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Cover image for Akita — Grant Report #2 (Final Report)
Akita

Akita — Grant Report #2 (Final Report)

Elliot
Making it easy to swim into Web Monetization
・11 min read

Hello again Web Monetization community! @sharon and @elliot coming at you with our final report 😮

Project update

Since our interim grant report, we've been:

We also ended up extending our grant period by a few months, as we underestimated the time we needed to complete everything we outlined.

We're really grateful for the opportunity to explore Web Monetization and be part of an energetic community aligned on improving the state of monetization on the web. Through this experience, we've learned about the opportunities and challenges in bringing such change to the internet and hope that our project has helped others learn alongside us.

Continue reading for some more details on what we've been up to!


What we achieved

Our three key objectives for our grant period were:

  1. creation of a website,
  2. building the Akita extension, and
  3. planning and engaging in outreach initiatives.

For an overview of these objectives, you can check out our Interim Grant Report. In this section, we'll go over what we were able to accomplish for these objectives since our Interim Grant Report (which was released February 1st, 2021).

Website: 'A Web Monetization Story' and Akita Project Site

A Web Monetization Story Banner

[✅ Done] Analyze and release website feedback

  • We created a feedback form which we linked on the last page of the 'A Web Monetization Story' tutorial. We also linked to the survey here on this forum and on other platforms to ask for thoughts on the website and tutorial. If you're interested, you can read more about the results here: Akita Project Feedback Report. Overall, we received positive feedback indicating that 'A Web Monetization Story' helped improve people's understanding of Web Monetization—particularly the meta tag and the JavaScript API.

[✅ Done] Add a collection of our Web Monetization content to the website

  • We developed a simple homepage for The Akita Project, which links to our Akita extension, 'A Web Monetization Story' and Community Outreach efforts. You can check it out here: akitaproject.site!

Extension: Akita

Mock Akita Banner

[✅ Done] Release the Akita extension on the Microsoft Edge Add-ons Store

[✅ Done] Post about the Akita public beta release with request for feedback

  • Following our release to Edge Add-ons, we asked Web Monetization community members to support us by taking the Akita Beta release survey. At the time, we had released the extension on the Chrome and Edge extension/add-on stores and were hoping to get some feedback while we continued development and worked towards releasing on the Firefox add-ons store.

[✅ 🟡 Done-ish] Analyze and release extension feedback

  • At the end of May 2021, we posted about some of the initial feedback we've received about Akita, but we only received a couple responses, so we plan to post another feedback report once we have a more substantial amount of responses. In our latest updates to the extension, we've added a request for feedback to our UI, so that users are prompted to let us know what they think.

[✅ Done] Release the Akita extension on the Firefox Add-ons Store

  • In June 2020, we first tried to submit Akita to the Firefox Add-ons Store, but our extension failed some of the tests and warnings due to our leveraging of some newer JavaScript language features and some unsafe code. It seemed that Firefox was a bit more strict with their expectations for the extension compared to Chrome, so we deferred publishing to the Firefox store in favour of developing the extension features further. In March 2021, we revisited submitting to the Firefox store and created a GitHub Milestone for Passing Firefox Submission Tests. Once we knocked out those issues and wrapped up with development, we created new store listing extension preview images (which we also use for Chrome and Edge) and resubmitted at the end of May 2021. Tests passed and our extension was accepted! 🎉

[❌ Removed] Add a Web Monetized site discovery feature to the extension

  • We requested a Scope Change to remove this feature from our deliverables, as we felt that we could provide more benefit to the Web Monetization community by using the rest of our grant time planning and hosting an informal grantee hangout, instead of adding another feature to the extension.

Other

Outreach Initiatives

Outreach Banner

[✅ Done] Post two more blog posts

[✅ Done] Plan outreach for February and March May

  • Before we applied for a project deadline extension, we had planned to do some more major outreach initiatives in February/March, but ended up extending our project and planning a larger outreach event in May.

