YACS The vision

Look Ma, YACS has no group to manage access rights!

Look at other blog or CMS packages. Do you know one that does not feature user groups? But YACS has been built with other paradigms in mind. If you want a personal blog, a simple personal account is enough. And if you want to actively support a community, you can benefit from the scalability of the YACS approach, featuring following classes of user profiles: Associate, Member, or Subscriber.

YACS has been designed to address needs of small to mid-size communities. The idea behind this concept is that addressing security concerns is becoming complex on a large scale. In order to avoid this complexity, and related management overhead, we have selected to base YACS on a very small set of user profiles:

Associates - These users are the webmasters of the community. In YACS, all associates are considered as being equivalent. Therefore, associates have to trust each other to operate the community smoothly. One consequence of this equivalence is that the number of associates should be kept as small as possible, otherwise your system may be in trouble.

If you consider that in any group of human beings things are most often achieved by less than a dozen of active people, you will have an idea of what YACS associates are. If you want to build an efficient community, you SHOULD limit the number of managing people.

Do you have to extend the scope of your server to new areas? No problem. Create new focused YACS servers, maybe with other sets of associates, and link together as many pages as possible across server boundaries. Google and Technorati will do the rest.

Do you have to support a very large amount of writers? No problem. Let Members contribute as much as possible.

Members - These users are interested into your community. With YACS, they are able to post comments, to submit new articles, to post images, to upload files, and to share on interesting links. They have extended reading access rights.

YACS support open and close communities. With open communities anyone registering to a server automatically becomes a community member. Open communities perfectly serve corporate needs on intranet servers. With closed communities new registrants are considered as subscribers only, until some associate explicitly make them true members.

Members are almost free to attach new material to existing pages, including comments, files, or links. These posts may be checked afterwards by some associate.

Members can also submit new pages, that will usually appear in the review queue checked by associates for publication. YACS makes this as simple as possible, and supports the efficient strategy of leveraging individual actions to achieve a BIG thing. Surprisingly enough, even a small number of associates can handle a huge number of members.

Ok, but what will happen if you are VERY successful? Is there a risk that associates will pass most of their time on submission reviews and page publications? Yes, of course. When this will happen, you will have to identify most contributing members, and consider following options for each of them:

- If they can be integrated in the managing team, make them new associates

- Offer them to become editor of some part of your site. This means that they will be able to review and publish pages at some sections only. I should document this by adding a page on this site. If you are in a hurry, post a query to make it happen more rapidly

Subscribers - They are coming to your server on a more or less regular basis. To keep in touch with them, YACS associates will send them periodic information through e-mail messages.

When asked to prepare a new electronic letter, YACS automatically lists the introduction of most recent pages in the form submitted to the letter editor. This simple mechanism makes it very simple to prepare digests of your site, with direct links to pages of interest.

Of course, YACS is aiming to support personal privacy. Therefore, any registrant, including any new subscriber, is asked to explicitly allow for the sending of regular e-mail messages.

Anonymous people - All other people on earth (more precisely, most of them) are consider as honest readers of public information shared by a YACS community.

Anonymous surfers ARE really important to your site, even if they don't contribute to its content, and even if they don't take the time to register to your community. Why do you need to stretch your audience as much as possible? Well, maybe to get some money from hits. More likely, because a good idea is a good idea only when it is shared with others. Achieving an expanding set of readers is a good sign that your thoughts are something important to others.

Fortunately, YACS has several useful features to make your site and your content as attractive as possible to surfers, including:

- advertisement of new publications to popular reference servers (including weblogs, Technorati and bl.ogs at the moment)

- updated newsfeeds (RSS, etc.) for those that are equipped with newsreaders

- easy tools to reference your pages (blog, trackback, pingback) for bloggers that are referencing your pages

- a powerful search engine (including the highlight of searched words) to seek for information

- a skinnable rendering engine (going far beyond what templates can do) to make it beautiful