2014 Leith Lives website

Leith Lives grew from views expressed by people working in community focused organisations in Leith. At their core was the idea that a shared platform, bringing together Leith focused information, would benefit Leith and the organisations working in Leith. The increasing accessibility of open source Content Management Systems (CMS) made it possible to experiment with ways of building a low cost, collectively owned, collaboratively run website, based on user generated content.

Drupal 7 was chosen as the CMS and an agile development style approach was adopted, based on the belief that tailoring the website to meet the needs of organisations was best achieved through trial and error, rather than a pre-determined plan.

Site development

The first test site was launched in September 2014 at the Leith Lives Information day and the Leith Lives Meetup was formed to provide a space for continuing conversations and collaboration.

Based on feedback, this second site began development in 2015. It has three key differences:

  • Content control has been devolved from individuals to organisations. Content can now only be added by organisations and each organisation has full control of their own content, providing a layer of content protection that was previously missing.
  • With organisations controlling and monitoring their own content, there is a significantly reduced need for centralised decision making and project management. (copyright)
  • Seven main content types have been combined into one, to make publication simpler and content classification more flexible. Tags are now used as the primary method of classification.

Content development

As this new website begins to gather content, four initial priorities have been identified:

  • Building relationships with Leith organisations to help establish an inclusive and representative decision-making process for the next stage of development.
  • Building links to existing online content to help develop a searchable, central resource.
  • Helping to digitise previous projects to make content accessible online.
  • Connecting with current projects to help promote work in progress.

The next stage

Development will continue on agile principles on two fronts:

  • Website development: With new features added to meet specific needs identified by organisations. Online platforms (e.g. Trello, Loomio) are in the process of being set up to make it easy for organisations to note
  • Project ecosystem: Making collective ownership a practical reality, ensuring project sustainability and minimising time required for project management will also need experimentation to find the ways that work best for those involved. See Project Ecosystem for more information on current approach.

If you would like be directly involved with project development, please do get in touch.