Some of you may recognize my username, but now with our logo.
And now, after some trial and error and a little help from some of you, here is our work-in-progress...
CSF's Content Strategy Discussion
CSF (Content Strategy Forum) is an open, international community for content strategists (all content professionals, really) and other UX practitioners who want to talk about the practice of content strategy.
What might be confusing to some people here is that "Forum" in our name doesn't stand for bulletin board software. "Content Strategy Forum" was the name of our first conference in Paris in 2010. An annual, international conference is one of our brand assets. (It will be in Melbourne in October.) In 2013 we officially formed as a community and adopted the CSF name as the community name. The conference has since been rebranded as "CSForum".
Another CSF asset is our Google+ community, which we've had since Google made communities available. We currently have around 5,100 members (most of whom don't interact, of course). And there are other Content Strategy communities too, though not ours, by other people on other social media platforms like Google Groups, LinkedIn, and probably Facebook too, but who knows.
As explained here, none of the "discussion" groups/communities on social media platforms have really been good for providing for the kinds of conversation management we have wanted for our CSF community. Fact is, when you're stuck with a third-party platform like LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, or whatever.. you have very little control over the functionality and presentation, which means usability goes down for specific needs like ours.
We knew we needed to host our own platform, and have been talking about it on and off for years. Now we have it, thanks to Flarum!
I initially didn't like the idea of not being able to work with the templates or CSS files (don't really understand the craze for CSS compilers, frankly), but after some trial and effort, I was able to use the customize CSS overrides to take care of the tweaks we needed to do for our brand integration. There are still some tweaks to make yet, but we're mostly there.
The only thing we need to do now, as I've been bugging some of you about already, is be able to insert our own global navigation bar above the Flarum header bar. Unlike most people here, we aren't using Flarum only for a website, we have other web real estate. Thus we want to use a common navigation system across all those locations, and add a new "Discussions" link in our global nav for the boards location. Here's a mockup of the general idea:
We expect to use @sijad's nifty plugins, Nav Links and Static Pages, to do the in-site menu links you see under our logo in the image above, namely:
- Main page
- User groups (description of what groups exist and why)
Or whatever the menu links end up being. The "Main page" link would logically be the board's default link while the others will be static pages, probably.
But we'll still need another extension for adding our own global header markup into the top of the site. And for that we don't need links management or anything, just a simple extension that allows us to add a parent
div up there (e.g.
div class="global-banner">...</div>) into which we can then add our own child markup.
I don't know if Flarum ever plans to include a
footer block too, but I can imagine that could be useful in the future for us too, so that we could simply drop our footer markup into that too.
Thanks to the core devs
We'd just like to say thanks to @Toby, @Franz, and anyone else who's behind the core system. You've done a pretty cool thing with Flarum. (Strange name, though... Like "flare up", as in hot debate. You've probably heard that already.)
Our community is composed of people that work, or have worked, with every major tech company (IBM, Microsoft, etc), digital/design agencies from around the globe, and many of the big social media orgs like Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, eBay, Google, etc. And people from government, non-profits, higher-ed... You name it. If it has to do with digital we have experienced minds from those places mingling in our ranks.
I mention that because we're running our discussion boards in locked mode until the first stable release of Flarum is made. We'll be including about 20 members of our community as early beta testers, both in terms of usability stuff and more local presentation needs, etc. We're keeping a list of all observations here — beta testing list. There might be some things there you could benefit from learning with regard to bugs, design ideas, etc — mostly with respect to future releases. Who knows. But it could be worthwhile. Just to point it out.
And for those who might be curious, our CSS override rules will be made available hear on GitHub. New changes are always the latest version.
composer require sijad/flarum-ext-links (in-boards menu links)
composer require sijad/flarum-ext-pages (static pages, to be linked to from in-boards menu)
composer require s9e/flarum-ext-mediaembed (to easily embed vids/tweets in posts)