Online Strategic Planning


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This presentation is designed to help small non-profit organizations create or enhance their online strategy. It includes some examples of Web 2.0 tools.

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Online Strategic Planning

  1. 1. Online Strategic Planning Presentation by Fiona MacCool, CLEONet Project Manager
  2. 2. Phase 1 – Visioning VISIONING – Have a visioning or brainstorming session with all staff and board where you talk about a online project vision - what do you want your online strategy to do for your organization? Your board? Your community? Start by asking these tough questions as an entire organization: • What are we trying to accomplish as a group? • How could working online help achieve these goals? • Who will be involved in the day to day work of maintaining the site and how can this be shared? • What makes your project different? What web sites are already out there that you can link to or work with? • Is this a web site that should have a long or short shelf life? • What would “success” look like for this project?
  3. 3. Project Definition VISIONING – Start by thinking of the three main things an online project can do: Provide information What information do you want to provide and how can you translate it best online? Gather information What information could your organization get from users of your web site that would help you in your work? Allow people to work together online For what purpose? With whom? How would we best facilitate this work? What will NOT translate well online?
  4. 4. Project Definition Who will participate? Clients Local Agencies Community Groups Media & Politicians Broader Community
  5. 5. Project Definition AUDIENCE Your ‘audience’ will be viewing the web site for a specific reason and it is important to know exactly what they are looking for when they visit the site. Keep asking yourself why would they bother to visit your site? Keep in mind:  Audience Characteristics  Information Preferences  Computer Specifications  Web Experience
  6. 6. Content Development Questions  Does the content you envision for the site already exist or do you need to create it from scratch?  Will outreach be a key factor in creating and maintaining content?  Will the site allow for group editing and collaboration?  How will you create a division of labour, to allow for various people to be responsible for maintaining sections of the site?  What common editorial standards or “Style Guide” will be used so that everyone agrees on what content should be there and how it should be written?  What will your policy be around e-mail based requests for advice?  How will you evaluate and review the site/online project?
  7. 7. Design Questions What do you want your web site to be?  searchable  be easily maintained by non- technical people  have password protected areas  require “membership”  have a clear domain name or be part of an existing network/directory of sites  Accessible to persons with disabilities (screen readers)  Have a unique logo and design or be based on standardized “templates”
  8. 8. Taxonomy – How to classify your content  How many content “types” will your site include?  Does your audience think about your content strictly by what it is “about” (health topics)?  Do they define their information needs instead by audience or who it is for (intended audience)?  Do they search instead by what they are doing (research, advocacy)?  Do they organize information according to client life events (looking for an apartment, applying for social assistance, having a baby)?  Is organizing information by author, language or format important?
  9. 9. Taxonomy – How to classify your information Organizing your content by topic and type – Example of a legal information taxonomy Pub lic L ega l Edu cat ion Ma t er ials P ro du cin g Le gal T op ic Lan gu age Ye ar of Pu blica t io n F or m at O rg an iza t io n Ab use an d F am ily L aw F am ily Violence F am ily La w Child ab use an d ne glect Child p ro t ect ion Elde r a bu se Cust ody and acce ss Pa rt ner a buse Child sup po rt Ab use of peo ple wit h dis abilit ies Divorc e an d sepa ra t ion Pr ot ect ion or der s.
  10. 10. Taxonomy vs. “Folks-onomy” Taxonomy – Controlled Vocabulary Folksonomy – Collaborative Tagging CLEONet Example:  Collaborative tagging (also know as folksonomy, social classification, social Employment and Work indexing and other names) is the  Dismissals and lay-offs practice and method of collaboratively creating and managing tags to  Employment Insurance annotate and categorize content. In  Employment standards contrast to traditional subject indexing, metadata is not only generated by  Injured workers compensation experts but also by creators and  Parental, pregnancy, and other leaves consumers of the content. Usually, freely chosen keywords are used  Workplace safety instead of a controlled vocabulary.[1] Tip: Don’t forget to include “Scope  Websites that support tagging and the Notes” for internal, editorial principle of folksonomy are referred to guidance and public “See Also:” in the context of Web 2.0 because pointers to help handle synonyms participation is very easy and new used commonly by your audience tagging data is used in new ways to to search for information find information.  An example is Flickr at
  11. 11. Information Architecture Brain Concept Flow Story Storm Map Chart Boards Do a brain Develop a Put together Create storming ‘concept’ a ‘flow story boards session map’ chart’ - of the web for to get an all the pages to possible idea of elements put all the content with rough in a elements audience in structure logical flow together mind
  12. 12. Home Page “Wire Frame” JavaScript graphic of logo and tagline with photos A project of Law Foundation logo & CLEO logo Search | Help Legal Resources | News | Events | About CLEONet | Contact Us Welcome to CLEONet What’s New? Box where we can highlight one thing we want to mention – A web site for community workers and advocates. Information to help you help your very brief text with link to more. clients understand and exercise their legal rights. Get Involved CLEONet brings you: • legal resources from community organizations across Ontario *Sign up for the e-mail bulletin • news and events about legal issues and law reform campaigns *Get CLEONet headlines on your site *Add a link to CLEONet A project of CLEO. Funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario. Featured Legal Resource What Every Tenant Needs to Know CLEONet staff cannot give legal advice. If that’s what you need, please contact a Produced by: ACME Org lawyer or community legal clinic or visit our Need legal help? section. Produced in: 2007 Latest News Browse legal resources by topic Legal Topics A-Z Community guide for non-status immigrants now available online -  Aboriginal Law  Housing Campaign calls for help to keep South Asian Legal Clinic  Abuse and Family Violence  Human Rights open  Consumer Law and Debt  Immigration and Refugee Upcoming Events  Criminal Law  Legal System and the Courts Community events to focus on $10 minimum wage  Education Law  Social Assistance, Pensions, and Benefits campaign  Employment and Work  Wills and Estates June 11, 2007 to June 25, 2007 (cities across Ontario)  Family Law  Health Law and Patient’s rights Press conference on moratorium on deportations of non- status peoples June 5, 2007 (Toronto) © Copyright 2005-2007 Community Legal Education Ontario Terms and Conditions | Privacy Statement
