what's necessary before official launch?

Published by gtaylor on 2 December 2005 - 1:11pm

The community is open for full usage.  However, we should have a "launch" date that we announce to others as being a push to spread the word and get others to use it.
Why the hold off on launching?  It is very important that people get a positive first impression.  The site needs to provide an effective "service" for people to come back.  

We need to prioritize the issues that must be fixed/enhanced before the launch date.  To do this, we must use the site and find out what isn't working for us. 

Current services in the pilot include (no particular order):

  • debate via discussion forum
  • large conceptual idea exchange and debate via blogs
  • People connections via user profiles, ability to find people with particular skills and affiliations
  • news aggregation on malaria topics

Please provide feedback on how those services are working for you.  Post topics as appropriate - don't worry about appearing to complain - we need this feedback.  Don't hold back.  Is there anything about the pages that are confusing or ineffective?  Also note  how serious you consider the issue.

 

To get you started, I've noticed a few issues:

  1. The profile  page edit boxs don't give you any room to enter text unless you disable rich text.  This is confusing.
  2. We need email subscriptions and notifications to draw people to site activity.  I shouldn't have to keep emailing you guys about discussion topics.  This is too much work and folks will end up just using email which is a lousy system of record. 
  3. Loading images and embedding them in the text is awkward at best.  I was able to do it once, but the last time I tried it didn't even work.  Something is going on here.
  4. We have zero project  team infrastructure so far.  No ability to register users to a project, assign a project lead, track tasks...  This is really a missing service and I believe an important one for our mission.  But is it necessary to have this before the launch?

Feedback I need from you:

Are there other things you've seen?  E.g do you think Wiki is critical?

Just how important are the things I've noted to have fixed/enhanced before the launch?

Please respond with your thoughts below or create your own topics if you think a particular point needs debate.

 

 

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marcius's picture

Thanks to Ginger for outlining what she thinks is the minimal work needed before launch. I would also like to give my 2 cents. To me the most important missing component is an automatic communication between the site and the users (also, user-to-user but that can wait). On other words, how can I know of a new discussion entry or a new blog? Can I subscribe to those as well as the RSS aggregator? Is there a way we can have this in the user preferences? Can I know when somebody of my similar profile joins TDI/TSL? etc… Also, can we have a wiki site integrated for the Gene Cards and Gene Annotation projects? Would be great that actually people can create a sort of genepedia based on the wiki platform. We could probably migrate the initial gene cards to be a seed for the genepedia. Malaria would be the initial pilot genome. Of course, would be great to have all tools for project management and administration. This is needed by TSL but I would not make the launch of the site hostage of something that still requires a large amount of work. In summary, there are still things that need to be improved in the drupal portal but most of them are not limiting the usefulness of the community. Thus, I would say that we could release what we have now and evolve from there! Marcius