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2010 Work



Sitehome has been identified as an important central hub for crabgrass sites, and the feeling is that we should be implementing sitehome as a standard feature for crabgrass. UNICEF sites that have a sitehome have found the area chaotic and lacking focus, and new user confusion regarding what they can and should do has been reported.

There is great potential however for turning sitehome into an active information portal providing users wide ranging access to the groups, networks and information in the sites.


Sitehome – an improved sitehome as site “hub” that aggregates featured pages from both admins (and for phase 2 – users):

Phase One

For Phase One we want to use the wiki on site home to highlight the three most important “things to do”

This limits the need for new dev work, while giving us the advantages of highlighting “things to do”, and introducing the new icons for New Users, the Origami Penguins!

You can check out the wiki layout examples here

To view the Phase One wires checkout this pdf bundle.

2009 Work

Over View

We have had a few good conversations and reflections on the state of dev and the use of the site. We have highlighted the difference between users engaging with the community as a whole vs users forming groups to do work. We have talked about sitehome vs the public facing site. We have talked about the new user experience issues. More recently we talked briefly about a country strategy vs a global community strategy. I think the job at hand is to put these thoughts down in a document so we can plan a pragmatic and development strategy that are in sync. I am working on a vision document for development, called the Road to Version 1.0. This will put a stake in the ground for the 1st quarter of 2010 and will serve as the guiding document for core crabgrass development. If we create a UNICEF programmatic vision document at the same time then development goals and programmatic goals can be more closely aligned.

Road Map to Version 1.0

See the document in progress here

Programatic Thoughts and Questions.

Some questions that should be answered. These are not small questions, and they will change and evolve, but they need to be put down somewhere as a reference and as a guide.

Proposal 1

Crabgrass is very similar to ning. Like ning, Crabgrass is a tool that allows people to have a social group space. When you go to ning the landing page gives you two very clear choices. 1) create a social network (aka use this tool) 2) Browse and Discover what other people who are using the tool are doing, and maybe join with them. Simple.

That being said we have done development that allows for a global community space to exist on crabgrass. The site. Every user is part of the site. Every group is part of the site. Every user lands on the sitehome. What should they do here? What is the balance between the groupware aspect of crabgrass and the global community space?


The idea for proposal 1 is to keep the sitehome extremely simple and focused. It is a very flexible space so the temptation will always be to do more. Proposal 1 dictates that less is, hmm, whats that expression…

Two things should be made crystal clear to the user when they land on the site home.
1) Things to do: The user is very clearly told what they can do.
2) Highlights: UNICEF highlights certain event based activities.

Things to do


A user should be able to browse groups, people, and content based on locatoin and topc.



Here is a layout example

Programmatic highlights

This will be the small flexible programmatic component of the site. I think there should be two basic featured discussion types. 1) Currently Active pages. 2) UNICEF can seed a few discussions based on events. So climate week in new york could feature a few discussion about that week. Tread carefully here. The creep will be to feature more and more things. at anyone time there should probably not be more then 5 featured pages.