Spring 2016 Community Goal 2: Biohack.me site overhaul

edited April 2016 in Community
Spring 2016 Goals 
At Grindfest 02 the group talked about goals for the community.  Themes of “Supportive not competitive” and "More tangible results"

Goal 2: Biohack.me site overhaul
The site needs an overhaul and the work should be done by the community to ensure there isn't a large burden placed on one person.

The full goals doc is here - sign up or add information :D



  • So something that is becoming apparent to me is the global members here. This kind of plays into the writing habits part of the goals. There are members here who may have excellent writing habits but in their first language only. Is there a way to in corporate Google translate to the site for those of us who do not speak/write fluent, non lazy, English?
  • If we're looking to revamp the site as part of our Spring initiatives, it might be worth looking into how much we can extend it to support our other goals.

    Is there something we can build or install as part of the new site base that can support, say, the journals initiative? Individual blogs? Events? Groups? Resource Directory? User directory with skills and a map (optional of course)? A forum base to work with is fantastic, but it might be nice to see what other sort of utility we can get from this upgrade.

    There's a lot of approaches we can take, too. Individual stand-alone pieces that aren't connected and run off of different systems, but live under the same domain (forum.biohack.me, journals.biohack.me, events.biohack.me). OR we can see if there's something we can work with or build out that has all or at least most of these sections combined.

    If we move on to a new base, it's possible to have the current forum live under archive.biohack.me and just port over the active threads. Nothing gets lost that way, and still lives somewhere for reference and wiki building.
  • edited April 2016
    I can definitely see more choices like the journals.biohack.me and events.biohack.me.

    I may even suggest a software type of one where you can access different "trusted" software to work on projects like using ruby and GitHub. maybe even a resources type choice for electronics that you can buy for projects. 
  • A lot of the things mentioned required a change to the access control to the site. In fact, there is an ancient thread about site suggestions that you can read if you want to lull yourself to sleep. It looks like we may have that happening. Finally. The next few days may be big. Everyone please be patient :)

    Someone will update when something is actually done.
  • My interest has been peaked!!!
  • *crickets*

    Any updates on this? I'm happy to help with anything needed as far as making this happen.
  • The site owner has faded back into the mists.... attempts are being made... 

  • I thought you said he became a monk?
  • thats someone else. We're a community of ghosts, monks and cyborgs apparently. 
  • edited May 2016
    Hum surprised that AI wasn't thrown in there.... Sound a lot like what deep web community's strive for.... Who is paying the hosting fees....
  • The ghost
  • As a fun side project, maybe we could have all the programmers band together and write a chat bot that can answer a lot of the questions about biohacking. Or even more ambitious. An AI that'll parse forum posts and be able to provide up to date answers about various events and developments without having to delegate that role. 

    So, are we planning on having a new member of the community host a server?
  • I am working on a site right now for me to be able to sell things and I set it up so that anyone can post a product on there like etsy but for grinding, I saw this thread and went in and added an extra forum thing in there because it was easy enough to make and why not. So once thats up maybe people would like to use the forum on there? maybe that project is what we use for this rebuild, that way people don't have to do the "PM me and we will talk about selling you things" kind of thing. I don't know if thats the directions that the official biohack.me site should go, but it is being made regardless of the domain that its put on.
  • Don't forget to post a link to it @benbeezy ;)
    When it's up.
  • so this is a super test, I just have it up on a free amazon server (so its a little slow) but here is what I have. http://biohack.s2fsk8r85n.us-west-2.elasticbeanstalk.com/forum look at everything and let me know what you guys want in the site (as function not looks yet) and let me know :) I am just basing it from drupal commerce, so it still has some of those thing in it. feel free to make an account. Should we use a forum on there instead of here? (it just sounds wrong to do so, but it is better) 
  • @AlexSmith already migrated the forum to a backup. He got all the old posts and whatnot transferred as well.
  • I don't know if anyone here is a reader/ member of the hackaday community. If not, it's a great tech blog and you should go check them out. 

