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README.md

BoldportClub Community Site Prototype

This is a quick prototype of a possible community site for the Boldport Club community. The site is available for browsing at community.boldport.club.

Scroll down to Ideas and Motivation for more background. First the facts:

Tools/Utilities

TODOs

  • improve the styling - give it a distinct "Boldport Club Community" feel and logo. The site currently only has absolutely minimal tweaks over a basic bootstrap layout.
  • configure disqus to support comments
  • tidy/improve the static text content on the site
  • enable google tag manager?
  • is sitemap working?

Up And Running

To run/develop the site locally, you first need a working ruby environment. Then:

$ gem install bundler
$ bundle install
$ bundle exec jekyll serve

Adding a Post

Just create a new markdown or html file in _posts with a standard name YYYY-MM-DD-your-title.extension. See the template.md for information on how to use front-matter etc.

Creating a post doesn't require anything installed locally (though you won't be able to preview the site locally).

A script is available to simplify new post creation. It needs Ruby. Just run:

$ ruby bin/new_post.rb

Development Resources

Ideas and Motivation

what people like to share how they share
videos/pictures/write-ups of their project builds and modifications social media, blog posts
guides and supporting documentation for projects blogs, github
project ideas slack

All this great information tends to be quite ephemeral, while the official boldport project pages are quite static, posing some challenges:

  • as a member, how can I find all the useful and interesting information about a boldport club project?
  • as a non-member, how can I get a better sense of what the boldport club is about? And what I could I expect to be doing if I joined?

Proposition: there's a missing a community site to supplement the existing boldport pages - a central archive of information shared by members that is the goto destination for:

  • members starting a project build, to get inspired and informed by what others have done
  • members to share their builds, guides and pictures/videos in a permanent repository
  • a source of links for posting on other platforms
  • referring prospective members and say "look here"

Some key principles to make this a success:

  • an open platform (but with gatekeepers)
  • make collaboration easy (many hands)
  • public (something to point to)
  • dynamic (followable for non-members)
  • arms-length from official boldport channels (so we don't need to worry about appearing to speak for Saar)
  • simple and unencumbered technology, so people with better ideas can come and make it better

A Jekyll Prototype

There are many ways to do this, including simply taking advantage of commercial platforms like a Facebook Group, or just mining hashtags. However I suspect that is antithetical to the views of many in the Boldport realm, and a central community site will complement other social forums, even if just as a source of link-bait.

So a fairly random decision: could we use a Jekyll-based site hosted on GitHub for such a thing? This repo is a quick prototype to see how well it works.

Why Jekyll & GitHub?

  • GitHub Pages is a great way of hosting static sites for free, while also maintaining and sharing the site source from a GitHub repository
  • Jekyll is the static-site framework integrated in GitHub Pages (we could use other frameworks, but they'd all need offline generation)
  • it seems pretty easy and popular amongst the more technically-inclined for maintaining blogs and project pages

How does it work?

  • it's all based on posts (added in the _posts folder )
  • categories, tags and other front-matter will add the post to the general feed, and also feature it on project pages as appropriate

Ideas on: How to contribute

Right now:

  • pull request / commit - for the GitHub-savvy
  • create an issue - for friends of GitHub
  • submit a link & metadata - a form that gets mailed to a maintainer
  • a Twitter Harvester

In future, there could be more automated ways of contributing:

  • instagram posts
  • mirror posts from the #to-share slack channel

Ideas on: How the site is used

Visitors:

  • arrive via a link shared on social media
  • arrive from a google search
  • subscribe to the news feed
  • browse from the landing page

Ideas on: Content available on the site

The basics:

  • landing page:
    • recent posts (blog style)
    • links to project pages
    • social links
    • about
  • project pages:
    • about text and key project links
    • recent project posts (posts: blog style)
    • project builds (posts: article listing)
    • contributed guides (posts: article listing)
    • project gallery (posts: image & video gallery)