Thursday, November 01, 2007

Tomorrow's WikiFray

Hi all. As you know--assuming you still regular WF--WikiFray has been floundering. Contributing factors include the emergence of Quiblit, the confusion of nuponuq, the apparent successful redesign of The Fray, and my neglect. Nevertheless, the nature of the web is such that in spite of all this "searching" and thanks to the continued contributions of many of its members, WikiFray is a better idea today than it was when it first came into being. How's that?

I think WF has a role to play in keeping us connected. That is, in part due to WF we've all expanded our horizons and as a consequence our Fray roots aren't so deep . . .anymore. Given what's happened to BotF in our absence (read: there's no one left to keep the loons in check), the situation is that much worse. So, WF, as I see it, is worth keeping nice for that reason alone--as an old haunt for when you want to visit with old acquaintances, etc.

So there's that. No lofty aspirations. No grand scheme. Just a set of familiar walls. But even if that weren't the case, WF's worth as a blog, a url, also makes it worth saving. It enjoys a pagerank of 3, which isn't shabby and translates to search clout, i.e. your posts get a higher ranking in search results, or in English, your posts on WF are more likely to be read by strangers.

What then? Well, I'm going to reassume leadership of WF. That leadership is going to start with a redesign. I'm going to speed up load times and make the place more pleasing to the eye and efficient. I'm also going to add JS-Kit threaded comments (scroll down for a preview). I'm going to see about reintegrating into the fray, and hopefully Moira will start something interesting, a new column and a new fray worth posting in. I'll be watching for that. I'm also going to look into setting up a forum of our own. See Nabble. Not to disrespect nuponuq (and I'll keep those links going for as long as they're useful), but if I've learned anything from my experience with nuponuq, it's that there's no substitute for someone else, someone who knows what they're doing, managing the technical end of your site and paying for it out of their pocket. Nabble does that. Or to put it another way, Nabble is as good as the fray in that it's bigger than us. But Nabble is a bit down the line. Having a forum other than the fray has its perks, but aside from my own desire to see what I can do with it, I don't see it as being the focus, just something nice to have.

Which brings me sorta full circle. I'm going to strengthen WF's ties to The Fray. For better or worse, I like the new fray's software, and Moira's return makes me hopeful. Not anything specific mind you. In fact, chances are Moira isn't the fray's savior. But if she is, it changes things. And things do change don't they. For some of us at least. For those of us who only know The Fray through its reflection in our rearview mirrors. Quiblit, of course, will be integrated as well, not to mention everyone's blogs and the like. However, I am going to clean house. To do that in a nice way, I'm going to need hold a roll call of sorts. So, this is your heads-up. WF has benefits. I think you'll like what I'm going to do to it. Don't miss the boat. Hard to say, but I may be mostly done in a week, but for sure done by the end of this month.