Stuart Blog 2: A concern about CleveWiki

Thursday, December 29, 2005

A concern about CleveWiki

Wow! Lawrence.com is the best. (True dat!)

Lawrence.com is a well designed community portal. It looks inviting. The layout is intuitive. The information is well organized and accessable. It all seems very well thought out. I've only examined it for a short time but I've been impressed on occassion by attention to detail. It's all developed with a free and open source web framework called Django. For another example of a great site built with Django take a look at KUSports.com.

NYWiki is really cool. It was hard to resist getting sucked in by very interesting article titles. But it doesn't have an events page. SeattleWiki has an events page. It's a (blank) flat text listing of events with no search or organization. A community portal is a very ambitious web project. Having the proper tools is a necessary prerequisite for success. Web frameworks like Django are built to make it easy to do exactly what CleveWiki is trying to do. When I look at Lawrence.com and KUSports.com I see what I want to see in a community portal. The long term frustration of trying to bend and shape MediaWiki into the community portal that Cleveland deserves may make the short term frustration of taking a step back for perspective a very worthwhile price.

There's a lot of enthusiasm for CleveWiki. I'm very enthusiastic about the project myself. CleveWiki has a lot of very valuable momentum. That's why I think that in the short term CleveWiki should continue exactly as is. I think it's important to begin thinking about this issue but I also think it's important that time is taken to allow for indepth analysis and discussion. In the mean time, CleveWiki's wonderful volunteers will be creating great content for use in whatever system is eventually chosen.

Django just happens to be the first web framework that I saw. It looks very impressive but I plan to try and find out what other options may be available.

Backfence

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2 comments:

Adrian Holovaty said...

Django would be perfect for CleveWiki! Check out this wiki implementation in Django, which may help you: http://e-scribe.com/news/171

Also check out the unofficial Django screencast: http://www.throwingbeans.org/django_screencasts.html

stuart_spivack said...

Thanks very much, Adrian. In the near term, Django is a little beyond my technical abilities. But it really looks like it might be simple to learn and I'm seriously considering it.

Now please turn away while I mentiond Drupla. Drupal is the backbone for The Onion. While certainly not a community edited or oriented site, The Onion shows that Drupal is ready for prime time. Drupal was also the foundation for CivicSpace which was developed for use in Howard Deans presidential campaign.