An information aggregator for Facebook groups


Telegram Group

beta version


Project description

isamuni is a lazy social network for small communities. Forget about chats and posting your mad ideas. There are already thousands of other solutions for that. isamuni, instead, aggregates data from multiple selected social networks (e.g. FB, Twitter, NodeBB forums) for a better understanding of what is happening with a commmunity (e.g. tech community of a particular region, football clubs of a certain league, book readers across the country). Moreover, isamuni allows individuals and groups of people to create neat and beautiful static pages to tell others how great they are.

Isamuni relies on its sister project Favara to crawl events from various sources and get them into its database.

Why did you create isamuni?

The basic idea of isamuni was conceived in 2013 in Sicily, Italy. But it was not until May 2016 that this idea became clear and we started to make isamuni.

Over the last few years, we have noticed that many tech communities and startups/companies are constantly being created or already exist, but not many people really know about them. This meant: many experts, professionals, students and tech lovers. Put it simply: a lot of value and opportunities. There is, however, a significant fragmentation across the different components of the general tech Sicilian community.

Therefore, we created isamuni to facilitate the communication and integration between individuals and groups of people within a larger community.

Find an example of isamuni at In this case, the Sicilian tech community (Sicily, Italy) is represented by tech professionals, students and hobbyist as well as nonprofit communities and companies/startups of the tech sector.

Main features

So, what does isamuni really do? isamuni aggregates: - users - communities and companies - social activity from different social networks - events

Data aggregated under isamuni is searchable, easy to explore and open to other sources/applications, via a RESTful API. See the project unni as an example.

Meaning of isamuni

Now, you may wonder: why the word isamuni? The word isamuni comes from the Sicilian dialect and means: let’s stand up. We think that isamuni can help communities to grow stronger together, that isamuni can help communities to stand up.


Checkout our Showcase

More info (plus a roadmap) in the wiki

How to deploy

Environment Configuration

Facebook APP ID

To allow the login to work using Facebook, you will have to create a Facebook app (if you do not have one already). Here is a guide from Facebook on how to create one.

In your bash .profile file, add:

export ISAMUNI_APP_ID=appid
export ISAMUNI_APP_SECRET=secret
export ISAMUNI_ADMINS=<list of facebook user uids divided by space ' '> # This is required only if you want to be an admin

To make the facebook login work, your browser needs to access the website with the same domain you registered for your application in the developer console. You can either add “localhost” as domain in the console, or add the host to your hostfile. On linux/macOS you’d add to the file /etc/hosts to include the following line (we’re using as example).

Setup rails

Get rails on your system

you’ll need recent versions of ruby (2.3+), nodejs and rubygem. You can find some good installation guides here

# Install some required tools
$ (sudo) gem install foreman
$ (sudo) npm install -g webpack

# Install isamuni's dependences
# (you'll need to repeat this step every time some dependences are updated)
$ cd isamuni/webapp
$ bundle install
$ npm install

Database setup

We are using postgres on development and production mode.

With docker

You can use docker to run the database, while starting rails normally. To run the database with docker, run docker-compose up --build devdb, and stop it with docker-compose down devdb. This option doesn’t require you to install postgres. You’ll only need to do rails db:create on the first usage. That’s it

Without docker

First, make sure that you have postgres installed on your machine. Then create a user and a database for isamuni:

$ sudo -u <YOUR USERNAME> psql postgres

# Entering psql interactive mode and create a user for isamuni
# we'll then let the app create the databases with `rails db:create`

$ CREATE DATABASE isamuni_dev WITH OWNER isamuni;

Then ask webapp to create the database and bring it to the last version of the schema

$ cd isamuni/webapp/
$ rails db:create # if necessary
$ rails db:migrate

Test data

To populate the database with some default/test entries run:

$ rails db:fixtures:load

Use the crawler to get posts and events (see below).

Running the App

$ bundle install # Execute this only when dependencies change
$ rails server webrick

Then, in another terminal, run the following:

$ npm install # Execute this only when dependencies change
$ npm run dev

Point your browser to

Using Favara to get the latest posts

Make sure the database is initialized, and already migrated to the last version.

Then clone favara in a different folder, point it to the same database Isamuni uses, and run it. Refer to favara’s readme for further details.

More Configuration

Editing webpack-managed assets

A part of the javascript assets is handled by webpack, which allows us to take advantage of modern javascript frameworks, obtain better modularity, hot reloading, and make the front-end more independent from the backend.

Webpack is configured like this:

  • The dependences are listed in package.json, and are installed through npm install
  • The source files are in the /webpack folder.
  • The Webpack configuration is in webpack.config.js
  • The entrypoint is in /webpack/App.js, which is compiled into /app/assets/javascripts/App.js. This file needs to explicitly export anything you want to be able to access from the other <script> tags in the page. The exports will be available as App
  • /app/assets/javascripts/App.js is included in the sprockets bundle like any other library, that will handle fingerprinting and caching for us
  • npm run build compiles and minifies the webpack-managed assets
  • npm run watch recompiles the files on save
  • npm run dev starts a development server that will only serve App.js and proxies all the other requests to It will provide hot reloading, but it will not touch the App.js file on disk. Please use build or watch to rebuild App.js when you are done testing.
  • a procfile is provided to start both rails server and npm run watch. You can run it with foreman start.

While using foreman start is simple and perfectly fine, the best workflow for editing the webpack-managed assets is: * rails s webrick -p 3000 in the first console * npm run dev in a second console * npm run build when you finish working with the assets

If you get errors that look like ERROR in Cannot find module '../modules/web.dom.iterable'.... then try to run the following command rm -rf node_modules && npm install. This will re-install the node dependencies from scratch.

Configuring your editor

You may want to install the following packages:

Atom (Best):

atom-beautify (please set a tab-width of 2 for ruby)


"HTML-CSS-JS Prettify",
"Package Control",
"Vue Syntax Highlight"




  • Install Docker and docker-compose for Linux (see here)


  • Install Virtual Box
  • Install Docker for Mac
  • Run docker run hello-world to check your installation
    • If a timeout error is given, change your DNS to Google’s DNS

Building the Image and Running the App

  • Create a .env file containing the following:
ISAMUNI_ADMINS=<list of user uids divided by space ' '>

Then build and run the containers:

$ docker-compose build
$ docker-compose up

# When you finish testing
$ docker-compose down

You can also run a single components (eg. the database)

$ docker-compose up devdb

To run both the rails server and webpack dev server

$ docker-compose run --rm -p 8080:8080 webapp tmuxinator


  • Does isamuni work only with FB?
    • No. We are currently in the process of moving out the crawler component of isamuni into its own project. The crawler will support multiple sources (facebook, twitter, nodebb, etc)
  • Is isamuni only about Sicily and technology?
    • No. The instance at is for the specific use case of the tech community in Sicily. However, we are working on generalising the isamuni framework to support other regions and other sectors too (e.g. gamers, book lovers, football fans, etc)
  • I already use FB and Twitter. How is isamuni better?
    • Isamuni is not attempting to overtake the giants of the web. Isamuni, instead, attempts to solve the fragmentation issue that comes with using multiple social networks as well as the despertion of information within a given social network
  • I already use Linkedin. I do not want to join isamuni
    • Linkedin is a world database for professionals. Isamuni’s goal is to aggregate local professionals, students, and hobbyists. Also, you do not have to join isamuni if you do not wish to create your own profile page or company/community page
  • I like this project and would love to run an instance myself
    • Please do so. That would be really great. We ask you, however, to respect the license of the project. Also, let us know about your isamuni instance and we will list it here on this README file
  • I like isamuni and I would love to contribute


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