How do we structure the Community Hub?

Metabolism of Cities Community Hub
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There are (roughly) two ways to define the "community":

  1. The Metabolism of Cities community of contributors and involved parties

  2. The wider urban metabolism community -- whether they know/are involved with MoC or not

In our current site, we have a section of the navigation menu dedicated to COMMUNITY, which primarily contains things related to point 2: research projects by the academic world, implementation projects that happen wherever, as well as general updates and events in the field. However, in this new format it makes sense to create a home for OUR community, the MoC community. The new Community Hub is still a work in progress, and it actually features a mix: it has a forum (which is the MoC forum and pulls in all kinds of info from across our projects), but it also shows general Organizations and Projects in the field.

Here is what I would say we can roughly identify as potential content:

MoC Community:

  • Forum

  • Tasks (all the tasks from across all our projects)

  • Overview of MoC projects (which you can see in the footer but which can be expanded upon)

  • List with people

  • Maybe something like a ranking, showing people's activity and their points, across the network

  • News and events (that directly related to MoC... e.g. a hackathon we organize)

Wider urban metabolism community:

  • Organizations

  • Projects

  • News and events

The question is: (how) do we split up these two different types of content? Any thoughts??

Hi Paul,
I've just discussed this with Aris and we weren't a big fan of the way it is mixed now and would like to propose an alternative solution. We could use the community.moc site really for the wider UM community, as you say and have organisations, people (authors), projects, news etc. listed there. BUT we also think it is attractive to have a forum for this community, where people can discuss their own projects, proposals, perhaps even thesis work, city initiatives etc. Having the central forum there, we could still include the volunteer forum there as a sub-thread as well, but then duplicate the volunteer thread for the "volunteer portal".
As for the tasks and the volunteer forum, perhaps these could sit on the main site as this seems to be more of a logical place for the MoC Community. And the list of people there is then the list of contributors etc., active users and people related to MoC.

What do you think?

Yep yep yep, very good. Agreed. I will do some maneuvering and re-dedicate the community portal to the wider UM community, and repurposing the "core" MoC site to the MoC community as you describe makes a lot of sense. The central forum on the wider community site is useful, but I may just hide it for now because we need see how we get enough momentum going so that it becomes lively enough to be interesting. We already have a network of volunteers that we are engaging with, so getting the MOC community forum going seems to be a good first priority.

Anyways, thanks for the feedback, I will proceed to whip something together and will then report back.

Okay, here we go... a new structure was put in place. This features:

  • The removal of the MoC-specific things from the Community Hub

  • The integration of the Forum and Tasks on the "core" website

  • Integration of an Events tab on this site, where we feature Sprints and Training/Outreach events.

  • An overview of our projects (as it was before, although they for now link straight to their new sites, with the idea that we can first show a fact sheet before sending people there)

It needs some more polishing, but I think you'll get the idea. What is everybody's impression?

I like the changes. Looks cleaner to me. However, I would change the order of the menu items on the new.moc site.
My suggestion is to have this order from left to right:

  • Our projects

  • Forum

  • Tasks

  • Events

  • About

  • Account

What do you think?
Secondly, we could also add people (authors) to the community page.
Lastly, I find the menu functionality a bit odd. I find it strange to have a mix between a menu item being a direct link to a site and having a menu item that when I click on opens up a small box with more menu items behind it. Eeeh, the explanation isn't the best, but I hope you get what I mean. Can't attach screenshots yet or could have demonstrated differently.

OK sure, I have changed the order of the menu according to your suggestion.

With regards to mixing dropdown/non-dropdown items I see the point... I'd say it's not extremely uncommon, but it would be nice if we indeed had consistency. But then we'd have to reorganize the menu quite a bit to either be completely flat or all-out dropdown. Can we reorganize it / would that improve things?

Thanks Paul! The order fits almost (!) with the flow text below above the various subsites now too, so that is nice :)

Before we do any reorganisation and if it isn't that uncommon to have this mix, perhaps we should first find out if other people feel the same way?
If it does come to a reorganisation, then it would probably only make sense to go for all-out dropdown, as we can't accomodate all these options otherwise. We'd then have to bundle the "flat singles". Forum, Tasks and Events could be under Engage / Participate / Contribute / Be Active...something like that.
Also, we'd have to check if the same needs to be done for the other subsites, or not?

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