Firstly a thank you to all of you as a community that have provided patience. I know it’s been a testing and sad period for us all.
I accept that trying to squeeze something to suit everyone into one application fails. I think we have all been surprised, and seen the division, amongst us caused by limitations of the existing architecture. In this digital age we have no excuses left – it’s time for change – it’s time to modernise. The current forum is not fit for purpose as an educational database AND a community chat centre – and why would it be – forums by their very nature are for community to freely discuss and interact. It needs to have certain elements of individual control (whilst staying within fair rules of conduct).
What is the answer that provides something for all? I believe it is a modularised approach. Why try to make software do what it is not built for, causing tensions amongst the community? A good modularised solution integrates seamlessly with complementary components and allows each piece of software to focus on what it does best.
As individuals it’s natural to have day to day differences of opinion but all of us unite under the banner of our love for Netsuke – without community the Netsuke world won’t thrive. So community must be placed at the heart of the Global Netsuke Digital Architecture. Everything can feed into and out of this, and evolve in its own natural way.
Here is a diagram I submitted to the INS. Although no definitive response has been provided, it is time for the community to see the solution and provide your feedback. After all - it's a proposal with you guys at the centre, the old, current and hopefully a whole new raft of community.
Below the diagram I summarise
the details of each component; PRIVATE MANAGED MODULES
It is natural to conclude that the INS cannot provide all solutions to the members requirements. Instead it would be beneficial to think about a solution that communicates with a common interface considering private venture too. There are for example, private Kanji translation sites out there, proposed blog solutions and dealer expertise that given the chance and a common interface could be integrated into the heart of this new solution, the forum.COMMUNITY MANAGED MODULES
This is where you, the community, manage the content through dedication, expertise and your passion for Netsuke. At the heart of the solution is a new forum. It will focus on what a forum should really do - being a hub for the community. You will be able to edit content historically (remove images if you wish to do so), and find much more flexibility and options available to you on the new software. All the other solutions will integrate into the very heart of this forum, for example integrated user accounts across the core modules. This forums will be Multilingual to help increase the global interest and community.
There will be a new website, although integrated into the forum too, for those that wish to help develop educational content. In considering what the educational database structure should look like it was obvious that it should not be overly complicated, familiar with the community already, and perhaps even simplified. Let me introduce www.netsukepedia.org. A Wiki for Netsuke that the community can participate in populating and managing together. You are all familiar with Wikipedia - this solution uses the same software, only you will be able to edit and create data without needing to understand the Wiki language. An editor like you use now to edit your posts, will be available instead. This module will also be Multilingual.
A proposed trading site will be made available. Netsuke and other forms of Sagemono will be made available in a trade like application in which the pieces will be submitted under anonymous conditions. Beside the submission, "wants" will be included and members will be able to submit offers that fit the wants. When a match is made the two traders will be put in direct contact and will be able to privately communicate to arrange delivery details etc.INS MANAGED MODULES
These are existing and already familiar to the community here.
You may of noticed I've not been around on the forum so much recently. Instead I have been reviewing different items of software and trying to find the answers to fit a best solution for all. I have a dedicated server up and running, domain names registered, and software installed. I'm currently in the process of working out the integration points. We have a base ready - but more work is still understandably required.
Above really is a light summary, but if you've made it this far then I'm grateful. It's natural you will have many questions about the detail so if you want to know more about the details feel free to PM me, or discuss it openly here.
I hope this new solution provides each of you with the answer to what you were looking for - please share your feelings here...
Piglet: "Pooh?" Pooh: "Yes, Piglet?" Piglet: "I've been thinking..." Pooh: "That's a very good habit to get into to, Piglet." - A.A. Milne.