Since our interim grant report, we've been:
- taking feedback for 'A Web Monetization Story'
- developing our project site
- fixing bugs in Akita and deploying the extension to Firefox and Edge add-on stores
- planning and co-hosting the Akita x Skittish Informal Grantee Hangout
- attending MozFest and Future of the Browser
We also ended up extending our grant period by a few months, as we underestimated the time we needed to complete everything we outlined.
We're really grateful for the opportunity to explore Web Monetization and be part of an energetic community aligned on improving the state of monetization on the web. Through this experience, we've learned about the opportunities and challenges in bringing such change to the internet and hope that our project has helped others learn alongside us.
Continue reading for some more details on what we've been up to!
Our three key objectives for our grant period were:
- creation of a website,
- building the Akita extension, and
- planning and engaging in outreach initiatives.
For an overview of these objectives, you can check out our Interim Grant Report. In this section, we'll go over what we were able to accomplish for these objectives since our Interim Grant Report (which was released February 1st, 2021).
Website: 'A Web Monetization Story' and Akita Project Site
- We developed a simple homepage for The Akita Project, which links to our Akita extension, 'A Web Monetization Story' and Community Outreach efforts. You can check it out here: akitaproject.site!
- Early February 2021, we released Akita to Microsoft Edge Add-ons Store!
- Following our release to Edge Add-ons, we asked Web Monetization community members to support us by taking the Akita Beta release survey. At the time, we had released the extension on the Chrome and Edge extension/add-on stores and were hoping to get some feedback while we continued development and worked towards releasing on the Firefox add-ons store.
- At the end of May 2021, we posted about some of the initial feedback we've received about Akita, but we only received a couple responses, so we plan to post another feedback report once we have a more substantial amount of responses. In our latest updates to the extension, we've added a request for feedback to our UI, so that users are prompted to let us know what they think.
- We requested a Scope Change to remove this feature from our deliverables, as we felt that we could provide more benefit to the Web Monetization community by using the rest of our grant time planning and hosting an informal grantee hangout, instead of adding another feature to the extension.
- We started our repo Wiki so we can keep a glossary of terms we use in development. So far, we've added 'Adapted Site' to our glossary: github.com/esse-dev/akita/wiki/Glossary.
- Our goal here was to connect with the community, share our progress and potentially get some feedback! Since our Interim Grant Report, we've posted the following blog posts:
- 9 Months Into Our Web Monetization Journey: a shortened version of our Interim Grant Report for DEV Community.
- Support us by taking the Akita Beta Release Survey: a request for feedback on the Akita extension.
- What the WOOF 🐶 is Web Monetization? — Akita: Our short write-up for the Akita Project for the Web Monetization MozFest showcase.
- Akita Project Feedback Report: A report on the feedback we've received for 'A Web Monetization Story' and the Akita extension.
- Before we applied for a project deadline extension, we had planned to do some more major outreach initiatives in February/March, but ended up extending our project and planning a larger outreach event in May.
- In March 2021, we reached out to the Grant Team to see if there was any community outreach we could help out with. It just so happened that the team was busy planning Web Monetization activities for MozFest, and were looking for a grantee welcome message for the MozFest Attendee Welcome Page on this forem. We wrote a little blurb which you can check out on the MozFest Welcome Page if you like!
- In our discussions and ideation, we imagined hosting a grantee hangout, showcase or educational session on a spatial audio event platform. We had recently used Rambly and Gather Town in our personal hangouts with friends, and thought it'd be a fun medium for a grantee event. Between the start of March and sometime after MozFest, we stumbled across Andy's grant report for Skittish and we were so excited about Skittish! We were absolutely delighted to hear that there was such a delightful spatial audio event platform in the works right in the Web Monetization Community. We were able to connect with Andy in March to express our interest in some collaboration ideas and started doing the planning in April. Then, we spent the next month planning the event, designing our Skittish event space, working out the logistics (timing of event, invited speakers, etc.) and getting very stoked for the hangout day. Come hangout day, it was a wonderful gathering of our best adorable-3D-animal-selves, with open discussion on Web Monetization, wins and challenges in the space, and just exploring the delightful Skittish space.
