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Which Weblogs Are Best Suited for User Group Use? 30

Posted by Cliff
from the fascilitating-group-communication dept.
An Anonymous Coward asks: "I'm preparing a proposal to my local LUG hopefully to persuade them to incorporate a weblog into their current website. It seems to me that weblogs would be better suited to the type of communication that is generally found on LUG email lists. My questions is: Are there any LUGs out there that are currently using some type of weblog application? Are there any who are considering it, or have considered it and abandoned the idea? What are the major reasons behind your choice?"
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Which Weblogs Are Best Suited for User Group Use?

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  • Scoop... (Score:5, Informative)

    by OneFix (18661) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @05:57PM (#4875230)
    Scoop [kuro5hin.org] is probably the best solution for your needs. Anyone can add articles, the group votes the best ones to the front, and admins can vote announcements/time critical stories to the front page.
  • We use Wiki. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Inoshiro (71693) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @06:10PM (#4875371) Homepage
    At the Saskatoon Linux Users' Group, we use the WikiWeb. Wiki allows all members to annotate and update the pages, rather than requiring a central authority to filter all changes in. A plus is that everyone can contribute equally.

    Also, it supports versioning, so it's handy for many other group oriented activities that involve planning.
    • We use Wiki (also!) (Score:3, Informative)

      by metacosm (45796)
      At the Yorktown Linux Users' Group, they use the Python Wiki. Wikis are better than weblogs because they promote freshness of data, corrections, and everyone getting involved.

      My favorite heavy duty Wikis are:
      Linux: TWiki (http://www.twiki.org/)
      Windows: OpenWiki (http://www.openwiki.com/)

      Each of these wikis support heavy duty revisions, diffs, uploading, access controls (only if you want them), and are Open-Source!
      • by DJSpray (135538)
        I agree and recommend TWiki (www.twiki.org)

        I have installed it successfully and without much hassle on MacOSX and BSD, Linux, and BSD even running on an ISP's somewhat locked-down server. It is highly configurable, but the default setup is useful right out of the box.

        Some features of TWiki I like:

        - it's in Perl (and Perl is more likely to be available on system X than some of the newer languages)

        - the source is quite readable

        - it is highly readable

        - the markup is extremely simple to learn

        - your contents are stored in RCS files

        - you can upload files (mentioned already)

        - users can register to be notified about content changes by e-mail

        Overall it has been a great tool. I'd like to see a few things improved, like support for creating new webs, real hierarchical namespaces for WikiWords (sub-webs), built-in preferences for enabling/disabling access to robots, simpler and better-looking default templates, and a little better support for generating a static site from the live site. But these are all pretty minor and for the most part I've been very happy with it. (And, if the itch to fix something becomes great enough, well, of course I should brush up on my Perl and contribute some fixes).

        Paul R. Potts
    • Re:We use Wiki. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Wiki's suit definitions. Weblogs suit news. Sites usually need both (the Wiki takes the place of a FAQ).

      (yes yes, Wikis do have a 'most recent additions' list which could be used as news but Wiki's don't usually store intro text and main body of text separately like news sites, so use what suits)

    • Re:We use Wiki. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Isomer (48061)
      Waikato Linux Users Group also use a wiki (phpwiki).

      We spend a lot of time looking at what people search for in the wiki and try and put up useful content for people outside the region to use.

      Our wiki gets a lot of use from people inside (and occasional use from people outside) the LUG. I highly recommend using a Wiki.
    • I suggest Twiki [twiki.org]. This is a pretty rich set of functions and plug-ins that make it a top notch option.

      If it is a little too much, try another wiki as suggested here. The benefits are they can be used in various different fashions, from bulletin boards to help desk info.

      SCOOP is also very good, but so would Slashcode if that is the type of setup you are looking for. In the case of a LUG, I would suggest you look at broader option and Wikis are there.
  • Geeklog aint too bad (Score:5, Informative)

    by McCarrum (446375) <<mark.limburg> <at> <gmail.com>> on Thursday December 12, 2002 @06:13PM (#4875403)
    I've used Geeklog [sourceforge.net] for three groups sites .. one of them with a tech focus, one is an SCA site, one for a non-profit organisation. Like 90% of blogs out there, it's fairly stable, has nice templates, yadda yadda yadda. It has built in calendaring which is nice also. I'd recommend it ... the number of security issues behind it are pretty much zilch.

