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These days organisations have alot of different communication channels at there disposal. I counted up, our student computer club has a:

  • Multiple mailing lists
  • Facebook Group
  • Website
  • Wiki
  • Twitter
  • IRC (eiter setting channel topic, or posting)
  • Facebook Page
  • a forum (phpBB)
  • LinkedIn
  • A Steam group
  • Likely soon a Google+
  • a published iCal (currently broken)
  • A physical notice board where a poster could be hung up.

Now these all have different purposes,
for example:

  • a announcement that a server is going down for maintenance, would go to out Twitter, one of the mailing list, and potentially a post might be made on the facebook group.
  • A event being run should go to a different mailing list, a facebook group event should be created, and the ical updated.
  • Minutes from meeting should be sent to a third mailing list, and put on the website, and posted as a Facebook Note.

I would like to reduce the manual handling in all this.

A while ago I threw together (but never deployed) a command line tool for cross posting events to facebook/email.

I am envisioning a more complete tool.

  • Something highly plugin-able (Preferably in python),
  • that takes a template for each communication type, and for each entry type.
  • Checkboxes that would grey out, if there are not templates for that type. (IF GUI)
  • Fields defined by entry type (different field for an event vs a minutes)

I wouldn't expect it to support all of the above, they are in priority order. In particular I would be expecting website editting to be basically calling a user defined script.

Feature List

You may treat all the features I have described above as optional (but highly desirable).

  • Must: create facebook events within a group and invite all group members
  • Must: Send emails, based on a template
  • Must: Work on Linux, though it could be a webapp (though I would prefer not as this makes commandline automation/script integration harder).
  • Should: be able to facebook group doc.
  • Should: be plugable, to allow plugins/script to allow for extra formats to be added. (Eg we have a script that creates posters to hang on the wall.)
  • Would: Cross link the cross posts where applicable (Eg, the email anouncing the event would have a link to the facebook event page)
  • Ideally: would have a command line mode.
  • Ideally: would have a tool for aggregating responses (eg RSVPs, questions etc) however that is not a big deal as the individual client tools do that. (Eg facebook posts are made in the app users name so they get notification, emails get the posters reply address, etc.)
  • Cost: Ideally Free and Open source, but I will look at others, if they have a good trial, so I can test them out properly. I'ld prefer something licensed/purchased outright over something subscription based, but as the APIs for the various services change, updates will no doubt be necessary so I am willing to also look at subscription based software. I would prefer less than $100 per year.

This is closely related to the question of Free service for scheduled cross-posting to major social networks However I am interested in things that are primarily not web-apps.

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