Continuing to build an online environment for the Dutch-speaking community

Best Dutch network,

according to your initial request, I have now renamed that categories for local communities to #language-communities:dutch , which also allows to circumvent any reginalism or nationalism trap. The group name @dutch has been updated respectively.

Your - up until now - private category now also accepts emails from registered users to

If you decide, you can also enable anonymous contributions. Please note those will most often not know with what kind of system they are communicating, and will expect answers to their messages at some point.

I have also seen that you have not yet appropriated the new test blog at Ghost Admin . Please visit that site to create an admin account, which would allow us to move forward.

It seems I also lost to note at which time we wanted to meet on monday. When would it be best suitable for you?

Hi Jon,

thanks for all the help again, I just got into the Ghost blog, will check it out a bit this morning.
last time we said we would meet at 11 this morning. Is that still okay for you?

This reply above might have been a bit late I realize, since that would mean we meet in 20 minutes. Since Ties could not make it anyhow it is just us two, we could also meet tomorrow morning at 10 o clock for example. Is that okay? For me this afternoon would be difficult.

Perfect. I’m putting tomorrow at 10:00 CET in the calendar. Next time we can try to all write the notes together, so nothing gets lost eventually.

Good idea, see you tomorrow!

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After technical difficulties made us skip the last attempt, we continued the conversation this morning.

We talked about the requirements to the site, and thought about how they can be met by a community of practitioners. To understand this better we looked at examples, collected the requirements and seeked to understand how we continue from here.

We found that Ghost might be a little too limited to build a full-fledged information portal site, like But for now it is a good space to allow the editorial to start working and produce the message they are intending to convey.

We are now looking more into the human aspects of this proposed place of communication and exchange, and wish a clear understanding of involved audiences, as well as how to build a mixed technical and non-technical team. The conversation continues after the next editorial board meeting on February 27th.

The notes are documented in

Do you have a more concrete list of what the requirements for this site are? It may be useful to have these clearly specified (also in short-term/long-term) to understand which technological option is the most appropriate.

Hello @gandhiano,

We have something of a website up and running now with the Casper theme, see here:

However it does not fullfill all our needs, and it is indeed currently too much ‘blog’ focused to work well as an information portal. Here a list of concrete things that are not in the standard ghost theme (or some which are not in any ghost theme) that we are missing or that inhibit the function of a (dense) information page:

  • multi-language support (eng / dutch in our case)
  • a forum (or some sort of connection to this agora?)
  • contact form linked to our email
  • drop down menu / or at leas a TOC per page (now pages get very long and unclear easily)
  • comments under articles/posts
  • ability to host files (such as creative commons degrowth books/publications)
  • calender of events
  • event registration
  • fold out / collapsible questions for a well organized FAQ
  • larger menu size (specific issue with Casper theme, it is somewhat small/unreadable)
  • team / author page (like Nubia - Aspire themes,
  • tags page for posts (like Nubia - Aspire themes, )

Many of these issues could be solved by coding these functions ourselves, but we are not coders. So maybe we need to find someone to help us with this. Or maybe we need to switch towards another platform such as squarespace or wordpress to be able to do it ourselves. We like the simplicity of ghost, but currently it limits our progress.

We do like to collaborate with as much as possible, and integrate functionalities. And we are not in a rush, but we would like to be able to autonomously make some progress. I wonder what you would say would be a good way forward here. Some options are:

  • stick with ghost, maybe change themes and try to add functionalities by collaborating with a coder from the Netherlands
  • change to a static website and built it up from the ground by collaborating with a coder from the Netherlands (ideally something like:
  • change to another system (Squarespace / Wordpress) and use their functions and plugins to do it ourselves without in depth knowledge of coding
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Hi @Laurens,

I have less knowledge about Ghost, except that it is a very nice looking and simple blogging platform (but with the possibility of extending a bit). I could have a look if the requirements that you have are easily implementable with existing plugins of Ghost. But my first impression is that you do want to do something that is not the focus and strength of Ghost.

We do Wordpress hosting ( or are part of a multisite setup for degrowth for example), so if you want to use this system it would be no problem at all. Actually, we do even look for engaging more maintainers of these multi-system sites. Just tell us if you want to experiment with it and we can create you an instance.

