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Tasks

This document is for tasks for improving the website, rather than about fixing bugs. Don't hesitate to chime in if you have ideas or would like to collaborate to improving this site.

Two major events in May 2013 provided us with opportunities to leverage community of practice input both social/content & tech:

Navigation/Search

  1. Add page to give a tour of the website to orient people what they can do here (linked from the "About" page). The page exists ("Site Tour"); any input for improving it will be appreciated.
  2. Improve design of the "Objectives" page (linked from "About").This has been done: see http://commonsabundance.net/home-page/about/objectives/
  3. Integrate NORA wiki with member profiles (NORA pages could link to relevant member profiles and groups). There are instructions for members how to do this in the "Guidelines for NORA Contributors," and it's suggested it in the "Site Tour" page. Some people will have to start doing this so it becomes a recognized feature, i.e., we have to advertise the possibility. As long as there are only a few such links per page, this method will work; we will have to develop more sophisticated, searchable lists if the numbers of links from any page become large.
  4. Add some features to wiki sidebar? For example, "what links to here," link to NORA main page. Place the search tool (to search the wiki) here rather than at the top of the http://commonsabundance.net/wiki/ page. I have made the "NORA wiki" link in the header go directly to the most important NORA page, which for most users would be more useful than having to do another click from the wiki/ page (they can still get to that page from the main NORA page by clicking on a hyperlink to "recently changed pages"). Done (HF) though I don't know how to take it off from the activity page other than changing the template.
  5. Currently, when one logs in, one automatically goes to the homepage of the site. This seems to be a general Commons-in-a-Box feature, as it happens on their support page too. I (WH) think it would be much better if one goes to the page that one happens to be looking at when one decides to log in (as also happens on other WordPress sites, and on the site of the P2P Foundation); then one doesn't have to navigate back to that page (which can be rather complicated sometimes).
  6. Create visual 'menus' in form of maps/graphs to facilitate navigation within topics.
  7. The above point could go along with a redesign of the entry pages into NORA: the first page one gets to could be the one with the map/graph interface, plus perhaps a video/slideshow about NORA, as well as more conventional-looking links to "Needs," "Organizational Forms" and "Resources." These would then be three separate pages, each consisting of one of the three major sections of the present NORA main page. From there, links would proceed as they do now.

Collaboration

  • Create virtual 'conversation & project/action spaces' linked to NORA issues/topics

> This can now be done via groups. Collabpress (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/collabpress/) has been uploaded that can enable projects within groups. Projects currently can't be described using html to link to other resources which is limitating. We are awaiting a new upgrade of collabpress before activating it for groups.

  • Forums

> Forums have been enabled for discussion at the sitewide and group level. They are not ideal. We are looking at solutions such as http://www.discourse.org/ there are talks of a plugin for WP release in replacement of BP forums.

> We need to leverage and articulate how groups/blogs/forums/wiki work together so that we have 'living' conversations and 'living' cooperation.

  • File upload

> Installed http://wordpress.org/plugins/buddydrive/ for file uploads in groups. So this should limit the attachments on docs or forum posts to what is exclusively necessary for a doc or forum post.

  • Project/task management

> Trello (https://trello.com/) seems the most effective project management tool, not yet fully integrated into WP.

> Zapier (https://zapier.com/) or the newly developed Trello plugin are not an interesting solution because they lose the drag and drop and other intuitive functionalities of trello and just translate trello cards into static lists. We will be looking out for a full integration of trello into WP via plugin.

>  The solution adopted in the meantime is an external trello board embedded in a doc, so that projects can be managed on Trello from within a CAN group, and CAN related Trello boards can be gathered in one place. This requires double login but functions quite well.

  • Collaboratigve documents

> Pads (Etherpad, Titanpad, Piratepad) seem to be the most effective collaborative edition tool.

> There's a participad plugin that enables to turn WP documents into pads (http://participad.org/) that need etherpadlite installed on the server… We had issues on installing Etherpadlight causing system to crash. New version of participad is now available. We must test if this resolves the problem.

> The solution adopted in the meantime is embedding external titanpads in a doc, so that documents can be coedited simultaneously from within a CAN group. This requires double login but functions quite well.

  • Chat

> Many plugins are available: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/tags/chat we didn't find one that was simple enough.

> The solution adopted in the meantime is using titanpads in a doc for chat, so that documents can be coedited simultaneously from within a CAN group.

  • Conferencing

> Looking at integrating Big Blue Button http://www.bigbluebutton.org open source web conferencing software with audio/video, sharescrean, sharing of presentation, white board etc. There's a WordPress plugin available: http://wordpress.org/plugins/bigbluebutton/. This requires an instance of Big Blue Button to be installed on the server which is quite large.

  • Event management/calendar

> Events manager plugin: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/events-manager/ > not considered for the moment

Ideas and reviews of plugins or other tools possibilities wanted!

  • Other tools to follow – look at

> Lorea – elgg – an interesting Elgg based platform version developed in France: http://ggouv.fr with wiki, idea boards, trello type project management etc etc…

> Crabgrass: https://we.riseup.net/crabgrass

> Opinion Space: http://opinion.berkeley.edu/

 

Technical design and implementation resources

  1. Help for development and maintenance needed!
  2. Based on leveraging the community of practice intersection of social & tech
  3. Bootstrapped

Directions for the future: Pull – Learning – Conversation

  1. Learning > http://peeragogy.org/
  2. Semantic solutions > http://www.netention.org/
  3. Conversation to Action > https://github.com/HeleneFi/The_Project/blob/master/Conversation.to.Action-Pull.Platform.md
  4. Pull Platform mechanism > http://menemania.typepad.com/helene_finidori/2012/02/engaging-for-the-commons.html
  5. Value Networks – Value game > http://www.ingenesist.com/general-info/hacking-the-financial-system-with-intangibles.html
  6. Free Tech Academy approach: http://campus.ftacademy.org/wiki/index.php/Free_Technology_Guild_Design
  7. Collaborations with communities that have little or no access to the Internet. This could include cell-phone apps for people who's only effective connection with Internet is through cell phone (e.g., large parts of Africa), and collaborations with community development groups and the like who could make content and opportunities for collaboration available to people who do not have computers.

Organizational

  1. Establish CAN as a legal organization (non-profit and/or cooperative or membership association, we need to decide in which place(s) to be registered).
  2. Work out governance structures (who decides what and how?).
  3. Establish funding mechanisms (donations, grants, special memberships or sponsorships etc.).
  4. If all of the above is done, we can have some paid positions for development of the website, membership relations, outreach, NORA coordination and the like.

 

 

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