Print is dead; help me replace it
October 24, 2009 9:16 AM   Subscribe

What's the best platform for a local community news and events site?

I've volunteered to set up a site which will serve as a news source, events calendar, and community hub for an area encompassing three or four small cities. I've done personal blogs, and a single-area blog in Blogger, but for this larger project I'd like to expand my options. Is Wordpress a better way to go?

Are there other platforms I should look at? I know Ning is dead or dying (or so I've heard) but it seemed to have the flexibility to do something like this. I don't mind learning a new system, but I'm not a programmer, so I don't feel ready to build a site from scratch. Ideally, there is a pre-existing community news platform that I can customize to be exactly what is wanted.

Also, do you know of any local blogs or community news sites that are well-designed and useful that I could look at as reference?

Many thanks in advance!
posted by TochterAusElysium to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Ning does not really differentiate new content.

Take a look at Magnolia Voice, done in WordPress.

My Ballard, also in WordPress, just won a 2009 Online Journalism Award from the Online News Association.

Sleepless in Magnolia is done with Ning. (The creator used to not have Ning in the domain name.)
posted by jgirl at 9:37 AM on October 24, 2009

Wow, I did not even know you were in Seattle when I answered the question! So, I imagine you've already seen these.
posted by jgirl at 9:43 AM on October 24, 2009

I do not know what platform is used, but I think this neighboring town's site is clean and easy to read.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:44 AM on October 24, 2009

You could contact them to ask.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:45 AM on October 24, 2009

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Drupal yet.

One of the better-known Drupal-based community sites is the Coulee Region Online, which has events and info plus blogs and forums.

LADrupal, a site for LA Drupal users, also features news and events, along with job postings.

Drupal is known for having a serious learning curve, but it has all kinds of great community features out of the box (the core feature set includes regular article-type content posts, blogs, forums, and polls) - plus hundreds and hundreds of free plugins (known as "modules" in the Drupal world) if you need additional features.
posted by kristi at 6:24 PM on October 24, 2009

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