Coko 2015

Dec 23, 2015

Coko has been alive for barely 3 months and we’ve made good progress. We founded Coko with the idea that it would be as much about the people as the technology. We are very happy that in the first few months we have been able to reach important milestones in building both technology and community..

On Dec 1, we had our very first community meeting in San Francisco. A two-day meetup with 40 or so people from around the world coming together to answer the question ‘what is Coko?’ We had whiteboard sessions, speed geek events, open forums, and group thinks on everything from the technology to brainstorming the key principles of Coko. It was an incredible event and has really set the tone for Coko going forward as an engine for community-driven change in knowledge production and creation of new innovative open source tools.

Coko Community Meeting
We received a lot of validation that we’re on the right track in our approach to our technology architecture. Decoupled and component-based made a lot of sense to developers, publishers, platform providers and partnering organizations. People felt that this approach will enable more adaptability moving forward and give a home to the innovations of others. Also, those needing only one or two components have a way to engage and benefit without immediately changing their entire current infrastructure.

We also talked through our philosophy of transparency and accountability and what that would mean for our governance and organizational structure. This too really resonated with everyone. We also identified some gaps between what we’re starting with and what the community and partners need and brainstormed ways to bridge those gaps.

Coko COmmunity Meeting
In the spirit of being born not only digital, but accessible, archivable, compliant and annotatable, we had Benetech, LOCKSS, CrossRef and in the room giving input. We also heard from publishers and platform providers such as the University of California Press, PKP, Erudit and RapidScience about what their use cases are and will be. We had CDL, CISCO, and Book Sprints present to offer up use cases outside of what we think of when we think of knowledge production. And smart innovative thinkers who are considering ways to transform and open up how knowledge is produced and shared, such as Cameron Neylon, Peter Brantley, James Vasile, John Willinksy, Tony Wasserman, Karien Bezuidenhout, and Rebecca Kennison.

Coko COmmunity Meeting
On the technology side, this month we released PubSweet 0.1. We’re excited that we’ve developed and produced a product within months of our inception and put it into the world. It is not ‘production ready’ but it is out there in a very early raw state for you to install and tinker with or contribute code to. PubSweet is available as Open Source under a MIT license. PubSweet validates our architectural approach and has already stimulated some very interesting community driven innovations. Substance has been developing a great default editing component for PubSweet and we are supporting them to get to a stable Substance 1.0 release. On top of that Nokome Bentley is producing a very interesting data management component that integrates with his framework, and we are working with the crew from Loomio to integrate their decision making modules within the PubSweet Framework. All this within months of our genesis.

PubSweet 0.1
So, we are very happy that our first months have created key moments for Coko in terms of both community development and technology. On top of all this we have created a great core team and attracted many brilliant minds to work with us. We have started many conversations with funders, potential partners, and publishers, as well as many others who want to see innovation brought to the realm of knowledge production. We have fused some early partnerships including a great understanding with PKP. We have also set up our internal systems which are ALL open source. You can read more about the great open source technologies we use on our wiki (

We have done a lot in a short time. It goes without saying that we could not have done this alone and our many thanks go out to the Coko core team, Advisory Board, the Shuttleworth Foundation, OpenTech Strategies and Brave New Software and the many people and organizations that are Coko, and those that are lending support to what Coko is doing.

Tune in in early 2016 for more information on forthcoming advances, community meet ups and technology releases!

Post by Kristen Ratan and Adam Hyde.