10 Things that deprives Elgg community from activity


... But, in spite of the fact that this is the only official community, there are a certain things that I felt prevents people to communicate with each other to squeeze more juice out of the fruit. I have tried to find out the ten reasons for such.

  • In my language (tamil), there is a film joke based on the expression "Same Blood"... I recollect this joke when I read your post.

    I second all your thoughts on those 10 things. Well written.

  • Super!!! :) Sounds like you know Tamil? Or Google Translation came to help? :D

  • Kunjam Kunjam Tamil.

    I came to live in Chennai a few months back and learning Basic Tamil.

  • The question you need to answer is what can you do to make the community better.

  • Cash, with all due respect, people behind the community are deaf to numerous 'whats' that have been expressed. Shouvik has made an impressively good list - exactly the reasons that make me drop out of the community for weeks.

    Obviously, you have no control over how people behave in the community, where they post things, what language they choose etc.

    Here are some ideas:

    1. Recommendations. I would like to see exactly who recommended my plugin. It would be great to add a comment box that would explain why this plugin is recommended.

    2. Encouragement / Social Gaming : It would be great for the community to adopt on a social game model - number 10 on Shouvik's list

    3. Add a sticky note to all group discussions with instructions on what to do before posting a question, e.g. hit the search, look in docs etc.


    There are many ideas. The problem however is that the community site uses bare elgg installation. It needs more than that. It needs additional plugins that will make it into an actual social network with useful features. It also needs moderators - obviously the core team can't handle all of it.


  • Ismayil - that was basically my point. It is quite easy to give suggestions about how to improve the community site and how to change the community. It's hard to get people involved in making it better.

    As an example, when a knowledgeable user sees the same questions being asked again and again, that user can head over to http://docs.elgg.org/, create a new FAQ item, and paste the link as an answer. There is even a page on adding to the FAQs: http://docs.elgg.org/wiki/Adding_a_FAQ

    Also the community site plugins are available here: https://github.com/Elgg/community.elgg.org. Anyone who wants to can fork the repositories and add new features. You can see from this list that it is not just core developers making improvements: https://github.com/Elgg/community_plugins/commits/master

    Anyone here have specific suggestions on the community site, head over to trac and add your ideas: http://trac.elgg.org/query?status=assigned&status=new&status=reopened&group=status&milestone=Community+Site

    Better yet, look the current ideas over and talk to us about implementing them.

    The next improvement we have scheduled for the site is reducing the numbers of groups and making it easier for people to find the right groups.

    About continually troublesome users, use the "report this" link on them.

  • Again, with all due respect, it is difficult to expect a mere one way interaction to do such prductive efforts to the project. I believe some personal touch is also required.

    I agree with Ismail; rather than using a simple Elgg installation, there could be more sophistications in terms of community features for a better and effective social experience.

    Sometimes, a simple forum does extremely well rather than docs (the link of which as I said is not accessible from the site navigation) or elgg trac.


    I think elgg team pays more attention towards developing the CMS, rather than improving its community experience which, however, I believe stil one of the most important things to get new people get attracted towards Elgg.

  • The link to the Docs was removed from this site's theme as one of the last acts by Curverider. I'm not really sure why.

    Again, the plugins for this site are all available on github. Anyone can send us a PM saying "I'd like to work on adding feature x to the community site" and we'll talk.

    Notice that I never said the community site is perfect or even very good. The problem is that we (Brett, Cash, and Evan) do not scale. There is only so much time in a day. But this is an open source project so those who are interested can report bugs at the bug tracker (http://trac.elgg.org/), add documentation to the wiki (http://docs.elgg.org/), fix bugs in Elgg and push the changes to us (http://github.com/Elgg/Elgg), or work on the community site (https://github.com/Elgg/community_plugins/). We would love to see more developers and users involved.

  • @Cash:

    Which Links ? Wiki Docs or API Ref ?

    I happened to have genn'ed the DoxyGen stuff and so just put it up on my Server for anyone in want or need ;-o

    I just regenn'ed for 1.8.01 last night but not uploaded - I could be more prompt - but since I started putting the Doxy's there and advertising - nooobody ever sez they were actually reading / using that ;)

    And here's my 'PM' saying that -- I'd like to have been working on scanning all of the existing Posts - groups etc to create a KWIC styled search index (my coded algorithms) with the most important Elgg-oriented key-words -- to result in a much more powerful search ability for posts/ problems, solutions. I could... CURL all of the Site to fetch the content and index those ;-( or... there's gotta be other better ways to scan.

  • @Cash: Does that mean that now Elgg core cannot modify their own website?

    Help on the elgg community, I believe, is always oferred to those who seek for it. :) After all, we all love Elgg.

  • ** I now can see that the link is restored on the navigation.

  • @dhrup: The link in the blue site navigation header. I just returned it now.

    For search, I'm more interested in this: https://github.com/ewinslow/elgg-sphinx or integrating Apache Solr. Interested in forking that github repository? It would be a major addition for Elgg.

  • @Shouvik - please spend a little time looking is the 4 community plugins on github. You'll see that every month there is activity on the plugins. We are improving the site. It just is at a very slow pace.

