Getting in the mood for the NetSquared Mashup Challenge with Oneworld Connect

In my third year coming to NetSquared, I find myself in a new role: as one of 21 designated “project leads” who will be trying to connect the featured projects with the developers ready to work on an NGO project.

I’m working with Roshani Kothari and Michael Litz of the Oneworld Connect project, and together we’ve started a wiki page with what we’d like to work on. I’m posting the story here too: please help us develop this further, shape our thoughts, and connect our ambitions to the endless possibilities 🙂

OneWorld in a nutshell is the premiere global hub for groups and individuals who care about international issues—a town hall for today’s interconnected world.

Since 1995, OneWorld has developed a massive site: 500,000+ articles and multi-media in 11 languages. OneWorld has a strong track record of innovation in the digital public space including CMS-driven site (1995), radio(1998), video(2001), and first UN speech by US politician through 2nd Life (2007).

Our challenge in a nutshell

We need to make our work more navigable and user customized, and provide new ways for our users to connect to 2000+ partner orgs and to each other.

  1. Map mashup is a first step in enhancing visualization.
  2. Widget will enable users to submit content via website and cellphones, and
  3. Metadata will enable easy sharing of information.

Technically: the current massive CMS is being de-centralized, to better tailor to the regional needs and context of each of the 12 Oneworld editorial centers in the world. OneWorld US and several others are migrating to Drupal, some to Plone, and a few have tailored proprietary systems.


Here are ideas we want to work on. Help us define them in more detail, or help us Just Build Them.

1. Visualization through maps and timelines

  • Geo-tagging existing content. 500,000 articles in 11 languages, from the days before ubiquitous geo-tagging… now what?
  • Showing the underexposed stories. Can we give extra weight to stories that are not (yet) high on Yahoo and Google News, CNN, and the likes?
  • Highlighting the connections. Stories are connected in time, and to organizations and campaigns. How to show those connections on a map? In a timeline?

2. Widgets for feedback and inputs

  • Let our registered users take their selections with them. To their blogs and their Facebook and MySpace profiles. And allow rating from there (would that be mashing FiveStar and Subscriptions into a Widget Generator module?)
  • Allow replies and feedback from those widgets too! Local content, additional stories or links to blogs, video, images.
  • If that works with a good API, it should be easy to make interfaces available for mobile phones and other platforms too, right?

3. Decentralizing, not disconnecting

We need to keep the Oneworld centers connected, and exchange content with rich metadata information. How to keep distributed content in sync?

  • Synchronization with a centralized repository?
  • RDF Synchronization Connectors between sites? Drupal-to-Drupal, Drupal-to-Plone?

(Accidently, having a nice Drupal-to-Drupal content synchronization tool might help a lot with general testing-staging-live deployment setups too!)

Get in touch if you want to help Oneworld Connect! Leave a comment here, skype rolfkleef, email rolf[at], or add to/edit the wiki page!


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