Greetings, I’m Benjamin Flanagin (@bflanagin),
In collaboration with @andrarchy we are announcing OpenSeed, a new second layer service designed to utilize Steem and other decentralized technologies in a simple and cohesive way while also adding new features to make things even easier for developers. Similar to how an automatic transmission makes driving more approachable, OpenSeed makes decentralized app development easier by “switching gears” between solutions automatically in order to give the developer more time to build the application they want---or as Andrew puts it:
“The idea is not to get everyone to use Steem for everything, but to make it easy for everyone to use Steem when it adds value to the network, and to use something else when it would not add value to the network.“
--- Andrew Levine (@andrachy)
Welcome to my little corner of Steem. My name is Benjamin Flanagin, a digital jack of all trades. In my 18+ years of working in the computer field, I have built software for embedded devices, and in the public sector in IT / Infosec, I was tasked with maintaining an ever growing network on a minimal budget (read: I couldn’t buy my way out of a problem), which included thousands of civilian records, both criminal and financial.
Just one example of the type of work I’ve done is the creation of in-house network security tools, including visualizers, log analyzers, a public access system for a public library, and a software-level de-duplication script that maximized storage space on servers that couldn’t be upgraded due to budget constraints.
In my spare time, I like to write, create toys, and develop video games in which I handle every aspect of the creation, except for the sounds and music. These hobbies (which I endeavor to pass on to future generations) have lead to winning several contests and being awarded a small contract with System76 of Denver, Colorado to create the “Conceptobots,” a modular bot building toy for their back to school campaign. The Conceptobots are freely available to download and are released under a creative commons license if you are interested.
More recently, I have taken up homeschooling my two children and worked part time for Mozilla’s Thunderbird over the summer break.
I stumbled upon Steem through utopian.io with the hope to monetize my contributions to the open source ecosystem and have stuck around to contribute content---both personal and professional---to the greater Steem community.
In the grand scheme, my mission is to enable others, through technology, to succeed in their own pursuits by providing them with the tools and guidance they need. To that end, this project is just one step in the march toward my mission’s end because the solutions provided through OpenSeed promote the use of FOSS tools and decentralized services like Steem.
On a smaller scale, my mission is to create meaningful applications and systems to help others build connections, audiences, and, if possible, livable income.
What is Steem to me?
Like most disruptive ideas, Steem has amazing potential. Even when I first started out on Steem (though utopian.io), my mind began churning with ideas on how to use the blockchain within my own projects and, in the same way, my mission. I see Steem as the canvas, and if you are like me then we see the developers using Steem as the artists---artists who spend a large portion of their time gathering and mixing the ingredients to create the pigments that go into their work, toiling for days to make everything just right. However, in the end, these colors are often indistinguishable to the viewer and thus all that work is wasted and the canvas laid bare. I see Steem as an opportunity, a rich field of possibilities for those willing to put in the work and for those willing to create tools to make “painting” fun.
What is OpenSeed to me?
OpenSeed is one of my longest running projects, and in some ways the most ambitious. It existed well before Thicket, or Alloian Seed, or EduSteem, and I began development on it long before the term “distributed web” had become mainstream, yet in its code base (now being rewritten) exists many of the same concepts found in blockchains (distributed ledgers, nfts) and in the file sharing protocols we use to create our dapps. Though I’m let down by the fact that I no longer have to create these networks or services, I still see a huge opportunity for OpenSeed to create that feedback loop of creation that everyone hopes for when they create tools to be used by others. To continue the analogy above, OpenSeed is the equivalent of ready made paints, each exactly the same as the last, freeing up the developer to create without limits (assuming we have the color, um ... feature).
I’ll close by borrowing the words from @andrachy’s post, which I may have used as a template for mine.
“Ultimately, OpenSeed will not be about what I think it should be, but what we all want it to be. And that includes you, the person reading this post. As you can see in the proposal, we have already involved several important Steemians in the project as advisors, and we plan to integrate far more in varying capacities as time goes on. We hope you will give OpenSeed a look and consider contributing in any way you can.”
--- Andrew Levine (@andrachy)