Nitoku japanese characters 二徳 simbolize our two values, freedom and creativity. We want to create a platform following these values, a platform where experimentation, evolution, and interplay of ideas can thrive.
There are fundamentally two ways to create content on the web, one way is using software development tools, the other way is to create web content on mass-market platforms. We think that there are problems with these two approaches.
Software tools and frameworks are used by professionals and they are incredible versatile, with them, professionals are free to create any type of content, but learning how to use those tools is difficult, resulting in a high barrier of entry for people that want to create content. The alternative is to use mass-market platforms, they provide a great experience and are easy to use, unfortunately mass-market platforms often strictly define what you can create and the tools that you can use.
The choice between using professional tools or using mass-market platforms become often a trade-off between creativity and ease of use. Looking at the amount of content that is generated on the web, we could argue that most users are choosing to create web content on platforms, users are choosing great experience over freedom and creativity, and this situation does not look that it will change in the future.
Why are platforms winning? Apart from ease of use, platforms also have other intrinsic advantages, they can leverage network effects. Network effects make competing with platforms very difficult. We agree with this Techcrunch article "In the arms race of technologies and consumer attention, platform companies have mechanized weaponry and the open web is still armed with bow and arrow."
Also, platforms keep adding new exciting functionality to their offering. To stay relevant, software tools/frameworks need to add equivalent functionality, and as they add new functionality, they sometimes make tools and frameworks complex and difficult to use, increasing the barrier of entry and reducing even further the number of people that are able to use those software tools. This state of things is a bit disappointing, the web that Sir Tim Berners Lee created was for everyone, but it looks that only a shrinking niche of very skilled people can create new innovative web experiences.
At Nitoku we are not happy with this state of things, we want to change it, we want to bring more freedom and innovation to the web for everyone. We believe that this can only be achieved by a platform, a platform that leverage network effects and therefore will be able to compete with other mass-market platforms, but also a platform that is fundamentally different from current mass-market platforms, a platform that don't strictly define what you can create, a platform that foster freedom and creativity.
Not all platforms were created equal, some platforms seem to be designed as honey traps where we are tricked to dump our personal data into, but fortunately, most platforms are not like that, most platforms have been designed with honest purposes, platforms like Wikipedia in which content is contributed by self-forming self-managing communities and the content is amazingly detailed, complete, and robust.
Inspired by the way Wikipedia and other pro-user platforms work, we have established some design principles that we believe will guide us on the development of Nitoku, a platform that should foster freedom and creativity.
Nitoku design principles:
We want to get people working together in communities to create and construct things, to achieve this it is critical that they are able to collaborate on small chunks of work, not whole pages but instead collaborate on components. At Nitoku, users can include a page by uri reference into one or more other pages, share design styles and use blocks components. Blocks allow reuse of software on your own pages without the need to reinvent the wheel every time that we need to create a new web experience.
At Nitoku you can add your own functionality with blocks, and customize pages using your own style. Blocks and styles let you create any type of web page with no constraints.
For the first few years of the web, people learned to build web pages using the “View Source” feature in their web browser, but the web has evolved and currently web pages are complex, the source code most of the time has been transpiled from the original code that was used to develop the page into something that most of the time can't be understood. We believe that we need to get back to something similar to the original view source feature, we want users to be able to understand easily how any web page on the platform has been built. This will enable then to learn, grow and build for themselves better web experiences.
This follows the previous point, sometimes the best way to understand how things are done is not to read about them, but instead to tinker and break things, to be able to experiment and to see the how your changes affect the page.
If you want to support Nitoku. Thank you! we need help!, currently we have just one developer, which happen to be also the CEO of the company 😜, yours truly, it took me one full year to develop the first release of this platform. We want to hire more developers and speed up the development of new functionality, but currently this is not possible, we don't have the revenue to support that.
You can help us on two ways:
Create a Nitoku account and use the platform, it is free up to three teams and up to 20 pages per team.
Best way to support the platform is to become a paying Nitoku user, it is only 4$/month.
Help us with documentation, if you think that some document can be improved, contact us on the chat, or even better send us change requests to improve the document.
Join the community on our chat.
All of the above and also: