Benjamin Melançon



Justice, liberty, and the self-organization we need for both drive me to get involved in sundry projects. I promote and support several nonprofit organizations, especially public interest news sources, including the Fund for Authentic Journalism, Art For Change and Carlitos Café y Galeria in Spanish Harlem New York, Gringoyo Productions, the late, great NewStandard, and COA News.

I attended the the University of Massachusetts – Amherst as a Commonwealth Scholar studying journalism, economics, political science and information technology and am working on an honors thesis called “Economics for a Better World”. In my hometown of Natick, Massachusetts, I served as a town meeting representative, bike everywhere, and oppose fluoridation but drink tap water anyway. I helped found and was elected to the board of directors of Amazing Things Arts Center, which seeks to build community through the arts, and run the center’s annual fundraising auction web site (now in Drupal).

I’ve worked in media, retail, and consulting. Now, as co-founder of Agaric Design Collective, I develop and maintain web sites for companies, organizations, and individuals, using (and creating) open source free software– mostly Drupal. I am helping form a nonprofit organization called, and for, People Who Give a Damn.

Of possible interest to some people in this community, I’m working on a module for Drupal called Community-managed taxonomy (or categories). I suspect my thinking in this direction is probably decades behind the people here, though…


Welcome to the wiki! 😊

Hi Benjamin! Drupal online auction looks neat! (I wish Drupal had a reverse auction module, or wish I had the time to try and make one…)


A fellow designer! I like your web sites, they have an unusual color palette. Welcome.

Howdy! Nice to meet you!

Welcome. Honestly, we didn’t really know what we were doing when we started, either.

But the magic of wiki allows us to improve each other’s essays until all of us look brilliant :-).

I am glad this Internet thing helps connect people with interests in common that would otherwise never even realize the other existed. For example, the people at the wiki and the people at the wiki have been blissfully ignorant of each other until a few days ago.

Many times people have an idea for something they want to do, but then they come up with a big complicated way to implement it. But occasionally I come across brilliant innovations such as the AGC and EDAC and quines and wiki and Hipster and pair programming and a few other things that that are so simple, people insist they can’t possibly work. And yet they do work.

Nearly all wiki support something something very similar to “community-managed taxonomy” using tags and backlinks – in a way that is very simple to understand. WikiIndex:How_do_categories_work. Or perhaps I’ve just been doing it this unnecessarily difficult way so long it just seems simple to me.

I swear, I’m usually one of the first to welcome. Hi Benjamin. Welcome to community-wiki!

Hey all! Thanks for the very kind welcome. @DavidCary - a Wiki does allow community-based, content-driven categorization: give it a category, and the page can be listed on a listing page. However, even on wikis that I’m the only person editing, I have trouble with variations of the words I use for categories– reversed word order, plural or not, etc. Wikis are of course the unparalleled community site content and structure builders, and I should be looking at the wiki way more…

@SamRose - I have to update that module for the arts center again this year, and out of all the people who have expressed interest I’m trying to find some that actually want to fund the upgrade… feel free to e-mail or tell me more about your reverse auction needs!

This is really an amazing community- happy to be here!