Brian's Waste of Time

Wed, 25 Jun 2003 Ideas
So I have been tossing around ideas on jump-starting The original concept of a WoW fansite is, well, fanboyish. I am not super interested in running a classic news/strategy/forums fansite. Yawn. heck, I am not interested in running a game fansite. I am interested in the technology and systems integration to make the type of portal site I am thinking about.

The idea is to make it an actual *community* site. It is an aggregator of communities. The natural formation of communities in MMORPG (which, disclaimer, I do not do ) is around the clan concept. An extension then, and nice service to offer, would be a clan site hosting thingie. My nosing around over the last two weeks influences this. The idea is to provide the infrastructure that a clan wants/needs and then provide integration hooks.


The first, and most obvious, piece of infrastructure is a forum. There are lots of pieces of forums around. None that I know of can really be called EAI-ready, but then again, they are quick and dirty to reimplement. Each clan would be provided with two forums specific to that clan by default. The first is a public forum (world readable/writable) the second is a private forum (clan readable/writable). This is nice.

The fun part of the forums comes next. Clans, by their nature, get into relationships with other clans. Friends, Enemies, whatever. Aggregations of clan alliances also then get forums. So if clan Assault allies with clan Blondie they would each have displayed on their own clan forum interface an Assault + Blondie forum which only those clans would have access to. To take it a step further - you could allow relationships greater than two and provide forums as a union of all. So if Assault, Blondie, and Crazy are all allied we get an [Assault Blondie Crazy] accessible forum. If we have Assault allied to Blondie and Crazy, but Blondie and Crazy not allied, we get two additional forums - [Assault Blondie] and [Assault Crazy].

Additionally, the general public forums will always be listed on the clan specific forum interface.


Blogging applications provide, by far, the best method for frequently updated news on the web right now. Clan blogs then become the next tool made available to the clan community. Again, they can automagically aggregate allied blogs, etc. Blosxom and Blagg provide plenty of infrastructure for this - especially with the static rendering feature to cut down on server load.


Email redirects are always absurdly popular. can of course be set to forward for them. Forwards only here, no need to make a pop/imap setup. Also, a clanwide mailing list to the addresses for members would certainly be made available.


Clans will be able to customize the appearance of their specific site. This definately does not include creating html to be executed (client side javascript might be acceptable, but probably not as it opens up a lot of cross-site-scripting concerns. Most likely a set of prefs will be available, the ability to do a custom stylesheet, maybe even a thoughly scrubbed xslt renderer. need to ponder this further.


The fun part here is in making the system. It will definately take some work, but would be far from absurd. Could explore JetSpeed or wait until (don't hold my breath) JSR 168/170 are made public and do version 2 with the Sun endorsed Portlet API. Could just hack it by hand (only really two web based apps listed here). The forum software would probably need to be custom done. I dont know of any COTS forum software that does the type of group based formatting and whatnot that I want. The blogging and configuration can most be done by static configuration based on intercept hooks into the new member/add-remove ally clan/etc type control utilties. There is no mathematical guarantee of data integrity, but there would be at least as much as 995 of the sites in existance ;-).

Ah well, time to get some dinner. Me be hungry.

0 writebacks [/lordaeron] permanent link