    They have set up something they call hackaday.io which is a place where people setup and collaborate on projects. It would take too much time to describe it here, but you should check it out if you don't already know about it.

    Some of my favorite features include official build logs, galleries, comments, and even and official system for setting up collaboration. 

    This is obviously a HUGE undertaking, and they have people working on this sort of thing 24/7, but it would still be cool to see something like a biohack.io
  • @glims yeah, but he's just using an updated version of whats already here, and every seams to not like it. I can build a webscraper to get all of the content from here pretty easily. 
  • I made an account to see what the forums was like on it. It is more friendly on mobile then this site, but that's not saying much haha. I like the site though it seems smooth. The only thing that bothers me is the drop down menu.
  • edited May 2016
    I think it's imperative that it remains on the same domain. We don't need several smaller forums to pop up and have the community suddenly stretched out.

    There's been more talk about this on Slack. The latest plan seems to be to go with Flarum or Oxwall... @BirdMachine has been working on it.
  • Yeah Mark. I agree with you regarding keeping everything under a single domain, but does it need to be this one? I'm beginning to wonder if the resistance is related to the domain name being worth something? I don't think .me fetch a high price but perhaps he's sitting on it with the hope?

    Why not consider another domain name and moving everything over? I'm sure we at least have enough access to simply have the biohack.me redirect to another domain?
  • edited May 2016
    Correct on the Flarum / Oxwall parts! I've been poking around with the later to see how it looks and feels, and what sort of things we'll be able to keep in one place vs spreading it out. With Oxwall, user blogs and profiles can be a thing, as well as an events calendar and groups with their own private or public areas. Downsides with it so far include some issues with searching, and how the mobile version is served (vs just using responsive design which really should be the default for these sort of things by now but anyway...) Here's what I've been poking at http://machinesofbirds.com/ (This domain/server is just my sandbox) (You might see errors during a search. I've been trying to fix said searching woes.)

    I loooooove what hackaday's managed to become, especially with the way it handles projects! Something like that would be really valuable I think. Pages where user projects can exist, with all of their updates and documentations and media, in a much easier to navigate system than digging through pages and pages of thread content. I am certainly not averse to trying to make something like that happen. Maybe something we can try building a plugin for in oxwall.
  • Cassox - yea, even another domain would be fine if it redirects so it's clear it's the official new forum.

    The current domain I don't really see as being worth much right now. The domain hack.me sold for about 1300 a few years ago and that's mainly because it's a single keyword. BioHack.me would be two keywords, not really a valuable extension, nor is the term "BioHack" really that popular or in high demand. It could be worth something in the future though.

    I'd volunteer to write a plugin for Oxwall for anything we need to add to the base. I'll actually deploy a staging install and take a look at the search issue sometime this week and see if I can crack that issue.
  • Benbeezy you right, I just screen scraped the old content and used it to populate a Flarum forum. It's not that heard, but at least I'm doing something.

    Flarum is much newer forum platform, it has heaps of features that we lack in the current site, like good mobile design, push notifications, ability to follow threads, image upload etc.
    Right now it's on a box I control, but unlike the current site I'd like to give a few competent admins shell level access to the server so that the community can make any changes they want.
  • The reason I made the one that I did was because it had to options for a "store" and I could make it so anyone could add things to the store and get rid of this "PM me your paypal" stuff.I have everything set up an aws and could make unique keys for everyone who wants one, that way we have "blame" and could revert things if wanted.

    I am using drupal, so its very easy to modify things, I set the entire thing not even needing ssh. It also has mobile design, file uploads (not limited to images) so any of us can make a site it looks like haha how is it chosen what one everyone uses? I have no idea. I just made an option. 
  • has there been any progress on the overhaul?
  • Main point of contact to access the servers (or even just the domain, to point it elsewhere) has been more than a little difficult to reach unfortunately :( It hasn't fallen off our radar, however!
  • Good to know! When it does finally happen im sure it will be great looking.
  • What's the problem if I may ask?
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