In recent discussions with other KIA agents, I’ve come to terms with the need for further development of the KIA website. It could be friendlier for mobile devices, phones and tablets for example. It could be easier and more intuitive to navigate. Various people have told me it is like a labyrinth, and perhaps none know this more than myself anyway. It has long been my thought that KIA needs someone with a more intuitive less autistic mind to design a friendlier interface.
My attempt, of changing the links for ‘Network, Wiki, Forum’ into ‘Network, Collaborate, Discuss’, makes the change of using intuitive rather than functional language, but really it is still a menu based on function rather than content. However, I also think that such an intuitive agent probably wouldn’t know where to begin without my giving a structural overview of the site as it stands.
Lets start by looking at the three main links.
Network -> The blogs and subsites. Here agents make posts ranging from an embedded image or youtube video, through poems, notes, diary like entries and accounts of events to fully thought out articles. Other agents usually leave comments. This is probably the bulk of the site and where most of the discussion and interaction happens. It is also where agents send each other private messages, add other agents as friends and manage their profiles.
Collaborate – > The wiki. Here we have collaboratively edited pages, similar to those on wikipedia. Yes, it is currently a bit ugly looking and any future development should prioritise making this part of the site look nicer. Most agents probably use this as reference, if they use it at all. It has lots of interesting content though. Worth keeping and developing in my opinion.
Discuss -> The forum. Dead. Not sure what killed it. Bad interface probably. Maybe it was a mistake to start using bbpress. On the other hand maybe it has been the success of the blogging interface. In any case, I’m not how much of value lies therein. Probably worth keeping as archives, but relegating to a less prominent part of the menu structure and made read only.
At least this is my opinion. As a developer concentrating on just two website platforms will make my job a whole lot easier in the long run, and the less time I have to spend maintaining the site the more time I have to develop it and write new content.
Secondly, a map of what I consider the most important areas:
KIA core sites:
- main site -> the one that collates all the posts from the other sites, along with its own posts for the front page (excluding some sites by that sites admins request). Conceptually the main site also includes the wiki (collaborate) area, even though technically that is different software.
- egregore -> contains the KIA Speaks software and the doll project.
- meta -> discussion about software used/to use.
Chaosphere magic sites:
- Chaosphere magic site collates all the posts from the others…
- Duality sites (Doing magic and being magic sites need setting up)
- Elemental sites (Earth launched, Fire ready to launch, Air and Water need setting up.
- Colour magic sites (Octarine, Black, White, Green, Blue, Purple, Yellow, Red, Orange) -> Open for posting by all agents concerning the theory and practise of the colours of magic. Octarine currently also collates articles from other colours.
Special projects: Technically the chaosphere magic sites are a special project, just a very big one deserving of its own mention because it spans multiple sites and has structure. All agents are free to declare a subsite they start as a special project if they open up posting to multiple agents. Minimum of two agents working together. So far special project sites include:
- UFO Magic (Discussion of UFOnauts, ETs, Ultraterrestrials and the like in magic).
- Alchemical.TV (Magical film project by Anton, Lolita and others)
- When Illuminated Press (Publishing project currently including work from Anton and Spiral (Janice Duke).
- Many agents have personal sites, including myself. Some have more than one. Agent can opt out of them being listed, but by default they appear in a directory.
That is the main structure, but there may also be important pages worth highlighting in a good navigation system. Such as:
Important wiki pages:
- The main wiki page
- The Library
- The list of Articles
- The list of Rituals
- The list of Gatherings
- The list of Projects
Other important pages
- Contact form (yes, we have one of those, and it has proved useful)
- Announcements (currently a list of posts marked with a given post category. Might not be all that useful in current form?
- Manifesto – A page with the orginal KIA manifesto. Possibly better moved to wiki?
- Rules – A page with the current site rules. Probably also better moved to wiki.
- Tools (online cyber magic tools, currently only has link to EnigMagick, also needs KIA Speaks and a link to download chaoshex).
- A tag cloud page.
- A map page. Probably less than useful. Meaningless visitor statistics.
- A page about how to support KIA. Needs work.
- A links page. Needs work. Currently only has our webring memberships…
- A list of help articles.
KIA’s Social media presence currently includes:
- A facebook page
- A tumblr
- A twitter feed