Community Site

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Revision as of 02:57, 16 June 2008 by Kotzino (Talk | contribs)

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Background

The primary OSGeo.org website was designed as the front face of the foundation - for relaying information to visitors, helping people get started and for seeing the latest news and upcoming events. Content on the main site is tightly controlled and contributed by a small group of users, though there is a wider group of translators helping as well.

The OSGeo Wiki site is for collaborative documentation, record-keeping, project notes and many other purposes. Anyone can contribute to the wiki and track changes to pages, categorise content and more. Quite often formal documents are developed first in the wiki and then copied over to the more static primary website. As a web tool it has a low barrier to entry for presenting user contributed data, though the majority of contributions are from a relatively small number of people (>50% revisions by only 16 people). The wiki is well used and does its job well as a community resource.

This Community Site wiki page is for collecting thoughts and discussion for an additional resource - a community focused website, with a less-formal web site presence than the primary site, but with more tools than the wiki site offers. Also, the purpose is not intended for outward communication as the primary site is, but for building and encouraging interaction between OSGeo communities. In this context, community means those who are already aware of OSGeo, involved in a project somehow, using the technology, part of a local chapter, or trying to help spread the word about FOSS in the geospatial world in general. It is hoped that this resource would build on and complement the success of the primary site, the wiki and the mailing list.

There is an unstructured discussion page for chatter and detailed questions about the topic, add relevant summary points to the items below.

Goals

  • Develop a simple site that further engages the community
  • Collect/share information between members
  • To have a slightly more open site for contributions than primary outward-facing site

Platform & Boundaries

  • Run using standard SAC-supported Drupal tools
  • Use secondary server so tools are separate from main website
  • Should not overlap main website functionality (it may ingest some) or take away from other efforts

Examples

Similar web sites that have some function or role similar to this community site idea:

Specific Functions

This list is more for showing the types of possibilities and is not meant as a comprehensive list of planned functionality. It is to give an idea of how the average user might interact with the site and its tools. Each tool will likely be on its own page or may be a block on the front page. The distinction isn't made here as it will vary. Some items may not be useful at all, let's discuss them...

Gateway / Dashboard

  • A home page for regular members to come to for more regular information than just the basic news and events that are offered them on osgeo.org

Local Chapters

  • Voting tools
  • Documents/files
  • Local or operational news and events postings - e.g. ones that would be too minor for main site

Hosting documentation and files

  • e.g. front-end to educational material, presentation library
    • Why shouldn't this material be on the main site or committee subsections of it? -- Jo
  • Possibly Creation of Collaborative books and more educational material. -- Dan

Membership management tools

  • sign up as a member, join groups

Event Planning

  • Announce, schedule and host event info
  • Register participants, lists, etc.

Blog feed

  • present most recent 5-10 blogs from Planet OSGeo
    • but this is already available on the main site. Dedicated "followers" will just visit planet.osgeo. Otherwise this is a traffic-driver, to keep the website looking fresh and busy, which would be useful on the main site. -- Jo
    • I think that the non-OSGeo and even some of the non-FOSS content from the Planet feed would look out of place on the main site which is outward focused. -- Tyler
    • This may possible to redirect blog feed to planet.osgeo.org or to add the one in this aplication to planet.osgeo.org, hosting blog community (it is often time consumer to manage such application. -- YJacolin
  • Community blogging site - for local chapters, other users
  • Additional community contributed news (less major), sorts of entries

Polls/surveys

  • for various informal purposes, gauging interest in ideas, taking snapshots of community
    • who is the "community"? -- Jo
      • added definition in intro text -- Tyler
      • another reason for creating Community site... were can know a little more about them -- Daniele

Syndication

  • Present wiki and osgeo.org recent changes feeds
  • Ingest events and news listings from main server

...

Structure & Responsibilities

The site would be:

  • Built on common tools
  • Overseen by two or more volunteers
  • Have a volunteer moderator for each section of the site
  • Volunteer driven - no function would be implemented without a committed volunteer
  • Used and kept up to date - volunteers would be responsible for keeping sections up to date

Negatively speaking, without the above structure the site should not be pursued.

Concerns

  • Should be tied to plans/guidance from Marketing Committee
    • I believe this to be true as feeding the community is a way to increase visibility.
  • Overlap with main website would distract - why isn't the main website for the "community"?
  • Potential SAC support needed, keeping needs isolated, reduce low level help
  • Keeping it active/relevant, may take away some volunteer energy which is really needed on the main website
  • Waste of time... could be done on wiki
    • Well the wiki is a great tool, but this project may be more stimulating if we can get the community engaged. - Daniele
  • As long as this is not used it does not seem required to add yet another site.
  • ...

Interested in helping

  • Daniele: I've been using Drupal for a while (although I am not an expert) maybe I can help a little there. Also on the structure of the website concerning some usability issues and on spreading the word.
  • Tyler: I'm very interested in helping to further develop community relationships and plans. Will help coordinate this effort if there is sufficient interest/support.
  • Wolf Bergenheim I'm extremely interested. I've been running sites with Drupal for a while now. Also I'm very keen on starting to build an active OSGeo Community for people who think Geoinformatics and/or maps are fun!
  • Jeff McKenna I'm also interested. I think a community site would better serve the new user.
  • Yjacolin I am waiting this kind of tools for managing Francophone Local Chapter
  • Jorge Sanz I'm also interested on the possibilities of this tool for the Spanish Language LC to improve the visibility of OSGeo for Spanish spoken community``
  • Dimitris Kotzinos I am also interested in expanding the available tools for better managing the local chapters and I would be happy to help the best I can although I have never used Drupal - but I have used a lot of other CMS like Plone, etc. But I think that we also need a discussion of a more comprehensive policy of penetration in local "markets"/areas