People are enjoying Facebook less and less. I was one of those. Leave the site for 10 hours and you will come back to 5 new notifications. “Hurray”, you think. “My friends still love me”.
When you open the notifications, however, you realize that two of them are about a comment that a friend of a friend left on the first friend’s picture. Those pictures mean nothing to you so why did Facebook send the notification?
This is a guest post from Atsu Davoh, the founder of FridayCamp.com.
You check the other notifications looking for some personal connection. One of them is a friend request from a Mallam holding bloody feathers on his profile picture, someone you have no idea about. You decide not go into details about the rest of the notifications because it’s likely you have no connection to them either.
The quality of social media sites has continued to decline over the years. It has become clogged with unnecessary but numerous notifications, stalking problems, disregard for privacy and the like. There’s always an urge to visit the social sites; but when you are there, you cannot spend up to 10 minutes.
I was fed up and needed something different. I needed a site where I could post all the 300 pictures from my recent vacation without feeling the need to censor some of the images in order for my post to be suitable for all my 4537 Facebook friends (80% of which I’ve not met).
A site where I could freely express myself authentically, separately, to family, friends, and workers just as I am around them.
I needed a private, secure, fast social media site made up of only people that I actually know. I searched the net for such a solution and found nothing so I decided to build one myself.
After three months of coding every single day for 3 hours a day, I came out with Friday Camp.
Friday Camp is a chat web app where anyone can create a group, add as many people as they like, and have a chat with them and share files. You can take polls on the group and plan things with an expansive to-do list.
Friday Camp is social media built around groups. So when you sign up, you have to create a group, say for your family. As the creator of the group, you have the power to add as many people as you want to the group. Apps like Whatsapp have a very small group member limit of 256.
On Friday Camp, there is no limit. You can exchange chat messages with all the people in the group, exchange and receive images, videos, and files of all formats.
You can create a poll to gather a consensus of the group. E.g if you wanna know how many people will be coming to the family reunion on Saturday, use the poll to get the exact number by vote. Need to plan the family reunion and see what everyone will be bringing?
Use the to-do list to plan each stage of the family reunion. Remember, anything done in the group can only be viewed by people in the group. Private and secure. A similar group can be created for friends, your study group and the secret group no one has to know about.
Friday Camp was coded by US-based Ghanaian programmer Atsu Davoh. According to Davoh, he coded the site within three months writing every single line of code from scratch except for the grid system on his front-end that is powered by Twitter Bootstrap.
The backend is powered by PHP and the front-end by HTML, CSS, Jquery, JSON, and AJax. No backend frameworks were used. Atsu Davoh insisted that he wrote all the code from scratch as a way of improving his coding skills.
The site is hosted and served on Google Cloud Platform. Atsu bought 4 empty servers (Virtual Machines) and installed a LAMP stack on one OS instance held together by the four virtual servers. The website files are then served by these servers; which makes the site very fast.
I hope that Friday Camp can serve as an improvement for those who are dissatisfied with the corporate entanglements of sites like Facebook. I hope it also serves as an inspiration to Ghanaian web developers that we here are capable of actual good work through effort and dedication.