Another platform I like very much and for which we offer performant hosting is Drupal. The same here: if you want to have a site to experiment, or use an existing distribution we can provision it for you. I would however propose that you only go for a Drupal if you have the resources to address the higher complexity it involves - more powerful and much nicer codebase than Wordpress, but often not as familiar to less technical people.

As a general rule of thumb, I would also suggest to attempt reusing functionalities of tools, instead of implementing them specifically for your portal. This has two advantages: it reduces the overhead of maintenance for your site and it provides a network effect. A clear example here is the calendar of events/event registration, which we provide already via agora, or tickets sales which are provided via Improving on these and providing slim integrations with other sites in the network (e.g. having widgets that display on your portal) would be from my point of view the ideal way to move forward. The same for files: what would be the difficulty of creating a shared space on the degrowth nextcloud?

This is a quite extensive discussion, so maybe the better is to have a call to reflect on the different points into more detail and find the appropriate next step. I myself am on a new job this month and will be hard to find free time, but after Easter I hope to become more available here again.

Hi @gandhiano Gualter! :slight_smile: Im coordinating the organization of the 1st Utrecht Degrowth Symposium, and we would like to make the registrations available soon (in 2 weeks). The event will be for free, but we would like to keep track of the contacts of who is planning to come, who they are, and how many… Would it be possible to set up the registration page in the
I can let you know which data we would ask for from participants…
If this request is too last minute, would you suggest another way of doing it?
Muito obrigada e bjinhos!!

Hi @AnaP, sorry for the delayed answer, pretty busy with my new job and @yala out of service these days. I hope it still arrives on time. Theoretically it should be possible, but I myself have not used the tool much.

I think it is pretty simple though, so to avoid further delays due to my lack of availability, I suggest I just create a user for you, and then you try to create and manage the event yourself? You could then reach us out if you have any questions or difficulties.

You can have a look at the features of ticketing software (pretix) that we are using on this link.

Hi Gualter! Yes, if you make me an account I can check it out myself! thank you!

Hello Gualter,

a somewhat late reply, but thanks a lot for your elaborate answer! It is very useful for us. I think the best way forward then would be to leave the current website intact for now and keep using it to share what we can and want to. At the same time we can start building a Wordpress website slowly. Drupal might be a bit to complex again, and since we have some experience with Wordpress that might make things quite a bit easier for us. When the new website is ready to be launched we can relink our URL and focus purely on that one.

Regarding the reusing of functionalities of, that is something we would very much like to do. I think you already mention some good starting points. It would be nice to have a more in depth talk about how to exactly do that, whenever there is time on your side.

Regarding the Wordpress, would we be able to use our own theme? And it would indeed be very welcome to have a call after easter to discuss things in more detail. Let me know what suits you in terms of planning.

Good luck on the new job!

Kind regards,


Hi @Laurens, I propose then that I (or @orschiro, which is one of the Wordpress degrowth farm admins) creates your account/site and then you can start from there - you will start with a subdomain and can later relink your URL.

You should be able to use your own theme and also plugins (I think we don’t even need to install it network-wide, i.e. for the whole degrowth farm, but even if we do, it’s also simple).

Hi @gandhiano,

We had a good another meeting with the larger group, so we can move forward again. What you proposed regarding the wordpress website sounds perfect. Are there any costs involved that we should take into account?

And another question, I saw the Mailing List functionality on the homepage. Would it be possible for us to use that to make a mailing adress that automatically emails our fixed group? And can we then easily adapt that when members change?

Kind regards,


Hi @Laurens, I thought I had answered this already. I can set you up a Wordpress under if the people from Research & Degrowth are ok with it (the domain is their own - @Francois can you say something?). Otherwise we can also point it to a domain of your choice.

As for costs, I am not sure if this is included in yours or R&D membership. Maybe @yala has a better overview of this.

You can also have one or more mailing lists, which you can manage at your will to add or remove members at any time. I think the procedure for this is that you register on the lists site, provide us with your address and say the name of the list(s) you would like to have, then we make you an admin.

