off-day for blogging; on-day for chester.website – and its new #hyperlocal #citywiki

The other day I linked to Adrian Short’s new project, suttonwiki.org, in my quick overview of the #hyperlocal phenomenon.

I’ve worked with open source before; in fact, basic tools like open-source word-processors and even this WordPress tech we all use, almost blithely, have been constants for more or less the last decade or so.

I’d never got my head round wikis, though.  I once took a look at Wikipedia, and although there was a time when I was quite handy with basic HTML (when basic HTML was what people mostly went and did!), I still found the mark-up language disconcerting.

Well.

Following on from Adrian’s project, I decided I’d try and do something for the place I live: Chester, UK.

A long time ago, I’d been part of a local political party’s web initiative.  It didn’t really catch on for one fundamental reason: user access.  For party political reasons, only one person (the admin – ie myself) could post any of the material that was supposed to come through; also, only one person (the person who defined political strategy for the area) had the right to say what could go on or not.

This meant, quite frequently, that there was a considerable delay between someone having an idea for an article or some very local news, and its appearing (if at all) on the site.

People got disillusioned with the control which, perhaps, was inevitable in the context of party politics.

And this is clearly the problem with setting up community websites; or, at least, websites where communities go.

A couple of nearby examples which are functioning truly brilliantly in their very own particular ways:

My own background, in open source environments and communities more than ten years ago (a brief but highly mind-opening experience, I have to say), inclined me to edge towards a more traditional wiki approach.  Both tech-wise, access-wise and licence-wise.

Thus, the following site, which I set up from scratch in barely twelve hours of off-and-on work (even to the point of only having bought the domain yesterday morning!):

I’d really be interested in your thoughts and comments – any and every would be most appreciated.  If you know of other sites already up-and-running in the area, for example, I’ll update this post and add them to the above list.

And whether you’re reading this from your base in Chester, UK, or you’re reading it from far-flung abroad but nevertheless have a connection with the city, why not send me an email at mil@pobox.com and I’ll add you as a user?

It’d be lovely to read about your lives, observations … just how you see our places and people.

Look forward to the interactions!

🙂

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