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In the “Community Integration” Codegarden 2019 Open Space session suggested by Janae, we discussed the challenges of staying on top of all the various disparate Umbraco community resources: Meetup and Festival announcements, article sources such as 24Days and Skrift, many valuable community member blogs, YouTube channels, etc.
We discussed the possible solution of a “Feed Repository” – whereby known users (to reduce spam) would be able to submit an RSS feed or individual “announcement”. This would be combined with data from the Meetup API as well. (This would be the input portion.)
There would be an interface to allow anyone to customize their own output feed – utilizing various tags/categories which the individual feed inputs would be classified with. Once customized, the feed url could be utilized for display on other sites, apps, etc. There could also potentially be available some sort of embed “widget” code to drop onto a site that would display information from the feed.
In addition, we could also have an on-site page which could be visited as a individual's “Umbraco info dashboard” for a quick look at the latest stuff all consolidated in one place.
Questions for discussion:
I second that
May I ask why this should be an independent site? Understanding why would be helpful going forward :D
Because the news should cover the good and the bad things about Umbraco.
Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the Our site is not really under the strict jurisdiction of the HQ. Yes, they manage the code repo, which isn't a bad thing - it is an important resource and we wouldn't want it going down due to erroneous changes. On the forum itself, there are community moderators, who make sure it doesn't devolve into link spam and other nonsense...
The proposal would be that once a feed is accepted, it isn't generally post-by-post moderated. (Unless it devolves to have little value.) In order to avoid the feed becoming cluttered and useless with junk, I think it makes sense to require some sort of membership (not allowing anonymous submissions). It would also make sense to have a basic set of submission guidelines, and some moderation of new users' posts. (Known & trusted users' posts could be automatically accepted, perhaps, to reduce manual moderation workloads and speed up time from submission to display.)
As previously mentioned, things like Meetup groups would need only be submitted once, and once verified, the events could be pulled in automatically via Meetup's API without additional moderation. Similarly, a blog or article source feed, Podcast feed, or YouTube channel feed, would be checked for relevance on initial submission, and then new posts/articles/episodes/videos would be automatically included.
One-off submissions (common perhaps for Festival announcements or other sorts of non-standardized content) would have more careful moderation, since that is the biggest risk point for spam and garbage.
Keep in mind the point of the feed is for long-form or "official" sorts of content - this isn't supposed to be a Twitter chit-chat aggregator.
To more directly address your concern about "cover[ing] the good and the bad things about Umbraco" - I don't think anyone would object to the inclusion of useful critical articles, but we don't want obnoxious rants or flame wars here. The key is that this be a way to consolidate valuable content in an efficient manner so that busy developers or others interested can be kept up-to-date via "one-stop-shopping".
The main reasons that it was suggested for this to be part of the Our site rather than on its own separate install:
The ability to leverage the existing Membership infrastructure and DB
(saves dev work, and avoids people needing to manage one more login)
There is already a development change-management process shared by multiple people and backed by the HQ - which prevents the functionality from being siloed and possibly abandoned in the future.
There are already community moderators for the Forum, and we could perhaps impose upon them to also moderate Feed submissions.
As mentioned, some of this functionality (meetups and blog roll) is already present in Our, and this would consolidate and replace those features.
Dont we already have this:
Blog posts are just one examples of useful Umbraco resources. There are videos, meetups and similar. Most of this can already be found on Our, but it lives on different pages - as such one concern is that you kinda have to already know it's there to find it.
So the general question is whether the current implementation is sufficient, or we can do something to highlight it better - especially for people who are new to Umbraco.
Some of the things we talked about in the open circle was putting an aggregated feed on the front page on Our, which would make the various content and events more visible.
Another option could be to make the same aggregated feed a part of the Getting started tab in Umbraco.
I love the idea of consolidating Umbraco sites and have a single entry point for finding them. But instead of creating another possibly external site I think time and resources would be better spent improving the current Our site.
In my mind there are three killer features, combined: search, filter, and sort. Three main areas on Our could be improved in that respect: forum, packages, and general resources (the topic of this post). I don't know how many times I've searched for a package or searched for a topic and ended spending too much time browsing, scrolling, and scanning content because search, filter, and sort features aren't good enough.
So, I would vote for improving the current pages (the root Our page, "Community", and "Videos") to make it as easy as possible to find content. And more importantly I would vote for improving forum and package search, filter and sort features. Maybe kill a few birds with one stone?
The ability to create an "output feed", to display this feed on other sites, and/or embed "widget code" on other sites are less interesting to me.
This is a great idea. It's similar to the Planet Drupal concept:
Here's the guidelines on how content can get sumbitted to that feed:
Ideally I'd like to see it live on Our. It's a natural place for it to be discovered by developers old and new to the scene and is a great opportunity to highlight community content across the web on the home of the Umbraco Community.
Thanks for the reference to the explanation and guidelines for Planet Drupal. I think much of that can be adapted to our purposes here. 🙂
Just wanted to let you know I'm following along with this topic and love all the good ideas!
Need a bit of time to get back to this and distill some features from it but I'm very happy with the suggestions I've seen so far.
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