I am not a great fan of WordPress, due to its heavy maintenance and security workload. I prefer more well-suited and decoupled systems.

You are free to have a public and a private category for your community here.

Event registrations can happen nicely with used at

You can have a separate category for events in this Discourse, as with Degrowth / Degrowth, or within the Nextcloud at

Did you already enter the Nextcloud at It is available for you, and allows file sharing, calendar and contact sharing, plus more.

Comments under an article are possible with third-party software that can be embedded into any site.

Indeed requirements like

sound more like the work of a web designer. We here are infrastructure providers, and can only move slowly when having to work on the upper layers of the stack, closer to end users. Indeed your suggestion to create a static site with a befriended developer, and link interactive functions to respective systems, sounds most feasible. We have good experiences with static sites, and they use much less resources.

I’m not much a fan of mailing lists, either, and seek communities to actively embrace the world wide web and tools like Discourse ( for their communities communications.

Else we can add a group for you to and walk from there.

I can imagine that we can find a nice theme for Ghost, add some of the interactive features via third-party software (comments, contact form, multilinguality) and get calendars and files from Discourse (agora.) and Nextcloud (cloud.). If you like to have the WordPress instead, please talk to the other people mentionned above.

How have things been progressing lately?

Hello Gualtar, Jon!

I missed your post back then @yala, but thanks again for that, and actually things have been going quite well. How is it going here with the agora and

We now use the website a lot and are now more used to what it can and cannot do. We actually really grew to like the simplicity for blogging that ghost allows and also the fact that the website is simple and not to demanding fits degrowth quite well. I would say the most urgent point that does really needs to be addressed is the language issue. We would love to be able to communicate in both English as well as Dutch since on the one hand we work a lot with people from different international backgrounds in the Netherlands and on the other hand the main goal is to reach a dutch audience.

I was thinking about one possible solution that would not mean all sorts of complicated tricks or an entirely different and new static website. That idea is making a copy of this website and which we put at a slightly different URL such as ‘’. That way we can translate everything into dutch on the current site and use this other URL for an English version. And then we could just have a link in the top menu with either ‘English’ or ‘Nederlands’ (dutch) so that people can choose. Would that be possible you think?

If there are any costs involved because we will use more bandwidth or anything like that, please let me know as well, i’m quite sure we could find some funds if it is not too expensive.

Anyway, if that would be possible we would already be a big step ahead in furthering our vision for a real dutch degrowth platform and then all the other points are more future plans, and we can see if we can slowly make connections with developers that would support us in those things etc. If you know of any dutch people with skills and affinity for degrowth tips are always welcome of course.

Curious to hear your opinion!

Kind regards,


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Hi Laurens,

I’m happy to read that you are still using it. I have come over from time to time, and saw the progress on your site. Here we’re staying on low volume conversations, as the working groups seem to have displaced themselves and find more suitable conversation environments with working lists.

The talk about active moderation of the groups and requests to join them didn’t help the fact that people were expecting to sign up for a mailing list. Additionally the way to enter was incompletely communicated on, with a focus on the email addresses, without pointing out enough the web address.

Anyway, it also seems that Ghost is prepared to serve multi-lingual content, which we could set up next year.

Should we consider moving your site from to or similar?

I’m glad you like what we built with you. Let’s see where we can take it from here. I can imagine more use of events and locations as in Degrowth and Degrowth and republishing those on the website, plus the other points from above.

In the question of supporting Ecobytes in providing, you are always free to donate on Donate in group ecobytes | Ecobytes or become a member on Ecobytes membership registration form | Ecobytes :sparkles:

Enjoy the weekend,


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Hi Jon,

that sounds great, the multilingual capability. Would be great if that could be implemented somewhere in the beginning of next year. And the move from to is also a good idea, right now we have that URL registered but it only links to the other one. What do you exactly need from me to be able to do that? Just a domain transfer authorization code?

Regarding the use of the map and the calendar those are nice plans that we can work on when we will have some more things to do and see more events.

And I am going to propose the membership to ecobytes in our next meeting, I am pretty sure we’ll go for that route!

Kind regards,