Msg#83 - Re: Becoming Conversant
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Posted: 6/19/2000 by Mark Morgan
Modified: 6/19/2000 by Mark Morgan
That's a great idea. The big advantage of domain hosting is multiple conversations, so you could set up entire little worlds for individuals and control them all from one administration interface. I've also been giving some real thought to what might make Conversant more straightforward to the newbie, not just in site management but for members as well..
One of my plans for www.smeed.org would be a family website to tie
together all the far-flung members of my immediate family. There's
also a few business opportunites. For example, my wife Pauline is a
freelance history researcher out-of-season and she has put together a
number of exhibitions for the local museum that she is the curator of
in-season. Pauline is pretty much a computer newbie - the cobbler's
children syndrome ;-) - but I can see big advantages for her and her
clients if she used Conversant. I could do all the hard work setting
up the templates, etc., and she can concentrate on the content.
To be honest, I'm a little fuzzy on the difference between groupware and a content management system, but we learn as we go, no?
I looked at themes and at first site (pun intended) they seem
attractive but at the end of the day they are little more than a
gimmick geared at competing with the weblogger.coms of this world.
Conversant is so much more than a weblogger although at the moment
that is what I'm cutting my teeth on.
I have a couple of templates just now - one for the weblog (home
page) and one for the main dg pages. The reason is simply that the
background images in the main text table I use in the weblog didn't
render well in NN 4.08 on the Mac so that's why that page has a plain
white background and the rest of the site has that muted graph paper
background (at least I hope it's muted as I can never be sure as I
use a PowerBook and sometimes there is a discrepancy between the way
others have their monitors set up and my (color calibrated) LCD.
I have nothing against Manila, but in singing Conversant's praises I forgot to mention how much I love the fact that the administration system isn't controlled by my site's templates. I learned the hard way that an unclosed table tag in a Manila can cause long nights of hand hacking things so you can repair your site.
I have several templates for different kinds of pages on my site, but my favorite thing about Conversant templates is that you can base a new one on an existing one. Very handy. For example, my index pages are identical to bound URL pages, except for a lack of link to the DG mode (how often do you need to give feedback about an index page, really?).
Sure thing. I'm not really a writer-type and I had only envisaged my
howtos being used in a local context by my members but I'd be more
than happy to contribute to such a great community. As to the name -
plays on Conversant, first words, conversations, etc. conjure up all
sorts of possibilities. 'Becoming Conversant' comes immediately to
mind (and which prompted the change of subject title ;-))
Great title, and a nice pun. The way I feel about it, we could sit around and let Macrobyte Resources take time out of their busy schedules, or we could do it ourselves and let them have more time to roll out features. Mark loves features... In my mind, they are then welcome to use whatever the heck I write as official documentation on the support site, or any part of what I write, or whatever.
The thing with having users write things is that we can share the experience from the other side, particularly the newbie experience. Brian Carnell, for example, has described Conversant as buliding with Legos. Cool!
P.S. Andrea, if you're reading this, I posted this via the free-conversant newsgroup. I often use the newsgroup because it lets me quickly and easily check for new messages in all the Conversant sites I'm a member of. I don't have to wait around for a site to load to see if it has new messages or not. Very, very efficient way of using my time. I love Conversant.
P.P.S. When the date is announced, you are all more than welcome to attend my virtual barn raising. Using ICQ, AIM, and chat my site is going to be redesigned, live, with everyone welcome to give feedback on the spot. Only possible because of Conversant's sophisticated rapid prototyping abilities. Change the whole site with one click? No problem...
Mark Morgan: firstname.lastname@example.org
A resource for writers and readers of all stripes.
Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' (I found it!) but 'That's funny....'"
Re: Becoming Conversant ( 6/19/2000 by Duncan, Label: None. )
Hi Mark, sorry I don't have the time to respond at length just now. Will