  • One more thing, the best way to report a problem with the site code is to open a ticket at http://trac.elgg.org and assign the component as the Community Site.

  • @Cash: I understand. That is what I said in my blog post, maybe you are too occupied with other stuff.

    Yes, I know about the github rep and I do wish to get into it as soon as my semester exams are over starting next week.

  • @Cash --
    BlueBar Link ?
    Docs.Elgg.Org ! Oki..
    (So DoxyGen not matters so much?)

    I'll take closer look(s) @ Sphinx (&SOLR) much more than done so far,
    then I can figure where that PlugIn (&Sphinx)
    design (patterns) sits around my synaptic pathways ;-O

    @ShvK --
    When U got that list of the four - just ping to me
    (I not looking here yet)

  • @Cash Are you accepting volunteers to work with the elgg foundation once it is up and running? I mean official elgg volunteers working as moderators.

  • Guys, you guys in the Core team are doing a wonderful job for an opensource community. We all love ELGG and I have started to love it very late. :)

    What I feel is that, more developers involved will make the community better instead of people who just keep their ELGG knowledge themself.

    I am much interested to be part of some plugin developement team. Let me know your thoughts.

  • @Shouvik - sounds good.

    @Dhrup - the blue nav bar directly underneath the topbar. Yes, we want to fix whatever is wrong with our autogeneration of the 1.8 api reference

    @rjcalifornia - The foundation exists legally now. All the elgg.org web sites have been moved to a new server. That took more than a month. Let's talk later about the moderation idea.

    @Purus - Great to hear. Appreciate the github pull requests. I plan to write up a blog post on how to use github to contribute changes back. Keep a look out at http://blog.elgg.org/ for that.

  • @Purus Great post... I agree whole heartedly. I have been working with Elgg for the past year and tried to contribute to the community as much as I could "squeeze in" between revenue generating work. But all in all I've felt my contributions have not equalled what I've gotten from Elgg. I have resolved to turn that around and have recently gotten more involved - and feeling great about it. 

    @rjcalifornia - I love the idea of community volunteers empowered as "moderators". I think this would help off load tasks from the core team. Just think where this community would be with out the likes of Dhrup and his contributions, insight and knowledge.

    Perhaps we could find a place to list current Elgg priorities and organize external development teams to work on these issues. The developers need help. Elgg needs more develpment. I think we have the talent around here... How about we see if we can harness it and take 1.8 to the next level. I've been working with it for a couple of months now and it is really fun to work with.

  • Elgg has been growing.. now maturing (adolescence?)
    It's been only < 3 years (for v.1.0 the rewrite from < v.1.0!)

    "Moderation' probably will be a smaller part of the picture --
    The occasional spam-artists who dump their junk on us
    some nights round about midnight ;-)
    Sometimes some Elggsters may become too 'pushy' asking for --
    too much detailed code-level 'help' or simply not reading around
    on old much discussed topics.
    More powerful searching should help clean up this area..

    When we read thru the (now nouveau;) GitHub [The Key] - one can
    start to see the quantity and quality of code design and development
    that has been input into Elgg as it is today. by only 3 people !!

    Looking forward to Cash's write-ups for Gitt'ing into the code ;-o
    As more Developers can move up and take ownership of areas of
    either Commuity S/W, Bundled PlugIns or Core Modules --
    We should start seeing the maturity, IQ and elegance in the power
    of what Elgg is 'becoming'.

    For me - I chose Elgg in 2008 after having looked at and developed
    to various degrees.. some 40 CMS's. From where I come from
    in Computing Sciences - Elgg has the potential to 'become' the best.
    [ call it my 'sixth sense' ;-) tho the breathof experience having see
    some of the best (and some of the worst code) in lifetime..
    I have been and am still rutting for Elgg !

    I will look forward to some substantive changes and improvements
    soon as time passes onwards and so does Elgg.

  • @Cash, you are guys are awesome and the work you do with and for Elgg is tremendous. All of us, who understand at least a bit of what's behind the scenes, really admire your work. Perhaps, we don't always make enough effort to compliment (assumming you already know that ;) The criticism and occasional attacks on the core team are nothing but an attempt to shake things up, in a bigger picture we are all impressed and appreciative.

    I like the volunteering idea, but I think most people operate better under command. Perhaps, it would make sense for the core team to delegate tasks (you more or less know what devs are interested in and what their level of skill is). I think most of us are willing to contribute, but we don't want to step on your toes. Who knows what's on your mind, what things you are already working on, what has already been discussed etc.

    I would be happy to dedicate a few hours a week to make this community better. If you told me, 'Ismayil we need feature x added to plugin y', I would be more productive in actually making that happen. I would know that it is my responsibility and thousands of people using the community actually rely on the work (and the quality) I deliver.


  • @ihayredinov I love that idea. 


    When I said volunteers I meant like ihayredinov said: Delegating task. I mean like opening a job volunteer position called 'Jr Community Manager' that will take a look for better ways to interact in the  community, present a report to the core team and decide whether or no to allow the 'Jr Community Manager' to make such changes (An example)


Shouvik Mukherjee

Entrepreneur, Developer, Linux Lover, FOSS Supporter