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Monica – Personal CRM, Remember everything about friends and family (github.com)
167 points by donkoz_ab 11 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 45 comments

Two issues here:

(1) "Show HN" is for projects that are the submitter's personal work. It doesn't look like this is the case here. The rules are at https://news.ycombinator.com/showhn.html.

(2) This account is part of a ring of abusive accounts that we banned a while ago, which is why the post was killed on submission and had to be vouched for by users. Generally that's a good thing, but in this case the situation wasn't so obvious.

All: using sockpuppet accounts to vote and comment on HN, in order to promote your site, will eventually get all your accounts and sites banned on HN. So please just don't.

I really like the idea and I did something similar with regular note-taking apps. The thing that would be a game-changer for me would be to link up my social/messaging/email accounts in order to (automatically) update information about when I last talked/chatted/interacted with someone.

Yes, it somewhat goes against the principle of absolute privacy, but I wouldn't mind the feature on my own server.

> Chandler is Monica's official mobile app.

Alright, I’m sold..

I’ve been looking for something like this for a long time.

I think it has to have automated capture. Get everything from email account, text messages and the calendar to fill out the relationship.

Founder of Monica here. Nope. Reading from an email account is absolutely out of the question - it's way too invasive in my opinion.

I know someone in the community is writing importers from several sources of data (Telegram, for instance).

Interesting. That fills a niche that's been empty for me since I left Facebook, and I love that it's open source and can be self hosted.

The pricing for the hosted version seems a little steep though, especially for something based entirely on manual input. At $5/month that's about half of what I pay for office/onedrive, and more than I pay for 1password. That's a big ask for a service that falls more into the 'neat' category.

Huh, I created an account with one of the earlier Show HN posts, and I quite like it. I don't think back then there were pricing strategies yet, though, nor limits on the amount of contacts you could add. I hope he'll either grandfather in existing users - though I guess that since there's at least the option to export you data, being able to self-host is already quite an improvement.

I like that it is open source and I can self-host. Were there any security concerns for open sourcing the project? And what makes you choose AGPLv3?

To speculate: the AGPL is the most common license that keeps to the spirit of free software when it comes to licensing for anything that could possibly be used in a web-facing product. If they didn't use it, it's likely that someone would have made a company profiting off of their work by now.

I'm looking for systems that have Orgmode compatibility, since some really cool personal PIM apps that don't require emacs are starting to gain traction. Orgzly, for example, is a really good hierarchical notetaker mobile app. The orgmode-compatible tools still have some rough edges, but the usability issues look solvable. Does Monica have any sort of Orgmode support?

I personally use FullContact for this purpose with custom fields and notes. I love that it syncs with my contacts on iOS and google.

You should be aware that FullContact is known to sell customers data.

I didn’t know that either and have tried the iOS App once but did not upload anything to them, I just wanted to see what the App could do/how it feels like. Then I read their Privacy Police and ToS and did some searching. I very quickly decided that this is not a service I’d want to use.

So I send them a GDPR request demanding the deletion of my account and all associated data. They replied back that I had to use their ‘Privacy Center’ to do that myself. Horrible site, let me tell you.. Anyways, I noticed that in their Privacy Policy they state that they won’t delete your data even if you request that. They’ll just flag it as blocked. So in theory once you upload something to FullContact you have no chance of getting it off of their servers. They claim that this is to ‘protect you’ and to ‘ensure that your data won’t accidentally land back on their system’ somehow.

I had to send them a very stern email threatening legal action and mentioning some personal contacts I have to some federal law enforcement officer who works privacy cases to even get an answer that was more than ‘please use our privacy center to delete your data/account’.

Finally I got back some generic email stating that all my data was deleted. Some canned response thing though. I highly suspect that they still have my data on their system.

I highly suggest not to use the service of FullContact!

Seems like it would be interesting to report them for a violation of GDPR. They’re a good example of a company that should be zealously compliant.

Oh for sure, there’s no way I wouldn’t report them for all the hurdles they threw at me trying to not accept my GDPR request. I only received the account deletion confirmation email on Friday though so I still have to write that all up and I don’t even know yet where I’m supposed to send my complaint to. But I’ll figure that out.

> I don’t even know yet where I’m supposed to send my complaint to.

Start here? ;-)

>> mentioning some personal contacts I have to some federal law enforcement officer who works privacy cases

I could do that but I thought there’d be someone who I’m supposed to send GDPR complaint to. I haven’t looked into this at all yet I just remember there was some mention of some supervisory agency or something like that in the GDPR which I read several months ago.

I believe it's normally enforced by the privacy regulator of each individual EU member country, e.g. the BfDI in Germany.


you need to send complaints to your data protection authority, each european country has one.

Tried using this, but I never stuck to it. I think just using a text file with peoples names might be easier.

