CalcKey Officially Rebrands as Firefish

CalcKey, the beautiful microblogging platform, is now Firefish. Earlier this month, the creator of CalcKey announced that the project would soon be undergoing a rebranding. The rationale was that the project had expanded far beyond one personal MissKey fork, and was instead a community effort. The unveiling was made to great fanfare, with the project’s creator explaining the importance of this change.

One year ago, Calckey was just my side project, after being a Misskey contributor for a while. But when y’all jumped on board, you made it so much more. You transformed it from my dream to our reality.

Firefish isn’t just a cool name. It’s everything we’ve been working towards. It’s late nights, strong coffee, wild ideas, laughs, and even the occasional tears. It’s our little space on the web where we’re constantly pushing for the next big thing, and always looking out for one another.

So here we are, at the start of something new. Firefish is more than just a rebrand – it’s a celebration. A celebration of you, me, and us. It’s a tribute to the amazing community we’ve built together. Firefish is all of YOU.

Kainoa Kanter, branding announcement
Source: Firefish Project

Chris Trottier, the project’s advisor and outreach contributor, had this to say.

Firefish isn’t just a name. It represents our welcoming and passionate community, underpinned by our robust, feature-filled software that never stops pushing boundaries. Firefish is like this friendly deep-sea explorer taking the plunge into the wild waves of the social media world. Ready to jump in with us? Let’s make a splash!

Chris Trottier, branding reveal statement

The Redesign Process

The Firefish team partnered with Black Spike Design, who put a vast amount of work into designing a logo that would fit in well with the existing platform and community. Given that CalcKey’s existing website was all about motion graphics, the designers found a way to add some cute, simple details to the logo.

As a fun little extra, the client asked if it was possible to animate the logo.

We are big fans of SVG animation and we were happy to oblige. You can insert CSS animations into SVG markup, which is performant and cheap.

We simply added some CSS @keyframe animations to scale the eye height and some opacity/translation to the bubbles and it worked great.

Black Spike Design’s Firefish Branding Showcase

What’s In a Name?

The new branding and project infrastructure feel like a big step, migrating from the heritage of MissKey, its upstream project. With that being said, more than a few community members are a bit bewildered by the change.

“I have absolutely no idea what they were going for here,” one user writes, “can someone explain it?”

“I was there in the devchat while the name was being decided,” another user responded “Firefish wasn’t suggested by anyone, so I am legitimately curious how that name was selected.”

“I was hoping for platypus,” a third voice chimed in, “the server software is a strange but good combination of everything anybody might want out of their internet account.”

I’ll be honest, I was a bit surprised at the name choice, too. I looked up the fish in hopes of some deeper, symbolic description, but cultural descriptions fall short. The explanations offered kind of sounded like they’re trying too hard to “make it about us”, with ham-fisted ocean metaphors about the network.

Chris sets the record straight in a subsequent update.

First and foremost, the name stands out due to its vivid imagery. The term “Firefish” brings to mind a vibrant, energetic, and dynamic creature.

It’s not something you’d typically encounter in your everyday life, right? And that’s what makes it so memorable.

It mirrors the dynamic and vibrant nature of social networking, where ideas, thoughts, and creativity are constantly bubbling, much like a firefish would dart around in its environment.

But honestly? It’s fine. The logo is great, the website is fire, and I’m excited to try out the new instance.

The Future

Firefish has already set up a new site and infrastructure under their new name. The flagship instance of is in the process of moving over to The migration effort is intended to retain users, posts, credentials, and data. The move is expected to officially happen over the course of the next few days.

Honestly, that’s a damned good project website.

The project already has a comprehensive roadmap laid out for future development. With FoundKey going into maintenance mode, a number of instance operators are looking into migration paths onto Firefish. This may further consolidate the user community, as well as development efforts.

In all, a very exciting development, and a huge step forward for the project. I can’t wait to try it out, and give an in-depth review soon.

Thanks for reading about the new Firefish project! You can check it out, and support the project below.

Sean Tilley

Sean Tilley has been a part of the federated social web for over 15+ years, starting with his experiences with back in 2008. Sean was involved with the Diaspora project as a Community Manager from 2011 to 2013, and helped the project move to a self-governed model. Since then, Sean has continued to study, discuss, and document the evolution of the space and the new platforms that have risen within it.

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