Working Group: Awesome Foundation Website

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Website Background

The website - awesomefoundation.org - tool for the management of Awesome Foundation projects

  • Website is paid for by IHAS (Institute for Higher Awesome Studies), originally a Wordpress blog. Now built as Rails app running on Heroku with a PostgreSQL backend
  • Been stripping away things from the site, now focusing on the core of project management (stripped out blog, global blog, these were things that nobody used)
  • Every chapter gets its own page, that page highlights the projects that chapter has funded
  • Inbound collection side will collect and organize applications
  • Trustees log in, review applications, choose the winner, winner then reported on site
  • Allows chapters to have email forwarding (something@awesomefoundation.org)

Things chapters do that the site does not do:

  • Register/host their own domain name
  • Have their own branding or functionality
  • Some chapters have rolled their own application flow, not many but a few
  • Maintain their own blog
  • The main awesomefoundation.org will get your RSS feed

Other web infrastructure: the Wiki

  • Closed to account creation because of spammers
  • Email [wiki@awesomefoundation.org to create an account
  • Is this the right tool for the job? Propose one if you can think of one
  • Has a lot of logos, collateral, t-shirt designs

We can go a couple of different ways:

  • Talk about new features, collect requirements and scope them later for GitHub issues
  • Broader question about what the website does, are there functions that exist but nobody uses, or were there but pulled out


Discussion Questions:

Is Jesse content to continue guiding the design of the web team? Yes, site is paid for by IHAS, optimized to be cheap to run, code is open source

How can people contribute?

  • Contributing to the web site: do the work and submit a pull request that describes the change to be reviewed, optimized, checked for internationalization, that sort of thing. Stuff like Rails security updates are usually done without going through the process
  • There is a staging environment to test pull requests
  • Process went through recently with a new piece of functionality allows deans to hide specific applications from the list, can be overridden if need be (will be open to other trustees later, after deans try it out first)
  • So far 39 applications have been hidden, so it’s working
  • Sidebar: why hide vs delete? Delete removes the application completely, so deleting them erases the institutional memory of a chapter)
  • Sidebar sidebar: general philosophy is that features that are added should
    • Not hinder the way that chapters currently do things
    • Add new features that are as broadly applicable as possible (there are as many processes as there are chapters, would like to be as agnostic as possible)
  • There are probably things that are dean-only that should be opened a little more

Discussion based on outstanding feature requests

Ideas for website in Cale’s discussion for the $2 million press release project:

  1. Last month at a glance
  2. Easier finding/viewing past funded projects from the public-facing side either by chapter or across chapters
  3. Identify winners in “finalist view”
  4. Modify standard questions (or add new ones)
  5. Alphabetically sort countries
  6. Project updates
  7. Is there a way to which information about the chapter that people applied to, because right now the application doesn’t tell you anything about where you're applying

Updating application with information about chapter

Discussion on how it might work, what the text should be, could be a configurable option

Finding past-funded projects

  • Would be great to be able to sort/filter, see all projects
  • On the list of tasks - issue #197
  • If we had a prioritized list of things for something like a hackathon

Finalist view change

  • In finalist view, find a way to identify the winner in the list (something like a star or background change)
  • Would like to have ability to configure month or month/date view on the chapter list
  • Idea to name features and tweaks based on the person/chapter who originated it

Modifying standard questions

Compiled a list of 14 questions that other chapters have, some of them are in common. Some people also combine questions into a single question because they only get three custom questions:

  1. How did you hear about us?
  2. What makes your project unique?
  3. What makes [CITY/AREA] more awesome?
  4. How will you measure success?
  5. What inspired you to come up with this project?
  6. How much covers salaries/stipends?
  7. Will the public be able to participate in this?
  8. What is your favorite movie quote?
  9. Would you like to join our mailing list? (Unless you're Portland and then you ask it in a passive-aggressive way)
  10. Can we publicize your project even if it doesn’t win?
  11. What is the estimated number of people served by your project?
  12. Whom would you recommend to apply and what’s their contact information?
  13. Tell us about your audience?
  14. What is the shortest, clearest way to describe your project?
  15. What is the drop-dead date on your project (when will the funds no longer be useful)?

These questions have always been problematic, should have been more flexible from the get-go. Main question is how flexible should the questions be?

  • The three foundational questions are from the original Boston chapter
  • Two ways to go about it:
    • Seed a new chapter with the three main questions and allow them to go nuts with the extra questions -- but how do we migrate the data?
    • Also to handle internationalization for the questions--we already have a problem with the extra questions being in a single language

Going forward:

  • Add multiple additional questions and allow that to be configured on a chapter-by-chapter basis (not a big change but would allow
  • Question about whether the questions should all be hard-coded but internationalization would be helpful
  • If we did have everything configurable, would it be a nightmare for some chapters if they just asked all the questions
  • Sidebar about the NABC method--if you ask the right questions, would you you get the right answers? This question is a bit out-of-scope of our little meeting
  • Some discussion about picking a region: small discussion about where people can and can’t apply--Ottawa, Chicago, Boston, New York, and others have all funded projects based elsewhere geographically

Alphabetically sorting chapters

Already in the system as a feature request

Project Updates

Looking at a project it’s basically what the project wrote originally

  • Under the funded description, sets a date that the project has been funded, then you can type in a description for the funded project (Dean function that none of us have ever heard of)
  • Philosophy moving forward will be to allow all the trustees to do thing, the permissions system seems to be make things more difficult than they need to be

Final thoughts

If there are features that are frustrating or would like to discuss: post to the global list but be gentle because this is all a volunteer effort

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