I am sorry, but the IoPP, where TalkPhysics is hosted, has security installed that would defeat hackers that could get into Fort Knox. It is simply not the case that one can get both systems (fileserver and social network) easily onto the same server in this case. TalkPhysics is on a heavily isolated VPS, hosted on IoPP. Please don’t think we did not try to persuade them to do both, as this would have made our lives simpler. But the price they quoted for file hosting was prohibitive. We simply do not have the budget for what they were asking.
Elgg does not provide for easy file management. You can verify this for yourself by uploading a decent sized file and then trying to replace it with a newer version.
We did charge the then PM (who had form in the matter of It projects within the IoP) with finding an ftp service that could be used without technical training – they are far and few between.
AS you can imagine, trying to guess what sites are not banned in every school is a nightmare….and I don’t think there is a simple answer to this.
I think Jon has the right attitude here – if there is a commercial server that you know of, or any evidence that hosting it in the UK would lead to improved performance then you’d be one ahead of the technical people we have employed so far. So that advice would be useful. But i afraid that we have exhausted the simple possibilities. For example IoPP simply will not hand out FTP access to an unknown number of people to its servers…or even to employees of the IoP.
Please let’s get back to Web 2.0 and collaborating on Physics, rather than spending time on Web 1.0 issues of downloads….which are a 1-off cost to most users.
A certain Mr Shirky thinks **that** is what we should be doing…