Wednesday, April 26, 2006

NWNUG Redesign Launches

I spent a good portion of my evenings last week working on a redesign of the website for the Northwest Ohio .NET User Group (NWNUG). It officially launches today! I can't claim credit for everything, though, because there was a committee of members that helped to identify important content and redesign the logo, despite their own incredibly busy schedules.

Over a month ago, I had some ideas of how to take our web presence to the next level. Besides a new look and feel, we also needed a content management platform that would support categorization, permanent links to content, and syndication (i.e., publishing content to RSS).

For the record, our old platform used DotNetNuke. It's not a bad tool, and allows for quick assembly of a portal. But, in some areas, it was too much tool for our needs, while in other areas, it was insufficient.

The new platform is currently a mix between static HTML and newtelligent's DasBlog Community Edition. I modified the "Portal/Compass" theme that was designed by Johnny Hughes, and configured DasBlog to use that theme exclusively. At this time, DasBlog is used for the "Events and Announcements" portion of the site.

One reason behind my choice of using DasBlog is because it is open source. I have some ideas of tapping into DasBlog's template and data model in order to bring some more dynamic functionality to what is currently static HTML. I have also identified some behaviors (macros and otherwise) that I would like changed.

Kudos to Scott and the other DasBlog contributors! It's a fantastic piece of software.