An activism group I know is thinking about setting up a Q&A (question-and-answer) site. What technology base should they use?
Here’s the functionality wishlist:
- users can ask and answer questions, vote on others’ answers, and leave comments
- multilingual and accessible
- a pleasant and attractive user experience
- good moderation tools
- easy to attach tags (or categories) to questions and to browse all the questions in a category
- people can sign in with their existing Twitter, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, etc. IDs
- questions, answers, and comments are easy to tweet and look good when posted on Facebook etc.
- there’s a way to include Twitter, Facebook, etc. responses as answers or comments
- users can have profiles if they want but don’t have to spend any time setting them up
- the overall look-and-feel can be customized (to match the activism campaign’s overall branding)
- there are a few options for themes for questions, answers, profiles, and categories
- it’s possible to integrate discussion forum and chat software [to help people as they’re learning to use the system, and to talk about ‘lessons learned’ as we’re using it]
In general, open-source software with a fairly unrestrictive license (BSD-style) is preferable; if the GPL’ed or commercial tools for the job are better, that’s fine too.