Feature #2591


Should we be displaying rotating tweets on the CAC homepage?

Added by Dominic Giglio about 11 years ago. Updated over 8 years ago.

Priority name:
Dominic Giglio
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Home Page
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A recent GC Digital Fellows support request raised the question of whether or not we should be displaying recent @cunycommons tweets on our homepage. This is completely separate from the Twitter List Page issue.

The rotatingtweets plugin was installed for the Digital Fellows support request so it would be relatively trivial to add our tweets to our homepage. All it would require is a small widgetized area on the homepage (I'm thinking between the slider and who's online sections). We could then enable and control the displaying of tweets from the admin. If this is something you'd like to see, please speak up and let me know.

Rotating Tweets Plugin:

I've attached a screenshot showing what I added to the GC Digital Initiatives site as an example. I've also added as many watchers as I could think of, if I missed anyone please add them so they can chime in.


gcdi-rotating-tweets.png (293 KB) gcdi-rotating-tweets.png Dominic Giglio, 2013-05-21 11:47 PM
homepage-tweets.png (172 KB) homepage-tweets.png Dominic Giglio, 2013-09-24 03:25 PM

Related issues

Related to CUNY Academic Commons - Feature #2609: Improved caching for front-page widgetsResolvedRaymond Hoh2013-05-30

Actions #1

Updated by Matt Gold about 11 years ago

Yes, I think that this would be a nice addition, though I would want it to be styled by our graphic designer before implementation. What do others think?

Actions #2

Updated by Chris Stein about 11 years ago

The general idea of adding this is OK to me (with the design proviso).

But, I'd rather see it added as part of a larger discussion of the homepage, its purpose and its future. It's hard to evaluate the pros and cons of adding something like this without some overall goals against which to judge it.

I started a discussion on the homepage yesterday (in the private community team group) about the homepage. I wanted to leave that open but a couple concerns I have in general (not fully outlined there) also apply to adding the tweets.

1. The loading time for the homepage. As we keep adding slides and if we add more JavaScript like this the loading time is going to increase. We haven't paid any attention to it but we probably should. Which also relates to:
2. Mobile. Increasingly people will be accessing our site on mobile devices. How does this plugin work with mobile devices? Also in the future when we move to a responsive design how would it fit into that?

Micki, this last bit is tangentally related to this note, but directly related to you new position. Right now we have a somewhat haphazard process for surfacing, discussing and executing ideas like this one. Redmine is one such area. It is open and has a task oriented view. It supports discussion but not reply-by-email. There are also a couple of different commons groups (for the Commons Team, the Sub Committee, WordPress Help!) where ideas and issues are surfaced and discussed. Not all of them are open. This end part of my comment here is an example of one that while in Redmine goes against the open, single-task-focused nature of it.

I'm hoping you can bring your ideas and experience to bear on these and help us to refine our process and procedures.

Actions #3

Updated by Micki Kaufman about 11 years ago

Definitely - thanks for the heads-up. Without having a lot of familiarity around the details of the sites/tools in which these ideas proliferate, maybe some kind of periodic issue/feature council? iotw, a standing meeting open to all (or select) stakeholders in which we entertain entreaties, discuss stakeholder requests, assess the real and/or perceived value for the features, consolidate issues, prioritize/roadmap them and communicate those updates back across whatever fora these issues are initiated within. A bit of leg work - but perhaps we can help it with some kind of aggregation process that we 'ritualize' to some degree.

Actions #4

Updated by Boone Gorges about 11 years ago

The general idea of a Twitter feed on the front page seems fine to me, if the group decides that it fits with the purpose of the main page.

Chris's points about the slowness of the the home page and its lack of adaptability to smaller screens are very well taken. But I should note that we can and probably should address these points incrementally, without the need for a subsequent rethink of the entire homepage. Of course, if this kind of rethink is imminent, then we don't want to duplicate work. But many of the changes that'd be necessary to make the page load faster (lazy loading of content below the fold, more aggressive caching of the data in the front page widgets, etc) and to make the page friendlier to mobile devices are easy enough to implement little by little.

Actions #5

Updated by local admin about 11 years ago

i like the idea of the twitter feed from the @cunycommons account. i think it would a nice addition to the home page.

the one that Dominic screencapped seems like a very simple addition -- one that wouldn't significantly drag down load times? i guess that's the only qualifier -- that i woud like it as long as it wouldn't affect the page load time significantly, of course. :-)

i also liked how clean and simple this version he showed us was. but with a graphic designer's input / expertise, well i'd love to see more options there too (i think i've mentioned i love pictures and graphics -- a lot!).

on my iPhone 5 (IOS 6.1.4) Safari browser there wasn't a mobile version of the homepage -- there's no is there? a mobile / responsive / text only option would always be welcome, in my opinion.

i am also wondering how the site works with screen readers and for folks with accessibility options. i am always concerned about how websites work with adaptive devices and such. i think NYU had some machines in the basement when i was in grad school and i always wanted to see how the adaptive devices worked -- and what the concerns might be, even from a general sense.

but both of those questions are probably tangential to this conversation....

thumbs up on the twitter addition <--- my vote.

