I believe in the independent web - which was born thirty years ago today - more than any other technology.
Earlier today, I shared an update with collaborators, advisors, and investors in Known. Here's what's up:
Recently, I filed paperwork to officially dissolve Known, Inc, the Delaware C-Corporation. It is expected that this will be complete by the end of the year. It was one of the most personally rewarding journeys of my life, and I’m grateful for every moment. But it’s long past time to shut down the company.
I’ve come to an arrangement where I will purchase all of the intellectual property currently held by Known, Inc. As well as source code, the name, websites, domain names, logos, etc, this includes the hosted service, which has not taken revenue or new users in years, but continues to support a modest number of bloggers. I will take more of a direct role in keeping that online, at least until there is a viable, self-serve offramp for users to move to other providers. I hope to work with the open source community to create this.
I’ll also spend more of my time working on the open source project. The rise of platforms like Substack - and Medium’s recent transformation - indicates a need for a platform for people to host their own content online. WordPress is a website builder with an ecommerce industry built around it; Ghost has become focused on corporate and commercial blogging; I’m excited for Known to be a more personal platform for hobbyists and enthusiasts.
Honestly, I’m also excited to work on it without any pressure to make money or find sustainability. Known will not be my job or a source of any income. In fact, I expect to donate more to the Open Collective monetarily as well as spending more of my time. I'm excited to concentrate on supporting the needs of the community.
(As well as import / export, my priorities include ditching Bootstrap, revisiting the interface, improving indieweb interoperability, and experimenting with how to better bring the principles of human-centered design into the open source development process. But that’ll be a conversation for elsewhere.)