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:
- _drafts/template.md markdown post template information on how to use front-matter etc
- bin/new_post.rb - script to simplify adding a new post
- bin/twitter_harvest - a Twitter Harvester for semi-automatically adding tweets as posts
- bin/imgur_harvest - simple tool for snaffling images from an imgur album
- 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
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
- rvm or rbenv - the easiest way of setting up a Ruby environment if you don't have one already
- GitHub Pages
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|
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
- 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
- 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
- landing page:
- recent posts (blog style)
- links to project pages
- social links
- 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)