March 7, 2009

Launching the Caracas Chronicles Tech Advisory Panel

Quico says: First off, I need to take my hat off in googley-eyed, amazed, drooling adoration of you, the reader community.

The response to my plea for support in switching Caracas Chronicles to a more professional track has been nothing short of amazing! An astonishing number of lurkers came forward to offer help in their fields of expertise, and a project is now definitely taking shape. Suddenly, this all looks very doable to me, which only makes it more scary.

I don't want to give too much away at this stage, but I do want to say one thing: Caracas Chronicles has definitely outgrown I've spent the last week assessing options for a new content management system, one I can hack the hell out of.

I've narrowed it down to three options:
  • Drupal: An Open Source CMS with a massive base of developers and zillions of add-ons.
  • TikiWiki: An Open Source CMS run on "wiki rules" with a smaller base of developers but more features and which - get this - was invented and developed largely in South America
  • Wordpress: The grandaddy of net-based blogging-engines-cum-CMSs, commercial, but with zillions of users and developers and able to support some very sophisticated deployments.
My heart says TikiWiki. My brain says Wordpress. Drupal is, probably a decent compromise between the two: still OpenSource, but big enough to be stable.

Whichever CMS I go with, I will definitely need to outsource the actual work of coding the new sites.

This is where you come in, again.

I've been receiving bids from outsourcing companies from all over the place for the project, and I just don't know enough about web technology to evaluate them. I need your help.

So I'm forming the Caracas Chronicles Tech Advisory Panel: basically a Google Group to help organize the work of volunteers able to lend a hand with this stuff.

A few of you have already gotten in touch with me offering tech help: rest assured, I will be recruiting you for sure. But I still need more input and more volunteers.

So, if you have any expertise in this area, if you know your PHPs from your SQLs and can help me assess offers from providers bidding to re-do the site, and manage my relationship with them, please take a minute to write in.

As always it's caracaschronicles at fastmail dot fm