Welcome back!

Well, hi! It’s been a long time…

Unfortunately on this blog the posting frequency really dropped off over the last year, work just got the better of me! Compounding this, I kind of lost interest in web development issues which was the main topic of the blog and it didn’t feel right to write about other topics on the blog whilst it was still primarily a web development blog.

So what I’ve done now is to relaunch the blog with a new design and software (we’re running WordPress now). I still haven’t worked out what this blog is really going to be about, but we’ll hopefully see as time progresses!

This is in fact the third reincarnation of Cow’s Blog. We started off in April 2004 using Postnuke before relaunching with Geneone in August 2005. And now in February 2008, I’m pleased to switch to WordPress.

The reasons for switching to WordPress were fairly simple.

Geneone was a PHP script I started writing in 2005. I recognised several issues: many websites had different softwares for blogs, forums and other community features such as polls. This made no sense to me: why would anybody want to create half a dozen accounts just to be able to fully utilise the features on one website?

Secondly, websites often had forums but the forums were totally independent from the main website. Not just in terms of user accounts, but also in the design. And most forums didn’t even feature a link back to the site which it was supposed to be promoting.

Thirdly, people were writing blog systems and forum systems totally separately and independently of each another when 99% of the system is the same. I mean, take a forum, fiddle around with the permissions a little bit and change the theme, and you’ve got a blog. Blogs and forums could also learn from each another: for example RSS would have been a great addition to many forums.

So Geneone attempted to bridge that gap and to solve those problems. Unfortunately I ran out of time to get the software to such a stage where development could be continued by others and it died off with its last release in July 2006.

I do believe that Drupal does a fairly good job of fulfilling Geneone’s goals today and it has a fantastic user community behind it.

But anyway, we’re back on WordPress. I’ve migrated all the old posts and comments which were on Geneone into WordPress and the vast majority of old Geneone URLs should work in WordPress. I know a lot of my old blog posts were really useful to the developer community as I was still receiving comments from people who used them to solve their Internet Explorer headaches! So they’re staying up for the benefit of the world wide web and Google.

6 thoughts on “Welcome back!

  1. True, there are a lot of cms available now. Drupal is great indeed. But this is more a content management system. Geneone is as you said a “community management system”, which is slightly different. With all these facebooks, myspace and hyves systems around, you may think Geneone is out of the race. I do not believe in super big communities on the net because you can never feel like “at home” in them. Small communities of a few hundreds members can also be very successful. The super big communities are also profit orientated, and all their features are spinning around this idea of profit.
    Let’s put this idea on a side and think instead about real cool features for the members of a community. We may come with something very interesting.

    This is a pity that you’ve stopped the geneone development. I think you should create a think-tank for geneone to see what people comes up with…and maybe you …could try to implement them…in geneone…I know this is a lot of work…but well, there is a niche for your geneone.

    Also, could you do an self install like in drupal…I am not smart enough to install your geneone on my database…:(((

    I hope you’ll read this.

  2. Hi,

    Thanks for the kind words! I think the great thing about developing Geneone was that any ideas I could put into practice straight away into a community of about 8,000 players through Evolution.

    Although there might be a nice niche, I’m just simply at the time in my life where I’ve got so much going on, and given Geneone doesn’t really link to a future career or earn any income, it’s really unfortunate that I’ve had to let it go.

    Drupal doesn’t do exactly what Geneone does but I’ve found with several sites I’ve ran, it was easier to modify and hack Drupal to add the features I wanted rather than to develop Geneone further.

    – Cow

  3. Thank you for your answer Cow.
    I have used drupal quite a lot, but I want something very much community orientated.
    I see in the near future the meaning of “cms” becoming community management system more than content management system.
    If you have some suggestions, let me know.

  4. It would be interesting to know if any sites (other then Evolution) use Geneone. With the updates to PHP recently, some parts of Geneone may well be broken. With a coding team, geneone could probably be updated to work with the new PHP 5 and new features added. Genone is reasonably easy to install but a installer would be a nice touch.

  5. Hi,

    I’m not aware of any sites using Geneone except from the neonDragon.net network and a couple of alliances who have set up external forums using Geneone.

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