Spent last night disassembling Lady Di (my Leclerc Diana, the loom I was using before I bought the AVL) for shipment to New Mexico. It wasn’t difficult, although the process of labeling every single part and bagging up all the screws in a bazillion different ziplock baggies did get a bit tedious. Now I just have to figure out how to fit her back into her custom crate, which will be a bit of a challenge as I stupidly did not take photos when I unpacked her. (Or rather, I remember taking photos but have been unable to find the files ANYWHERE.) That will occupy another night or two, following which I have to figure out how to get the crate to the shipper; it won’t fit in my Prius unless I lay it flat, which I’d rather not. It’s a bother, but it will be a relief to have the “second loom” out of the living room.
I have not, however, been idle on the site. I got in touch with a Drupal developer yesterday who has a generic social networking site assembled out of 79(!) Drupal modules, and is willing to sell it to me for $500. It comes with advice on setup and an evaluation/recommendation on the requirements once Marian (our user experience designer volunteer) completes them, which alone would be worth $500; so I think I’ll spring for it. I’m still playing with the system, though – he has an evaluation version set up on his site so I have been playing around with configuring it and learning more about Drupal in the process. I expect to be messing with it for another day or so before making a decision.
This prepackaged site will need extensive customization, of course, but it will save me some weeks of development, and it’s worth it to have an experienced developer on tap.
I’ve ordered two books from Amazon. One is on developing themes for Drupal 5 – basically, customizing the user interface – and the other was recommended by Casey from Ravelry in his blog: Designing for the Social Web. The latter sounds particularly interesting, and will supplement my understanding of social networks. i spent four months working for a social networking company, but that’s not enough to develop real expertise.
I have also been investigating funding (which is mostly Claudia’s department, but I have one or two connections). I think I can raise about $2500 through a connection with a friend, which will give us some wiggle room to hire lawyers and developers. Claudia is investigating other sources of funds as well. We anticipate doing a general appeal to the handweaving community to donate “cash or stash” – either money (which would of course be easiest/best) or donations of salable items that we can auction or sell off to raise money. We hope this will raise some additional funds.
Finally, I am starting to investigate hosting services. My current hosting service will not do for a larger-scale site; it’s targeted at small sites and smaller businesses. I have no clue who the usual suspects are for hosting a medium-size social network, so am starting to ask around for recommendations. if you have suggestions, please let me know.
Nothing terribly dramatic, but then progress sometimes isn’t.
Plan for the next few days:
- finish evaluating the social network Drupal package
- Try to understand Views, Panels, and Themes
- Start prototyping the project pages