Dgroups: Still going and growing – and blogging again!

Welcome to the revived Dgroups blog!

There have been a number of important developments in the past few months.  The new Board of the Foundation has been busy since its election in April 2009, while WA Research has keep on improving the platform and its performances – unfortunately in both cases the communications have not been at the same level as the efforts and the work done. Let’s then try to catch up and take a snapshot of how things are at the moment.

Numbers don’t lie..
As of  June 2010, Dgroups counts 2035 active communities. During the past 20 weeks, more than 70 new groups were created, with average frequency of 3.5 per week. As evidence of increased use of Dgroups, this year is seeing the weekly creation surpassing 15 groups per week, which did not happen in 2009. Equally, number of new groups per week rarely falls under five per week. As of June 2010, these groups are used by 139.336 registered users, up from 113.619 since February 2010.

Thanks to the work of Damir and colleagues at WA Reasearch, the performance of Dgroups has been improving significantly over the past months. The service is stable, most email delivery problems are resolved. A good email sending reputation has been established with large Internet service providers, and we are seeing less and less spam blocks. Email delivery to users is now almost instantaneous, even though weʼre sending about 2.3 million messages per month…

Technical development and web user interface redesign
A large number of usability and stability improvements have been deployed too – and the user interface has been translated and made available also in Portuguese, Mandarin, and Russian.

However, the most important think is the one yet to come: a major visual redesign is currently in progress, and we have great expectations from the preview we could see! A staging web site should be made available during the next months, and we hope to deployed into production in Autumn should there be no major objections or problems. Once the new design is final and in production, we’ll focus on adapting organizational skins to fit the new look and feel.

Support system
We have reintroduced the old support system that proved to work fine in Dgroups1. This is a cascade support system, where users rely on groups admins; admins on the admins peer-support group and creators; creators on their peers and on WA Research as last option. The email address support@dgroups.org has been closed, but we’ll make sure we’ll have a good help file (on the Dgroups help Wiki) and a lively Admins Community.

Partnership and annual meeting 2010
As a follow up from the 2009 members meeting, we are working on the finalisation of several legal and policy documents – such as Terms of Use, Creation Policy etc. We are also drafting a new business plan, and try to ensure that the level of membership stays high enough for sustaining the existence of Dgroups as a whole. Still lot to do needs to be done in this reagard, and we hope that different members can play an active role in this matter. A milestone in this sense will be the next Partners’ meeting, currently planned for the second half of November.

Future Blogging

When I  logged in onto the blog dashboard I saw one comment awaiting  moderation, saying:

“It seems this blog died??? not sure if there is a new blog. the wiki too seems rather dated”

Well, we’ve listened. From now on we will resume regular blogging. In the next post we’ll explain the new management and coordination arrangements for this year and continue with the updates. In the meantime, you’re very welcome to drop by here, and share with us your ideas about Dgroups, what you like and dislike, how you use it and what’s in it for you. We’ll do our best to keep the conversation going, and ensure transparency in the way things progress.

Pier Andrea Pirani

Euforic Services

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