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Platform

Page history last edited by Zach 14 years, 10 months ago

Platform

Discuss platform here.

What should we use. My initial thoughts are WP installation with tags for fields and RSS feeds for each tag. Make it easy for people to write a post, use captchas and have a moderator who has to approve posts.

Also could do Drupal. 

 

How a Drupal version might work

  •  Vocabulary containing each category (RSS feeds automatically generated by taxonomy)
  •  Workflow:
    • Users submit form
    • admin moderates
    • publish node in category
    • Drupal sends e-mails based on user/subscribers notify settings
  •  

Comments (29)

David Parry said

at 8:53 am on Jan 31, 2009

My concern with Drupal is that it is a bit tougher to work. You need some one whose DrupalFu is high. But we could do a lot more with it once we have Drupal, including pushing out via email.

David Parry said

at 8:58 am on Jan 31, 2009

I want something that will be easy to do and require minimal moderation/tech support. Build it simple it will be easy to convince an institution to host it.

Zach said

at 9:00 am on Jan 31, 2009

I share your concern. My drupalfu is pretty solid (not quite a blackbelt, but I roll my own modules) but the related issue is that it also tends to be tougher to work from the user end unless you do the extra work to educate your users. In the workflow above, users would have to create and manage accounts, which not everyone will do. The old CFP list-serve worked because it was so easy, so abettercfp also has to be super-easy.

Matt said

at 9:00 am on Jan 31, 2009

Agreed, Dave. I'm particularly concerned about moderation and tech support issues.

Amanda French said

at 9:01 am on Jan 31, 2009

Sounds like either WordPress or Drupal would work; if we did use WordPress, we could set up a FeedBurner feed for e-mail notifications. (I did that just the other day on my blog.) We do need to make it easy for people to submit notices, and I'm not quite sure which would be better for that.

David Parry said

at 9:02 am on Jan 31, 2009

Could you use Drupal to create a form? i.e. a page where you click/check all the fields you want to receive an email for, and just place your email in the box, without actually having to create an account?

David Parry said

at 9:03 am on Jan 31, 2009

What could we do with Drupal that we could not do with Wordpress? Just seems to me WP l be much more user friendly. We could create a page with a form where people could just click on which feeds they want sent to their email.

Amanda French said

at 9:04 am on Jan 31, 2009

I was also reading the other day about software that allows multiple WordPress blogs -- maybe each discipline (English, History, Philosophy etc.) could have its own blog, with its own categories / tags? See, for instance, Lyceum: http://codex.wordpress.org/Installing_Multiple_Blogs

Matt said

at 9:08 am on Jan 31, 2009

Let's remember that the Penn CFP "list" is still working -- it's just not being pushed out by email. So, someone continues to actively moderate the CFPs that come in. We just need to build something that makes it easy/possible for that person to continue the work he or she is already doing, while making the final product easier to access and search.

Amanda French said

at 9:16 am on Jan 31, 2009

Huh, I didn't know that, Matt. We should find out who that is and work with them. I do think that we should seriously consider retaining the e-mail listserv format, as long as 1) it allows RSS, 2) it's archived & searchable on the web, and 3) there's much better filtering, so that you can receive only CFPs you're interested in. That last would be the biggest problem with a listserv platform, I think.

Zach said

at 9:17 am on Jan 31, 2009

"Could you use Drupal to create a form? i.e. a page where you click/check all the fields you want to receive an email for, and just place your email in the box, without actually having to create an account?"

Technically, it would have to have a unique user id to associate an email with, but you can customize the account creation process so it doesn't *look* as intimidating as, say, a two-step registration process with temporary random passwords and so on. You could definitely make the decisions about which categories to get mail for part of that process, anyway.

What I like about Drupal for something like this is that it can streamline all this into one central site, allowing anonymous submission of content + moderation + syndication. Basically, Drupal is a platform that you can build into whatever you need. WordPress is a blog engine that you can hack to do other things. I'm a Drupal droid, though (according to Jim Groom), so I'm already biased in the Drupal v. wP conversation. :)

Amanda French said

at 9:39 am on Jan 31, 2009

I just want to reiterate that Matt has a great point about CFP being still active; I hadn't realized just how active it still is. I also think it's highly desirable to include the very rich CFP archives in whatever we build.

Amanda French said

at 9:46 am on Jan 31, 2009

And note that other disciplines have existing CFP services that work for them, e.g., H-NET's Calls for Papers: http://www.h-net.org/announce/group.cgi?type=CFPs Probably what we need is more of an aggregator than a whole new thing.

David Parry said

at 9:48 am on Jan 31, 2009

The assh_le in me says that the caretakers of the CFP list have fallen down on the job and lets just build something better, and more useful, less centralized. The play nice in me suggests that we ought to work with them. But either way the CFP list could do with a radical re-working and remaking, building in a rich feature list that is needed, not just returning email support. Plus we could broaden the list to be more "humanities" and less "English."

Amanda French said

at 9:56 am on Jan 31, 2009

I do agree that the Penn CFP is broken & outdated, and it annoys me that something so useful -- even essential -- was allowed to get that way. But it's not just a "play nice" or squishy buzzwordy "let's collaborate" ethic that motivates me here; it's that these CFP services are basically social networks, and so it's tough to just start a new one and think that everyone will move to it bc the technology is better. See, for instance, Plurk. I read someone (can't remember who; my brain is in weekend mode) very convincing recently on this topic, Lessig or Jenkins or Shirky. Also I've had experience with librarians building digital repositories, & they said (and studies show) that the thing that makes people submit content to them is if there's *already* good content in there.

chutry@... said

at 10:04 am on Jan 31, 2009

I think Amanda's right about the motivations behind drawing upon the UPenn list. I would hate for us to build something and not have anyone use it. I'd agree that the CFP lists are, in some sense, social networks, albeit in a very rudimentary form.

