Applications on parade

The ice caps may be melting, the nations may be playing chicken with the Apocalypse, but there is still some good in the world. Today we look at two newly released (free, open source) web applications and a (new, free) community built around that oldest of human activities. No, that other oldest of human activities: sharing stories.

Waferbaby’s open source CMS

Waferbaby is both a site and a person. The site has been around for about a dozen years, the person (Daniel Bogan) for somewhat more. But wait. Now Waferbaby is also a third thing. It is also the content management system (CMS) that Waferbaby the person built to drive Waferbaby the website. The website has many features. So does the CMS. Why do you care? Because you can use the CMS if you want to. Waferbaby, the open source content management system, built with Ruby on Rails and “freely available under a liberal BSD license” is yours for the taking. Be gentle.

Enhanced Simple PHP Gallery v2.0

Point B Studio’s Enhanced Simple PHP Gallery is free, open-source software that lets you post photos online. The brainchild of Rich Pedley and Paul Griffin, the program is thriving at the nurturing bosom of brilliant web architects and developers.

With version 2.0, it has been completely overhauled to support detailed annotation (“footnotes”) of objects (such as artwork or photos), including citations, dimensions, latitude/longitude and other identification metadata.

A demo page lets you log in as an administrator and put the program through its paces. Point B welcomes comments and suggestions. Happy gallery-mongering!

Dandelife debuts

(Disclaimer: I sit on Dandelife’s advisory board.)

Dandelife is a social network built around the telling of your life’s stories. You can use Dandelife to create your own personal biography and then share that with the rest of the world. Imagine all your own notes on all the people you’ve met, the places you’ve been, the events you’ve gone to and the stories you could tell about them all. That’s your Dandelife.

Co-founder Kelly Abbott, late of Airshare.org and other socially conscious web projects, is that rare entrepreneur whose primary motivation is not cash but community. Soft-launched this week, Dandelife isn’t perfect yet, but it is already attracting storytellers, and Abbott hopes to recruit more creative people spinning more yarns, “making the site that much more fun to waste time at.”

Tags are beginning to emerge: there are drinking stories, nickname origin stories, 9/11 stories. People are joining and sharing. Here are a few stories that struck me:

a very long story about how i got an unfortunate nickname
Embarrassing but well written coming-of-age tale.
Champagne Katie
The story of an unfortunate nickname.
Hilarious brush-up (sic) with death
Life and near-death in the Himalayas.