Proposing virtual nodes for people without websites

We had a discussion yesterday with a local community hub and during that time they made us realise that we are going to come across situations where an organisation doesn’t have a website to act as their node on the network but still wishes to use, say, the broadcast service. In theory, any static point on the Internet can become a form of node on the network, with limited functionality.

To tackle the problem, the idea proposed is that of a virtual node. simply put: we could create a thin layer that acts like a bunch of nodes on the network with a particular service but is an interface to specific functionality provided by social media accounts. It is a bit more complicated, as displaying the information has to adhere to the terms of service (if there are any) associated with the social media company.

It’s possible to be even more general and — given rules — could convert any form of structured text or web API into service information — so you could set it up enabling your freely hosted site to have some way of broadcasting information on the network, though in a limited capacity, through the virtual node.

Proposal for comments

Proposal Notice: this functionality isn’t yet available; it is an idea that we are going to work through in the future.
Posted November 29, 2016 9:57 am by Charlie Fyvie-Gauld
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Proposing ‘network bands’ for grouping related organisations

With the potential expansion of a regional network, there may be a large variety of groups, each using the network for different reasons; we’ll quickly end up with a lot of unrelated information at any given point, which is essentially noise and something that needs to be avoided. To tackle this problem, there comes a potential design solution that can be built into the underlying protocol — organisations can register a band with the regional network for others to join, or join a band if it already exists. This band can then be used in the URI to talk to a specific spectrum of the regional network (for example: spring://esusx.uk:carers) which will limit the information to that band thus filtering the noise and presenting a clearer, more relevant image. By building it into the protocol and URI specification, as opposed to running it as a network service, we are creating scopes within the topology of the network.

Proposal Notice: this functionality isn’t yet available; it is an idea that we are going to work through in the future.
Posted October 24, 2016 12:32 pm by Charlie Fyvie-Gauld