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The updated community library and activity feed

As part of the Google HOA feature, I'm about to start work on the community library.  This is necessary to provide an accessible home for HOA recordings, but is also a good opportunity to tackle the long-running issue of making community content accessible to users coming to the community.

At the same time, there's an urgent need for an 'activity feed' -- a way of seeing at a glance what's happening in a community -- new blogs, comments, new users added, and so on.  As many have noticed, right now it's easy to miss activity if you're not already subscribed to the right updates.

My current hope is to do both at the same time -- that is, make the activity feed and the library the same thing, namely a unified view into the current state of the community.  This would include:

  • community-level folders created by the founder of community administrators (e.g. -- "data viz resources") 
  • recent activity views -- ability to see most recent comments, most recent posts, most recent documents, most recent users added, and so on
  • user directory
  • and so on

the trick will be to present this information in a way that is simple and not overwhelming.  The top-level view needs to have very few components (and lots of white space), but to be easily navigable, so that it's possible to quickly find whatever you want.  Easy to say, harder to do :-)

The first use case for this new "community view" will be the HOA recordings that are now being created.  Those will be key resources, and so making them accessible is important.  At the outset, this is going to require bringing community discussion rooms into the main community view.

​Still thinking all of this over, so don't have a clear framework in mind yet.  I know *what* we need to do, but not yet *how* we're going to do it.

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Created: March 03, 2014

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