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I'm in the process of developing a new web site for The Thing in NYC
and would appreciate input from all the smart people here, offlist or,
maybe, there's a  theme for the list about content management systems
for the future.

If you aren't familiar with The Thing you can still visit the current
web site at http://bbs.thing.net. It's been around since 1991 and is in
the process of moving to a new office at Postmasters Gallery in Chelsea
because the rent in the current space nearly tripled. Needless to say
the last few weeks have been crazy for Wolfgang Staehle, the executive
director but I think once they're settled we can proceed with our
mission with a new, sleek, fighting weight. There's a lot going on that
the current web site doesn't reflect for various reasons, which is why
we're creating a new site, one that is more flexible and easier to
maintain. Current projects include a wifi network for lower Manhattan
and Brooklyn called thing.cloud funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, a
lecture series on collaborative media organized by Trebor Sholz and a
Pirate Cinema project.

At this point we're working with Drupal as a base because it's open
source, well-made and has a well-established community working on it.
It does seem to me to fit our needs though we will probably write a lot
of our own modules for it to fit our specific media art-oriented needs.
Plans are now to roll out *something* as soon as possible after New
Years. That will probably consist of blogs and static pages that
include some of the archives and new projects. My goal is to have it
presentable by early Spring.

So, I'd appreciate hearing from anyone involved with a similar project,
especially using Drupal or suggestions on another CMS software.

And, lo and behold, I'm now dealing with taxonomies and am grateful for
the discussion that took place here last fall and am feverishly
printing out posts. My contribution at the time was something like "we
don't need no stinkin' hierarchical taxonomies". Well, things change.

Then there's blogs. I've been doing quite a bit of research over the
holidays and, gee, there's a lot of art blogs out there now! Art in
America has even acknowledged them in the current issue. They seem to
be mainly US-based and I'm wondering how the concept is being adopted
elsewhere, if it is. Some of them are very good and I enjoy art gossip
as much as anyone but it seems to me there are other ways to use this
particular software. Drupal has a blog function, but I don't want the
new TT site to be just another blog site. To me it seems to be a good
entry point to more considered discussions and formal
essays/manifestos/ diatribes. That's one reason I need to concentrate
on taxonomies, in order to link the fleeting thought to the more
substantial idea. My thinking is that we can go from the fleeting
thought to an informal discussion to a more formal forum and end up
with formal texts, all of which this software will enable.

We also work with a lot of media and need to find ways to make it
easier for artists to upload and serve their files. That's probably the
most pragmatic issue. I'm very interested in podcasting and video logs
right now and, luckily, we have our own servers so half the battle is
won.

That's enough for now. I'll post again when we have something to show.
In the meantime I'll like any and all opinions on the above or anything
else you may think is helpful.

Happy Holidays ,

Rob



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Robbin Neal Murphy
7210 Boca Ciega Drive #203
St. Pete Beach, FL 33706
727 637-2061 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!NEW CELL PHONE NUMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Skype: robbinmurphy
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