Phile is a service that lets groups work together to create an online guide to the things they love.
Whether you’re into gardening, horror movies, or rock climbing, Phile lets you get together with like-minded people to turn your knowledge and opinions into your own lively and useful website.
Phile is for any group that wants to make better use of what its members know and discover. Maybe you and your friends want to trade opinions about poker books. Or places to find the best craft beers. Maybe you want to exchange information with other parents about local activities for kids. Phile lets you share all of your knowledge in one place.
Maybe you’re a blogger who wants to turn your audience of readers into a more active community of collaborators. Create a Phile site about whatever it is you’re passionate about. Seed it with your own knowledge, then open it up to your readers to help it grow.
Services like forums and email groups help people communicate with each other from day to day, but they’re not great for information you want to keep around and use later. Wikis solve that problem, but it can take a lot of work to keep them organized and up to date.
Phile lets you structure your site to gather exactly the information that matters to your community. Vegetarians, lovers of spicy food, and corporate party planners may all be interested in restaurants, but they all care about different things.
Setting up the right structure in advance lets Phile keep your site organized as people add to it, in just the ways you care about. And because Phile makes contributing to the site a social experience, it feels more like a conversation and less like work.
Most of the information in a Phile site is organized into stacks. Every stack is about a single topic, such as ‘cookbooks’ or ‘authors’ or ‘schools’. Every cookbook, author, or school gets its own page in that stack.
As a group creator, you decide what you want your stacks to be about, and what kind of information belongs on each page. If you create a group about local microbreweries, you might give each brewery page a ‘neighborhood’ field that tells people where it is. Then you might add a review section, or a section for people to vote on the best beer.
When group members add and update pages, they’ll be asked to enter information for each field you added earlier. Based on the kinds of fields in your stack, Phile automatically does things to help keep your information organized. For example, on each brewery page, it will show you a list of other breweries in the same neighborhood. And on the brewery index page, Phile adds pickers and sorters to let you see a list of breweries by neighborhood, by rating, etc.
Because everything group members might want to share may not fit neatly into your stacks, Phile also gives you forums for free-form discussion. Conversations can also happen in context on stack pages and other places, where they’ll be easier to find.
The home page lets everyone see and respond to all the recent activity on the site — new pages, reviews, comments, etc. For a more personalized view, members can use their dashboards to see only the activity of people they follow and to keep track of responses to their own contributions.
We allow group creators to export all the data from their site at any time to use however they want. You can take it to another site, syndicate it, or do your own engineering to build a custom site with it. The only information we don't give you access to is the email addresses of your group members (for privacy reasons).
We also reserve certain rights for individual group members. For example, members who write reviews on your site are allowed to use those reviews in other places.
Finally, group creators can specify that the information on their site be published under a variety of Creative Commons licenses.
Phile is free during the beta period. In the future, we plan to offer it in two ways: as a free service supported by ads, and as a paid service with additional functionality.
Create an account and give it a try. It’s free. Just give your group a name and pick a starting template. Once you have an idea of what your group needs, you can customize your site using drag and drop.
Phile lets you change your site even after people have started contributing, so we encourage you to experiment. Figure out what works best for your community.
For more about creating and customizing a group, watch the video.
And for some thoughts on why we decided to do what we do, you can check out, our about page.
Check out our support site at http://getsatisfaction.com/phile or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.