If I were to tell you that I am excited to make this announcement, it would be a severe understatement. I'm not going to draw it out, because you're already here... We have our own official website that's 100% for the community and 100% built and maintained by the community. We are completely in charge of our destiny as it pertains to community features and efforts.
It was nearly a year ago that this effort was set into motion, but we've been trying to do this for years. I can't remember exactly when the topic first began coming up, but I also can't remember a business roundtable or other meeting at our conferences where someone didn't bring up the question, "Why don't we have our own website?"
If you look at any other open source solution that also has a commercial option (e.g., Evoq, WordPress, Umbraco, etc.), they all have a separate website that's either built for or by the community. Each of these also have their own open source community website. In this, they have been able to thrive in numerous ways. We're finally able to follow a similar model.
Current and Upcoming Features
First, please know that this website, like any other, is not done. Honestly, it will never be done. We will all constantly be working on improvements and feature enhancements. Things will change (for the better). Things will be broken from time-to-time and we'll fix those things as they come up.
We have several great areas on the website already and we have some other great things coming. All features that you see now and in the future will only be open source extensions that either come out-of-the-box with DNN or are found in places like GitHub. This allows us to showcase just how powerful DNN can be just with the free tools available in the ecosystem.
- Forums: Between the current website time and the MVPs, we decided to not bring over the Q&A features and instead just begin with having forums. Also, we aren't importing any data. We're starting from scratch, including the forums. By the time you read this blog post, the old forums will be shut down and you'll be able to get help on the forums found on this website, using the open source Active Forums module. This means that not only are we monitoring and maintaining our own conversations, but we can easily add new features whenever we want or need them.
- Dashboard: A dashboard is currently being built and should be deployed any day now to help us track and display publicly a community leaderboard and DNN activity across multiple channels and websites. We'll all be able to see how our activity is stacking up against everyone else in the community. Over time, we’ll also be able to assess the health of the community as well.
- Auth0: You can already login now, but you'll soon be able to authenticate using a service that will allow you to use a social media account instead of an on-site login.
- Agencies: This is kind of a supplement or replacement of the partner directory found on the previous (commercial) website. Anyone that provides DNN solutions can be listed.
- Showcase: A showcase will be available that allows you to submit your own website. The great thing about this feature is that it will be self-moderating. If at any point the website is found to no longer be a DNN website, it will automatically be removed from the listing.
- User Groups: We're bringing the user group listing back. You'll be able to create and run your own user group anywhere in the world. The listing will help you generate interest and communicate with your group members.
- Forge: Those of us that remember the Forge of old pretty much universally miss it. This will be a comprehensive listing of open source extensions for DNN. It will be a feature that allows you to submit new extensions and releases, and eventually, it will allow you to install open source extensions directly from your DNN website.
Almost all of the above features, and many others, will help you get credit for participating in the community by earning points that will help you get higher and higher ranks in the community leaderboard/dashboard. For example, you'll get points for posting a blog, adding a comment, adding extensions, creating new releases, and so much more!
(By the way, that was not an exhaustive list... there's more, but you probably will enjoy discovering some of it on your own.)
How You Can Participate?
First and foremost, register your new account and update your profile. Get your profile as complete as you want. (We're working on the profile pages design.) Don't forget to add your social media URLs and add your usernames for StackOverflow and GitHub so you can get credit for your activities on those websites.
Other things you can probably do right away:
Please take some time to help review the website and make suggestions about things that can make it better. If you have any questions or want to have any level of access, please feel free to ask in the website forum.
The Current Website Team
This is a 100% volunteer effort. Every person who is helping with the website is doing so in their spare time. DNN Corp is not funding or running this website, any of its features, or anything else that's related to the website. Like with DNN itself, we are once again fully in control of our destiny. I'm very excited for our future, and I’m also proud and honored to be able to publicly thank the following people for their efforts in getting us to this point.
- Tycho de Waard has been a critical part of the team and basically acts as our project manager.
- David Poindexter has been providing ongoing support and updates for the current theme.
- Jay Mathis and Thompson Knox have been the catalysts for getting this effort off of the ground in the first place. They built the initial project plans and messaging direction that have driven the content and information architecture on the website.
- Daniel Valadas is building the new Forge module.
- Ian Sampson has his team building our open source Auth0 provider.
- Jess Coburn for having his company donate hosting infrastructure and services.
- Shaun Walker for contributing the original dashboard tracking code.
- The DNN MVP group has been great for bouncing ideas off of and helping with decisions.
- Oh, and Clint Patterson has been our official southerner, of course. :D
(I’m sure I’m missing one or many people, and I apologize if I have. Please leave a comment and I’ll give you the full praise I failed to give you the first time. )
At any point, you'll be able to see and contact the various people that are responsible for helping maintain and build this website by viewing the contributors page.
What do you think? Please leave a comment and let us know! :)