Actions #6

Updated by Chris Stein about 11 years ago

Erika, to quickly answer your question, there is no mobile or responsive version of the CUNY Commons. The CBOX theme is responsive and we have plans to eventually make the CUNY Commons responsive (although those are tentative plans without any dates or deliverables yet).

Your points are well taken especially in regards to accessibility. We've done some minimal things in that regard but haven't really made a focused effort at it (Matt if you want to spend some money the JAWS screen reader application is about $1000).

Boone, your points are well taken too. We don't have to address all of the issues in one fell swoop.

My main point is that while I'm fine with Twitter at this point, I'd like to start moving towards making decisions like this with a more holistic and long-term view in mind.

Actions #7

Updated by local admin about 11 years ago

thanks for the answers chris. i haven't checked out the CBOX side of things yet. i'm curious what a responsive CBOX looks like.

i like the idea of holistic and long-term planning. i think that's really smart.

is there some sort of whiteboard / wishlist area where all of the ideas and issues (short and long term, not ticket-type items like those addressed/resolved on redmine) are being kept? this probably relates to what you were saying to micki, chris, eh? :-)


Actions #8

Updated by Matt Gold almost 11 years ago

Hi Chris --

Sorry for the late response to this -- I've been meaning to reply to this ticket and to you CAC group thread.

A few points:

-- I take your point about making holistic decisions about the homepage, etc., but there are a few ways to understand holistic. One is that we make decisions about any one feature on the homepage in relation to the larger whole, which I think is already our default procedure -- though I understand and further take your point that "holistic" in this sense can refer to a few different things -- the way a new piece of functionality relates to the larger UI and user experience; the way that it affects related technological issues (like page load times); and the way it relates to our larger goals for the site. I am on board with all of that.

Where I'm not on board with "holistic" is in the sense that we wrap consideration of any new minor feature into longer/larger/bigger redesign processes. So, for instance, I agree with Boone's incremental approach in this case and think that if we decide that this twitter feature would be a useful feature to add, we don't have to wait to implement until we wrap it into a larger redesign of the homepage or the longer-term development of the "personal dashboard" that we've talked about periodically.

Generally, though, I think your point is that we not consider new features like this piecemeal, but rather spend time considering how they affect the larger site and how they affect the user experience. Again, I'm on board with that but think that this is generally what we already do.

For me, the addition of our twitter feed to the homepage is a no brainer -- it's a way of highlighting our very active social media work and it will help build community, especially once we get Dom's twitter page up and going. The point about page load time is another matter that could use more testing, but we are working on that through tickets like this -

Actions #9

Updated by Dominic Giglio over 10 years ago


I've taken a first stab at rotating tweets on the homepage. Using some code from the Digital Fellows work and a little customization I've folded our rotating tweets into the page below the slider / featured widget section and the Who's Online widget. I've styled the new widgetized area to match the Who's Online widget to address Matt's concerns about its initial graphic design.

I've attached a screenshot for all to see and done the work in a git topic branch that can be checked out on CDEV if we want to see it a little closer to production.

Let me know what you think.

Actions #10

Updated by Matt Gold over 10 years ago

Hi Dom -- I'm not seeing the attachment -- can you confirm that you added it?

Actions #11

Updated by Dominic Giglio over 10 years ago

My bad. Not sure what went wrong there. :-)

New screenshot attached.

Actions #12

Updated by Matt Gold over 10 years ago

  • Target version changed from Not tracked to 1.6

Thanks for working on this, Dom. As I see this first stab, I'm brought back to Chris's original suggestion, that we consider this in light of larger changes to the homepage. The time for that is definitely coming, so I think we should put this in the 1.6 or 1.7 milestone and use it to remind ourselves that it should be part of a larger homepage makeover. What I'm seeing from you here just doesn't work in the page as it is currently structured, but we need to think more deeply about how it should be structured.

Actions #13

Updated by Dominic Giglio over 10 years ago

Sounds good to me. My hope right now is that a homepage makeover can be rolled into the larger issue of a new theme. I would love to see the work coming out of CBOX begin to migrate backwards to the original Commons site. I'd also love to see us migrate to a more responsive site.

I've pushed the topic branch holding these changes up to our repo so it's safe and ready to be revisited when there's time to discuss a larger homepage redesign. I'll move onto more pressing issues for now.

Actions #14

Updated by Matt Gold over 10 years ago

Great - thanks, Dom. And, re responsiveness, etc.: YES.

Actions #15

Updated by Boone Gorges about 10 years ago

  • Category name changed from WordPress (misc) to Home Page
Actions #16

Updated by Boone Gorges about 10 years ago

  • Target version changed from 1.6 to 1.7
Actions #17

Updated by Boone Gorges about 10 years ago

  • Tracker changed from Bug to Feature
Actions #18

Updated by Boone Gorges over 9 years ago

  • Target version changed from 1.7 to 1.9

Moving to the 1.9 release for consideration as part of a larger redesign.

Actions #19

Updated by Boone Gorges over 8 years ago

  • Status changed from Assigned to Rejected

There hasn't been movement on this item in a couple of years, which I think indicates that there is not all that much interest in having tweets on the homepage. I'm happy to keep this ticket in mind if it comes up in the context of a homepage redesign, but to be honest, I feel like it won't - we need less info on the homepage, not more.

Actions #20

Updated by Matt Gold over 8 years ago

sounds fine to me.


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