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Show HN: I made a privacy-focused online journal (gekri.com)
100 points by KevinNTH 68 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 40 comments

First of all, beautiful site. I'm happy to see nuxt projects in the wild, and especially happy when they're this beautiful. I really like the iconography and illustration styles and how nicely it blends with the content. Your UI is stellar.

On the technology side, the page explaining what Blockstack is reads poorly. You use the same subheads a few times to ask that question, but don't really answer it. It feels like an afterthought, which is unfortunate as it was my first stop on the site.

It seems like the "how" of this tool is a big deal to you. Why is the data being stored the way it is? How can you better tell that story? Can you use the same level of awesome you use on the features page?

And finally, if you can't add a working demo to the site due to the blockstack platform, you can still record video demos that highlight different features. Keep that sweet animation style in your video work and you've got some really enjoyable content.

I hope your project takes off. Cheers.

Thank you so much for your awesome feedback!

I am very proud to get spotted using nuxt. I am very grateful to the Chopin brothers (and the whole team of Vue) to make this possible. I can't wait to have Vue 3 on production!

I made the logo using Figma [1] with my very beginner skill with this kind of software. The illustrations come from [2].

I am really sorry to made a poorly reading experience. I guess I am not that fluent with English nor with copywriting. Thank to your feedback, I will spend some time to rewrite the copy ;)

I think I will spend some time to implement a demo to the site because I am not comfortable with video editing.

[1] https://www.figma.com [2] https://undraw.co

Very cool UI! As someone who runs something like a journal from time to time, I might use some of this for inspiration.

One question though. If it's just a personal journal, and I don't care to share any of it, why do I need blockchain? I think I'd rather just generate a symmetric key and store this encrypted data on any storage I choose. Are you planning social features?

Thank you :)

Please read my answer here [1] to avoid duplicate content ^^

Beside, I may add social features in the future indeed. There is so much that can be done (many ideas), but for now, I focus to build the journal with polished basic features.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20652803

I build this app with privacy in mind. I ended by using Blockstack ecosystem to achieve user's data ownership, data encryption and data decentralization. Also, Blockstack allow you to create an identity using a Blockchain. I work full time on this product to make the one I always wished. I started to write every day for more than 1 year and I notice many benefits with this keystone habit. I really want to promote writing activity through Gekri. Beside, I am on my way to implement many features, starting of a mood tracker ;) Ask me anything.

Thanks, this looks really cool!

Would I be able to write in it offline too?

I have to work on the offline mode, this is in the roadmap :)

I'm interested in the idea but can't say I'm very much into Blockstack after looking into it. The fact that they're tied heavily in the blockchain and pay large sums to apps in the name of "app mining" is.. concerning. Even after a fair bit of research, the origin of the money is extremely unclear.

Muneeb from Blockstack here. The Stacks blockchain is needed to anchor user identities in a system that is not controlled by any single company.

The App Mining rewards are incentives for developers to improve their app quality. I'd recommend this research paper to dig deeper in to the game theory behind App Mining: https://blog.blockstack.org/app-mining-game-theory-algorithm...

The source of money is newly minted tokens, just like in Bitcoin the miners operating the nodes and processing transactions get the newly minted tokens.

> The source of money is newly minted tokens, just like in Bitcoin the miners operating the nodes and processing transactions get the newly minted tokens.

Ok, so where are those tokens being minted? In the apps themselves? Who's buying them since they don't seem to be publicly buyable?

Because my concern would be that my journal/calculator/paint app are running CPU intensive mining with or without code injection and connecting to a large amount of foreign peers just for the sake of storing my data in storage I own...

As a software engineer, I built Gekri with performance in mind (of course, there is always more optimizations to perform but I feel the app pretty quick by now). I will never allow this kind of computation on any app that I create.

Think about App mining as rewards to developers from Blockstack PBC.

We're caught in a circular trap here. Money doesn't come from nowhere (let's put aside actual fiat currencies for a moment) and the payouts aren't in tokens as far as I'm aware.

1. Who is putting the money into the system? An outside investor? Miners?

2. Blockstack is putting out significant amounts of cash and are a private company. How do they intend to profit off of this in the future? Selling user data? Injecting ads?

The pay outs are in Stacks (STX) tokens. Only the pilot phase was in USD/BTC which came from a developer growth/marketing budget that Blockstack PBC funded.

See this post for details: https://blog.blockstack.org/app-mining-plans-to-pay-blocksta...

Newly minted tokens as incentives have been in use since Bitcoin started 10+ years ago. We are using that concept for developer incentives.

Waiting patiently for answers; the responses are not comforting.

See reply above. Thanks,

On your website, it seems that the overview and documentation is targeted at developers. As a user, I would love an easy-to-understand overview of what Blockstack is, how it works, and why I should care.

