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Replacement for Yahoo Groups
04-26-2008, 05:12 PM
Post: #1
Replacement for Yahoo Groups
Hello. I'm looking to replace my group's RPG Yahoo Group with a solution based from my Dreamhosted website. I did one click installs of Joomla, phpBB, and Gallery.

How can I replicate the Yahoo Groups functionality with respect to message posting, file hosting, etc with one of these or some other tool I could install in my site, whether one click install or not?
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04-26-2008, 06:49 PM
Post: #2
Replacement for Yahoo Groups
To replace one Yahoo Group I'm in, I went with Geeklog with the MediaGallery plugin and the DreamHost Mailman Discussion List.

The *only* two shortcomings I've found are that because the e-mailing list is not part of Geeklog, it's not easy to incorporate the list archive into the main site. The other one is that calendar reminders aren't automatically sent out to the mailing list.

Another handy plugin is Forum. I didn't go with that since my club is used to the e-mail discussion list format. Forum Plugin handles message posting, but it doesn't mail out messages. File Manager is built in.

-Scott
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04-26-2008, 07:27 PM
Post: #3
Replacement for Yahoo Groups
Thank you for the reply.

Well, I'm not too concerned with the calendar function.
I really only want to replicate the mailing list functionality, the ability to choose options like digest vs individual emails, the file and image hosting and the links.

I do like being able to go and read messages exchanged over the mailing list on the web.

Does this make it easier to provide advice?
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04-26-2008, 08:31 PM
Post: #4
Replacement for Yahoo Groups
I don't think Geeklog will do it for you. It barely does it for me. If there was some way to easily link the Discussion List to a website, it'd sure be nice.

I've not yet found a package that easily does this. I started doing searches on "community builder" but didn't have much luck, so I fell back to Geeklog. Community Builder packages seem to advertise themselves as having similar features, but I just never made much headway.

-Scott
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04-27-2008, 11:07 AM
Post: #5
Replacement for Yahoo Groups
One option is to just embed an RSS feed of your Yahoo Group in the website. A service at http://p3k.org/rss/ let's you do this. With this, you'll be able to see the last few messages posted to the Yahoo Group from the website, then click in, which takes you to Yahoo Groups, where you can read more details, post replies, etc. Not quite full integration, but perhaps it works for you.

You may also want to check out Grouply. (I'm one of the co-founders of the company.) Grouply (which is free) adds a bunch of functionality to your existing Yahoo Group to make it more like a modern, interactive website. If you have any feedback or questions about Grouply, please feel free to contact me directly at mark@grouply-inc.com, as I don't check this Forum that often.

Good luck!

Mark
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04-27-2008, 12:56 PM
Post: #6
Replacement for Yahoo Groups
Interesting suggestion. I'll have to look into that.

-Scott
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06-16-2008, 09:37 AM
Post: #7
Replacement for Yahoo Groups
So after a couple months of various solutions, I think I found one.

Yahoo group functions I want to replicate:
-The look and feel of a central location for files and mail postings/exchanges between group members. I'd like to have even more flexibility of look and feel and of course no ads.
-The Yahoo Groups mailing list feature: not only can the group participants email the the mailing list address and that gets disseminated to all users but also gets posted to the group's web home for viewing on the web when a user isn't near a PC, and also where messages are also archived.
-A place for file storage (maps, documents, spreadsheets, pictures etc)
-Links to various sites

So after sdayman's and other's posts in my thread, I got to working with the other one click installs available through Dreamhost.

Wordpress seemed a good place to start: multiple users can post/blog. It is highly customizable (I'm learning more PHP too!) as well when it comes to look and feel.

More importantly, you can post by email. But Wordpress' Post By Email seems kludgy. You create a "secret" mail account and send email to it and it will be posted. Not so fast, you need to make a call out to/execute the wp-mail.php script to get the entry to actually post to the blog. (Wp-Mail.php goes out to the email account, logs in, grabs any email there, and publishes it).

Wordpress has issues sorting out different people making blog entries and attributing their post to the right author.
Wordpress also doesn't send an email to other authors that a post is made very well.

So I tackled it another way.
I created a mailing list on Dreamhost with five participants (four test email addresses and the secret email address I created for posting via email to Wordpress)

I setup all four valid e-mail addresses as users in Wordpress with Author rights.

I solved the wp-mail.php activation issue by creating a cronjob that calls wp-mail.php every 3 minutes.

One last item that was needed was that I needed to extend Wordpress' post by email capabilities. Did this using Postie, a WP plugin. This not only solved some formatting issues that occur when an email is posted as a blog entry (WP natively can't handle Rich Text or HTML messages just Plain Text. I know, maybe not such a huge issue but I'd rather not have to tell the other group members to check their mail format before they send...a couple folks are not hugely tech saavy), but also now correctly attributes a given entry to the right author.

Now, the whole thing comes together:
1. A group member sends an email to the mailing list email address;
2. The Mailing List Daemon does its thing and sends out the email to the other three list members as well as the "secret email address" used for WP.
3. The other members get the email just like an ordinary mailing list;
4. Within three minutes that message is also posted to the blog site attributed to the correct group member.

I'm in a testing stage. Sending multiple emails and replies to the list from all four email addresses to see if I can break stuff.
So far so good.

It took me a long time to setup because it was a pilot program, but once it's setup, I imagine I could write up some instructions.

I would likes some feedback from the community.
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06-21-2008, 06:34 AM
Post: #8
Replacement for Yahoo Groups
No one had any thoughts?
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06-21-2008, 07:24 AM
Post: #9
Replacement for Yahoo Groups
I'm already deep enough into Geeklog that I wouldn't consider another option right now. If the mailing list features were a high priority for me, I'd look for some way to bridge the forum and the mailing list.

-Scott
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07-31-2010, 11:40 AM
Post: #10
RE: Replacement for Yahoo Groups
Hi Darkcinema,

I just came across your thread - a couple years late.

Your solution to the problem of replacing Yahoo groups with Mailman seems really elegant. Did it work? It sounds like it ought to have.

I'd love to hear how things worked out as I am currently grappling with this same issue.

Thanks,
Aris
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