Zach said

at 10:04 am on Jan 31, 2009

I think I'm with Dave here. I realize that "if you build it, they will come" doesn't work, but we all got here to this conversation pretty quickly via an existing social network. Maybe we could bring someone at UPenn into this. Maybe they'd be willing to share their archive, or maybe they don't even want to run it anymore?

Amanda French said

at 10:11 am on Jan 31, 2009

Hope this wasn't too "rogue" of me, but I went ahead and e-mailed the link to this wiki to help@english.upenn.edu. The e-mail might bounce for all I know.

Matt said

at 10:15 am on Jan 31, 2009

They *do* still run it: http://cfp.english.upenn.edu/ There are CFPs dated Jan 29, 2009. It's just that they no longer have support for an email list, and they don't seem to have any resources to put together a better list.

I think it's essential that we work wtih them because this is a HIGH volume service and we shouldn't underestimate how much work moderating will be. If Penn people are already doing that hard work, let's work with them to move the posting of those CFPs into the social web.

Brian Croxall said

at 10:19 am on Jan 31, 2009

I had an email exchange with the keepers of the Penn list two years ago, when I wrote asking about the possibility of building RSS support into it. The reply was something along the lines of the institution not being willing/able to put much time into the project. So while I agree that we might be wise to make overtures to them, I don't know that we should expect much on that end.

Amanda French said

at 10:55 am on Jan 31, 2009

Procedural note, here (should maybe go on front page, but what the hell) -- I've been scarred by "design by committee" & "governance by committee" before, & I know I can be a bit loudmouth & idea-y & roguish, so to counteract both these things, I'd like to suggest that we vote Dave (whose idea this was) The Decider. That way we can have all the suggestions & discussion we want for a set period of time, at the end of which Dave the Decider can just make the decision of what should be done, and then the actual work can be parceled out & begun. What say?

negar said

at 11:01 am on Jan 31, 2009

I'm all for Dave the Decider making some decisions when the suggestions and discussions reach a deadline.

Matt said

at 11:18 am on Jan 31, 2009

I'm okay with Dave the Decider if and only if we can get him a flight suit and have him appear in front of a "Mission Accomplished" banner when we're about 1/8th of the way through the project.

JLR said

at 11:27 am on Jan 31, 2009

chiming in with a couple of notes:

- I love the idea of finding a way to aggregate some of the existing CFP lists (UPenn, H-Net, etc.) -- people have crossposting-fatigue. Something as simple as RSS-ifying and then presenting lists in Google Reader might work.
- http://mailbucket.org is a bare-bones way to dump an email list into RSS.
- HASTAC is currently trying to upgrade their Drupal site, so if we gave them a heads up we might be able to let them worry about how to integrate it into a Drupal-based system at a later date.
-

Dave Lester said

at 11:31 am on Jan 31, 2009

Having developed several WordPress plugins, I believe it's important that we give more time to the Design page before we decide on the Platform. Controlled metadata would really enhance the discoverability of new CFP, including the ability to search or find CFP based upon your location. We can probably start this small, and then gradually add to it.. but having a plan for what we want now, and in the long run, will ultimately drive the decision for what Platform is best.

Also -- having people who have working knowledge of the software will be critical to its long term success.

Matt said

at 11:47 am on Jan 31, 2009

Question: could we conceivably hack something like del.icio.us into the site we're talking about? Users post CFPs to a shared del.icio.us account. other users subscribe to tags. rss feeds from tags. Feeds could be displayed on netvibes/pageflakes/wp.com/wherever pages. Can't remember where I read this (Ian Bogost? Tim O'Reilly?), but del.icio.us is a database that we can use.

Dave Lester said

at 11:49 am on Jan 31, 2009

In regard to the whole Drupal vs WordPress debate, has anyone used Flutter for WordPress? http://flutter.freshout.us/ It aspires to be for WordPress what CCK is to Drupal. I haven't played with it yet, but it sounds very promising and could create the necessary custom fields to use a solution like WordPress similar to Drupal or Expression Engine.

Matt Thomas said

at 12:47 pm on Jan 31, 2009

For forms, I really like http://wufoo.com/. Well-designed and surprisingly powerful, you can do more than just forms with Wufoo, though it's not quite a "platform." Still, I figured I'd mention it.

Jay Savage said

at 9:14 pm on Jan 31, 2009

I think the platform discussion needs to go a little deeper than just the front end. Where will it be hosted? Has anyone's institution volunteered? The upenn userbase is *huge* and finding a configuration that will scale well is at least as important as ease of use for moderators.

I think it would be wise to ask how we might leverage existing high-performance/high-availability services. Do Google groups have enough functionality? Could pbwiki.com or wikispaces work? Matt's suggestion re del.icio.us is worth investigating, too.

Otherwise, lets figure out who's going to host this and what resources they have (I might even be able to get some space out of Fordham) and go from there. Most of the web frameworks work--or at least work best--on a limited number of hardware/OS configurations.

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