Learning From Seymore Papert

From this Learning from Seymore Papert talk:
The children are not going to be able to invent Calculus.  It took a genius and two hundred thousand years for that to happen. But in fact, another genius, Seymore [Papert] can figure out a way of contextualizing the important ideas of this so it fits perfectly into the child's world. That changed my life forever.  Because once you see that done, it's kind of a duty thereafter to try and make it happen.

- Alan Kay 

Breaking Out of the Blog Engine Cycle

Looking back at 2013, I can't help but notice that every web app I made is basically a blog engine.  Each app has some type of Post model, possibly a Comment model, a view for a list of Posts, a view for the details of a Post, and a way to filter them based on users, tags, etc.

I hereby declare 2014 as the Year of Breaking Out of the Blog Engine Cycle.

Gateway Hackers

I made another thing:  Gateway Hackers.  It's a Hacker News-like link aggregation site with a focus on the the Greater St. Louis Area IT/design/startup audience.

The feature set is minimal, but the site is functional.   You can create a site account or log in using Github or Twitter.    Once you have an account you can submit links, comment, and create a profile (here's mine).

Links are displayed in reverse chronological order since the site isn't popular enough to warrant a scoring system.  I try to post a link or two every day, with a focus on quality.   I personally like links that teach, inspire, bring folks together, or promote the St. Louis IT community.   The site has a code of conduct, modeled after the Speak Up! Community Code of Conduct.

There's a Twitter account you can follow that tweets link submissions.

Motivation
I wrote the site for a few reasons:

  • I can't help myself…I have a web-app creation habit.
  • Things here are starting to heat up, and I wanted a place for St. Louis IT folks to share and discuss tech stuff.
  • I like the HN/Reddit UI for news.
  • The quality of Hacker News has diminished.  


Future Plans
If the site gains any kind of popularity, I'd like to add the following:

  • A directory for St. Louis meetups and user groups. Done, updated twice daily.
  • A process that submits links a few days in advance of upcoming events.
  • "Ask Gateway Hackers" posts.
  • A monthly "Who's Hiring" post. 

So, fellow Gateway Hackers--sign up, log in, and participate!