Hubl Trial Report March 2021

Last August CoTech approved a trial run of our Hubl. We committed to publishing report for period until the end of January 2021.

Hubl is the front-end implementation of Startin’blox. It has 3 features out of the box:

  • Team chat
  • Profile directory
  • Job board

We have an instance of Hubl that’s connected with the main instance. Happy Dev hosts it free of charge.


Hubl trial has been rolled out according to the agreed steps in the proposal. All the actions below have been accomplished:

1. Jean-Baptiste from Happy Dev are going to install Hubl by the end of the week.


2. Chris from WebArchitects has already added DNS records so we will be able to access the service via


3. Elie from Happy Dev will set up the necessary data on the server and user accounts.


Elie facilitated onboarding of several CoTech members (below) who took over setting up the accounts.

4. Calum, Polly from Outlandish and Szczepan from Animorph will lead on user onboarding and arrange the first community engagement meeting.


Email chain was set up and meetings followed focused on reaching out individually to members of co-ops in the network and schedule onboarding calls. We called those Community Calls as there have been efforts to engage members in a wider context, see minutes. The calls followed same frame, aiming to get a better understanding of where members of other co-ops are in their journey, what are their goals, spirit animal and expectations towards CoTech. A range of co-ops have been asked to discuss the taxonomy questions (point 4. in the frame-plan) internally and type the responses to shared markdown files.

Evaluation (in progress)

The proposal set the following success criteria:

1. How many people are using it:

Goal: 50 workers from 10 co-ops after 6 months.

We registered and onboarded 28 members from 13 co-ops.

The ledger is available for the members via CoTech Nextcloud.

2. How many members benefited from using it:

Goal A: directly: skills/jobs successfully circulated - 5 per quarter starting from Q4, so 10 after 6 months.

We have not been able to directly evidence any direct job engagements via Hubl though it has been raised at last community Circle Calls. There could be more options for passing jobs within the network and connect with the Happy Dev ecosystem.

Jobs are being regularly circulated on the network, but almost all come from Happy Dev who use platform on daily basis.

Goal B: indirectly: usefulness of features - survey registered CoTech Hubl users in January 2021. 75% members would need to express positive opinions.

Hubl has been improving steadily over the months, however, at the start of trial, was still difficult to use and not available in English. Some of the elements have still not been translated, but now we have access to editing (contributions welcome!). We hope to engage with the CoTech community at the upcoming gathering and circulate the feedback questionnaire in spring.

3. How adaptable the technology is to our needs

Goal: At least one contribution to the Startin’Blox codebase from a CoTech member to support the development of the technology.

Calum Mackervoy and Chris Croome have completed work on Startin’Blox, and members of Autonomic started working on issues in March in paid positions. Calum delivered open-source contributions on behalf of CoTech (LDPPermissions refactor (#305) · Issues · djangoldp-packages / djangoldp · GitLab), so we have technically achieved this though not by an “outsider” from the Startin’Blox team.

CoTech members have been providing feedback and bug reports on ongoing basis. One very positive & relevant feature, community association, was added to the database model so we can distinguish users affiliation on Hubl.

During the trial period we also attended calls with Happy Dev and FACTTIC discussing improvements to Hubl, see minutes.


We recommend to continue using Hubl. The system is improving, costs us nothing, and onboarded CoTech members have expressed their interest in the future of the platform. We would like to continue introducing people to Hubl and getting their feedback. Critically, we wish to investigate the needs of CoTech members and whether these present use cases relevant to what Hubl has to offer.

One of the representatives of Happy Dev will attend our upcoming gathering to speak about Hubl, semantic web and take questions.

As mentioned earlier we would circulate feedback forms in spring and then, based on results, propose the next step for CoTech in regards to Hubl.

Report drafted by @calummackervoy and myself. Many thanks to other kind people involved throughout the process!

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We would love to hear your feedback on Hubl and the report!

Also, could people share any software evaluation frameworks that could be suitable for our community in this context?

PS. Ping us if you haven’t got access to Hubl yet!


Let me in!

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