This is a copy of email with community founders, which I’ll post here for further discussion
I don’t know your plans, thus also don’t know your requirements, but I’d give you following general advice on community-facing tooling
- [ ] Align with humane principles (minimalistic, decentralized/self-hosted, privacy, preferably FOSS, etc.)
- [ ] Suitable for both technical and non-technical users
- [ ] Keep the number of separate tools as small as possible
- [ ] Support for project management
- [ ] Support for code development / repositories (assume both public + private)
- [ ] Social interaction / collaboration
- [ ] Public-facing blog
- [V] Public-facing landing-page and website
- [V] Community forum / discussion
- [ ] Sensible, streamlined workflows across all selected tools!
- Awesome self-hosted has good candidates for additional tools (https://github.com/Kickball/awesome-selfhosted )
- If particularly humane they should exist on awesome humane tech (https://github.com/engagingspaces/awesome-humane-tech )
- Should support agile development
- Should support boards (Scrum and/or Kanban) and maybe long-term planning (e.g. Gantt, portfolio)
- Should integrate to code dev tools
- Should be easy to use also for non-technical users
I think Taiga (https://taiga.io/ ) would be a good candidate.
Disadvantage is only one-way integration to source management tools (but most tools have this problem). See: https://tree.taiga.io/support/integrations/
- Should support git repositories
- May need support private repo’s (i.e. as a staging ground, but depends on your plans/intentions)
- Ideally integrates seamlessly with project management (link commits to issues/epics)
- Integrates with CI/CD tools, etc.
I would advice both a self-hosted solution and a Github organization (for fully public OSS code). Self-hosted, one of:
- Gitlab (nice, full-featured, but heavy on resources and bit unfamiliar UI to Github developers)
- Gogs (https://gogs.io/ full-featured, lightweight, low on resources, very similar to Github)
- Gitea (https://gitea.io/en-US/ fork of Gogs, but better maintained, more active, more maintainers… Gogs is only single maintainer. I use this one myself)
- You could keep this into the hands of employees entirely (e.g. use TravisCI account, or other). With git software above other community members can still use their own CI tools, of course
- Or offer complete self-hosted solution, maybe https://drone.io
Social interaction / collaboration
So what do I mean by this? Well, the forum doesn’t cut it for social interaction… it is only part of the equation:
- Valuable forum discussions will fall too far down the list of topics when not regularly posted to
- Long threaded discussions are hard to follow, follow-up on
- The forum is messy, arbitray topic titles, users advertising their own pet projects / startups / apps, etc.
What’s needed is:
- A place where (dynamic) CHT community topics can be advertised/communicated for a longer period of time
- A place where members can advertise their own initiatives without distracting from the CHT vision and message
- But should not be a full-blown (non-humane-tech) social network!
I recently found what I think is an excellent candidate for this: https://socialhome.network/
- Humane tech: Federated/decentralized (The Decentralized Web!), FOSS
- Have one or more official CHT profiles
- Members can have + share their own profile, advertise their own initiatives
- Easy to edit (same markdown format as forum)
- Keeps attracting new member to the community
- Keeps attention of members to what’s publicly exposed, rather than only working on the forum
- Have articles that can be shared on social media (public awareness)
- I would publish Tristan’s regular (weekly?) reports/summaries here (if is suitable for wider public, not internal housekeeping, of course)
You’ll probably want to keep this managed internally, by employees/volunteers mostly.
I’ll advice using a static site generator and back-end headless CMS, if you have plans for a website with lotsa information/pages on it (I am personally looking at React + Gatsby + Storybook + maybe Netlify CMS for my own startup), or otherwise use some out-of-the-box easy website publishing system.
Maybe you could consider a wiki as well, if you want to supply lots of information and have it managed by the community.
Discourse has a great feature set (though arguably not really humane tech with all its attention/distraction features
- First-line contact point for new ideas and initiative, general discussions
- Discussions shouldn’t be too long-lived, shouldn’t matter if things fall out of focus (they’ll followed-up by other tools in the workflow)
- Shouldn’t take too much time moderating
- Should be loose in moderation policy (offer people a change to express themselves, also when less literate or well-versed in English)
Workflow across tools
- Everything starts on the forum
- Valuable ideas / initiatives / action points should be followed-up in other tools ASAP
- Forum --> Project management --> Code management workflow
- Forum --> Socialhome workflow
- Forum --> Website / blog / wiki workflow
- Forum --> CHT internal action workflow