This is the first post published on SuperYesMore, the API-centric publishing engine.
SuperYesMore is a project derived from The Pastry Box Project, which I built and managed with Katy for four years. The Pastry Box is a collaborative blog which used to publish one new text every day, and did so from January 1st, 2012 to December 31st, 2015.
Running the Pastry Box was quite a job. Since our content was curated (we invited writers to be part of the project), I would get in touch with many authors and ask them if they wanted to contribute to our corpus. If they said “yes”, they'd have to create an account on our website and I would start scheduling their posts. Once a post was scheduled, the author would be able to save her text on our system. Katy and I would control the publishing date, which, more often than not, would change depending on other authors’ being on time or late for their own post.
Behind the scenes, The Pastry Box looked like a giant Tetris game. We were constantly rescheduling articles, modifying pubdates, and switching between authors to meet our publishing requirements (one new text every day, and not one blank page in four years). During our third year, we also added a “submissions” feature, which would streamline the process of managing unsolicited articles and open our doors to unexpected–and brilliant–discoveries.
All those editorial requirements led to a rather nice CMS. When Katy and I decided that The Pastry Box was coming to an end, I decided to release our home-brewed CMS as a stand-alone project, a platform where people could do what Katy and I were doing with The Pastry Box Project.
So here it is. It's called SuperYesMore.
SuperYesMore is built on a concept which has been on my mind (and others’, I'm sure) for quite some time now: what if, instead of publishing through a language-specific CMS (like PHP ❤ WordPress), people used a platform based entirely on the HTTP protocol? There's a universality in HTTP. It's built to last. It's literally at the heart of the Internet.
SuperYesMore is such a platform. Our website doesn't let you manage any content. All you can do is create an account and delete it (and everything in between). All we do is provide an API for developers to build Content Management Systems, which our users will then use to manage their data (again, no article can be written and edited using our website).
Any application (like a blog, a magazine, or another publishing platform) can connect to SuperYesMore and let its API handle all the usual technical difficulties that come with online publishing (scheduling posts, uploading images, handling incoming HTML, putting a group of authors together, handling submissions, adding editors to a project, etc.).
You can develop your blog using our API. If you like PHP, use PHP to connect to our API. The day you want to switch to Ruby, then switch to Ruby. Since your job as a developer is mainly to send requests to an API and handle its responses, moving from one language to another should be a breeze. What about moving from one host to another? Easy. It's a matter of uploading your files to your new server, updating your DNS settings and collecting your data on superyesmore.com (where all your articles and publications are stored). You don't want to rely only on third-party services like ours to store your content? No worries, you can still use our API to streamline your workflow and then save your articles in your own database. If one day you want to use another database, migration will be a pleasant experience: just connect to our API, grab all your data, and fill your new db with all the articles you have stored on SuperYesMore.
There are many benefits to an API-centric publishing platform: any publishing project based on SuperYesMore connects to the same API, which means that all SuperYesMore-based projects will share the same user base. Followers and recommendations are all gathered in one central place. A user may follow you based on an article you published in a given magazine, and another user may follow you based on an article you published in another magazine. Instead of having one follower on one magazine and one follower on another, you will have two followers on SuperYesMore, and each magazine will recognize that you have two followers, since they both connect to our API to get the list of your followers.
If you publish an article on your own blog and a comment is posted there, this comment will also appear in any magazine that republishes your article. Similarly, a comment posted on this magazine will also reflect on your own blog, because the data source is shared by the two publishing entities. With an API like ours, data suddenly becomes ubiquitous.
The good thing is that SuperYesMore also lets you publish your work on SuperYesMore: whether you want to cross-post from your own project or use our website as your sole publishing apparatus, SuperYesMore is a place where people can have their stuff read, too. Or, if you prefer, you can obviously choose not to publish on SuperYesMore and simply use our API and storage facilities to make your project easier and faster to develop. It's up to you, really. You can use SuperYesMore's API without having to publish anything on our website.
So, now, it's all about building tools which use our API.
SuperYesMore uses its own API. You can do what Katy and I used to do on The Pastry Box: schedule articles and manage a sometimes-complicated schedule which needs to be modified in the blink of an eye by various editors. SuperYesMore, the way it makes use if its own API, lets you create your very own Pastry Box Project, if you like. I am running a new publishing venture called “How Did You Start Coding?” as well as this very publication, dedicated to building SuperYesMore.
I plan for SuperYesMore to generate revenues for my company, which I used so far to publish The Pastry Box Project (a non-profit project). While it's too early to talk about monetization, it's important to state right away that any feature developed while we're in beta will remain usable for free, no matter which model is used to create revenues in the future. How Bad Pretty Bad is a tiny company. SuperYesMore is a bootstrapped project. And having fun is a lot more important than getting rich. Street cred in the world of online publishing matters a lot more to me than any paycheck (I've always turned down all the offers I've received to make money with The Pastry Box.)
SuperYesMore is here to make online publishing easier.
Our project will take some time to mature. It goes with the territory: no capital, no investors. Just a healthy dose of motivation and a lot of ideas. Please be patient and help us with your comments and feedback on GitHub.
Enjoy! And thanks in advance for your support.