Feast site. How to make it easier to contribute.
Posted by Matthew on April 15, 2011
I am always pleased at how well both the Feast Blog and the Feast site do in terms of visits. Of the two the Feast blog is the more popular. A big thanks to those who contribute to the blog, whether by writing posts or comments. Though the feast wiki is only about half as popular, it still gets between 6 and 8 thousand page views a month. I am always happily surprised how much the wiki gets used even at times (as there are) when there are few contributions. It makes sense though, and is one of the great things about people’s thoughts on the scriptures. The scriptures aren’t changing. Someone’s comment on a particular verse written two years ago is probably just as valuable today as it was when it was written. So even if there is little new content, there is a lot of value for the visitors in looking at what is already there. Another big thanks goes to those who have and do contribute to the Feast wiki. Your contributions are valuable.
But why aren’t there more contributions? I think one reason is that it is too hard to contribute.
Lately I have been mulling about how to open up the audience of people contributing their questions and thoughts on the scriptures. With that goal in mind, I’d like to overhaul the site to make the process to contribute a question or thought or testimony about the scriptures very easy for any reader of our sites. I want it to be as easy as writing a comment on the blog. Right now it isn’t.
So with that gaol in mind, here’s a draft high-level plan for getting there. The plan doesn’t come with a time line. We’ll do it as quickly as we can with the resources which we have, which means it will likely be done slowly :).
- formulate goal and high-level plan. (This post documents that.)
- solicit ideas, gather feedback (This post initiates that.)
- solicit help, get a few advisors from the community of users for the project (This post initiates that)
- write high-level requirements
- review high-level requirements with advisors and revise
- create rough sketches of what the revised site would look like and detailed requirements
- review mock-ups and summarized detail requirements with advisors
- solicit bids to create site
- oversee work, test site
- migrate content and launch new site
Any suggestions on the plan?
If anyone would like to work in an advisory role or is willing to help do any of the work to get there please e-mail me. I am very open to ideas and help of any kind. My e-mail address is my first name dot last name at gmail dot com. My last name is Faulconer. One area that I particularly need help with is in taking the design from rough sketches to a true design with colors, graphics etc and then in implementing that. If you are someone who likes the site and has an eye for design, help us out. If you don’t, you may later wish you had when you come to the site and see the design I came up with without your help!
For suggestions / enhancements please comment below or feel free to send them by e-mail if you prefer.
Thanks for everyone’s support,
PS After a very stable last couple of years, the wiki site has had some technical challenges since we upgraded to a more recent version of the software it runs on, mediawiki. In the last two weeks visitors intermittently get error pages. Commonly the page does load but you see an error on the page as well. Sorry for the inconvenience. I’ve contacting the hosting company and the issue should be resolved soon.
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