Grassfire Social 2017 Project Roadmap
Please Note: This page will forever serve as the roadmap page for Grassfire.com’s social environment. Please check back for updates and changes in the roadmap as it will likely be frequently updated.
Roadmap managed by lead developer Eric Odom.
Let it be known right up front that unlike Facebook and most other social media platforms out there, we do not try to pretend we don’t have an agenda. To do so would be wildly hypocritical and ridiculous. We all know Facebook has an agenda. The fact that they claim otherwise is what makes what they do seem so evil.
Our agenda is simple. We strongly believe in free markets, individual liberty and the basic moral foundation our country was built upon. Now of course we don’t try to force that agenda upon our members, but our members will certainly see it shine through staff narratives and overall site messaging. It’s who we are. It’s who we always will be.
Now that we have that out of the way let’s talk about what we’re building in 2017.
Grassfire.com is fully developed as a custom social media platform. The site runs on two core sets of open source code. WordPress as the backbone and Buddypress to extend the overall functionality. We heavily modified the code and run a plethora of additional code packages that enable the site to function with all the additional features you see across the network.
We used to run a social network on Ning. That network was called Patriot Action Network and, as is the case with many out-of-the-box social media software platforms, it was very limited in what we could accomplish. Ning controlled all of the software/code and it was all hosted on Ning’s servers. This is not ideal in the long term because we had no control over our environment and no ability to customize the platform to get it to do what we wanted it to do.
WordPress is a powerful CMS that is very hackable and extendable. This provides us a plethora of opportunities in terms of accomplishing bigger and better things in the future.
We have BIG plans for Grassfire in 2017. What you see now is externally considered fully live. But internally we view the platform as still being in Beta. This because what you see and use today is only the beginning of what it will all become.
To date the following components/features are live and active:
- Basic User Profiles
- Basic User Groups
- Basic Network Forums
- Instant/Private Messaging
- Activity Feed/Wall
- Liking System
- Point System
Each of these components will be heavily modified and upgraded in the very near future. In fact, many of these upgrades are already built and be tested in a non-public environment as we speak. Some of these include:
User profiles will upgraded to include external social icons/links for YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I know I know… why would we put those in if our objective is to combat those kinds of networks? The truth is we’re not going to pound our chests and say we’re going to be bigger than Facebook. Heck, we market/promote on Facebook every day. Our Facebook page has nearly 1.5 million fans!
Our view is the more we can promote Grassfire elsewhere, the better it will be for our community here at Grassfire.
Additionally, profiles will include a small “about me” section where users can promote who they are, what they do or anything else!
Groups are a BIG part of what we’re working on here. Groups have been coded into the platform in a way that puts a lot of emphasis on their existence. Groups here work like content categories in many ways. When updating your status you can tag that status to a relevant group, for example. This gives your status update more “life” on the network. It won’t just vanish in a busy main global feed if it also shows up in your state group.
Groups help better organize us as members, too. Right now the site is manageable because we’re less than 10,000 members strong. But what happens at 100,000 members is an entirely different story. Our voices, our updates and our friend networks will get lost in the noise. Grassfire groups are designed to help cut through that clutter. They focus members around issues, people or brands and in the process, they focus the narratives too.
We’re going to continue working on building out the group functionality and make them function better moving forward.
You can start a group of your own as well! We strongly encourage you to do so. Doesn’t have to be political. It can be about sports, food, guns or anything you want to organize around.
We initially ran a global forum but this was confusing. Did we want to see all the discussion happening in the forum or groups? We finally made the call to scrap the global forum and instead installed forums on all groups. This means that in order to jump into a discussion you need to be a member of that discussion’s group.
This again gets focus onto groups. It brings all discussion/narratives to topics/people/brands and those who want to be engaged with said discussions.
There is now a global forum/discussion page, but it simply shows the latest topic categorized by associated group. As mentioned above, you’ll need to join the group a discussion exists in to engage with the discussion itself.
The activity feed will undergo major chances moving forward. Right now it’s kind of a free-for-all and that works because we’re not a huge network yet. But it will quickly spiral out of control once we get beyond 10,000 members. We’re working through a few solutions to streamline this now and will update as this progresses.
BIG UPDATES INCLUDE:
- A full mobile app for iOs and Android (Target Date of March 1, 2017)
- Social login/registration with Facebook and/or Twitter (Target Date of March 1, 2017)
- Grassfire.com logged out landing page rebuild (Target Date of February 20, 2017)
- Classifieds & Job Listings (Target Date of March 15, 2017)
- Liberty Minded Business Directory (Target Date of March 15, 2017)
More will be added as the above list is fluid.
There are certainly other features on the drawing board. Including a system to help individuals identify offices they might be interested in running for and a portal that helps candidates mount a winning campaign!
Grassfire.com will be integrated with the following Grassfire owned platforms.
- RallyBuilder.com – Our very own crowd-funding platform
- LibertyCube.com – Blog & Website publishing/hosting platform
- RealAmericaTV.com – Podcasting, vlogging and online radio network
- LibertyNews.com – Our sister site focusing on news publishing
2017 is going to be a year we all do our part to Make America Great Again and we’re excited to be a part of it all!