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Thinking about where to go from here, web-wise - Chronarchy

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November 21st, 2006


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02:03 pm - Thinking about where to go from here, web-wise
I've been looking over Chronarchy.Com's backend specs. The site sits at about 275 MB in size, out of a possible 400 MB. My virtual "rent" is fairly cheap (which is good: I could never afford more), but I'm thinking about what I'd like to do with the site, and it *does* just keep growing.

So as I look at it, I start to size it up. There's ever the option of adding wiki. . . A fun tool that ADF members will know well (as will users of that silly depository of "knowledge," Wikipedia), but it doesn't seem to serve my needs. There are mailing lists and polls and things like that which could really enhance the "experience" of Chronarchy.Com, but they're not so much useful as "cool."

I could create a "members only" section, but that bothers me on a lot of levels: I'm one of those rare people who really likes the transparency that the Internet provides, the openness it promotes and the weird quirks of oh-shit-I-shouldn't-have-posted-that moments that we all have. They make life interesting, at the very least. Only one directory on my pages is password protected, and all it's got are four images.

I can create a nifty chat function (I did this on the Three Cranes site, but more as a fun thing to play with than an actual tool), but I don't have the time to staff it or really participate in it to any extent.

I could add a blog, but between MySpace, Facebook, and LiveJournal, I am totally blogged out. Enough that my webpage, which I always wanted to keep primary, is wasting away for lack of new content (don't tell me you haven't noticed. . .)

I could sell stuff, but given the lackluster response my CafePress site gets (even with ADF-related material available on it being published at cost), I have a feeling that's a losing proposition. Besides, the CafePress site is linked off every page of the site, and in a year and a half, it's earned all of $6.02.

But what actually interested me was a little program called "Moodle". Moodle is a course management system that allows people to take courses on your website. It allows for virtual workshops, assignments, chat sessions, creation of resources, etc.

I look at it and I think that, hell, I could put the WotY up on that. I could set it up to assign things on a regular basis, create due dates, quiz people over the material, and seriously upgrade and reorganize the resources available. And I could also create something like that for the various GSP courses, or clergy training. And honestly, I'm a little excited.

The central problem with it is the installation size. It's nearly 50 MB, and that'll put me dangerously close to the edge, given my current usage and the rate the site has grown at: about 68 MB/year on average.

With additional size, there's additional cost. So now I'm thinking: is it worth the upgrade cost? How can I make the additional virtual "rent?" Would anyone use it? How much backend work is needed: can it run itself? Is it fair to offer the course for cash (the idea makes me somewhat uncomfortable), or should I just check ADF membership and make it a free-for-all romp if I decide to do it?

Yes, these are things I wonder about during sunny lunch hours in winter.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: "If the Phone Doesn't Ring, It's Me", -JB

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Comments:


[User Picture]
From:dqg_neal
Date:November 21st, 2006 09:28 pm (UTC)
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Is the online course really a bad thing? It would just provide one more variety of possible ways to learn.

There is enough variety amongst those that want to learn. Just look at the DP through the Wheel of the Year. Same (well similar) content as the basic instruction, but in its implementation many people think it astounding, while others dread even that level of structure.

But yes, the whole community managing websites is probably not a great road to go down, they suck time, energy, and money if it becomes successful.
[User Picture]
From:singingwren
Date:November 21st, 2006 09:31 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I think considering the amount of space it would take up, yeah, it is a bad thing.

I also don't think that the whole community needs to manage it, but rather that it doesn't really belong on a personal website. If it's an ADF course, it should be on ADF's mainpages. Mike can save the Mike Show for his webpage, where it would probably be more appropriate to have his own sort of made-up courses like... derno, ones on whatever he thinks is cool.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:November 21st, 2006 09:53 pm (UTC)
(Link)
*nods* What I'm playing with right now is the ability to offer the WotY in a more interactive form, which was its original intent. When I wrote the WotY, it was designed to be a set of emails sent out to each Dedicant that someone was mentoring. It can still be used for that.

What I can do with this is move the couple of remaining students (or new students who come in at a later time and want the same one-on-one connection I gave singingwren, _crow365__, and wishmaiden) over to a system like this. If it works out well on a small scale, then I can look at asking ADF if they want the course in its entirety, and maybe work on some other versions for things like the GSP as well.

The key, of course, is to keep seeking new ways for people to learn.

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