New story: Mission in transition
New column: Redevelopment funds proposal pits large cities against small
Been doing some research into online community data models and database implementations. Thus far that mainly means reviewing Philip Greenspun's seminal Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing, in particular chapter 3, scalable systems for online communities and chapter 12, Database Management Systems.I've read his book several times over, but it was always too easy to just skim the SQL bits.
Then Greenspun is also publishing SQL for Web Nerds, which I am busy reading right now. Trouble is, he writes from an Oracle perspective, and I am going to have to try and implement everything in the somewhat icky, non-ACID-compliant but free from my gracious Web host MySQL.
Models of community sites: Slashdot for its cool distributed comment moderation system and extensive personalization options; photo.net for its educational utility, ability to attract and retain sophisticated, experienced and skilled long term users who teach others, for its diversity of input points and for excellent static content; Epinions for mass moderation approach and ability, at least once upon a time, to instill user loyalty; craigslist for community focus and utility; Scripting News for lack of discussion groups, effective use of partner weblogs and successful masquerade as a news and opinion blog. MediaNews for showing what can be done with conventional e-mail (see "Letters" section).