As described in our Project Update from Oct 2020, Murmurations has been under extensive development in order to update the code and to provide an open protocol and simple REST API on which anyone can build.
The Version 1 work is almost complete and you can now start to use and build on Murmurations.
There are several new elements in V1 and, if you’re new to what we’re building it can be hard to wrap your head around things, so we have defined some of the common terms we use when working with Murmurations on our wiki.
V1 is no longer tied to WordPress but operates as a stand-alone protocol which can be used by any platform.
One of the new features we have built is the Murmurations Profile Generator (MPG) which converts schemas into forms to help people create the code for their profiles. The MPG can also host profile files, which may seem an odd way to manage decentralised data, but is an important feature which makes the protocol accessible to people who can’t, or don’t want to, host their own profile files.
Add a test profile to see how it works
- Visit the Murmurations Profile Generator
- Click New Profile
- Select Test Schema (only) and Continue to Step 2
- Add an Entity Name and Lat and Lon coordinates and click Continue to Step 3
- On Step 3 you will see your Test Profile code and you can either:
- Copy and paste the code into a text file and save it as a .json file (e.g. my-profile.json), upload this to a public location and enter the full URL for your profile (e.g. https://my-website.com/mmy-profile.json) into the URL field on step 3 of the MPG, and click Post Profile. If you want to continue to manage your profile/s via the MPG (to easily make edits and check on the status and last updated date/s etc via the MPD dashboard) you will need to log in – NB. We will add more login options than GitHub and Google at some point.
- If you sign in to the MPG as a GitHub or Google user, you can select to host your profile via Murmurations, and then click Post Profile. If you choose this route and host your profile with Murmurations you will be redirected to your Dashboard and see your profile listed on the dashboard with the status “Received” which will change to “Posted” after a few seconds.
- Once you have posted your profile to the Index, visit the Demo Map / Directory, and select the Test Schema using the “Select Schema” drop down to see your Profile.
Add a real profile for your project
The above demonstrates how Murmurations works, but is obviously only for testing. If you represent a regenerative economy organisation we encourage you to create a real profile for your organisation via the same process as above, but by selecting the “Murmurations Map” schema in step 3 above, instead of the Test Schema. This will map your profile to the Murmurations Map schema and plot your profile entry on the Murmurations Map.
Map your sector or network
The real benefit of the updated V1 of Murmurations is that now anyone can build their own custom schema, using the pre-existing fields in the field library, by adding more fields into the field library to make them available to (and interoperable with) other schemas, and including any other custom fields in their schema, in order to aggregate data on their own maps, directories or websites. Building your own aggregator is obviously a bit more complex than making a profile and we have outlined the required steps on the wiki page How to map your sector or network.
What’s the point of all this?
The short answer to “what is the point of Murmurations?” is “decentralised data for good”.
Murmurations provides a protocol for sharing, aggregating and searching decentralised data which is interoperable across networks and platforms. The overarching goal of Murmurations is to help regenerative economy organisations and commons building initiatives to create interoperable profiles to enable the semantic web for the regenerative economy.
Murmurations aims to reveal the connections and overlaps and relationships within and between new economy organisations and networks, by making it easier for people to manage single profiles which are used by multiple networks.
An additional aim of Murmurations is to make it easier for networks and sectors to build maps and directories which don’t go out of date.
Nobody likes managing multiple profiles on different online networks. It would be far easier if we could manage a single profile (for yourself or your organisation), which updated all the places we want to be listed; and even better if we could host that profile wherever we want, so we are not beholden to any specific network, and we own our own data.
Murmurations makes this possible by providing an open protocol for new schemas built from interoperable fields, the MPG which turns schemas into forms to help people create profiles, an optional hosting service for people who don’t want to or can’t host their own profiles, an Index which keeps track of the latest versions of the schemas and profiles, and a demo map and directory as an example of how the protocol can be used.
There are numerous other possible uses for Murmurations. It could be used to build an inter-network skills exchange by mapping people’s “skills” to a project’s “needs”. It could be used to build customisable, filterable news aggregators by tracking RSS feeds from across the network, or any cross sections of specific networks or interest groups. It could be used to build a decentralised mutual credit system, or other value tracking (e.g. loyalty points or reputation) system. The full scope of possibilities remains to be seen.
What we’re really interested in is revealing the synergies and overlaps in the decentralised, regenerative economy, regardless of which network or platform users are on… and using Murmurations to reveal our collective intelligence as a species, bypassing the tech giants data silo model, and kick-starting a new era, of decentralised data for good.
Please consider making a profile and telling your friends – the more support and feedback we can gather the better.