improving the elgg.org community with quick wins

following on from the recent thread here about the future of elgg, i thought to share some of the thoughts about the community here that have been in my mind since the first time i used it (back when elgg 1.7.4 was fresh).

i have always found it strange that elgg is a modular social network platform and yet it's own community makes use of the bare minimum of modules! i don't know why that is, but i have some suggestions that may really help increase the interactions on elgg.org and thus help make elgg itself stronger:

  • if we want to choose a new theme for elgg (as discussed) then it would be great to be able to have a community vote on what is thought to be the best currently available. since we have a polling plugin already, that sounds like it should be easy to do and will generally improve the sense of community here in the long run.
  • on the same note: the summary view of themes in the plugin repository are lacking thumbnails which makes browsing themes way more difficult than it should be. adding that would be a 5 minute job.
  • along with the polls, it would probably be pretty easy to add the 5 star ranking plugin to the plugin/theme lists - which might provide a good way for people to give feedback and adds an extra dimension to the community.
  • maybe adding hypelists/interactions would give the site a quick boost too and would allow for feedback to be gained in advance of adding them to elgg core - if that is what is intended.

any thoughts on that?

  • Could you put these as issues on the community_plugins github page as well? We could tackle some of them when time permits.

  • Good idea. On another note, what do you guys think about collaborating on a cloud IDE? I've been using https://c9.io and it's pretty great. You can invite members and work on the same workspace simultaneously like Google Docs.

  • I would also add comment tracker to get notified about content users are interested in and about content they commented on. To me: vital

  • I would also add comment tracker to get notified about content users are interested in and about content they commented on. To me: vital

    See https://github.com/ColdTrick/content_subscriptions

  • Michele problably meant it to be activated on the community here. 

    Anyway. I'm gonna spend my next week sparetime on updating the Aalborg theme and a new landing for elgg.org

    for you guys to see then if you'd like to merge or not :)

  • @jdalsem yes I meant here on community site like @driesdk said, isn't this the topic? :)

  • i have always found it strange that elgg is a modular social network platform and yet it's own community makes use of the bare minimum of modules! i don't know why that is

    This is because there's so few people maintaining the site. There's not enough time to maintain it, if it becomes too complicated and too crammed with features.

    I have always found it strange that both the community site and all the plugins are available in Github and yet Elgg's own community makes bare minimum effort to help with maintaining them. I don't know why that is. ;)

  • This is because there's so few people maintaining the site. There's not enough time to maintain it, if it becomes too complicated and too crammed with features.

    i understand that elgg is under powered in a human sense. however, adding the plugins mentioned, for example - is most likely a task that would take a very short space of time.

    I have always found it strange that both the community site and all the plugins are available in Github and yet Elgg's own community makes bare minimum effort to help with maintaining them. I don't know why that is. ;)

    from my perspective there are several causes for that:

    1. when i started using elgg it was made clear that there was an owning corporate group who decide ultimately what does and does not go on to the community site, therefore any work undertaken in that regard is like changes to the core of elgg, in that it requires a form of authorisation. elgg was using trac for issue tracking and there was no way to access the repos for the community (as far as i know). the result is that there wasn't a practical way for non elgg core team to make changes to the community code and i am not aware of any defining moment where this was publicly changed (beyond the code being moved to github).
    2. as far as i am aware, there is no public statement that new / existing elgg users will see which states that they can make changes to elgg.org
    3. i don't recall any requests for help with the code made to the community, other than occasional references in threads like this (very small number over several years).

    all of these issues really center around the same point, which is a missing level of interaction and engagement between the different sub-groups who are invested in elgg - which is what i am seeking to improve by adding to the features of the community.

    in my own personal case, i have a mountain of elgg related tasks to complete here - probably just as you do - except it is focussed on non core changes (plugins). in my case, my existing workload, the barriers of entry to the elgg.org server itself and the lack of clarity/coherence regarding the the direction and intent behind the community and it's own code means that i generally don't go there. the only time i did make a change to the community groups plugin was to introduce GPL3 and after i did that it turned out that i couldn't do it for reasons i wasn't aware of initially. i don't mind making changes such as adding thumbnails to previews for the community groups plugin, however, there is no way for me to introduce new plugins to the server to expand elgg.org's functionality.

    i agree that there is a lack of intent among non core coders to help with the site itself and as stated, the roots of that - to me - lay in the past ways that elgg was operated and the absence of any stated change to that situation.

  • Twitter Inc has initiated talks with several technology companies to explore selling itself, signalling the start of what is likely to be a slow-rolling auction of the high-profile but money-losing social media company.

    Why?

    1. It has failed to keep pace with rivals, notably Facebook's Instagram and Snapchat.

    2. Stagnant user growth and mounting complaints about lack of innovation in the product.

    3. Missing the opportunity to play a bigger role in the red-hot messaging arena.

    4. Failure to stem abuse and spam on the platform.

    Elgg users and developers and current sites using elgg engine have a lot to learn from Twitter experience.

  • i have just added a PR to add the screenshot to search results for themes

Feedback and Planning

Feedback and Planning

Discussions about the past, present, and future of Elgg and this community site.