Recently few good folks from PEC, my college started an online forum at pecobians.com. I wanted to provide some feedback on this. When I started to write the feedback, I was thinking of sending it as a personal email to Lord PEC the admin of pecobians.com, but then I thought it would be a good idea to just put it over here and see what every one says. And maybe someone unrelated to PEC might find it useful. So here it is

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Dear Lord PEC

I have been meaning to write this email for a while. Now that it is weekend over here I can write it. First of all kudos for the great work done on pecobians.com. It is a noble effort and I have a lot of appreciation for the folks involved in this project. You might have noticed some noise over here

http://www.pnarula.com/archives/2005/02/12/some-news-about-the-alma/

You will be surprised to know how I came to know about pecobians.com. I have been toying with the idea of online community for PEC folks for a while. So I tossed an idea to Rahul Jindal aka Zombielabs and in reply he told me about pecobians.com. Here is some text from that email

==START EMAIL SNIP==

Now to the PEC project. What I am thinking is to club togather a bunch

of folks from PEC who have net access and ask them to blog about

Day-to-day-PEC. Idea came to me when I saw UCSD’s independent

student’s blog at

http://youcsd.com

Check this blog and you would know what I am talking about. The only

trouble is that they are in constant tussle with authorities, But then

that is the fun.

So what I ask from you is, that since you are my only contact in CHD,

even you are leaving now can we do something like this. Since CONTENT

will be created by students only so their involvement is must. For a

start it can be started by from $free$ blogspot. If a some good

content is being produced by students and good hits are there. I can

move it to its own domain and web space.

What say trooper..

== END EMAIL SNIP==

Having started with the online forums is a great start. This is like we have gathered a lot of people in a room and they are chatting with each other. I call forums the community piece of online web presence puzzle. Read here for more on this

http://www.pnarula.com/archives/2004/05/10/ccc/

Having established a vibrant community I think this would be good time to add another piece to it, some formal content in weblog manner. I guess on the same lines as I mentioned in the email for youcsd.com site. I have been doing similar things for a different community, you can see some of the work I have been involved at

Sarvagya – A wiki to capture knowledge about Hindi weblogs. Uses MediaWiki

Nirantar – Soon to be launched online magazine focused on Hindi blogging world. Uses CivicSpace

Akshargram – A group weblog for Hindi bloggers – Uses WordPress

IMHO, take a look at CivicSpace. It has great features and is based on Drupal CMS. I chose it for one of my projects(Nirantar) after quite some research. And I see a lot of uses of its features in the Pecobians.com online community. You can see what is possible using this at the following URLs

Better Donkey

There is no Crisis

Flat Earth Award

Spread Firefox

Better Donkey is my personal favorite. Let me know if you need any help or ideas related to this.

Pankaj Narula

http://pnarula.com

http://hindi.pnarula.com/haanbhai