WordPress Knowledge Management System
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WordPress Knowledge Management System

August 22, 2019

Hello and welcome to a video demonstration
of a knowledge management system that I built in WordPress. What a knowledge management
system is essentially a online site where you can have communities of practice come
together collaborate and comment on different topics and upload documents to a repository
for the knowledge activities you do in your office. I have built other knowledge management systems
using a combination of Drupal and Alfresco along with BIRT and Pentaho. Those were complex
projects that involved some programming and integrating different open-source applications.
What I was looking for was something where I could make it very simple for the user:
limited to one open-source application with a few plug-ins and make it easy to maintain. This is a starter knowledge management system
so that you get a group up and running pretty quickly and teach them how to collaborate
online and how to use a knowledge management system. If you want to graduate something
more complex like a Drupal or Joomla are whatever flavor of open-source application, this WordPress
will let you do that later. So, I picked word press because WordPress
is a mature application which has a great set of plug-ins and has a very good system
for keeping things up to date. I think it’s probably one of the easiest CMS to begin with
(especially for knowledge management system). What you see here is something I call “Prevision
Engine” which is just a demo of a knowledge management system. All the things you see on the menu are because
I am an administrator. What your user sees on their dashboard depends on what role you
give to your users. First thing is to install WordPress (latest
edition) and then install a set of plug-ins. Let’s go through those plugins. Askimet usually
comes with WordPress but if you don’t see it, do install it to cut down on comment spam.
Then, I installed four key plugins to create the knowledge management system. The first
of these plug-ins is BuddyPress which will create a social network on your WordPress
site. The second plugin is bbPress which will give you forums in the BuddyPress groups.
You can also create a site-wide forum using bbPress but I chose not to at this time because
it is involved process requiring you to create a page and do some configurations. Google
it if you want to create a site-wide forum. The third plug-in is BadgeOS. Make sure to
also include BadgeOS Community so that you integrate BuddyPress and BadgeOS. Another
helpful plug-in is BadgeOS Stack which gives you sample content to jumpstart your BadgeOS
install. This gives you an idea of how badge OS works and some of things you can do with
it. Now, each of the plug-ins I mention has its
own site. Buddypress.org has themes, documentation, and tutorials. BadgeOS.org also has a good
support community support. MyCRED .me is the support site for myCRED
plug-in which rewards your users for doing certain actions on your site. Someone who
earn badges can also get the points and you can give them points for doing certain things
like rating forms. Another plug-in (optional) is JetPack. The
site is at JetPack.me and it’s a pretty nice add-on. You do need to create an account on
WordPress.com but it’s free and you get a set of features like the mobile theme. I’ve
looked at the site on my Samsung Galaxy II; it looks fine except for a formatting issue
with the forums. Those are the core plug-ins for the KMS. This WordPress install came with” limit login
attempts.” If you’re concerned about security you should install “Better WP Security.” It
is quite good and I’ll show you how to set it up so that you can handle all kinds of
different security issues for your site. I suggest installing Better WP Security after
all of the other plug-ins you have installed. Once you install it you can click on the default
security setting or select the options yourself. You might want to read about some of the settings
or have an experienced WordPress administrator talk you through some of these settings. We have BuddyPress set up, myCRED, and BadgeOS
so let’s go to the site itself. Once Buddy press is set up, you can create groups and
have your users create their profiles. So, in this demo I created one group, “The Future
of Spaceflight.” I wanted to have a forum in this group as you can see here. Other items
on the menu are members, invites, and admin. I then created the first topic and embedded
a YouTube video to get the discussion going. Your members can make comments on this topic
or start their own topics. Now, on the side you see blocks of information
which you set through the widgets menu. After you install BuddyPress, BadgeOS, and myCRED,
you will have a new set of widgets for your users. These widgets tell your users how many
myCRED points they have, the badges they earned, and who is in the lead on using the KMS. In
my example, you can see that I am in the lead over my dummy user, “Mr. Testy,” in points
and activities. With a knowledge management system, a major
issue is encouraging people to contribute and share knowledge. This is where gamification
