OSArch main website as a news site

edited April 2021 in General

There have been so much going on, and no dedicated FOSS in AEC news site to cover all the news :) I'd like to propose that this weekend, I fire up a quick Wordpress instance (because it does the job) for the main OSArch site, and start back-dating some news articles (like the new Blender 2.91 release, new Homebuilder release, FreeCAD news, etc).

Then, whenever the design https://community.osarch.org/discussion/300/standardising-the-look-and-feel-aka-style-guide is finalised, we can always re-theme it. In the meantime, I can simply set it on a relatively simple / plain theme.

I envision something organisationally similar to BlenderNation, where users can submit articles on things happening in the FOSS space in AEC, and editors can write a brief summary and point to the primary news source.

Being an OSArch news editor is also, I think, a great way for people to get involved without coding :)

Thoughts? Go for it?

Edit 2021-04-12 I changed the post title @duncan



  • So I went ahead and did it :) Check it out! Https://osarch.org

    Honestly nowadays with thousands of free web designs it seriously becomes less necessary to design from scratch again and again.

    Things that are set up:

    • WordPress. Yep. It works.
    • Some theme that has the grid news concept, as well as a splash screen
    • I've written a handful of articles. Each article is relatively short, only about 300 words, and consistently contains a more reading link section at the bottom that links off site. Each article has a feature image. The articles are backdated.
    • Contact page allowing people to submit news or events
    • Subscribe feature, so you can subscribe and get notified of new articles.
    • About page linking to these threads so people can get involved.
    • Basic tags and categories

    I haven't yet set up social media links nor an events calendar. It's on the to do list. It also needs some responsive tweaking.

    Let me know if there are any more news items worth publishing. Also it would be awesome to know if someone other than me wants to take the lead on this initiative. No coding needed. Just keep an eye out for news and be free to write some articles now and then :)

  • Great work @Moult ! I would like to help with that. How do you imagine the frequency of the posts? I try to keep up with the news mostly in twitter and here in the community, would that be enough to start? I can write in english, but since it's not my native language I would aprecciate a review of my texts.

  • Cheers @bruno_perdigao ! Send me a PM with your desired username / email / first name / last name and I'll set up an account for you in the backend.

    I think we can post as frequently as we want, so long as something is newsworthy. Happy to review texts :) For SEO purposes, each article should target a key word or key phrase, and should be at least 300 words. So whatever the news is, it should be big enough to satisfy those requirements. It also needs a nice feature image.

  • great to see this! @Moult you are a war machine :)
    Just one note regarding LinkedIn's account, which I guess @duncan setup.
    I think it would be better to have a company page instead of a regular user profile on the platform.
    This would give us the advantage of having more than one administrators of the page (I am happy to be one of them), and also have followers and be identified properly as an organization.

  • RSS feed is good:

  • @Jesusbill said:
    Just one note regarding LinkedIn's account, which I guess @duncan setup.
    I think it would be better to have a company page instead of a regular user profile on the platform.
    This would give us the advantage of having more than one administrators of the page (I am happy to be one of them), and also have followers and be identified properly as an organization.

    @Jesusbill Please join this discussion here: https://community.osarch.org/discussion/334/getting-the-message-out-social-media

  • Backlink from community to www ?

  • Great!
    I recommend setting up a spreadsheet or board to manage the sharing of content across social media.
    For my studio I have a Clickup (similar to Trello) board with these columns/statuses:
    Draft / Review / Aproved-Scheduled / Posted
    So anyone at can draft a Tweet, Linkedin Post or other. Once the draft is on point, you can set it for someone to review it and then aprove / schedule the post. Once posted, you can move the post to a "Posted" status and if you want, at the likes, reach or whatever metric you want to track. You can use tags to indicated what social media account the content is made for. Tags for articles, events, videos, podcasts could be helpful to make sure there's a balance. This is an alternative or complement to a Content Calendar.

    It's important to set clear guidelines:

    • Who these posts / info are directed to. Demographic, background
    • Why are we posting. Education, engagement, community
    • What are we communicating. Content, events, news.
    • How are we comminicating. Tone, style, friendly, technical. Emojis? Hashtags? Taglines?

    About planning:
    We can set themes for each Quarter. First quarter with content focused on philosophy, standards, second quarted on implementing, adoption, third quarter, interoperability, and so on, in order to make it easier to create content and deliver effective communication. Think of deep dives into subjects. When choosing a theme we must answer: Why is this relevant to our community.

    Also, identify relevant dates or events in advance. OSArch anniversary, annual OpenBIM events and so on and make it visible to content creators/social media contributors.

  • @stephen_l good idea! I've now added backlinks from the community and wiki.

    @arquiguru good idea to set up a series of guidelines for publishing content. I'm going to take a step back and try not to get spread too thinly, but maybe @bruno_perdigao you can take the lead on how the news, events, and social media is managed?

  • edited November 2020

    I don't plan to actively manage the Social Media accounts I'm setting up and discussed here: https://community.osarch.org/discussion/comment/4219
    I'm still looking into how to set them up in the best way, join that discussion in that thread. As much as possible I'm trying to set them up so it's easy for multiple people to post from those accounts.
    So as @Moult says it'd be great for some people to step forward and outline what they'd be willing to take responsibility for.

  • I'm not familiar with wordpress and have no social things account, but i guess it sould be possible to feed facebook posts using rss.

  • @arquiguru good ideas!
    I plan to start only with the news section of the website for now. Most of this content can be used in social media as well, but to manage social media accounts is a bit more complex, because it involves interactions, answering people's questions and it requires bit more time available. I will start simple and as we go we can make things more complex.

