27 December 2009

Flightwish Reboot

Restarted working on Flightwish today. A lot of background stuff... seeing that the DNS is correctly set up for all the FW domains... getting Subversion properly configured on the dev server... restoring the old FW software trove... all the dirty little details of permissions, software configuration and setup that don't usually get mentioned in software development plans, but eat into your time in such a big way.

I've installed the Pebble blog engine on the server, and I have to say it looks pretty nice. Far more impressive than the Blojsom engine that I'm still using for my personal blogs. Simpler to use and customise, and performance feels somehow snappier. The only real snag I hit is that Pebble is supposedly able to interpret WikiCreole - not my wiki syntax of choice, but better than no wiki syntax at all! - only it doesn't seem to work. At least I couldn't make it work. Well, it was pretty late in the day, so maybe my brain has simply had enough for the day.

My idea is to first just get a Flightwish blog up and running so that I can get some content up on the site, and update it reasonably regularly so as to improve its pagerank. I was a bit surprised to see, though, that despite having only reactivated the flightwish.com site a few days ago, its pagerank is 3. Not bad for a dead site! I guess it must be because it has been a real site in the past, and also due to its age (several years.)

After that my next priority will be to get a forum system up and running and looking reasonable so that people can start to sign up and chat. Yes, it would seem to be Yet Another Social Networking Website. Hopefully we'll have enough of a real focus to make it a bit different. The idea is (as it always has been) to do something in the travel space, with a strongly social slant.

As soon as the forum is set up I'll focus on writing a bunch of content - to be released at several-day intervals - telling the stories that drive/drove the initial concept of Flightwish. Those stories (you'll have to subscribe to the Flightwish Blog and wait a few days if you're interested - there's no content there yet) will explain the shape of the Heart of Flightwish as it exists in my head. I'll probably also reminisce about some of the experiences we've had with this thing in years past... the long, long road we've travelled to get here.

Lots of work for a one-man-band! But I think we can do something really interesting, different and meaningful in the travel space. Certainly I'd love to visit Bolivia, Peru, Guatemala, Mexico, Belgium (for the beer) and loads of other places, but I don't think I can do it without a bunch of help!

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