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Bethany Gardner

Bethany Gardner

June 17 2011

Content delivery - can you help me understand how Anihata works with CMS?

OK, so I think I am starting to understand the social engine framework of Anahita, I get that it's not a Joomla extension but it has borrowed the web structure of Joomla, and so forth.

Now I am wondering how this can all work with content delivery. A huge part of my social site is delivering educational and helpful content to the community in the form of articles, links to outside resources, etc.

How does Anahita fit into this model?

Let me explain the premise of my community, and that might help you understand my question. The site is for women who want to have a baby and are looking for a private (free) sperm donor to assist them with this. We are the only FREE connection service for this community that has any kind of profile/connection/social media aspect (most are email lists or forums). There is a surprisingly large community of women and donors out there. The current spaces for this community are often loosely moderated if at all, and do not provide any education or research content for people to make sure they are being safe and smart with their health and legal concerns.

We started our site to provide a better place to search for and safely connect with this community, and in the meantime get access to good educational information, legal research, and outside services that can help people be smarter and safer. While the platform we are on is good for now, we will probably be upwards of 10,000 users within about 1.5 years, and I fear the community will outgrow the platform we have.

So where does Anahita fit into this model? Do I have a Joomla site for the content and send people offsite to the social engine, like you guys have with the blog here? What if I want Anahita people to be able to publish content in Joomla? Are the user databases able to work together?

tons of questions around this... #anahita #social #networking #engine

Chaim
Chaim
June 17 2011 Permalink
Bethany,

While I am no expert on Anahita, from what you are describing you might want to use K2 from Joomlaworks. It provides many more features compared with the standard article extension. More info at http://getk2.org/. I believe that k2 can be integrated with Anahita.

Good luck with your site :)
Chaim
So, does Anihata retain the article functionality of Joomla? I guess I'm not clear as to what elements of a Joomla website the Anihata version retains. I saw mention that some Joomla extensions can be installed. I am guessing there is no move to the Joomla 1.6 structure...
@Bethany we are really using Joomla as a box to deliver our framework in it, other than that Anahita makes no use of the Joomla's native framework. In fact we have made modifications around Joomla and have already pushed it to its limit.

Joomla happens to come with an article manager which can be used for content that website owners publish. We will be discarding Joomla and using NookuServer instead as the web application platform of choice for reasons that we have discussed in this group and on the Anahitapolis blog many times. NookuServer also comes with an article manager which is backwards compatible with Joomla 1.5.

In general I do not recommend using Anahita both as a Social Engine and CMS. Use Anahita only for social networking and user generated content, but if you have a website that admins are the primary publishers keep it on a separate CMS and you can use whatever you like: Joomla, Wordpress, Drupal, etc.

A social network is at least 3 generations ahead of a CMS, it has different requirements and challenges to be hosted and maintained, I would keep the two separate as much as possible, or make minimum use of the article manager that comes with Anahita whether it is provided by Joomla or Nooku Server.
btw 10,000 is not very large. You should be just fine and from now on Anahita will only get leaner and faster as we shed more of the old code (i.e Joomla) and replace it with renewed flesh and blood.
Myles Orme
Myles Orme
June 25 2011 Permalink
@Rustin, I'm interested in what you say about separating out cms and social networking.

Let us say, for example, we use Joomla for cms could we have common user accounts across the social network and the cms?
@Myles

A CMS if often an environment where a few people publish and most people only read.

What are the scenarios that you would want to have lots of registered users on a CMS?

we use Joomla for cms could we have common user accounts across the social network and the cms?

Yes you could by bridging them. I'm wondering why we would want to have the same number of users you have on a social network on your CMS too! Could you give me some real life examples please? What are you trying to do?
Myles Orme
Myles Orme
June 26 2011 Permalink
Social network to support a youth mentoring programme. Interactions between Mentors, between mentees, between mentee and mentor, between coordinators and so on..

The coordinators, volunteers, and students also access material to help them prepare for the programme, to use in sessions and also access assessments and feedback. This is content we publish.

Same populations.


Also to sync up with CRM - joomla users and civiCRM contacts are synced - we use CRM for case management and event management and so on and so on on.

Does that make sense?
@Myles all of the scenarios that you mentioned should really happen on a social network not a content management system.
Myles Orme
Myles Orme
June 27 2011 Permalink
Ok - I was taking my lead from an earlier comment of yours on the separation of cms and social network.

One reason is that the capabilities to publish content is limited on Anahita (out of the box). There are Joomla plugins that do the job nicely, but that is not how you recommend we work. We could also develop the solutions in the framework - we could bridge into Joomla - lots of options, the choice of how will be in the details of what we are trying to achieve.

What is clear is that within the Anahita ecosystem there is a solution to our needs.

Many thanks
Here's another scenario for you. I can see a day when my community is on a website where the landing page is Joomla and the /community sub-directory is a social network. It's critical to our mission to deliver helpful and informative content to our users, and to engage them in discussions about that content.

One feature that my users use a lot is a discussbot for the Kunena forum that allows them to start a forum discussion from an article. Some mechanism for a social network like this would be nice, although is not a must-have. They can always post a link to an article within a discussion.

Our users do sometimes author the content articles, but not often. The real justification I see for a sync between the systems would be to utilize the shopping cart and/or subscription (paid content) extensions available for Joomla. Let's say you have three levels of membership, and each level gets more access to content in the CMS and/or access in Anihata, you would need to have users synced across the platforms. The social network would not be the place to try and build in the content and storefront functionality.
It is certainly possible to bridge Anahita with any other systems Joomla, Wordpress, Drupal, Magento, etc. or use the native CMS features in Anahita. In fact the existing Anahita uses a stripped down version of Joomla which contains the Joomla's native article manager. As you can see we are using it on Anahitapolis ourselves. When we discard Joomla and move to the NookuServer there will be a native content manager in the NookuServer too.

So if you have a reasonable number of pages on your social network that is fine, however maintaining a social network has certain requirements that a CMS doesn't. For example:

- CMS sites are also heavily branded. Social networks are lightly branded with minimalist user interfaces. That is because it evolves and changes at a much higher pace than CMS. A heavily branded social network with lots of graphics cannot keep up with the changes and becomes clunky and slow.

- social networks do a lot more WRITE operations in the database which is naturally slower. Most user interfaces are generated dynamically without being able to be cached. CMS pages are relatively more static compare to a social network. On a CMS 99% of the database operations are READ which are faster than reads.

So wether you want to keep both on the same installation or separate you do have both options.

For a lot of concepts that was traditionally done with a CMS such as discussion boards, eCommerce, user generated content, etc. we would rather build them as native Anahita apps, because they are much lighter, work natively with a social network's Nodes-Graphs-Stories architecture, the integration is seamless which leads to a superior user experience. It takes way less code to develop an app in Anahita in comparison to a Joomla extension.

That is a matter of preference. We think both concepts will exist in the future

So the time spent on combining a Camel, a Cow, and a leopard to build a Giraff is better spent on growing a naturally grown Girraff!

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