Archie Baer

The Future of Alles

Alles was not supposed to be a social media.

Sure, I wanted some social things to be a product of the platform, but not the platform. I'm still not great at explaining what Alles is; I don't like describing it as a social site, but that's what it sort of is right now. But I don't want Alles to be a Twitter clone, though that is what people seemingly wanted. Originally, I had planned to build a service called AllesMB (MB = Microblogging) at a subdomain like mb.alles.cx, and then have alles.cx as just like a site for your account. I guess that is what I sort of want to do now.

Alles isn't a product. I think the most appropriate term would be an ecosystem. I like to think of it more like Google. Sure, Google's primary product is search, but... is it? Google does so much more than search - Android, YouTube, GSuite, Gmail, Drive, Maps, Translate, Photos. At it's core, Google's main product is your Google account. That one account that ties everything together, "One account. All of Google working for you". That's sort of what I want Alles to be. I don't want people to think "I don't like social media" and therefore not sign up for Alles. Alles isn't a "product", it doesn't have an audience. It's... The Everything Platform. Our products (not that many of them really exist yet) are Veev, Spectare, Quevy, Alles Blogs, Pulsar, Hydrogen (yup, it's coming back), FluentDB, Alles.sh, AllesOS (not the final name) and so much more.

This has been annoying me for a while now, the idea that Alles is a twitter competitor. Alles isn't a competitor to anything. I've built so many things in the past, but I've given up on each of them. But Alles isn't a product. So sure, we might kill a product. A lot of products. But Alles itself will continue, because Alles is just the glue that holds it all together.

So... what now? I tweeted that I was going to get rid of the old site within 2 - 3 weeks. That led a lot of people to assume that we were killing Alles, but rest assured, Alles will live on, and everything you've posted will just have a new home, on Alles Micro. We were rewriting the current Alles site anyway, but we'll probably just build off of that, or borrow a lot of code. We'll slowly start rolling out Reactants v3 (our design system) to sites like Pulsar, and both Alles Micro, the new Alles.cx, and most of the other new products we build will use it. Alles.cx will become just a site to manage your account, and it will of course use our WIP Nexus API (though that will not be for posts anymore, they'll be a separate API for Micro). We'll rename Posts to Micros, and we'll be shutting down the beta site. Instead, if you have Alles+ and a high enough reputation score, you'll be able to opt-in to try out new experimental features!

And finally I'd like to talk about how this will affect accounts. We're going to remove usernames. I hate the thought of usernames, like domain names, there's a finite amount, it's a unique identifier that is simultaniously supposed to be memorable and simple. I may or may not have them for Alles Micro (if so, you'll keep your current usernames), but I don't want them to be a core account identifier. Where we do choose to implement usernames, they'll be product-specific. On that note, we are also shaking up the three types of accounts - primary, secondary and brand accounts. Primary accounts will just be called AllesIDs, while secondary and brand accounts will be product-specific, so you can have multiple identities on one specific site. This simplifies a lot of things for us that were beginning to become annoying related to secondary accounts. Brand accounts were always planned to be product-specific, instead of being treated like a normal user. With brand accounts on Alles services, we'll design it so you choose what you want to see, instead of brands shoving their content in your face. If you're interested in a brand however, you may follow them, but unlike normal accounts, they can't follow you back or like micros. It's more like a Telegram channel, something for broadcasting. And of course, you'll still only be allowed one AllesID per person, and we are building automated systems to prevent you have multiple, as having alternate AllesIDs negatively affects the community.

Also I just want to add a note regarding APIs (I'll elaborate on how we design our systems with APIs and microservices to ensure simplicity and security in another post) - Nexus will not be a public OAuth api, since it's only for core stuff, and third party applications won't be able to make any changes to that information. However, each service will have its own API, and you'll be able to access it by registering an application to obtain credentials. There'll be a developer panel for this, and your application credentials will give you access to nearly all of the APIs. Also they'll be another API for "Sign in with Alles" and granting access to perform actions on a user's behalf through those APIs.

I hope I've explained this all well, and clarified any concerns you may have about the future of Alles. If you want to support what we're doing and get access to tons of extra stuff (and help good causes since we donate money in the summer months), then please join Alles+. I, and everyone in the Alles team, would really appreciate it! You should be able to join Alles+ by going to your account page and clicking the plus section then selecting a plan. Or maybe not after I build the new site ¯\_(ツ)_/¯