GitHub as Social Media13 Jun 2015
GitHub already allows you to follow other users publicly. It displays your followers publicly, too.
Wouldn’t it be possible to make your GitHub account even more sociable? Someone could build a third-party application for this. Here’s the sequence of events I’m imagining to make GitHub-as-a-social-messaging-platform (SocialHub?) possible.
You authorize the app to make a public repo under your account. Everyone using SocialHub has a repo with the same name. Only that respective user has write access to it.
When a user makes a post with SocialHub, he or she is actually making a commit to his/her special common repo. The post can be the message, and/or the message can be written into the file of the repo. That way, a message history is preserved within the commits to the common repo.
When other users interact with someone’s SocialHub post (commit), they are actually just using the GitHub comment form/API call on that commit. The same commit that was made to the common repo.
With this structure, pulling up a SocialHub user’s post history is as simple as looking at the commit history to his/her public, common repo. You could make it even more interesting and make the common repo contain a lone markdown file, containing only the most recent post/message. A history of interactions to other users is available simply by listing the comments on each commit.
You could build this app, I believe, solely as a front-end implementation using GitHub’s available API endpoints. No database required.
Private messages could be passed via a common private repo on a user’s profile. He or she would have to grant access to other users before they could comment/view his/her “private” commits/posts.
Wouldn’t this be a pretty cool social messaging service? It would be completely intertwined with your public GitHub code commits and could leverage the expanse of git and GitHub.