Coko Celebrates Year One

Nov 30, 2016

It is just over one year since Coko was formed and it’s been an amazing ride. We started with just two people (Adam and Kristen), a bold idea and not a lot of funds. The Coko team is now a fulltime team of 9 and a host of talented part-timers. We have two Open Source frameworks for knowledge creation and production, and have created a new collaborative development methodology.

And, our proudest accomplishment, we’ve built an amazing team, a core community with several publishers, platforms, and open source contributors, and a range of partners. Fostering an active open source community is often the most difficult part and we’ve been amazed by the early interest and participation.

Some of the Coko team.

Some of the Coko team at our Athens team meeting.

So in just over a year, we formed the concept of Coko, found the resources and gathered amazing talented people together, and are now moving into production with our first completed platforms. How did we get here?

Our earliest beginnings were possible because Adam was awarded a Shuttleworth Fellowship, giving us a financial foothold and early visibility. So we were able to bring onboard the talented Jure Triglav to start work on PubSweet. Shortly after that, Erich van Rijn (UCP) and Catherine Mitchell (CDL) selected us to build the Editoria platform, a Mellon-funded print book and ebook platform. This gave us opportunities to bring on board some talented individuals, including the talented duo Yannis and Christos (see below), to design our design-and-build methodology, and have a real world use case to use in constructing our INK (amazing work Charlie!) and PubSweet frameworks.

Our mission and early progress caught the attention of the Moore Foundation who generously supported us with a two-year grant. This gave us a chance to build our technology to abstract use cases rather than to any one publisher’s needs. This gives our frameworks the flexibility needed to adapt to new use cases quickly and easily. Thanks to the Moore funding, we’ve created a platform to build platforms rather than a single-use product.

The first platform to come out of the PubSweet framework will be Editoria, launching in Spring 2017. We’re now turning our attention from longer form books to shorter form research communication, such as journal articles, pre-prints and micropublications.

But most importantly, over this period Coko has become an amazing team populated with very talented individuals. We love them. So, a big shout out to… in order of appearance… Jure Triglav was the first fulltime employee and has done an amazing job leading our PubSweet Core development. Yannis Barlas and Christos Kokosias joined us full-time from Athens and have done stunningly fast and excellent work on the PubSweet frontend components for Editoria. Charlie Ablett joined and has done a wonderful job on INK. Julien Taquet has done amazing UX work on Editoria and developed beautiful books in HTML and CSS. Juan Gutierrez joined us and has done a great job maintaining our systems. Richard Smith-Unna joined us to work on PubSweet with Jure and has done amazing work. Henrik van Leeuwen and his brother Kresten have done stellar work with our designs (website and logos etc). Alex Theg has done a great job maintaining our processes as we grew, and Wendell Piez has made some awesome Word to HTML scripts we will soon be putting into production.

Add to this other talented people we work closely with including Fred Chasen, Nokome Bentley, Raewyn Whyte, and the team and we are a pretty talented constellation!

Tomorrow we celebrate turning one with a party in Oakland (San Francisco). As we begin 2017, we’ll be making announcements about additional partnerships and plans. We’ll be able to show off how PubSweet can form into Editoria and how INK, thanks to the work of Charlie Ablett, can ingest, convert and enhance documents. Stay tuned for the next year’s progress!


Post by Kristen Ratan and Adam Hyde