Oppo 2.0 Website Update

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted any updates here. Despite OppositeLock Kinja being safe for the moment, the effort to have a new home hasn’t subsided. As benjrblant eloquently put it:

Just because we haven’t been axed yet doesn’t necessarily mean that 1) we should stay and 2) they won’t still axe us. (link)

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Regardless, it’s important to have a good new home to go to. Ideally, we make oppositelock.com so good that we all say “You know what? Let’s make the move.” We’re still a little ways from there.

I maintain a running issues/fixes list on Discord under the #oppo-2-website-chat channel. Here’s what that list currently looks like:

There have been a number of questions, so I’ll try to summarize those here but please add any questions in the comments or on Discord (300 members!).

Are we really (mentally) ready to move? I don’t have an answer. There are a number of people who are certainly are. I’m trying to maintain a level of disconnection and focus on building the site but when the cake comes out of the oven, we’ll need to decide when/if we eat it.

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What platform? Wordpress (self-hosted, not a Wordpress.com blog)

Maintenance, updates, and administration? On me. Thankfully Wordpress is generally fairly easy to administer, backup, and restore if there’s an issue. We also have a couple other volunteers with Wordpress experience.

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Will there be mobile version? Mobile version is more or less ready. The site’s layout is mobile-friendly.

Is it just like Kinja? No. It’s close. In a lot of ways it’s better - in a few it’s admittedly a bit weird. Currently no ads slowing us down. The post editor works on mobile by default. The comments system always posts your comment. However, there are differences. The post editor can take a little getting used to (it’s better, but has a LOT of options). The site layout isn’t exactly the same. Comments are a little more simplistic when it comes to images / GIFs.

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Who is paying for this? This is a good question. A really good question. We love pictures. Pictures are a lot of bandwidth. Bandwidth costs money. Personally, I dislike the idea of slapping a bunch of ads up there - though that’s an option. Current proposals include a Patreon or offering ways to donate. These would be relatively easy to set up and could work. I’ve currently spent about $200 to get the site to where it’s at. My unemployment ran out last month so I won’t be going much higher ;) Lots of folks have offered to chip in, so we just need to find an easy way of doing that.

If we have a Patreon-style system, are there any benefits? The way the site is currently set up, you can’t upload images to the comments unless you become an “Oppo Gold” member. You can still add images to comments, but have to do it through an image host (like Giffy or imgur). I’m open to ideas here. I don’t want it to be complicated but also don’t want to end up on the hook for what will likely be a couple hundred dollars or more per month in hosting bills.

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How will user management work? Very similar to Kinja. You sign up as a commenter. Then a moderator can promote you to being able to post.

Can I see it/sign up? It’s still a work in progress, but if you’d like to check on the work in progress: http://drivinglane.com (this is a development site so it may be broken at times).

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