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I have been looking around for OSS I can run myself to host information for my neighbourhood/area. But I can’t find anything that fits well into what I want. I want to ask you guys in case there’s something I’ve overlooked. Perhaps I’ll have to create this type of niche software myself? Wanted features:

  • Easily editable pages like a wiki, but also for non-technical people. WYSIWYG and not too many buttons
  • Events with calendar. Again, easy to use
  • Bonus: Marketplace
  • Bonus: Simple stack. Just a binary/docker and an sqlite-file+assets would be great.
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    If doing the thing is more important than the software or principle of it, you need to start with a Facebook group. If it’s a hobby project for you and the social value isn’t actually important or a clear need right now, you can safely ignore me. Once you have momentum/users on FB you have a reason and common communication platform to transition people to something else. If you don’t start with an FB group you’ll have ~90% less users and 10X admin overhead. (Hat I’m wearing here is being involved in rapid startup of several corona mutual aid groups at start of corona last year and using several local FB groups. Corona mutual aid was all Facebook groups (and still is mostly), then external infrastructure such as mapping and wikis got built out later as it was needed.)

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      Thanks for the reply. The neighbourhood already has multiple FB groups for marketplace, events and such. My idea was to create a local place where static information about the area is. Shops, sports clubs and so on. I believe this neighbourhood is likely to start using such a site. And then again it would be nice to be able to see upcoming events on that same page so you don’t have to go to FB for that. So perhaps, if I listen to you, I would be fine with just a wiki and leave events and markeplace for facebook for now… Thanks!

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      Maybe start simple with a typical web forum, discourse or what not.?

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        Communities like this care more about the people and less about the shinyness of the software. A forum software would get something in production that people can use now instead of writing something bespoke. Great suggestion.

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        The problem with social software is getting people to use it. Do you have enough people interested in such a thing, when most are using Facebook?

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          This. We’re in this that point of timeline where you won’t convince “normies” to use your solutions with any sort of arguments, and you’ll probably also make them angry for suggesting anything not-FAANG.

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            I’m not convinced this is true. Things like nextdoor have taken off for instance.

            I think the problem is that most “solutions” suck, except for the big tech platforms. They are ugly, poorly thought out UIs, designed for “expert” users (thereby making it very hard for new users), have visible lag, and so on and so forth.

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              I don’t think it’s helpful separating “normies” from technical folks. FOSS software is known for many things, but user-friendly and intuitive are not two of them.

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                I think people get caught up in a fantasy of running services; being a provider, depended upon.

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                As I replied to james, there’s that part about static information about the area that is missing. I believe (if I know my neighbours) that a page providing this would be attractive. I could even announce updates on Facebook :)

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                How about MediaWiki - https://www.mediawiki.org? The pitch would be simple, “it’s like Wikipedia, but for our neighbourhood!”

                There are calendar plugins available too: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Calendars

                Don’t listen to the folks advising you use Facebook ;-P @james is right, in that if you need to get something up fast with maximum reach (both of which I took to be implied by “doing the thing”) then FB is the go.

                But I submit that if you’re not dealing with an emergency (“rapid startup of several corona mutual aid groups”), that doesn’t matter.

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                  Thanks. Setting up MediaWiki on my homeserver was really easy and fast. Just had to run the docker image. But MediaWiki is the wiki I feel have to many bells and whistles and could potentially be a little intimidating for non-techies. So perhaps that will be my fallback solution if nothing else works :)

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                    MediaWiki has made significant improvements in ease of use; the WYSIWYG editor is now bundled and has no additional setup other than turning it on.

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                      Out of curiosity, what did you wind up using? I’m thinking of doing something similar for my neighbourhood and would love to hear how it went for you.

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                  I’m always referring back to awesome self-hosting https://github.com/awesome-selfhosted/awesome-selfhosted There is many collaborative software platforms to check-out.

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                    Thank you. That’s a great list. I haven’t found my poison in there yet, but I’ll keep it for future reference!

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                    I don’t know of any software for this, but I think this is a great idea. Universities would probably also love something like this.

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                      Nextcloud may be a good solution. It has a calendar and a WYSIWYG document editor. It seems to have a graphical installer too, or a Docker image that uses SQLite by default.

                      I couldn’t find a marketplace app, though I guess you could make one if you wanted to.

                      I haven’t explored it much to be honest, and wouldn’t host it myself as I’m not the target audience, but it seems to cover most of what you need.

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                        I suppose the visitors will have to make accounts in order to see those documents then? I’d prefer the static pages/documents to be publicly open. But thanks!

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                        Perhaps, Mozilla Hubs? https://github.com/mozilla/hubs

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                          This is a VR app - are there any of the features there that OP asked about?

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                          I would look at wiki software, though I don’t think there is anything that meets all your requirements. MediaWiki may be familiar to non-technical people, and has calendar addons, though it is not simple.

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                            Forum software comes to mind.

                            I know it’s not self hosted but there’s also nextdoor.com and your neighbors might already be using it.

                            EDIT: I should have read all of the comments before posting.

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                              Assuming you already have a network and you’re not in the network recruiting process (and that your goal is social and not technical here), I would suggest something simple like a TiddlyWiki. Dead simple to setup and host, and unless your neighborhood is extremely large, very easy to get going. It might not have the ACLs/moderator tools you’re looking for though.

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                                Yea, the network is there. So it’s about writing down information about what exists in the community. Sports clubs, shops, cultural events, hiking possibilities and such. TiddlyWiki looks nice. I’ll give it a look. The navigation was a little confusing to begin with tough.

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                                  Navigation is a bit weird before you have a few Tiddlers made, but once you do I found it becoming easier. Happy to share tips if you’d like.