Plone - Community Plumbing - or Just Content Managment !

Dylan Jay gmane at
Thu Apr 10 00:40:15 UTC 2008

Aaron VanDerlip wrote:
> I think creating lighter weight tools that plug into existing social 
> networking infrastructure is a good route.  It is my observation that 
> users want to stay in Facebook to do Facebook like activities, but like 
> being able to reference their affiliations across sites.  So it makes 
> more sense to display or write to Twitter within your Plone site than to 
> create a Plone version of Twitter (Plitter?). After all, it is about 
> linking the connections right?
> Aaron
> Nynke Kruiderink wrote:
>> Thank you Peter Hollands for starting this dicussion and for the
>> responses.
>> We are currently planning a revamp of our platform
>> so that it can support a web 2.0-ish way of facilitating thematic
>> communities/groups.
>> I am a great fan of Plone but when we were at the brink of starting this
>> endeavor I was doubting whether Plone was the right platform for the
>> job, or if Drupal would be better suited. I'm still not 100% sure but we
>> have decided to try it with Plone based on the following findings, and
>> please feel free to let me know if these findings don't match your
>> perspective/understanding. I am here to learn. :>
>> - No open source cms is web 2.0 out of the box.
>> - A lot of Web 2.0 is attitude/approach/culture rather than tools per
>> se.
>> - Plone has a lot of add-ons which do fall within the web 2.0
>> expectations of users today. The ones we are planning to use are:
>>   * Zwiki
>>   * Quills
>>   * Tagging
>>   * Bookmarking
>>   * PloneProfiles
>>   * PloneBookmarklets
>> We will (try to) encourage a certain protocol with some tags so that the
>> thematic virtual folders we will be building throughout the website will
>> reflect the content members are adding. Initially we want to minimize
>> the editorial management and allow all content published by members to
>> be visible by all members. But this is also based on the fact that we're
>> not expecting thousands of members, so the community members should know
>> one another. We know this is a risk, but it's a risk we want to take to
>> increase the sense of empowerment and ownership, vital to community
>> building I think.
>> But indeed, the tools we have available stay close to the core of Plone,
>> namely publishing/managing content. In terms of social networking
>> functionalities, I am not familiar and haven't heard of
>> tools/functionalities which are similar to those as in Facebook for
>> instance, which I have been using for 3 months now. Don't get me wrong,
>> I don't think Plone should try to be another Facebook. However some
>> minimal options such as leaving bilateral messages for each other, or a
>> "writing on a members wall" (is that like the commenting system you
>> mentioned Jon?), (Twitter-like) status updates, might be a small
>> investment with high rewards.
>> But if I've missed something and someone can point me in the right
>> direction in this regard, I would only be grateful.
>> Again, thank you Peter for starting this discussion and I look forward
>> to thoughts of others.
>> Sincerely,
>> Nynke
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: ngo-bounces at 
>> [mailto:ngo-bounces at]
>> On Behalf Of Jon Stahl
>> Sent: Monday, December 10, 2007 2:07 AM
>> To: A list for NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) using Plone.
>> Subject: Re: Plone - Community Plumbing - or Just Content Managment !
>> Peter Hollands wrote:
>>> Is Plone going to develop into a Community Plumbing Platform ? Will it
>> have h
>>> as standard the features that Non-Profits nead to build a constituency
>> ?
>> What is your definition of "the standard features?"
>> In my opinion, Plone is already a community plumbing platform.
>> It lets users register, login, create content, comment on other content,
>> etc.
>> Does that mean it has every feature you might need to build an online 
>> community?  Of course not!  And especially not out of the box.  Plone 
>> (like Drupal, Joomla and most other open-source CMSes) is a "lean 
>> core" with lots of add-on modules.  Which add-on modules exist are 
>> solely a function of what the community needs and wants... and, most 
>> critically, is willing and able to pay for!
>> When I think about building an online constituency, I think that 
>> constituent relationship management is at the heart of that.  Plone 
>> doesn't do that, and I don't think it should try.  But Plone does 
>> integrate with powerful, inexpensive CRM platforms such as 
>>  That's a smart approach that avoids reinventing the
>> wheel.
>> Plone always has room to improve. But just because doesn't say
>> "Community Plumbing" on the homepage doesn't mean it isn't an 
>> extremely suitable tool for groups of people to work together to 
>> create and share content and build community.  And over the next 
>> couple of years, we're going to continue building on this amazing 
>> platform to make it even better at those tasks.
>> A couple of obvious places I think it would be great to invest some 
>> money in:
>> -- The commenting system (building on some great initial work by Tom 
>> Lazar, Kai Diefenbach and Christian Scholz)
>> -- The user profile system (to make it easier to extend user profiles 
>> with simple custom fields)

We're started a new group called plonesocial to work on these 
lightweight components

Looks like we're going to start with a invitation system to get outside 
users into the system easily.

More information about the NGO mailing list