- Amber reached out mid-May for some content for the Future of Browser Unconference (May 26th, 2021) and we were happy to share some of the video/demo content we had created for Akita and 'A Web Monetization Story'. You can watch the full conference playlist here and our video for the conference here.
In the last few weeks of our grant period, we also had some conversations with fellow grantees and community members over email and video call, which we really enjoyed. As always, feel free to reach out if you'd like to chat with us!
Since we wrote our interim project report we've tweeted, created a project website and LinkedIn page, hosted a grantee hangout with the help of Andy Baio and the Grant team, posted a few articles here on the Web Monetization Community, done an interview on our project, and shown off our work at a conference. Here's a link roundup of some of the communications and marketing around our work!
- Eventbrite Ticketing: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/grantee-hangout-tickets-153405966375
- A little mention in Andy's May 2021 Skittish Updates.
- Some Tweets about the event:
BennyThe @GrantForTheWeb Grantee Hangout was a amazing! 🙏
Being able to meet small avatars of people, while talking to them over microphone in @skittishHQ is simply great! 🐷
Thanks @_sharonwang & @elliotokay for organizing this and I hope this becomes a regular thing! 😊03:41 AM - 20 May 2021Sharon Wang@_sharonwangThanks to all the @GrantForTheWeb grantees and staff for coming to our hangout! It was such a delight to scurry around with y'all in @skittishHQ and talk #WebMonetization :)
Shout out to @elliotokay and @waxpancake for co-hosting, and @greg_hannam for speaking!18:42 PM - 19 May 2021
- Our video on Akita and 'A Web Monetization Story' is showcased on the Future of the Browser site
- Akita Beta Release Survey mentioned in "What we achieved" above
- Akita Project Feedback Report mentioned in "What we achieved" above
This time around we didn't prioritize posting on DEV as we realized it wasn't the right audience for what we wanted to communicate and get feedback on.
With the grant period coming to a close for the Akita project, and after more than a year of part-time development, we are going to take a break. During the break we want to relax, learn, take a step back, and figure out how the Akita project fits into what we both want to do in our careers and our lives.
Even though we won't be actively developing our project for now, we absolutely both want to stay a part of the Web Monetization space & community, and we want to keep our eyes on the community's projects, the development of technologies in the space such as Interledger and Rafiki, and the larger social and technological space of the exchange of value on the internet.
We would be more than happy to receive any messages about Akita, Web Monetization, or anything really, from any of you. You can reach us at any of the places we list in Get in touch with us! at the bottom of this post.
Although we won't be actively creating new things as part of the Akita project, the things we created during the project remain available and open source. Both the Akita browser extension and 'A Web Monetization Story' could benefit from feedback from the members of the community they are made for (a.k.a. people like you, the reader). Here are the links to give feedback:
- The Akita browser extension
- 'A Web Monetization Story' website
If we receive bug reports or small improvement requests we would be happy to take the time to improve the browser extension and website. Feedback also helps us both grow in our careers as Open Source Software Developers. Speaking of Open Source, you can contribute code, issues, or even new features to our projects on Github. We would be more than happy to review your proposed code changes, or address and comment on your issues:
- Contribute to the Akita browser extension on GitHub
- Contribute to 'A Web Monetization Story' on GitHub
Lastly, if you're interested in our work and want to see where the Akita project—and Sharon and Elliot—go from here, follow and reach out to us on our social media accounts linked below.
- Akita Project Site
- Web Monetization Forem
- Twitter: esse_dev, Sharon, Elliot
- DEV Community Forem
Special thanks to Chris, Erika, Ayesha and Desigan from the grant team for supporting us monetarily through the Grant for the Web, and through encouragement and collaboration.