This week we caught up with Alex, creator and developer of Quarantine Journal: a simple platform that allows you to permanently submit and store your notes, reflections, and ideas from the COVID19 pandemic. We caught up with Alex to find out more about his progress with Quarantine Journal, and whether he sees a future for the platform beyond COVID19. Alex is also on a mission to explore alternative login methods for non-technical audiences, beyond the sphere of blockchain. Read on to find out more!
Country of residence:
What do you like to do with your spare time?
I like to hang out with my friends, read, and snowboard. Now that we’re all quarantined, it’s mostly playing video games and programming.
How did you find out about the Arweave permaweb?
I saw a tweet about Feedweave on twitter from @Literature and that got me to look into Arweave. That was the first time I heard about the Arweave permaweb, and I remember being excited about the possibilities and the open web hackathon.
What piqued your interest in decentralisation and the blockchain space, and when?
I’ve been hearing about Bitcoin and crypto for years. It wasn’t until winter break in December that I got really interested in it. I watched a talk that Ben Horowitz gave at Stanford where he said “money is too weak of a metaphor for Bitcoin”, and that really blew my mind. I decided I wanted to do my own research into this and to try and verify or disprove this claim. That got me to write about what I read extensively and start a book club with my friends that I called crypto book club. I’ve been interested in this space ever since.
Why did you choose to build a Quarantine Journal?
Originally Quarantine Journal started out as a project for me to dip my toes into Arweave and make an Open Web Hackathon project. I picked this project over my other ideas because it seemed relevant to the times we’re living in, and it’s something that I’d like to see built. It’s also something that could only exist the way I want it to (permanent entries) on Arweave.
Do you plan to use Quarantine Journal beyond the COVID19 Epidemic?
I’m not sure yet. My current goal is to make the Quarantine Journal as useful as possible for people to store their notes/reflections/ideas from the COVID19 pandemic. It really feels like this is all going to last longer than I initially thought, so I’ll probably have a good amount of time to iterate on it.
One thing I’ve been thinking about though is how Arweave could be useful for allowing people to store journals and other entries permanently, beyond the quarantine. I remember hearing about how Cornell allows students to give their journals to the library archive to be stored in case they someday become a recognizable public figure. I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but it does present a pretty interesting idea. What if anyone could do that? After all, wouldn’t it be nice if you could look back on your great grandparents journal entries and get a peek into what their life was like?
If you could build any Dapp, what would it be and why?
Quarantine Journal has really gotten me thinking about making log in easier for projects that use Arweave. Dragging and dropping a JSON file isn’t super user-friendly for nontechnical audiences. It would be really cool to make a login like magic.link that works with Arweave. I’d ideally want to make it super easy for devs to integrate to their existing Arweave projects in order to replace the current drag and drop JSON login system. Maybe I could integrate it with Arweave-ID? In any case, that would be what I’d build. I just think it would be super useful for driving adoption to mainstream projects that use Arweave in their backend while also making it easier for devs to create more user friendly experiences.
What does a decentralised future look like to you?
A decentralised future to me means democratizing all sorts of things, and making finance and other spaces more accessible for everyone. It also means making the future less controlled by the few powerful people at the top and giving everyone a chance to participate.
Where can people follow your work?
Github username: @AlexReyes