techniques can help with user engagement. You set up task levels that lead to badges
which is a way to encourage users to engage with each other. Two good books on this subject
is “Total Engagement” or “Enterprise Games” which you can find on Amazon.com. In this KMS, you go into the two gamification
plug-ins to set up points for different activities. For example, I can give points for registering
for the site, commenting on a forum, and so on. It is important that you make sure that
BuddyPress, BadgeOS, and myCRED are integrated so that the user can earn badges and gain
points for doing stuff on the KMS. Buddy press.org explains how to set up a site
in its documentation and through video tutorials. MyCRED also has good tutorials that get you
set up. Of special note are “shortcodes” that let you specify what is shown. For example,
you may want to see the top 20 CRED winners and the bottom 20 CRED users to determine
activity levels. It is very easy to use shortcodes; start writing a WordPress posting and then
drop in the shortcode. The code will be replaced by a function call that goes and gets the
list of the people that have the ranks either top or bottom. Let’s take a look at BadgeOS. BadgeOS is full
of features which is why I highly recommend going through their tutorials. The basic idea
is your creating different kind of achievement types. This is why suggested you get that
BadgeOS Stack plug-in because it creates sample content for you and give you start. For example,
achievement types can be “badges,” “levels,” “quests,” and “community badges.” The best
analogy is the Boy Scouts where we have levels and badges like Eagle Scouts. You go up the
different levels in Boy Scouts by earning merit badges for doing different activities
such as going on camping trips. What I am showing here is how to go into the
various achievement types and set up the activity points and the steps needed to complete a
quest or a badge. Not only can you edit the amount of points earned by an achievement
type or the steps needed to earn a badge, you can change the badge image to specifically
identify the user’s achievements. With myCRED, you can tie into Credly which
is a worldwide badging authority that allows people to share their badges across sites.
You can decide if you want to get involved with that interesting work. So, let’s talk more about quests. It is up
to you how badges and quests work together but in this case, a quest is where you complete
a set of steps that make up the quest. In the process of completing a quest, you can
move up a level and earn badges as you complete steps. Even though we don’t have this on the
KMS, it is useful to set up “tasks” which is the most fundamental of achievement types.
Tasks make up levels, quests, and badges. For example, look at “Badge Explorer.” There
is only one task which is watch a video. Of course, you can add more tasks through editing
the steps and even make them sequential. It is well worth taking the time to plan out
your gamification structure before you start building achievement types. To summarize, the idea behind the knowledge
management system is to have a place where people can come together discuss things, upload
documents, and collaborate on projects. I also want users to be recognized for doing
these tasks by rewarding badges and points through BadgeOS and myCRED. All this in a
secure site which is very simple to set up. It takes from a half-an-hour to 45 minutes
even if you are new to WordPress. An especially useful feature of WordPress
is that it tells you when it needs to be updated. You can look at the dashboard which will notify
you which plug-ins are out-of-date. Maintenance is just a matter of point-and-click. One important
point is to back-up your database on a regular basis and there are some plug-ins that do
that for you. Now, I have some additional plug-ins but I
didn’t want to show them in detail because I don’t know what your server configuration
is like and I didn’t want to promote one solution over another because it may be incompatible
with what you have at your workplace or wherever
you set up your KMS. As you see, you have a number of options once
you have installed the four major plug-ins that I suggested. This is the sequence that
I suggest you install the plug-ins: BuddyPress, bbPress, BadgeOS, BadgeOS Community, myCRED,
JetPack, and Better WP Security. I also suggest that
you examine your registration settings so
that all potential users have to be approved by the administrator. This will help cut down
on comment spam. I appreciate your interest in
the prototype. I am just starting with WordPress
configuration myself so I welcome any ideas, comments, or suggestions
that you have. Please contact me
at [email protected] Thank you.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. great introduction for this forum and plugins but your video is driving me crazy when it keeps going black lol I'm excited to see each step your taking and then it goes black.. thanks for the video though lol

  2. Thank you! I don't know why it does that because the original video doesn't do this. I created it using Camtasia and then exported it to an MP4 format. I ran through it the first time and it didn't do this.

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