It has been a long and twisty road since I first set out to build a community site for the greater La Crosse, Wisconsin area (also known as the Coulee Region) over two years ago. And it's a road that I continue to travel. Coulee Region ONLINE, as I call my site, has been running (or maybe limping) for most of those two years on Drupal 5 but is in a constant state of undone filled with glitches and promises of good things to come Real Soon Now.
Coulee Region Online
Update Aug 3, 2009: Here we are 6 months later and I haven't made much progress on either this book or my site. When I started, I had big plans of documenting step by step everything I do on the site. But I found myself struggling because I just don't build things in a nice linear order that the book needs. I bounce around all over the place, go back, make changes, try different things. On top of that, my modules take so much time, I really don't have much time for my site and keep pushing the launch off further and further.
I've had a lot of people asking about the directory I'm working on here: http://couleeregiononline.com/directory . I plan on doing a tutorial but first I need to finish version 3 of user profiles along with all the other stuff I have to do. So it's going to be a while. In the mean time, here's a few pointers to help those who can't wait:
November 3, 2008: This tutorial sort of petered out as I refocused my efforts into Advanced Forum and Advanced Profile Kit. Sometime early next year I plan on moving Coulee Region ONLINE into D6 and resume work on it. At that point, I'll be revamping this site recipe. In the mean time, I'm leaving the old pages in case someone still finds them useful.
The second part of my general plan is informational. This isn't totally disconnected from the interactive part, of course, but the focus is a little different.
The informational side will consist of these areas:
As I said before, the main goal of this site is real chat with real people. All other ideas are secondary to this goal. So let's go into detail of what I need to get people talking.
I took a break from writing up specs to indulge myself in going through the contrib modules to see what I might like to use. I set the filter to "all" and copied the links to anything that caught my eye. When I was done, I had roughly 300 modules! Of course, many of these do the same thing as others and some of them aren't maintained anymore. I spent some time organizing them by category but haven't further weeded them. I'm posting the list here for the curious and will post again once I've weeded it down.
In my last post, I wrote out a quick list of the ideas that have been floating around in my head. Now I need to get organized. My ideas fall into two main categories:
Being a full time mom to an active toddler, I don't have a lot of time at the computer. But I find myself with a lot of thinking time during the day when driving place to place or watching my son at the park or any of the zillion other things that keeps me from the computer but doesn't take much thought.