HumaniNet Collaborative Workspace:
Project History

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by Matt Blair
Posted: 8/1/2005

In Phase 1, we:

  • Assessed our own needs, and evaluated a few basic Open Source options for online information sharing and collaboration based on our assessment.
  • Ran trials of WordPress (a blogging tool) and Plone (a more fully featured content management system aka CMS)
  • Chose Plone as the best option, and implemented several basic sites including our main project center, a satellite communications center, and a tsunami relief coordination center, which were used by dozens of non-technical NGOs users, in both field and HQ situations.
  • Tested the feasibility of distributing content editing and basic administration tasks among non-technical users.
  • Gathered feedback through detailed interviews with half a dozen NGO managers and IT professionals.
  • Explored the feasibility of customizing and enhancing Plone to fit project needs more precisely, and secured funding for the next phase.

In Phase 2, we will:

  • Engage in deeper research into specific Plone features and add-on capabilities.
  • Design and implement an enhanced 'community center' to facilitate HumaniNet's internal collaboration and publishing process, as well as projects with and for other organizations through hosted project centers.
  • Create a "quick-deploy" project center, a pre-packaged bundle designed for humanitarian relief NGOs that will be published under a license such as GPL or similar.
  • Share our "lessons learned", how-to notes, and implementation strategies with the open source and non-profit communities.

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