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DappSocial DevLog #1

Wednesday 13 April 2011 3:49:48 pm

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It has been some time since I started developing DappSocial, a social networking extension for eZ publish that mimics BuddyPress and DrupalCommons, so I will start a DevLog series.

What has been done so far:

  • A relationship datatype: Stores user relationship info.
  • An user experience datatype: Store user exp points.
  • A qavote datatype: It's a modified version of the ez star rating datatype, it works like a up/down vote system and uses user experience datatype.
  • A workflow event that creates some user subnodes after user activation.

All this features are not stable, so I decided to stop adding new features untill I make all the existing ones stable, or at least usable, so I will release a first stable version.

I think DrupalCommons and BuddyPress are great and I do not have any hope to release something as good as these products for eZ publish soon, specially not having any kind of support, but I hope release something that fill my current needs for my personal website that, as ez share site, needs user contributions, so, lets talk about what I see as my website problem, you may have the same problem.

I started a personal site about Unity3d and other softwares, so I wrote some tutorials, translated another ones, published some open source projects and so on. I was hoping to engage users to keep visiting the site, using the forums, giving me some feedback, inviting new users and everything more a user could do. So, I don't know how could I be surprised, I discovered that users just visit the site, read the content, and goes away, do not giving a "thanks" for my "hard" work, not commenting, doing nothing more than just read.

So I reallized that I can't blame the users, I needed to think about a solution for this problem, so, share team started talking about a new participation model for share site, and I started to think about this topic, participation model. Researching some solutions I found DrupalCommons and BuddyPress, both has an user points and badge system that I think is a great tool to improve the user experience, but as I don't like Drupal and Wordpress code, I started a new project for eZ publish called DappSocial.

I think it would be a nice idea to give user some extra content based on the merit, or to be straightforward, basing on the total user exp points or some badges. So, if a user reaches level 2 it gains access in a protected site area, then if he reaches level 3, or get some badge, he can download some secret content, and so on.

To gain exp and badges the user needs to participate on forums and complete some tasks.

I'm in an early stage of the development of my extension, I don't know how long I will continue developing it, but i really think it's the way to go for new websites that needs user contributions.

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