    Postnuke is pretty amazing, but IMNSHO it's becoming very large. Takes a bit to get it customised to the level you want.
  • Slashcode (Score:4, Informative)

    by Alethes (533985) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @06:19PM (#4875474)
    If you like the way this site works, you can get the code here [slashcode.com].
    • As one who hosts Slash sites [yoderdev.com], I'd say that Slashcode might be overkill for a user group. It's nice, it's powerful, and it works, but it's really meant for sites with more than a handful of users.
  • I would suggest that you use Wiki (we use wiki for a similar purpose) or use a simple Weblog like b2 cafelog.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Geeklog is a Slashlike engine written in PHP which runs just fine on IIS. Going to support bluetooth too real soon now.
  • Drupal (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sabbath.sCm (542240) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @07:02PM (#4875838) Homepage
    Drupal [drupal.org] seems to have all the features of Slash and Scoop plus more. And you only need PHP & MySQL support, so it will run even on a Windoze box.
    • Drupal doesn't even have comment moderation (IIRC). It has its uses, and a user group may even be a good place for it, but please don't compare it feature-wise to Slash and Scoop. It's not even close.
  • Why not a BBS? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by XDG (39932) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @07:09PM (#4875902) Journal
    I agree that a Wiki might do better for broad knowledge capture and participation from many people, but for a more static and searchable form of communication than e-mail, why not just use a BBS? I like and use phpbb [phpbb.com], which is a snap to install and maintain, and requires less user knowledge than a Wiki in order to post content.

    (This is like a throwback to the user-group days of old when we actually used green-screen BBS's on 2400 bps modems... but sometimes the oldies are goodies.)

    XDG

  • by oyenstikker (536040) <{gro.enrybs} {ta} {todhsals}> on Thursday December 12, 2002 @08:55PM (#4876733) Homepage Journal
    I use Mark Kyne's "Personal Weblog" for a small site that allows anyone to read anything, and those who have the password to post and edit posts. Ultra simple. I think it works just fine for announcements and stuff. Its php and mysql. Mine really isn't used much at all, but it works fine. Get it at [kyne.com.au]
    http://www.kyne.com.au/~mark/software/weblog.php .
  • Check out Plone! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Linux_ho (205887) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @09:00PM (#4876773) Homepage
    They're just about to release Plone 1.0 [plone.org] which is basically a pre-configured Zope with CMF and some of the other new plugins all set up. Their web site is basically their product as it comes up when you first install it, so it gives you a good idea what it looks like.

    It's big if all you need is a weblog, but it's perfect if you want a platform that you can build on and add applications to while maintaining a lot of flexibility (user management, etc)
  • Moveable type. (Score:2, Informative)

    Depeneds on the group. Is this group being everyone? or a select few? I use moveable type it can use a berkley dbfile or MySQL you can have it run mulitble blogs all with mulitple users with diffrent levels power. Easy to administrate can be slightly tricky to install.
  • Tiki is awesome! (Score:3, Informative)

    by DamienMcKenna (181101) <{moc.annek-cm} {ta} {neimad}> on Thursday December 12, 2002 @11:53PM (#4877722)
    Having set it up on a large-ish site recently, I'd have to say that Tiki is simply awesome! Weblogs, forums, file and image galleries, FAQ system, on and on and on, with a really cool user management system. http://tikiwiki.sf.net/ [sf.net] has everything you need.
  • take a look... (Score:2, Informative)

    by zonker (1158)
    ...at pmachine [pmachine.com]. neat, easy to install, easy to use, well documented and works nicely.
  • Roller (Score:3, Interesting)

    by joib (70841) on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:29AM (#4880227)
    If you prefer java to php/perl there is Roller [rollerweblogger.org], made with open source java stuff (mostly jakarta). It has become quite popular in the java community.

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