Web Monetization Community MozFest Space

  • In March 2021, we reached out to the Grant Team to see if there was any community outreach we could help out with. It just so happened that the team was busy planning Web Monetization activities for MozFest, and were looking for a grantee welcome message for the MozFest Attendee Welcome Page on this forem. We wrote a little blurb which you can check out on the MozFest Welcome Page if you like!

Akita x Skittish Informal Grantee Hangout

Grantee Hangout Image

  • In our discussions and ideation, we imagined hosting a grantee hangout, showcase or educational session on a spatial audio event platform. We had recently used Rambly and Gather Town in our personal hangouts with friends, and thought it'd be a fun medium for a grantee event. Between the start of March and sometime after MozFest, we stumbled across Andy's grant report for Skittish and we were so excited about Skittish! We were absolutely delighted to hear that there was such a delightful spatial audio event platform in the works right in the Web Monetization Community. We were able to connect with Andy in March to express our interest in some collaboration ideas and started doing the planning in April. Then, we spent the next month planning the event, designing our Skittish event space, working out the logistics (timing of event, invited speakers, etc.) and getting very stoked for the hangout day. Come hangout day, it was a wonderful gathering of our best adorable-3D-animal-selves, with open discussion on Web Monetization, wins and challenges in the space, and just exploring the delightful Skittish space.

Future of the Browser Unconference

  • Amber reached out mid-May for some content for the Future of Browser Unconference (May 26th, 2021) and we were happy to share some of the video/demo content we had created for Akita and 'A Web Monetization Story'. You can watch the full conference playlist here and our video for the conference here.

In the last few weeks of our grant period, we also had some conversations with fellow grantees and community members over email and video call, which we really enjoyed. As always, feel free to reach out if you'd like to chat with us!


Communications and marketing

Since we wrote our interim project report we've tweeted, created a project website and LinkedIn page, hosted a grantee hangout with the help of Andy Baio and the Grant team, posted a few articles here on the Web Monetization Community, done an interview on our project, and shown off our work at a conference. Here's a link roundup of some of the communications and marketing around our work!

Akita x Skittish Informal Grantee Hangout

Web Monetization @ MozFest 2021

Future of the Browser 2021

General Social Media/Platform Communication

Asking for Feedback / Communicating Feedback

This time around we didn't prioritize posting on DEV as we realized it wasn't the right audience for what we wanted to communicate and get feedback on.


What’s next?

With the grant period coming to a close for the Akita project, and after more than a year of part-time development, we are going to take a break. During the break we want to relax, learn, take a step back, and figure out how the Akita project fits into what we both want to do in our careers and our lives.

Even though we won't be actively developing our project for now, we absolutely both want to stay a part of the Web Monetization space & community, and we want to keep our eyes on the community's projects, the development of technologies in the space such as Interledger and Rafiki, and the larger social and technological space of the exchange of value on the internet.

We would be more than happy to receive any messages about Akita, Web Monetization, or anything really, from any of you. You can reach us at any of the places we list in Get in touch with us! at the bottom of this post.


What community support would benefit your project?

Although we won't be actively creating new things as part of the Akita project, the things we created during the project remain available and open source. Both the Akita browser extension and 'A Web Monetization Story' could benefit from feedback from the members of the community they are made for (a.k.a. people like you, the reader). Here are the links to give feedback:

If we receive bug reports or small improvement requests we would be happy to take the time to improve the browser extension and website. Feedback also helps us both grow in our careers as Open Source Software Developers. Speaking of Open Source, you can contribute code, issues, or even new features to our projects on Github. We would be more than happy to review your proposed code changes, or address and comment on your issues:

Lastly, if you're interested in our work and want to see where the Akita project—and Sharon and Elliot—go from here, follow and reach out to us on our social media accounts linked below.


Get in touch with us!


Thank you image

Special thanks to Chris, Erika, Ayesha and Desigan from the grant team for supporting us monetarily through the Grant for the Web, and through encouragement and collaboration.

Discussion (1)

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chrislarry profile image
Chris Lawrence

This is a wonderful project, a stellar report and you are both anchors to this emerging community. Thank YOU for being on this journey with us and enjoy your break, but we do hope you stay connected!