  • edited November 2020

    @bruno_perdigao cheers - you now have an "editor" account. It should be enough to add / edit / remove posts (i.e. news articles) and events. Let me know if it's missing some permissions and we might bump it up to admin.

  • I've received a suggestion from @lukas to add this event to the OSArch site: https://www.linkedin.com/events/evolutionofbimandwhatisbeyondit6739169857197142016/

    I think it's a fascinating event. However, I thought I'd post it here to get some thoughts about what we should set as publishing guidelines. If, for example, we set the guideline that all published content must be related to free software, then this event, no matter how amazing I think it is, should not be published.

    Thoughts? Can someone draft up a set of publishing guidelines so we have a starting point to critique? My personal opinion is that all content must involve free software.

  • Idea:
    1. Dropdown option when submitting an event "Open source event" and "Other" or whatever better wording you native speakers come up with :)

    Subsequently, a secondary,
    2. "Other Events" tab. These shouldn't include paid events or commercial software launches. They must be broad, general knowledge stuff, not software centric.

  • I would support the idea of starting with only free/libre software for AEC. If we find there this does not give us enough news then we can expand it to include openbim/buildingSMART, if that's not enough maybe BIM ingeneral. But honestly there is really a lot of BIM news and events out there. It's not hard to find. An advantage of having some social media accounts is we can 'like' those things without putting them in our main news feed. Let's try and stay focused on our core mission as much as possible. Maybe a thread on this forum for those interesting events would be good?

  • edited December 2020

    FLOSS events related to AEC + a OSArch's selection of recommended events (more intellectual, technologically relevant, etc).

  • edited December 2020

    @duncan said:
    Let's try and stay focused on our core mission as much as possible.

    I do agree. Focusing on FLOSS within AEC should be the objective for now. There is always room for expansion in the future.

  • Hey guys, after a few posts I would like to share some thoughts on the news section of the OSArch website. This is how I have been working so far:

    • Most of the content is about new releases. In each post I made a brief explanation of the software, highlighted what is new and showed some examples of how that software can be used in architecture.
    • Part of the content is very technical, and I don't have any experience in most of these softwares, so I have to take some time to study a little before I can write anything.
    • As @Moult suggested we are trying to make every post have 300 words to have a better SEO result.

    As for now, It has been working. I have been a little busy the last few days, so I didn't write as much as I would like to, but I'll keep up. Moving forward, I have some thoughts on how we can improve that and would like to hear from you:

    • I am thinking that not every post should have 300 words minimum. Some of these news are very straightforward, and it's hard to find too much to write about. Sometimes I took longer than I thought I would to write a post.
    • Because of that I think the news section is not dynamic as it should. Maybe we should have a new post every other 2 days.
    • We can balance agility and quality content. If we only write small posts about new releases, the site won't be interesting enough. But sometimes might be better to just write a short post to get the news going.
    • I think we can create some categories for the posts. New releases - the kind of posts we are publishing so far. Tutorials and workflows - explaining how one uses an open source software for architecture. Content recommendation - a brief review of an article or a video (some of this already happens here in the discussions and could be adapted to a post). Opinion articles - I think it is important to have OSArch contributors writing about their ideas.

    Any thoughts? I will try to organize some guidelines as @arquiguru suggested

  • My personal opinion is that I'd prefer fewer posts of higher quality, so I'd prefer to keep the 300 word minimum. Ideally we should be publishing a new post at least once a week, but if we can't achieve that, that's OK - sooner or later hopefully another volunteer will help step up.

    Is there anybody who'd like to help write posts? So far I've be sending potential article subjects via PM to @bruno_perdigao but we need a better system if multiple people are going to draft posts :)

  • I'd like some numbers of readers on the articles. I can see how many people on social media follow our profiles and interact with our posts. We need to manage resources with outreach where they give value.

    @bruno_perdigao please find a way to announce every new news story. There are stories there I have not seen and have not shared on social media. I don't have a spot in my calendar to keep checking the page. Let's face it - a story on a website will barely get read if it is not shared on social media or somehow streamed to devices (newsletter, RSS ...)

    Maybe new articles could be mentioned in this thread if I change the name slightly? https://community.osarch.org/discussion/376/social-media-posts-to-spread#latest

  • @duncan you can sign up for email alerts for each news post on osarch.org in the sidebar where it says "Subscribe". There is also an RSS feed here https://osarch.org/feed

  • @Moult I think I've done that twice now and no confirmation mail. Just tried again. Would someone please check if it works for them?

  • edited January 2021

    @duncan I see your name there as an unconfirmed subscriber - I've just resent the confirmation email, can you see if you received it? There have been 21 subscribers who have subscribed and confirmed emails, so it seems to work for them...

  • @Moult nothing here. what address is it sending from? I have nothing relevant from @osarch.org
    Don't manually activate it. We need to work out if there is something wrong.

  • https://www.bimplus.co.uk/news/fortnite-backs-ifc-streaming-service/

    This service uses IfcOpenShell and has been an active contributor to the project. I think it would be great if one of them would be willing to talk to us for a short article. The story would highlight several important things:

    • They are a corporation contributing to a FOSS project
    • They show that IfcOpenShell is a high quality alternative to proprietary alternatives
    • They are basing their solution on en open standard.

    @Moult @bruno_perdigao

  • @duncan Great! I will try to reach them. I'm starting to use the Deck app to keep track of all the suggestions. When I have a draft ready to review I'll let you know

  • @bruno_perdigao maybe you'd like to do a story with @Moult about the Epic Grant?
    Maybe a short interview with @JanF about the logo?

  • @duncan I have been off lately with some personal issues, but I think I'll get back next week. Thanks for the suggestions.

Sign In or Register to comment.