The Mine! Project

open source project for online data and relationships logistics


When you want to make a private picture or note available only to your friends, why do you hand it over to a multi-national corporation first?
Danny O’Brien.

The Mine! project is about equipping people with tools and functionality that will help them:

  1. take charge of their data (content, relationships, transactions, knowledge),
  2. arrange (analyse, manipulate, combine, mash-up) it according to their needs and preferences and
  3. share it on their own terms
  4. whilst connected and networked on the web.

The Mine! aims to be an (infra)structure for other solutions – VRM (relationships with individuals and vendors, transactions), self-defined identity, authentication, data portability and hopefully many more.

Slide show of the Mine! project Google Tech talk (April 2009)

Part I (Introduction and background – redubbed)

Part II (Technical aspects)

Design – and other – principles for the Mine!

User-driven (as opposed to just user-centric)
The tuna salad argument: “Don’t give me the salad give me the ingredients & utensils and I will make my own”. A simple test of user-driven design is in the answer to a question – Can and does the user add value to it?

Complexity will come from people using it, not from design (think BitTorrent )

Fast and lightweight
If something slows it down don’t use it or design it differently

Not inventing anything if existing technology/code can be used, if anything must be invented, make sure that user can’t tell! we are creating better tools for users, not trying to improve what they want to do; i.e. giving them better ways of doing what they are already doing. if we try to improve what they want to do, we are not doing our job – nifty technology is good but usage is even better.

We are not creating a tool/application/platform that can do everything for them, we are creating the best modular tools for specific functions and let the user put them together. To quote Alec, the Protomine! coder:

[this is] an exercise in user-intuitive data logistics operating at layers 3 through 7, and I am STRONGLY opposed to it being inflated into a platform for addressing “layer-8″ administrivium of how people want to contract, until such time as the software exists and is freely available on the web. I will not let the project to be scope-creeped into an DRM solution, an EDI solution, a calendaring application, spreadsheet, authentication agent, tasty dessert AND a floorwax.

The Mine! is (part of) a layer on which others can build – in terms of a car, we build the engine but the user decides the shape, colour, number of doors, seats and, of course, how and where to drive it. Not sure it works as an analogy but will ponder further. If a functionality can be done outside the Mine!, then it ought to be left out.

Interoperable & compatible
External plug-ins, applications, modules are added to the Mine! to perform the functions that user needs/wants, these can be developed by anyone

Challenge is to create a ‘personal platform’ that is flexible enough to accommodate other applications – APIs etc and secure enough to keep my data private

Not locked into a particular platform or a silo (e.g. eBay, Facebook, MySpace, Amazon), closer to blogging (WordPress), feed readers (OPML) etc

6 Responses to “About”

  1. Monkeymagic » About « The Mine! Project
    on Nov 1st, 2009
    @ 10:02 pm

    [...] here November 01st 2009 | Comments(0) | Asides on data great_idea identity privacy sharing [...]

  2. dropsafe : Facebook, Google, Privacy, the BBC, the decade and Edward Stourton
    on Dec 16th, 2009
    @ 11:23 pm

    [...] Fortunately Cox is wrong in his assertion – there’s nothing to prevent you enabling your own access control. There’s nothing to stop you being a node. Not least, this is what themineproject is all about. [...]

  3. ProjectVRM Blog » VRM Mojo Working
    on Jan 22nd, 2010
    @ 5:28 pm

    [...] it happens, this is also a key insight of The Mine! Project, whose About page says, The Mine! project is about equipping people with tools and functionality that will help [...]

  4. Miron’s Weblog » Motivation and Background for the User Controlled Web
    on Jun 18th, 2010
    @ 7:44 pm

    [...] Lukas talks about the user-controlled web and the mine project.   (She coins a fun acronym: Relationships on Individuals’ Own Terms [...]

  5. Jay Silence
    on Sep 16th, 2010
    @ 2:29 pm

    What, no screenshots? ;-P

  6. The user -centricity landscape February 2011 | iCentered
    on Feb 24th, 2011
    @ 1:11 pm

    [...] The Mine! Project – The Mine! Project is about equipping people with tools and functionality that will help them to take charge of their data, arrange it according to their needs and preferences and share it on their own terms. [...]

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