Edit: And here's a question maybe you can answer for me directly: If the user data is stored in a location of my choice, and the code runs on the client, what's the point of an app being powered by Blockstack rather than just being a local offline app that saves data to iCloud/Dropbox/whatever?


The point is global coordination without going through a big company like Facebook.

Take the Dmails app for example, you can email me there on muneeb.id -- this will not be possible with an offline app.

I hear you on the developer focus for Blockstack. We might start a different brand that is consumer-focused. Right now the best page for consumer info is: https://blockstack.org/try-blockstack

Great, thanks. I'll explore it and try to understand it better! Looking forward to seeing where this goes.

As I said [1] I wanted the journal to be online so I can use the app from the laptop and then from the mobile. I will implement offline sync soon.

Beside, I may want to implement social features in the future. There is so many things that can be done and I'm exploring some possibilities :)

[1] https://twitter.com/pixelwerk/status/1159532787843706881

Hey Kevin, sorry for the confusion - my question was for Muneeb about Blockstack specifically.

Your journal app looks great. I've created an account and look forward to trying it out!

KevinNTH could you give us a showcase of how you use it? When I look at your demo GIFs I'm noticing that I'm journalling in a seemingly very different way.

I journal once in the morning or twice (morning and evening). My journal is mostly a list of likert-scale type questions on which I want data.

It also has a qualitative section on the lower end if I feel the need to be qualitative, but I don't feel the need to do that every day.

Thanks for your feedback :)

I have to say that my journaling is very basic as I am only a beginner (1 year). I just write down my thoughts, tell things about my day or comment about my mood of the moment.

I read great content [1] about journaling so I will try to improve the way I write in my journal.

I've never thought about implementing likert-scale type questions in the journal but it's a great idea. I put this in the roadmap [2] so I'm going to have some thinking about it.

I have planed a feature to have gratitude journaling which can be similar to likert-scale type questions but without the likert-scale. So I definitely can implement this kind of feature too :)

[1] http://benjaminhardy.com/journal/

[2] https://trello.com/b/sHBLZTeQ/gekri-product-roadmap

I like the concept but share some of the blockchain concerns here. In particular, I'm interested in how the Gaia "driver model" [1] is actually architected, and how this compares to local storage:

> Gaia enables applications to access [it] via a uniform API.

[1] https://gekri.com/privacy

I have been told that the privacy page [1] is reads poorly. I will rewrite the copy ^^'

You can learn more about Gaia storage here: [2]

[1] https://gekri.com/privacy

[2] https://github.com/blockstack/gaia

I really like UI/UX. It takes very little to get use to. The only thing is that I wish I know how blockchain technology is actually tied into this?

Thank you :D

I use Blockstack to allow users to create an identity which is handled on the Bitcoin blockchain.

Essentially when Blockstack IDs are created for users during registration, they are saved to the Bitcoin blockchain immutably so that the user him or herself is the only one who can control their ID using their private key. This is the way in which user independence is secured so that neither app developers or Blockstack controls their identities.

Take a look to the whitepaper [1] to go deeply in the details.

I use Gaia storage [2] to store data.

[1] https://blockstack.org/papers

[2] https://github.com/blockstack/gaia

A feature idea, I think it could be great to track the moods of a whole organization. HR could see the results and could see or not, each individual mood.

I keep this feature idea for a second product (or maybe for Gekri, but later). There is something I wish to develop something since 2016 targeting people in an organization.

I think there's been a few of these privacy-focused journals:

https://penzu.com/ https://280daily.com/ https://standardnotes.org/

I think these products are different from each other so Gekri is too :)

I like the presentation a lot, but after looking at the features tab I'm left wishing there were some sort of interactive demo.

This looks like a really cool project! I like the idea of a journaling tool that also helps you reflect at a meta-level after you've entered in your momentary feelings.

Thank you!

I will take the time to implement a demo. It will help to visualize the actual product before hitting the sign in button I guess :)

Does the name come from the french "j'écris" (I write) phonetic ? That would be cool :D

You nailed it perfectly!!!! Jekri.com was taken, so Gekri.com was born xD

But most of the time Gekri is pronounced "Guékri" ^^'

Private and distributed? .... Why?

Because the journal is online. Data should be stored somewhere so I choose Gaia Storage. [1]

I have explained more about this in this tweet: [2]

[1] https://github.com/blockstack/gaia

[2] https://twitter.com/pixelwerk/status/1159532787843706881

Great job man, everything about this page is super appealing to me.

Thank you :)

I try my best to bring this appeal!

Is it just me or does everyone need to enable JS and allow cookies to see anything at all?

Not very privacy-focused.

I made a web app so I need Javascript to do so :)

I want to share with you something I've used back in 2013-2014. [1]

You won't need Javascript to use this ;)

[1] https://jrnl.sh/

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