One such site is the Hao Hao Report, a Digg-like social bookmarking/link sharing site that focuses on blog posts and news articles related to China (I live in China, so there’s a vested interest).
Virtually since its inception I ran the Hao Hao Report on Pligg, and as much as I support the effort that the Pligg developers have put into the piece of Webware, in the two years I used it, it gave me a rather painful headache.
Though it’s touted as an “open-source content management system”, the last bit is a misnomer in my opinion. The term “content management system (CMS)” carries with it a certain weight and generally intends that it would provide a simplified method by which to manage content – any content. Pligg can’t, in any easy way, manage anything outside of what it is intended to do – be a link submission service.
In addition, the project’s templating system makes upgrading to new versions a painful experience. Should you customize your Pligg site’s design to any degree, you will need to spend hours upon any upgrade combing through the Smarty-based templates updating core changes.
That I had to hack the core code just to allow myself, the administrator, the ability to physically delete (as in remove from the database completely) stories and users from the site did not add to my coziness with Pligg. In the spam-filled world we live in, this ability shouldn’t be a patch after-thought, it should be the standard.
For an unknown reason Pligg only allows admins to “unpublish” spam and “block” users – leaving the hundreds or thousands of entries and spam users plugging up the database with junk.
Spam is another area where the Pligg project is still just taking baby steps – unfortunately where they are just learning to crawl, spammers are already in full-sprint. The Pligg forum is littered with reports of Pligg sites being blasted with unmanageable spam, and the Pligg core being able to do little but watch in horror.
But the proverbial straw for me was when the Pligg project launched Pligg PRO, a pay-for-use collection of Pligg addons. Don’t get me wrong, obviously I support people making money off their hard work, and in principle have no argument with Pligg developers doing so. However, when the core software is still in beta (after more than 3 years of development – it’s still not at version 1.0) and the project’s main page puts focus on paid development, something in this open-source community has gone terribly wrong.
So, for all these reasons I had been eager to find an alternative, but was somewhat stuck as I had a developed a community of 500+ members and thousands of submissions – a migration was essential.
Drigg offered all the essential components that I required from Pligg, and because it was built on top of the powerful Drupal platform, I am now able to expand the site in any direction I wish with just a few clicks. New pages, additional features, a massive library of expansion modules, are all quick to add.
What’s more, Drigg comes with a Pligg migration script – which, though less than perfect, imported my rather huge collection of users and content with very few problems (backup backup backup!).
Now Drigg is missing a few things that I liked about Pligg, namely the External Vote Module, an Ajax-based “Live” page and a few other nifty gadgets that Pligg has. However, most, if not all, seem to be on the development map for Drigg, and in my opinion the gains far out-weighed the few toys that I’d have to go without.
Spam is still an issue, but instead of relying on the relatively small Pligg community to help, I have the entire resources of the large, well-established Drupal community at my disposal.