Over the past few months I have talked quite a bit with Joel about online communities and about what philosophically makes a community. I think it is a group of individuals who collectively are interesting in something and need tools to facilitate communication and production of some artifact(s). The way the community interacts to make this happen differs greatly and so thinking that one tool set will cover all needs is short sighted.
Now I go back to being a WordPress fan boy. I think one of the big reasons WordPress is so successful is that not only is it open source but it is open source that is easy to skin, hack and extend. It is a platform that provides some really great functionality, but the real power is that it empowers experienced and inexperienced hackers alike and gives them a powerful place to begin building something that fits their needs.
WordPress is hackable. Communities have specific needs. Build the basics that are required to fit those needs and then let each com...Continue Reading →
I had a great chat with Brian Lamb yesterday. He and his team are working to use WordPress to support learning communities at UBC. In case anyone else is sick of WebCT, Blackboard or the boring Moodle interface this could provide an interesting replacement.
Anyway, as we were talking it made me realize that it would be helpful if we could connect everyone working in this space so that we can share ideas and collaborate. My first thought was to use Prologue a Twitter like WordPress Template. I think the template provides an interesting way to keep track of what people are up to. However, in thinking more about this I really don't want yet another site to go to.
How do we fulfill both goals? How do I share ideas, but escape creating another website that I will forget to go to? Bits are cheap and don't fill up landfills. How about a disposable community? What if I could go online to say WordPress.com and click a few buttons to create a new community? Then I send out an email invit...Continue Reading →
I wrote three Facebook apps and I have ideas for several more. The most successful was the House Plans application I did for ThePlanCollection.com, but in the Facebook world you can't count a couple thousand users as especially successful.
When Open Social started up I felt like I needed to go sign up for a MySpace account so that I would be ready for when the next big thing showed up. So far Open Social feels like that high school party the nerdy guy threw and two or three other nerdy guys showed up but come Monday morning it will be the joke of the high school. I turned off email alerts for MySpace because I grew tired of the offensive bot spam. I tried playing with Orkut because that was the first platform that supported Open Social. Orkut feels like the Twilight Zone. I tried Twitter for a while. It is a cool service, but I forget its there unless I am bored and the only thing handy is my phone and I want to post about my boredom. How's that for boring.
There are countless ...Continue Reading →