After a great deal of searching and some trial-and-error – which will no doubt continue – I’ve managed to enable an automated registration process, allowing Creators to sign up and create their own site all at once.
The solution – a plugin called BuddyPress – allows for the creation of a sort of internal social network, which also enables Collaborators to offer their services directly (if they so choose).
The one major con to the solution is that the Name field is now required, and I can’t change that or the visibility of that field, so anyone will be able to see it. However, it is still the case that pseudonyms are acceptable.
As mentioned, there will continue to be some trial-and-error, and I’m looking into ways to integrate the registration process with existing social media accounts to simplify the process even further.
The plugin also allows for the creation of a rudimentary site directory, which is available in the navigation menu. Future development will provide better organization and categorization, though, of course, I still have work out what the categories will be. For that part, I will be looking to the Creators and the readers to help develop them, and that’s actually a topic for a future post…
The registration form also has a field for members to offer their services as comment moderators. The moderation rules are something that will also have to be developed, and, again, that will involve input from the community.
Additionally, with my current advertising network (and my limited WordPress skills – which are, fortunately, growing), I will have to manually add the advertising code to new sites. The good news is that the ads will be relatively unobtrusive, and will not interfere too much with the layout of pages or the readers’ enjoyment of comics. Eventually, I hope to have a more robust advertising solution, and automate the process of (still unobtrusively) inserting ads into new sites.
If you’re not comfortable with using the form, you can still e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will be happy to set up your site for you.