Top-level information architecture for Spot The Future: implementing an onboarding funnel

The way Edgeryders 1 (like other similar exercises I have participated in) grows by siphoning users off the mainstream social networks and other discussion spaces, like blogs. It works like this:

  • The project team makes a sustained effort to be constantly visible, trying to generate interest and disseminating the net with content that links back to the project home base.
  • When they click on such a link, users are typically taken to a place where a case is made for their participation ("what we are doing and why you should be in it"). This is static, read-only careful copy, and in the case of STF it needs to be multilingual. It also may include a project blog (non-static, but still essentially read-only)
  • Once they have made the decision to participate, they are directed to signup.
  • After this, they are socialized to the read/write part of the exercise with the help of a community manager, who may refer them to how-to static content.

Functionally, we have two parts: an onboarding funnel that welcomes people coming into the project from the wider Internet and the rich conversational space where the exercise actually happens.

We all know the rich conversational space will be the Edgeryders platform – hopefully just one customized group. Question: how do we want to implement the onboarding funnel? [Matthias] has pointed out before that ER is not suited to hosting third-party websites: we can host stuff like the unMonastery website on our server, but not on our Drupal installation. On the other hand, I think there is a presumption that the conversational space here will be not just a vanilla ER group, but an ER group with some level of customization. So, how do we do this funnel? Is it worth adding the static pages to the group, or should we instead install a Wordpress outside of to host the copy

Agreement so far

According to what we talked on our last Google Hangout call, let’s try it like this:

There will be an external onboarding funnel website, using the Squarespace publishing system and mapped to a subdomain of Advantages include full freedom for editors to adapt both content and design with a graphical user interface (unlike Drupal or also WordPress, where some HTML / CSS knowledge will always be needed …).

Nadia is comfortable with Squarespace already from building the up-and-coming Edgeryders company site. She will take on to create that site and enter content.

After the project, when separation between funnel content and actual content is no longer important, we can take over relevant content into posts in the Drupal group.