News and Notes - Technology Edition
with standingup and lefty
ePluribus Media 2.0
The technology team has been busy putting together ePluribus Media 2.0 and they are finally ready for "show and tell". The launch page, referenced in the previous link, is the starting point for exploring all things ePluribus Media -- Timelines, Journal, Community and Investigations.
After lengthy review it was decided that all of the software that powers ePluribus MediaTM needed to be upgraded. At the same time as the upgrade is being done, all four sites will be migrating to a new hosting platform.
This is a lot of change to have happening at once, but we are hoping the transition will be smooth ... bear with us if we experience a few hiccups.
Three of the sites -- Community, Journal and Investigates -- will be moved to new software solutions.
The Community site (scoop) will be a completely new site, powered by the latest version of Drupal. The existing community site content will be moved to a scoop hosting company, but will be archived. There were a couple of reasons for this decision:
- Advances in CMS technology: As the needs of our members change, the framework that supports the community needs to be able to expand and change to meet these needs. We have been compiling a "wish-list" for quite some time and tho we have tried to make the existing framework meet those needs, there are deficiencies in the software that we just can't work around. The community site was built in 2005 and since then there have been many technological advances.
- Requirements for hosting a Scoop site: In order to move the existing site and keep things exactly as they are, we would have to do some "reverse engineering" to server structure to support our current community site. Since the ePluribus Media community is growing, this is not really a good idea. We need to be able to upgrade and add features as demand dictates.
The new Community site is functional. We encourage all of you to visit the new site, register for an account and take it for a test drive.
Other than a "face-lift" (a new stylesheet) the Timelines will remain unchanged.
The biggest changes are perhaps the new Journal format. The Journal is being moved from CSS/HTML to Joomla CMS. This will enable much more flexibility in the delivery of stories from the ePluribus MediaTM Journal. We are expanding the depth of reporting from the Journal.
Several months ago you may have noticed "Ohio News Bureau" being added to the regular Ohio news postings by Ohio Rebel. John Michael Spinelli (Ohio Rebel) is the ePluribus Media Bureau Chief for Ohio. We will be gradually adding more state news bureaus as we put the teams together.
The new Journal site has the capability of allowing "registered" users. This feature is being used for the State Bureaus and other members with "publisher" privileges. It does not allow for registrations at this time, though as value-added features for "subscribers" are added, the registration feature will be "turned on".
The current Investigates site is powered by an old version of Drupal. It has grown cumbersome and is becoming more and more difficult to compile research. The tech team is moving the investigations to a new site that will be powered by TikiWiki. As with the Community site, the old Investigates site will be moved into an "archived" mode on the new server. It will still be available and searchable, but will not be open to new postings.
The investigates site is for "vetted" members. You can apply for an account and an administrator will review your request.
We will be officially moving to the new sites on December 1st. We would like to encourage everybody to visit the beta sites, try them out, post an entry at the new community site, and then get back to us with any questions, problems, errors or omissions you may find in your exploration.
The beta sites are nearing completion you can check them out here:
Please email us, or leave a comment here if you have any problems, concerns, questions, etc ...