Saturday, July 9, 2011

Innovative user rating and review system; My Advice.

BI was asked a quote about a complex project on an innovative rating system to be run on a content website by users and moderators. It should work with these features: 

1 - a moderator post an article focusing on one topic,
2 - every user may write opinions about that topic;
3 - a user may evaluate with a score voting system the other user's
opinion on the posted article with a numeric vote ranging from: -5 to +5;
if the user post a flame the moderator may add him/her a negative  score
(ranging from -1 to -5);
4 - the score system have to manage automatically the user score with a
data base (of all the users) and a mechanism similar to a forum
application (new bye, rookie, manager, senior etc.);
5 - every user has its own avatar and score displayed that every one may
see;
6 - every user will have a public profile where are displayed all of his
opinions (with links) related to all of the topics he wrote opinions on.

Two considerations about that project:

A - it is the first time I see a system rating which implements a score ranging from 1 to 5 with the possibility to assign a negative value;
B - the key point of all of this project is about a basic question: to start developing from the scratch or to study a custom solution or paradigm introduction.

After a deep study and remembering about my knowledge of: applications, software object and paradigms, I put down some solutions: 

1 - customization of an already existing wordpress plugin Livefyre;
2 - finding and/or customization of a Joomla extension;
3 - customization of a GPL forum application.

About the 1 - after contacting the Livefyre developer he gave me a quote for the customization very high to be accepted: $20.000; after all the new resulting software plugin will be a new innovating score system in every content moderated website.
The path 2 - is about building a Joomla! website with the right extension to be customized if necessary; my extensive knowledge of that CMS and its extensions reminded me to Fabrik and Jreviews: the former a unique and advanced component to embed databases in Joomla websites, the latter a commercial software object to advanced manage user generated content well integrated with other popular Joomla extensions.

Here are the responses of their developers, Rob (the a great people of the GPL community) for Fabrik:


and Alejandro Schmeichler for Jreviews:


Click the snap to read its content.


Its clear from the answer that Fabrik is a more suitable solution in terms of flexibility (implementation of future features) and scalability (the capability to manage great and ); more I know personally his developer and his skill are able to accomplish the task at affordable price if a price would be required.

On the 3 - chance I contacted the main GPL and commercial forum applications: vbullettin, fluxbb, and the answers may be summarized in that of vbullettin here:



The end of this quote request was that the user asked me it after I address him to contact the Livefyre developer or to choose the Joomla solution disappeared. I "remains" a paradigm lesson I have learned with my personal way to advance.

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