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Re: original ILUG-Delhi website revisited

First, like Sandip said, I think we need to see what the target audience
is. If it is the present Linux-Delhi members, and if we want the site to
serve as a virtual meeting point... then the PHPNuke site is good. But I
think Linux-Delhi suffers from lack of participation. We are a small
group, and even in that - not everyone participates. Take the mailing
list. Not more than ten people regularly post, and fewer than that ever
have any meaningful discussions. As easy as receiving mail, reading and
replying to it is - I went off the list for around a month after moving
here simply because there was no interesting content, till I came back
because checking my mail and finding zero new messages was kinda
depressing :) Ok, but seriously - such small numbers trying to keep a huge
website alive is difficult, and I am afraid the site may stagnate... and
very obviously so. Infact, people may remember that the Linux-Delhi pages
used to carry a "Last Modified" include, and I had to remove it because
there was no new content being generated, and looking at pages which
havent been modified for ages is not so motivating. The content lack
problem stayed ofcourse, but I could relax because the content we had was
atleast ever-green, and new enough for a new visitor. I thought
Linux-Delhi.org wasnt supposed to be used by members, unless when updated
and announced on the list. I still feel like PHPNuke is just a big
collection of message boards under different names, and I'm not so sure if
we need it.

>say whether that was due to the innate laziness of people like me, or
>attributable to the contortions one had to go through to get some new
>stuff up on the site.  At least the latter portion is taken care of
>with PHP-Nuke making it easy to contribute: now we need to see if the
>cause was the first one.

I have some first-hand experience to be opinionated about that, but I
think it would be a good idea to try this out. Infact, I think that a good
idea might be to cut most of the bloat out of PHPNuke, keep the portions
that make life easier for people, and host it at something like
portal.linux-delhi.org or some such, and have _that_ advertised as
Linux-delhi's home page in the mailing-list footer. For first time
visitors, IMHO, it would be a good idea to not get them into the thick of
things immediately - and present them a lighter, more informative, and
beautiful* interface at www.linux-delhi.org . Most of the links from the
front page can be made to lead into the PHPNuked site's better defined
sections. For example, a "Whats New" link from a simplistic front page can
lead to a page in PHPNuke which is publicly updatable.

A clean, unburdened front page is essential, I think. As a case in point,
I see at the time of writing that an article on the front page has 106
Reads, but the "Our Activities" page somewhere deep inside the site has 5.

>I agree that it's difficult to find information about Linux-Delhi
>itself on the site.  Have a look at the site now: the first link in
>the main menu is about Linux-Delhi.  Is this better?

Makes it much better, I think. Still, maybe you will want to consider the

>Bloat: yes, it's avoidable.  On the other hand, the earlier site,
>while minimalistic, was a bit /too/ minimalistic IMHO.  And it hadn't
>changed for donkey's years, which is a good way to kill a web site.
>Let's review the web stats
>(http://linux-delhi.org/stats/usage_200108.html) for a while and see
>if the flat line that we were seeing earlier changes.  If it does,
>it's a vindication of the new functionality.  If it doesn't, then we
>should move to Nishi's or maybe even back to the old site.

Fair enough. But yet again, if everyone thinks its a good idea, maybe we
can start off with some sort of an hybrid.

>Lynx: If we move the boxes to the right you'll get the big stories
>first and the menus, etc later.  Would that help?

Hugely! But why havent I seen that sort of design anywhere else? :)

>Finally, my personal point of view: I'm extremely happy that I don't
>have single-handed responsibility for maintaining the site and its
>content.  This is one thing that can not be handled by one or even 5
>people: it needs commitment from as many people as possible.

True. But I think there has to be a demarcation between what is
Linux-Delhi's official content, and what belongs to the members. In due
time, when Linux-Delhi will be a society, and if all we have on the site
is that which has been posted by the members(and is recognised as the
official content of the site), then if i post "Micro$oft is a blood
sucking pest which needs to be crushed and fed to caterpillars", or
something to that effect, Linux-Delhi maybe the one getting sued.