Redesigning the introduction to minguo
Fred recently made some pertinent comments regarding the content of the front page:
The very top of the front page links to the following article, which is indeed very un-inspiring:
The front page is going to evolve over time. The whole site is a work in progress. My problem is that I have a clear view in my mind about the site's potential, whilst new comers would more acutely perceive its current shortcomings. So Fred did well to step in and point out a flaw that was obvious to everybody but myself.
I really don't have much time to spend on this, but hopefully some quick changes will render the site more appealing.
Currently, I am making the current assumptions:
- The front page remains a list of a selection of some of the best or most informative articles and polls, promoted to the front page.
- One or two posts remain stickied at the top, just as they are currently. Those posts are the primary landing pages.
- The primary landing pages would link to secondary landing pages, allowing new users to delve further into the site.
- Both primary and secondary landing pages will be wiki pages. So they must be adequately developed.
- There can only be 2, maximum 3 primary landing pages. Currently, I mean to keep the two that currently exist (top of front page). So those two pages would be our primary targets for improvement.
So the 'redesign' is currently limited in improving the content those sticky posts.
One way or another, we need to highlight (mostly in accordance to Fred's suggestions):
- A proper introduction to minguo, what it is, what it aims to be.
- The benefits of joining the site for like-minded people.
- The best content there exist at minguo today.
- The areas with the biggest potential.
- The currently active projects.
- The most active topics.
Keeping things numbered as above:
1) Introduction to minguo
There is a very, very, very old introduction here:
It does not do the job. I don't know what to do with the domain http://minguo.info/ . There is some quality traffic there, so the challenge is to bring people from minguo.info to en.minguo.info. That's a whole new set of landing pages to think about!
Also, I've started to describe some web site long term objectives here:
2) Benefits of joining
- own blog.
- own book: http://en.minguo.info/blogs/augustin/users_personal_books
- create polls and http://en.minguo.info/polling_station
- participate in minguo projects http://en.minguo.info/help/projects (secondary landing page to rewrite!).
3) Best content
The primary candidate here is Fred's book!
Feature some of our best ongoing polls. Update some old ones if necessary. (I've spent most of the week developing a new polling method: emocracy with a range 5 ~ -5, with a new interface).
Maybe also this:
A project I started a while ago, but that's dormant today.
4) Areas with biggest potential
I'd like to be able, soon, to add the community manifesto to the list of best content:
But inspiring, it is currently not! :(
In my view, this is one of the areas with the best potential. One way or another, I'll get the project started again.
I am more and more seriously considering starting a new "Political Discourse" project.
The idea came by reading Fred's comments and primary concerns.
I think this is one area which has the biggest potential: people are fed up with politics. If we properly denounce and describe the common fallacies and shortcoming of the current political "debate", and if at the same time we show that things needn't be this way, then I think that many visitors will nod their heads in agreement, and be attracted to join.
If we work diligently on it, it has the potential of being of service to the society.
5) currently active projects
a- This Minguo Community project.
b- The Manifesto... soon to be reactivated.
c- the new Political Discourse project (to be confirmed).
6) Most active topics
Properly develop the wiki pages on the topics that we have been actively discussing together: party politics, corruption, election methods, etc. Add a few issues that we have not discussed so much (yet) but where we'd certainly agree and that would appeal to visitors: environmental issues, human rights, poverty...
I really don't have the time to make drastic changes to the design.
At most, I am considering adding a few custom block design that can be added to some of the aforementioned landing pages. I'll show you soon what I have in mind.
There is a lot to do, but we don't need to do everything at once.
Let's select one secondary landing page, work on it until it is presentable, and then feature it in a block in the primary landing page. Repeat the procedure with another secondary landing page, etc.
Let's keep the discussion below focussed on the work described above. If necessary, fork the discussion into another thread (blog entry).