Long Term Projects
Add 2 discussion boards. One for serious history, allows submitters, editors, researchers to post messages for one another, discuss points in public for comment, ask questions, and make Earth Chronicle more interactive for visitors, etc. The other for political/interpretive discussion where people can vent less formally developed ideas and celebrate the diversity of ideas we hope to encourage without the necessity for rigidly researched references, vigorous approval process, etc., etc.
Add a number of new domain names for subsections of Earth Chronicle.
Create an adequate backup system for the websites. One possibility is TIA and MIA systems (Totally and Mostly isolated archives). Ideally all information should also be archived offline. The MIA system could take advantage of limited access to outside files, possibly excluding, possibly including internet access. However, this would make it possible to archive everything from the website to a relatively secure platform that lives mostly away from internet contact. MIA functions effectively as a quarantined system to safeguard information. TIA is simply the most extreme version of this. TIA would never be online or have access to other media. In its most extreme form, the only input to a TIA system would be keyboard and mouse, with all webpages retyped by hand into the archive (obviously sans multimedia files of any kind, text only). In theory TIA would be absolutely secure from everything except physical malfunction. When information is needed from the archive, it would be easy to retrieve it from MIA, by writing to DVD, swappable hard drive, etc. and transferring the information back to the internet server. For security, an extreme TIA would only be able to share information by writing to a swappable hard drive (preferably a new one) or some media drive that was Write only, probably difficult to find off the shelf. E.G. if there were a write only DVD drive available it could be safely attached to a TIA system to burn information in the TIA archive enabling the information to be uploaded back to the server.
Add personality and learning style ratings and searches. People should be able to rate pages for content and style (with a form box to notify us of any errors or problems). People should also be able to search the site for articles they are interested in. These two features should ideally tie in with people's personality and learning style so that their searches turn up articles best suited for them and their ratings serve as markers to other people with similar learning styles. Everyone starts out with simply a general profile, probably using only a "if you like this page, you'll like this one..." format. However by taking a series of short psychological tests, we can give people a reasonable suggestion as to how best to configure their personality and learning style settings. Preferably we would not hold this information to ensure people’s privacy. Quick and dirty approximations of the Strong-Campbell categories (perhaps as simple as the hexagon party room where people are asked their first, second and third choices of groups) and/or Myers-Briggs types would probably be sufficient for personality guides. Visual vs. audio, etc. would be one important class of learning styles to determine, but there are certainly other important ways for people to configure their interface to best suit them that go far beyond such a simple determination.
Build a library of original texts (by jpegs if necessary for documents created before printing was standardized and letters/characters are open to interpretation). Then provide text of the documents alongside to make difficult documents readable. Poetry/Shakespeare would probably have Arden-style notes and possibly full metrical analysis. Materials in a foreign language should have gradations of translations (ideally full Perrill translations) into idiomatic English. Hopefully include other services like Public Domain image galleries and quotation reference guides.
Develop a governing structure for Earth Chronicle. Perhaps along the following lines. A democratic legislative body that sets business and changes by a supermajority (55% minimum) with an elected more conservative Senate that it shares power with. An elected president, and committees (effectively judicial) that oversee all aspects of the website. Judicial, executive, and legislative should share checks and balances and legislative divided into the democratic assembly and the more cautious Senate with checks and balances over each other.