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Future directions for Cloudworks

Thought that I'd give you all a heads up on our plans for Cloudworks development. Do post in the comments below if you have any feedback or suggestions.


  • We've got some graphic design improvements to implement including a redesign of the home page so that it contains more useful content.
  • Better solution for embedding videos and slideshare presentations
  • Display a 'cloudstream' of your activity on the site on your user profile
  • Allowing you to add tags to yourself, so users will also appear on the page for a specific tag
  • Improving the Cloudworks blog section of the site
  • Displaying the number of times each cloud has been viewed
  • Making new content appear quicker in the search results
  • Improving the 'About' section of the site - Rebecca has been doing some work on this that you should hopefully see the results of soon
  • A review of the accessibility of the site


  • Rethink how editting of clouds works - we often have clouds that people wan to allow other people to edit and we need to consider what the best way is to allow this
  • Thinking more about the relationships between cloudscapes, clouds and links and making corresponding changes e.g. do we want to allow people to add 'related clouds' to a cloud?
  • Improving the way we handle events so that e.g. we can have a list of upcoming edtech events.
  • A reputation/voting system. I'm quite inspired by StackOverflow and Hacker News here, but this is going to need quite a bit of thought as these sort of this sort of thing is a delicate business.
  •  A Cloudworks API and widgets. We'd like to make a Cloudworks bookmarklet, a 'Cloud this!' button that you can put on your websites and embed code/widgets for e.g. Wordpress blogs. 
  • Usability Testing

Longer term

  • Further customisability of cloudscapes e.g. being able to reorder the clouds in your cloudscapes
  • Visualisation of relationships between clouds and cloudscapes
  • Open-sourcing the Cloudworks code and providing a way for people to host their own version of Cloudworks. We've had quite a lot of people wanting private spaces in Cloudworks, something that we have made a decision against as we want to encourage people to share more openly. However, we'd like to make it possible for people to install their own version of Cloudworks if they so wish. If you are a developer and interested in contributing the Cloudworks code (which is based on CodeIgniter), let me know, as if there are keen people out there, I'll push this up my priority list!
  • I think there's also a very interesting question about how you might 'decentralise' Cloudworks eventually using the formats from the API as a means to do that. However I think we need more traction and improve how Cloudworks itself works before we can realistically do anything there.

As well as all the above, I have a list of bugs and minor enhancements to the site that I'm steadily working my way through. And I'm off on holiday next week to give me the energy to do all of this!

  Posted by Juliette Culver on 18 September 2009

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