History, I'm a Councillor 7 years, IAS trial on old software, Need for updated software, More features, Up-to-date
Zone area, Login or register, Questions, News and announcements Parent / root site
Scientists gallery Loged in user's brief profile Recent questions, etc
My first thoughts on addressing each of the requirements.
Plugins interfering with each other, BP too much functionality, Spent too much time turning things off. WPMU registration nightmare – not enough hooks, to much hard-coded
Details of what was required over and above 'normal' registration.
Cimy Didn't support per role fields, but handled with naming convention Slightly hacked – just two lines added Theme my profile – heavily hacked to add more functionality Plenty of custom validation and custom display code No / duplicate emails! Registration code / with pre-sets (role, zone) More profile questions Not enough hooks == Modify core!
Email not required for students, school not required for scientists. Can only prompt for the superset of required fields Handle what's really required after ascertaining role through sign up code.
Example scientist profile Brief view for less able/ less interested students. Not overwhelmed.
Scientist can add rich content
Scientist overview, pulls in specific profile info Live question/comment data
Student profile Avatar from fixed choice! Achievements for participating in the event – asking questions, voting in each round – good motivation Current voting status
Mods need to change categories, duplicates, mark as interesting, then approve Approved but unanswered questions not public – only scientists can see their unanswered questions Stages are : submitted -> approved -> answered (implemented as draft -> pending -> published) scientists cannot see others answers while they are answering. Many duplicates Email to scientist – new questions Email to student – your question answered Email on duplication – student look here for your answer
Proposed solution – wasn't ready enough in 2.9
Simple form no distractions Easy to choose scientists Can't ask evicted scientist ('all' handles that too) Form submit creates draft post in question category Text box -> post_content Question text is copied to post title (possibly with truncation)
Nice visuals! Scientists names link to profiles. Standard wordpress category listing with extra plugin for nice paging Standard hook to modify comment count used throughout – don't count answers as comments.
Single question – visually separate answers from comments Avatar/profile pic – maintains relationship/ownership Supports replies/nesting maintains conversation
Short urls done almost completely in .htaccess! Missed screen shot of extra url it's a special for scientists only (my unanswered questions)
Library and FAQ – Zone specific but both will show root site content if none or not-enough zone content Global lists use post-indexer and comment-indexer premium plugins, otherwise query across zones is impossible/expensive Need to do my own later because need more info stored to do more – including search.
History, Change votes, Evictions, 3, 4, or 5 rounds for 4, 5, or 6 sci's Backend interface to show counts per round. Future functionality, stats, graphs
Cannot be more simple way to vote Students can vote again any time (Maybe need to make that explicit) Only current vote this round counts.
Feedback on voting Perhaps needs to be more exciting!
Simple but seemed to work OK. Right side for Scientists. Left for everyone else. Moderators get a delete link on each message, Click Avatar to ban user Needed debugging/tweaking in real time during chats to diagnose problems. Very carefully!
After chat session there was a problem: If the students didn't click to another page or refresh they could continue to chat. Maintained high load on server, but more importantly: unmoderated. Unsupervised chat – publicly visible! Bad, bad, bad Back end solution – turn off chat engine per zone. Force refresh of page to kill chat. Happy client! tweet
Info about email is stuck in one table (as an event) Who to email stuck in another table with link
Different queues per event type WP cron jobs mean mailouts can be staggered Scientists' “new question to answer” high priority – runs more often, grabs more per pass. More also equals better concat Email message constructed from event type template + event info + user info at send time. Quite heavy processing so out of request processing with WP cron is good.
Not enough screen width! Mods needed to make changes en masse to cope with sheer volume Mass action = un/approve/un/interesting/delete Very expensive/slow screen to generate! These Qs are unapproved and highlighted
These Qs are answered Options are different, “”interesting” now individual checkbox Cannot mark a Q as duplicate now as it has been answered. High post numbers indicates sheer volume of questions/duplicates – though versions, etc included.
Admin/moderator summery dashboard Very, very, very expensive to accumulate data – cached for 10 minutes. Very popular with client giving a feel of progress / success of interaction. This was implemented within hours of the request Happy client again! Tweets
Couldn't have done it without all the framework WordPress gives.
Wordcamp 2010 I'm A Scientist Get me Out of Here - Mike Little
What is I'm a Scientist?
Scientists and students talk on this website. They both break down barriers, have fun and learn. But only the students get to vote. 20 zones! five scientists in each zone, talking to 20 classes of students. So that’s 100 scientists and 5,000 students .
Interaction The kids ask questions
of the scientists The scientists answer the questions Everyone (registered) gets to comment Real time chat sessions The students vote for their favourite scientist Scientist profiles. Student profiles.
Original Plan / Requirements Multiple
zones – WPMU Custom profiles – Buddypress Questions & Answers – Custom post types Registration – specific restrictions Privacy / Child protection – Custom Roles Easy interaction Administration / Moderation
What Worked WPMU – of
course Buddypress – Too much Custom post types – To little Custom registration – Too hard Data / Child protection – Half a plugin
Custom Profiles Extra fields on
registration Password on registration Registration with role – Student/Teacher/Scientist, Sign up code – URN Duplicate or no email! Avatar for students/Profile pics for scientists
Plugins Pierre's Wordspew – Heavily
hacked for two room chat and lighter load (looks like some of my issues have been addressed recently). http://bit.ly/9Xpvps Theme my profile – great starting point for profile pages and profile editing – heavily added to. http://bit.ly/boYEEj Post indexer (premium) – for global questions list. http://bit.ly/duZhhS Comment indexer (premium) – for global comment list. http://bit.ly/cb2UqB Capability Manager – (used to create roles) http://bit.ly/bdkN3i CIMY User Extra Fields – http://bit.ly/aYDfR7
Links The site: http://imascientist.org.uk/ Gallomanor:
http://www.gallomanor.com/ The Wellcome Trust: http://www.wellcome.ac.uk Dot Design http://dot-design.co.uk/ Communis: http://communis.co.uk/ Scientist Mark Fogg's ( http://ias.im/u.1479 ) 4am Eureka moment inspired by student question: http://bit.ly/bmEith zed1.com: http://zed1.com/