

Whistle-blowers have exposed the use of psychological operations to increase engagement, dependence and screen time. According to claims, aspects of the user experience cause dopamine release and addiction, especially with younger people. Social experimentation without expressed consent or acknowledgment form platform users is also alleged. Even without smoking gun evidence, which is non-existent because of intellectual property law and a lack of transparency of the inner workings of the software, these allegations are quite plausible if not abundantly apparent to any causal observer.

Disclosures detailing interlinks between corporate data owners such as AWS, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Oracle and state actors have not only informed the public about the collection, organization and utilization of our data, but also have publicized the debate about the nature of these arrangements. Cooperation between corporations and governments is commonplace in all economies. However when deals are made in secret that impact our civil rights, privacy and other constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, we must be critical and demand transparency. Government and corporate involvement in the private decisions that determine which information is presented to the public attenuates the check on power we have over our government.

Allowing misinformation and bigotry in paid advertisements has become a standard business practice online. Troll farms, PACs, and hate groups have seized the opportunity to use dark money to buy vast audiences of unwitting readers. Of course, nearly anyone in the post-industrial world can publish what ever they want on the Internet and their right to do so should be protected by the common interests of the public. The conflict of interest lies in the virtual monopoly the major social media platforms have on our attention.

A lack of controls for sprawling content moderation systems is threatening the livelihoods of the very people that contribute the content that draws people to the platform. When site registration is open to the world, the task of content moderation must be distributed and entrusted to groups of middle managers and moderators. Understandably, an individual's bias may distort their discretion when reviewing potential violations of policy. As a result, people who have staked their work, reputation, and social following on some platforms have seen their accounts, content, and follows removed without warning or recourse.


Value Proposition

Lookaway CMS offers artists, musicians, writers, journalists, teachers, students, researchers and many other individuals and communities an opportunity to own and operate their own platform without the risk of being silenced. Instead of a pay-to-win trolling contest, Lookaway CMS ranks and sorts content based on the engagement of the membership base while highlighting new contributions. This results in a highly dynamic experience for members and visitors alike. Each detail page is interlinked using key-value pairs so one can easily discover new content. Members can consolidate their work into a dynamic one-stop landing page by sharing their profile URL with the rest of the Internet. Even if you have built your empire on one of the leading content platforms, preserving one's own copies of one's content on one's own platform and having it available and ready for the world at anytime is not only vital, but is within one's reach.


Features

Lookaway CMS includes features you will find with social media platforms and other content management systems and a bit special sauce. All members have a profile page that displays their latest content. You can upload images, sounds, and videos and share links and code. Lookaway is distinguished because we don't track information about members or visitors of the site and only members can vote on which content is best and most promoted.

Marshmallows - Lookaway CMS Feature

Lookaway content is ranked in a member driven negative feedback system based on the principle of delayed gratification called Marshmallows


Framework

Python Logo

Screenshot_from_2021-06-08_12-52-05

Lookaway CMS is built using Django and Python. Although Lookaway CMS is designed to provide utility on its own, it is intended to be a starting point for developing web applications. The simple and elegant means Django provides are insufficient on their own for most use cases. For this reason, authentication, file system structure, meta data, data ownership, and other specifications have been extended simply and solidly to allow further development.

This website is using the master branch of the Lookaway CMS code repository and is running on a LEMP stack (Linux, Nginx, PostgreSQL, Python). It is entirely powered using open source software from the operating system to the programming language and everything in between. That means that (if you have a computer) you can run your own version of this web application for no cost.

App Profile Design Patterns - Lookaway CMS

Lookaway CMS comes with mixins, models, forms, and views that can be used when writing new Django apps.


Use Case

Managing content and making it available to the people you choose can be achieved on a local network for internal use such as a household, classroom, or office, or on the Internet as a professional or personal website, blog, news media outlet, and many more uses.

• Operate a fully functioning site for a very low cost.
• Allow your members to connect on low power and mobile devices.
• Put content in the spotlight without forcing readers to hunt for it in a maze of alerts, ad, and superfluous functionality.
• Deploy on almost any Linux device from a Raspberry Pi to a highly available architecture of cloud services.
• Fork the repository and start your own Django project saving hours of time coding common CMS and social media design patterns.


Deploying Your Own Lookaway Server on the Internet

Want to administer your own Lookaway website, invite your own members and customize the code to fit your style? Learn how to deploy Lookaway on a public web server. There are many ways to configure a website. In this most basic example we will use Nginx and Postgresql on Ubuntu Server 20.

Lookaway CMS Production Server - Ubuntu 20

Learn how to deploy Lookaway CMS onto a public webserver using Ubuntu 20.04 and PostgreSQL 10.


Conclusion

We live in the information age, meaning our daily battles are won and lost by the availability and accuracy of information. We set out to build the AK-47 of information dissemination and ended up with a new way to condense and express your best work. With Lookaway you can host and begin developing your very own platform, starting at a very low cost. No matter what your aspirations are, please use Lookaway software with great responsibility and respect for other people's privacy and dignity.


Referenced by

Special Incentives to Support Our Cause | Lookaway Information

Receive tangible perks for supporting Lookaway Information with Bitcoin or Litecoin.

Links

🌐 Former Facebook VP says social media is destroying society with ‘dopamine-driven feedback loops’ - The Washington Post
Chamath Palihapitiya used to be in charge of Facebook's growth. Now he doesn't let his kids use the platform.

🌐 The Web framework for perfectionists with deadlines | Django
Django is a high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design. Built by experienced developers, it takes care of much of the hassle of Web development, so you can focus on writing your app without needing to reinvent the wheel. It’s fr…

🌐 Welcome to Python.org
The official home of the Python Programming Language

🌐 Lookaway Content Management System v1
Lookaway CMS v1 is open source and free.

🌐 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


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