tigtog gets a needed nudge: brains trust input sought

From Ariane, with whom I discussed an idea last week:

You know how you were talking about putting up a page showcasing the skills of Hoydenizens? I was wondering whether it would be plausible or appropriate to have a place where people can ask for needed skills and referrals?

This comes up, obviously, because I need skills. :) I need a Cisco baby phone system person, and since I have no allegiances to anyone it’d be kinda nice to use someone who wants the work, should they exist, rather than, say, DiData – which is what I am just about up to.

Does this inspire? Or is it more trouble than it’s worth?

Now, it does inspire, but I’m not entirely sure which is the best way to do the skills showcase, which I envisioned as a way for Hoydenizens to tell everybody about their freelancing, businesses, crafting, trades and other skills which other Hoydenizens might conceivably find useful at some time or other.

So how to do it?

I could create a free blog on wordpress.com, inviting people to send in their skills profiles and skills requests, do them up as posts and use the wordpress category and tagging system to index the skills displayed so that they were easily searchable/findable. Other interested Hoydenizens could perhaps join in as volunteer admins, and we could do it as a group project. I could set up an information page on Hoyden which would included an embedded RSS widget displaying the latest posts on the skills exchange site.

But perhaps there are other free website services out there which would do a better job as a Content Management System (CMS) for a skills exchange. Anyone know of any?

Or is this a project that deserves its own dedicated domain and existing purpose-built CMS software? Or are there some Geek Hoydens out there who would like to build such a CMS?

Thoughts? (And if anyone can help Ariane, or if you know someone else who could, then that would be awesome?)

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tigtog (aka Viv) is the founder of this blog. She lives in Sydney, Australia: husband, 2 kids, cat, house, garden, just enough wine-racks and (sigh) far too few bookshelves.

This author has written 3457 posts for Hoyden About Town. Read more about tigtog »

17 responses to “tigtog gets a needed nudge: brains trust input sought”

  1. tigtog

    If someone has a great idea about the CMS, I could always create a subdomain here at HAT for it – exhange.hoydenabouttown.com or something similar.

  2. tigtog

    P.S. Looking into free wordpress.com, although it could work using info pages and tagged posts it’s a lot of work for admins. There’s a solution someone used on an earlier version of self-hosted WP, using the existing WordPress commentor registration feature hacked to form a membership directory, and using announcements of new members to activate their profile page.

    http://www.wpdesigner.com/2008/03/01/how-to-use-wordpress-as-a-membership-directory/

    to build this community

    http://pghdesigners.com/

    There’s probably a more elegant way to do it in WordPress by now, but I’m not necessarily wedded to WordPress if something else will do the job even better.

  3. Deborah

    I’d be happy to help, ‘though my computing skills are limited to a tiny bit of html, and even the letters CSS make me feel nervous. But I could do adminny / approving / co-ordinating stuff, especially as I have no usable skills of my own to offer (unless anyone fancies a little existential chat).

  4. tigtog

    Thanks, Deborah. Admin/approval/coordination stuff will be something best shared between a few people, so that there’s less delay when some of us get busy, so the more the merrier!

  5. meloukhia

    I just want to say, even though I have no suggestions, that this is a rad idea. (I am thinking of something like SheSource? http://www.shesource.org/shesource/index.php)

  6. The Amazing Kim

    I think it’s a brillopants idea, though I’m not much good at admin. There’s a similar but simpler thing on Shakesville which I’m sure you’ve seen – every once in a while there’s a thread for those who can provide services, and those who need some. An Australian version would be spiffy.

  7. Liam

    Surely a wiki would be a better solution for this kind of thing? Better than WP for delegation of permissions, in any case.

  8. tigtog

    Could well be the go, Liam – but how well does a wiki handle people posting requests for particular goods/services? That would be the other side of the project – requests like Ariane’s posted so that they can get responses/quotes/recommendations.

  9. Liam

    Hmmm. Perhaps a dedicated forum like phpBB would work better, with space as you say for work wanted requests and skills available notices?

    Having had a quick look at meloukhia’s shesource link, something of that nature would suit a more powerful CMS like Drupal fairly well, without having to hack or improvise as in your wpdesigner link—you could set it up relatively quickly with existing modules. Expression Engine is another I’ve heard good things about.
    Anyway, so as not to clog up your thread, you have my email.

  10. Mindy

    Happy to do admin type things. Always happy to be a reader of things.

  11. tigtog

    Trying out a simple forum, which can have other features added as time goes by if it appears useful.

    Take it for a test run:

    http://community.hoydenabouttown.com/bbpress/

  12. su

    I can help with admin stuff too if need be. My only experience of the kind was as a spam guard person on a forum that was vulnerable to mass spam attack but I’m sure I can learn if you need another person.

    I love the idea.

  13. Ariane

    I’ll stick my hand up to help with the admin. I’ll go check out test run.

  14. tigtog

    OK, have added the volunteer admins who have registered at the new forum to the admin roster there. Thanks for sticking your hand up!

  15. Jo Tamar

    Great idea – and looks great! Thanks!

  16. Rebekka

    I’ve added my skillz!

  17. Ariane

    This is awesome – Reebkka I don’t have a need for your skills right at this moment, but I’ve thought about it before, and I’ve no doubt it will come up again – now I know where to look!

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