Catalyzing the growth of the Kenya tech community

The iHub Website Volunteers and Plan

By Erik Hersman
iHub
  Published 10 Apr 2010
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We're trying to get two things done by the end of April. First, the space build-out. Second, the website, especially the membership process. This second item is very important, as it's what will help us extend our presence beyond the physical space itself, and our goal is to make it a valuable place for all of the Nairobi tech community.

A team of us have been working for a couple weeks getting the iHub website design and site architecture in place. Many thanks to everyone for volunteering their time, spending many hour working on this project. Who are we?

  • James Muriithi - Hardcore dev and Drupal-lover extraordinaire.
  • Conrad Akunga - iHub advisor, blogger and project manager.
  • Joshua Musau - Designer and Dev, has the rare talent to bridge the two (and well).
  • Jepchumba - Design ninja.
  • James Gutu - Wireframing and design guru.
  • Erik Hersman (me) - Cat herder, scope creeper, blogger

The iHub web team in action

The Plan

Due to time constraints we'll be building the website out in phases, with the critical "membership signup" process first on the list. Since membership is the core of the iHub, it has to be the core of the website too. In fact, most of the functionality both on and offline work from that assumption.

For three weeks we've been meeting and talking through the hard part of designing a new site. That is, we've been talking through database schemas, site architecture, user flow and usability. It's not glamorous or sexy work, but it's what gets us all on the same sheet and provides a foundation for what we hope will be a great site.

At the same time we're dealing with the aforementioned time constraints, trying to get parts of it out by the end of April. So, as we considered rolling our own from scratch, using a framework or a CMS we had to take a lot into consideration. Finally, after a lot of discussion (and minor blood shed) we decided to move ahead with BuddyPress as the core for the site.

This choice was based on a couple of factors, including the fact that 3 of the 6 on the team have good experience with WordPress, that profiles are the core of BuddyPress, the speed of deployment needed (we have 3 weeks for phase 1) and that it's an easy to extend platform.

The coming weeks are going to be very busy around here. Thanks for your continued support, and especially to the community members (above) who stepped forward to put this together.

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