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StreathamLife .co.uk

Set up in 2006 along the lines of a Community Portal with the idea that local people could register and interact with other members of the community.  

Back in 2001, I had first has the idea of setting up a community portal. This idea was realised when I had previously had a website called ealinglife.co.uk that utilised the PHP based open source XOOPS Community Portal System, a project I had started when I first became interested in Web Design and Development back in 2001. This has started as a static site but I quickly realised the need for a more dynamic approach and first discover XOOPS (eXtendable Object Orientated Portal System). XOOPS provided a lot of functionality such as user registration, and integrated forum, weather block, rss feed etc  Streathlife.co.uk was implemented in this mould.

After some time I decided to migrate the project to use Drupal. There were various reasons for this, not least my own experience of working with this CMS that provided an extensible framework, with a wealth of contributed modules that could often be used and customised to your exact requirements. 

Over time, I have made some attempt to create some original content on the site. e.g I have managed to do some reviews of various establishments such as places to eat and drink etc. However, most of the content on the site is pulled though various rss or xml feeds. This process has been largely automated, with various refinements, but does on occasion require some human editing to review the relevancy of the content.

I have figured out some ways to enhance some of the feeds, such as pulling some additional data from the source such as a photo or media item. Today the site acts more as a Local news feeds, and to date. has amassed over 20,000 Streatham related articles and averages around 2000 unique visitors a month. 

Recently I have focused on improving the Search facility on the site and have recently implemented Solr search facility with this in mind.  The improved facility allows users to search the site s resources with a boost giving to the sites own original content. Hopefully this will encourage more businesses to register and update their profile on the site. 

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StreathamLife

Today I think the site is a useful resource. Certainly it has changed from when I first set it up. 

Going forward, I would like to boost its popularity and appeal. Some of my ideas for this include adding a newsletter/subscription (daily/weekly/monthly), adding relevant social media news/content (such as streatham, related tweets), adding social media channels or groups (facebook, whats app), creating more original content (requires more reviewers), a site redesign/re-theme(update theming framework), adding mobile app etc.

If you have any ideas and would like to get involved in taking the site to the next level, please feel free to get in touch with me today.

Date Created
18 years 1 month ago