Open space for technologists, investors, tech companies and hackers in Nairobi.

iHub By Erik Hersman / April 10, 2010

The iHub Website Volunteers and Plan


We’re trying to get two things done by the end of April. First, the space build-out. Second, the website, especially the membership process. This second item is very important, as it’s what will help us extend our presence beyond the physical space itself, and our goal is to make it a valuable place for all of the Nairobi tech community.

A team of us have been working for a couple weeks getting the iHub website design and site architecture in place. Many thanks to everyone for volunteering their time, spending many hour working on this project. Who are we?

  • James Muriithi – Hardcore dev and Drupal-lover extraordinaire.
  • Conrad Akunga – iHub advisor, blogger and project manager.
  • Joshua Musau – Designer and Dev, has the rare talent to bridge the two (and well).
  • Jepchumba – Design ninja.
  • James Gutu – Wireframing and design guru.
  • Erik Hersman (me) – Cat herder, scope creeper, blogger

The iHub web team in action

The Plan

Due to time constraints we’ll be building the website out in phases, with the critical “membership signup” process first on the list. Since membership is the core of the iHub, it has to be the core of the website too. In fact, most of the functionality both on and offline work from that assumption.

For three weeks we’ve been meeting and talking through the hard part of designing a new site. That is, we’ve been talking through database schemas, site architecture, user flow and usability. It’s not glamorous or sexy work, but it’s what gets us all on the same sheet and provides a foundation for what we hope will be a great site.

At the same time we’re dealing with the aforementioned time constraints, trying to get parts of it out by the end of April. So, as we considered rolling our own from scratch, using a framework or a CMS we had to take a lot into consideration. Finally, after a lot of discussion (and minor blood shed) we decided to move ahead with BuddyPress as the core for the site.

This choice was based on a couple of factors, including the fact that 3 of the 6 on the team have good experience with WordPress, that profiles are the core of BuddyPress, the speed of deployment needed (we have 3 weeks for phase 1) and that it’s an easy to extend platform.

The coming weeks are going to be very busy around here. Thanks for your continued support, and especially to the community members (above) who stepped forward to put this together.

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Author : Erik Hersman

  • jke at 01:40:04AM Sunday, April 11, 2010

    Interesting choice – curious to see how you’ll tune it for your needs.

  • Cesar Harada at 12:03:01PM Monday, April 12, 2010

    I cant wait to be with you guys !

  • Oliver at 18:59:13PM Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    you’re decision to go ahead with buddypress is spot on, especially because it evolves around community, and iHUB is about building a community and people helping each other out. and you’re right, it allows for much faster implementation.

    You have not highlighted what your road map for the website is, nevertheless I think you guys should implement a Q&A section to, am not sure if buddypress supports that or if there’s a plug in, buddy press allows for general forum, which is important but I think a Q&A allows for more useful and richer discussions especially if one wants specific help, for example in the Q&A somebody might ask;

    “My app is in this vertical, what is the best strategy for customer acquisition, should I concentrate on the social graph or search?”

    “This is my app, how can I calculate CLV and what metrics should I measure?”

    then whoever is knowledgeable can provide insight. Q&A also is great for gauging a users prowess and tracking engagement.If you do choose to implement a Q&A, check out the following tools, & . OSQA is awesome and comes with some game mechanics built in.

    The most important thing is to have a website live then it can always be iterated and improved. Oh! and does buddypress support game mechanics? for a community such functionality is indispensable,( especially from day one)

  • Rapudo Hawi at 10:28:05AM Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    i like this concept but i see that i give edge to IT gurus forgetting the CSOs masters to learn from this great open space. Keep me posted as i need to referred and participate in this great innovation.

  • medical assistant at 00:57:57AM Thursday, April 15, 2010

    I’ve recently started a blog, the information you provide on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.

  • SME Network at 20:19:50PM Saturday, April 17, 2010

    This is a great initiative that has come at the right time when we are working on local content, keep me posted on this as we can integrate the platforms

  • Martin Cleaver at 02:28:27AM Monday, May 10, 2010

    I’d be interested to see an OSQA BuddyPress integration plugin!



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