I’ve been pondering about a solution for this as well. Personal CRM, what a great idea I thought to myself.

Just even to remember all parents and kids names of the people I meet through my own 2 kids; at school, soccer,... it’s be great if there was a mature app for that

But it’d need an mobile app too.

How kind of you to have made such a thing. It can be useful for people with memory problems.

How inspiring.

I would like to use this product but it feels irresponsible to do so. Why are we still making technology that stores such personal information without data being encrypted end-2-end?

1. Do you want to be able to search your data? Full encryption would make it impossible. 2. This is why it's open source. If you need full privacy, download it and run it yourself.

This could be a tradeoff. But also, I have full disk encryption and an index I can search that is itself encrypted. Eventually doing this over internet wires will not be an issue, and may not be much of an issue for many already.

To your second point: indeed this could be run locally instead, if one is that concerned about storing sensitive information online

Would have loved to try this (I know hundreds of people, but I only interact with them every few months), but this is unnecessarily hard to install. I would have to change my webserver config just to run this, which seems really strange for a PHP application... And I'm a sysadmin! Not sure if I want to deal with this in the long term, if even installing it is a pain.

What specifically seems strange to you? Reading the Ubuntu docs, seems pretty reasonable, although they could’ve made a prepackaged version with composer dependencies.

This would have been great. I've been tackling composer for a long time on a windows installation. Meanwhile something like PHP-my-admin has zero problems with releasing with dependencies in tack

If you can only install an app without hassle with Docker, it's a really bad sign.

I'm not against Docker, I run a whole cluster of Docker hosts as my job, but touting it as a solution to a hard install for a _php app_ is crazy.

Besides: You're cutting a whole lot of people off because this is apparently not installable on regular shared hosting, etc. Running a Container is even less of an option for these people. And then their only option is to use their hosted version, having to trust them.

Also: Running a Docker Container again requires me to add additional config, be it via labeling (when using reverse proxy with SD, e.g. traefik), or setting up a new nginx config file for that. No benefit in reality.

I'm not against having an additional Docker Image (I like those!) but these should only be considered a option for people who are looking for a Docker image explicitly.

Not all projects that I want to run locally are written in the same language (PHP for example). So setting up a small docker host in your local network and saving its config in a `docker-compose.yml` seems like a far more lightweight solution than having some PHP server that you need to update and copy-paste files to.

Thank you!

So many projects seem to think a convoluted i stall is alleviated with a docker image. No! A docker image is good but it doesn't replace the need for a sensible native install.

People who want to "just try" something, don't care about shared hosting. They care about having a one-liner that just works. And if you gonna provide such one-liner, it'd better be with docker.

Sure, this is a great submission to flag! (And why can't I vouch for it?)

HN is very frustrating when people flag articles not for their content, but for stupid reasons.

I assume it's because of the gender discussion below. Maybe you should flag the comments you dislike, instead of a perfectly fine Show HN?

i didn't flag it myself, but its not compliant to the rules, afaict.

its been posted one year ago[1] and the rules[0] clearly state that it should not be posted again, unless a major overhaul has been done

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/showhn.html

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14497295

Reposts are explicitly ok after one year. (EDIT: removed wrong statement about being a show hn...)

    Show HN: Monica, an open-source CRM to manage friends and family (monicahq.com)
    1097 points by robinhood on June 6, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 572 comments
how is that not a show hn?

and there is no mention about that one year clause on the rules page. it should be added if thats the case.

> how is that not a show hn?

Whops, my mistake, missed that (I had looked for other submissions earlier and just seen your link as "visited" and misremembered). The one year rule is in the general HN FAQ.


> Features:

> Management of contact field types

> Ability to set custom genders

There's no way to please everyone with defaults, that's why things are configurable. Being so negative because they likely went with a simple majority config (from their perspective) by default for a field that is such a minor part of the whole system is ludicrous.

File an issue and discuss this or commit a merge request that includes the options you think are missing.

While I'm with you politically: If a narrow perception on gender was a reason for not using a specific software, I probably couldn't use any software at all.

AFAIK, Microsoft, Apple, Google and others don't give you more options in this regard either. So I find it quite harsh to abandon a small project like this but accept what you get from bigger companies.


I'm also with you "politically", but not everyone is at the same pace "politically". Maybe you could be persuaded to raise the issue with them, and see how they take it, instead of "leaving them behind"?

How often do you optimise your work for less than 1% of the population?

If it's a trivial thing to change, and that 1% has the highest suicide rate in society? I'd say it's the most important thing they could do at this point.

Also, I am cisgendered, and it's important to me. So it's more than 1% of the population. Or do you believe that you have to be a member of a group to be bothered by things that affect them?

There's no good excuse for this in a contact manager when we fixed it in vcard years ago https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc6350#section-6.2.7

How strange that you would associate a person's software development skills with how up to date they are in terms of gender politics.

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