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Community Portal

FROM: Roger Holmes

What NEED does this meet?
The best content on the web is generated by non-technical people from home, whether for economic reasons (eg ebay, loot), special interest (the thousands of sites and newsgroups on every topic under the sun) or community/social (friends reunited, up your street, millions of blogs). This project would harness this, focussed around communities, and would include local info generated by local people (I know, I know - first person to mention The League gets a clip round the lug), such as where to live, where to eat, where to go out, who to vote for, where to go to school,how to recycle, how to carshare, whatever).

Community portals and interest areas inside would be generated by whoever wants to do so, for whatever purpose, but the organisation of communities & topics, searching tools etc., would be provided centrally and be very effective. It would allow downloads, mulitmedia, chat/IM, community SMS/MMS tools, blah blah. Similar to Yahoo groups, Friends reunited, etc, but organised completely around your local community.

Like upyourstreet, but all communities, topics and content generated by its users. The \'brand recognition\' that is being generated by mySociety is very important to achieving critical mass (friendsreunited for communities). It can also be a launchpad for lots of related proposals - car sharing, lets schemes, local lobbying & political organisation, etc. In fact, you could view it as the end-user companion to this site

What is the APPROACH?
Lots of open source software available to do this - linux, tomcat, jetspeed, mysql, etc. Simple scalable architecture using cheap commodity hosting.

The biggest issue will be how to moderate it.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
It\'ll be the homepage of choice for people using the internet, provide an easy way for people to find out what\'s going on in their local area, an easy way for people to organise, share, etc.

What is the COMPETITION?
There must be, but in terms of a nationwide network of community-based portals generated and maintained by its users (rather than content mostly provided by a commercial operation), I don\'t know of any

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
Easy and cheap to build, more difficult to establish critical mass and momentum, moderation will take some thinking about - anyway, pretty easy to build.

Initial implementation - maybe 2-3 people for 3 months, hosted on a couple of linux servers in a commercial hosting setup - maybe £3k/year on 2 dedicated servers that can easily be added to as traffic grows

October 31, 2003 in User Created Content, Web-In-A-Box Systems | Permalink

Comments

This idea would work quite well with the 'Virtual Town' idea listed above.

Posted by: John Taylor at Oct 31, 2003 1:35:21 PM

It makes sense and helps the communities on so many levels. We have seen this ourselves in West Wales since 1999.
The benefits are many, it does spawn local 'competition', but that's good, and the budget and logisticks?..... well how long was that bit of string?

Posted by: pencom at May 31, 2004 2:23:54 AM

It makes sense and helps the communities on so many levels. We have seen this ourselves in West Wales since 1999.
The benefits are many, it does spawn local 'competition', but that's good, and the budget and logistics?..... well how long was that bit of string?

Posted by: pencom at May 31, 2004 2:24:53 AM