Friday, March 16, 2007

Campaigning in a Web 2.0 World

The moderator, Justin Perkins of Care2, opened up the panel by saying that the panels title is slightly misleading in that its more about the tools then the actual communications. He states that by enabling people to communicate with each other, people self organize and can do some amazing things, such as form nonprofits, help raise money for Katrina victims and so on. Through the new Web 2.0 systems, you can see who your biggest volunteers are, you can turn them into a bigger part of a campaign.

Aaron Welch of Advomatic is introduced. His company builds systems for progressive companies. Web 2.0 can mean a number of things, from your system being "in a perpetual beta" release, to allowing your users to have partial control over what you're producing. They want to build the community tools and then integrate them in with a back end system, such as Aristotle, and this allows for a lot of front end customization and flexibility without worrying about the back end data.

Peter Kelly of Aristotle is up next. Aristotle helps provide back end data structures to help power Web 2.0 systems. The software is built to be able to tie in to other services and pull information from those other services' databases.

Finally is Daniel Bennet of IPDI, he began with a joke of how PC magazine has declared the creation of "Web 3.0". Then he moves on to discuss the "unsexiest thing [he] could talk about, Architecture" The idea is to be able to keep your websites architecture in check when its brought to the vendor, and to keep it simple so it can be used. He gives a checklist of how you can tell if your system has a good, simple and clean architecture structure. This checklist consists of the following:

Clean System, i.e. a simple password system and no long URL's
Sturdy Construction, such as through xhtml
Understandable, It should be readable by other computer systems with no hassle
Communicative, make sure the info on the site is easily found, such as available on RSS

If your system isn't simple, and you want to simplify it, the suggestion that Mr. Bennet gives is a program called Plone that helps you clean up and simplify your website.

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