26 6 / 2012
PopIt Life Cycle
If you start a PopIt site and it becomes a huge success then we expect that you may leave our hosting platform. And we regard this as a good thing. This post explains what our ideal lifecycle for PopIt sites would be.
At the start you’ll just have the desire to run a transparency site. You may or may not have some data that you’ve already gathered. You create a PopIt site and start to enter in the details you have.
You then share your site with others and they start to suggest details to add, like missing phone numbers or people. You start to give some of these people user accounts so that they can edit the data directly. Others start to build things using your data which is available over an API, which means that more people suggest new data and corrections.
You now have a site with data in, and a small community of people who are helping to maintain it. Perhaps at this point you decide that you’d like your own site so you create one. You access all the data via the PopIt API and use the PopIt web interface to edit and maintain it. This is much easier than creating a whole site from scratch.
Now that you have your own site you want to add more data that PopIt does not support. You continue to maintain some of the data through the PopIt web interface, but some additional data you provide by writing it using the API. Perhaps to create other data-stores that you access through an API.
You’d like your site to be faster, so you move the data and code onto your own server by installing the PopIt code base and us sending you your database.
Finally you’ve made so many changes to the data that you’d rather talk to the database direct - you stop using the PopIt API completely and access the database directly. Perhaps you still run the PopIt code though - so that others can access your data through the API.
We don’t expect all sites to take all the steps above - many will not need to go all the way to fulfil their aims. But if you need to you can - there is no lock-in at all. Our intention is that there should be minimal barriers to getting started and making progress.