  13. 13. Things to consider in choosing the right tool  Does your site need to be maintained collaboratively or by a single person or organization?  Does your site need to be maintained by non-technical people?  Do you want your site to have “members” or password protected areas?  Do you want people to be able to post “comments” to the site?  Do you want to create a blog for various staff to maintain?  Will your site produce news and information of interest to others? Should RSS feeds be part of the planning?  Do you need to “create” your own unique web tool/site or can you use an existing tool or site to tap into existing social networking site?
  14. 14. Samples of Online Tools: Content Management Systems (CMS) A content management system (CMS) is a system used to manage the content of a Web site. Content management systems are deployed primarily for interactive use by a potentially large number of contributors. For example, the software for the website Wikipedia is based on a wiki, which is a particular type of content management system. The SAGE site uses Sharepoint. For a list of content management systems see:
  15. 15. Samples of Online Tools: DRUPAL Drupal is an open source content management system that allows an individual or a community to publish, manage, and organize a wide variety of content. Drupal can support a diverse range of Web projects, including content management systems or blogs. It has its own search engine, is accessible, and has customizable “themes”. It also has many “modules” to choose from depending on what you want your site to do, include RSS publishing. Here is a site I built in Drupal for OPICCO
  16. 16. Samples of Online Tools: Blogs Blog is short for weblog. A weblog is a journal (or newsletter) that is frequently updated and intended for general public consumption. Blogs generally represent the personality of the author or the Web site. Generally they make it very easy to add content quickly and encourage comments and responses by readers. A number of terrific free blog tools are available and can be used to produce an entire web site that is easy to use and update.  An example of a social justice web site that uses a WordPress CMS is 25-in-5: Network for Poverty Reduction a multi-sectoral network comprised of more than 100 provincial and Toronto-based organizations and individuals working on eliminating poverty at:  A research blog with a focus on public legal education is - created to support CLEO’s research into the development of a centralized legal information web site for Ontario. This blog is created using a free tool called “ WordPress”.  An example of a blog that deals with injured worker issues is the New York State Workers' Compensation Alliance at: This tool uses a blog CMS called Movable Type
  17. 17. Samples of Online Tools: Wikis  Wiki - online collaboration model and tool that allows any user to edit some content of web pages through a simple browser.  An example of the ultimate wiki is Wikipedia. Visit to see the Wikipedia entry for “Legal Aid”. Click “edit” to try it out.  While Wikipedia is edited by millions of people you can create a wiki for a select group to collaboratively work on a document.
  18. 18. Evaluation - Analytics  A great way to evaluate how your site is being used is to install Google Analytics – A free tool that has you insert a small piece of code on your site and then it produces reports on how your site is being used.
  19. 19. Samples of Online Tools – Social Networking Sites  Social Networking Sites - A social network service focuses on the building and verifying of online social networks for communities of people who share interests and activities, or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others, and which necessitates the use of software.  Most social network services are primarily web based and provide a collection of various ways for users to interact, such as chat, messaging, email, video, voice chat, file sharing, blogging, discussion groups, and so on.  The main types of social networking services are those which contain directories of some categories (such as former classmates), means to connect with friends (usually with self-description pages), and recommender systems linked to trust. Popular methods now combine many of these, with Facebook being the mostly widely used in North America. For more professional networking LinkedIn is also very popular. Twitter is also being used increasingly and is a way for people to provide very short updates on their activities and interests.  For a list of social networking sites see:
  20. 20. Samples of Online Tools – Community of Practice Sites  Communities of Practice - The concept of a community of practice (often abbreviated as CoP) refers to the process of social learning that occurs when people who have a common interest in some subject or problem collaborate over an extended period to share ideas, find solutions, and build innovations.  Google Groups is a free and easy way to set up a CoP. I recently set up one called Technology and Legal Services Network Ontario
  21. 21. Samples of Online Tools - RSS Feeds  RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary and it is a quick and easy way to keep track of new information on web sites that you visit frequently or are interested in.  For example, you can subscribe to CLEONet’s latest resources or news RSS feeds and add them to your personalized browser, mobile device, or blog. You can also sign up to receive our latest resources and news headlines by e-mail.  If your site supports RSS, there are great free tools to help with RSS to Email such as Feedburner or Zookoda.  The new OPICCO site, built in Drupal is set up with an RSS to Email subscription so that people can get notified of new postings weekly.
  22. 22. What is CLEONet?  More than just a web site, CLEONet is an online clearinghouse for community legal education in Ontario.  CLEONet is for community workers and advocates who work with low-income and disadvantaged communities.  CLEONet offers you one place to go to find hundreds of resources, news, and events on a wide range of legal topics.  CLEONet also provides feeds of our headlines to your web site. Keep your site up to date with the latest PLE resources, news, and events on legal issues facing low- income and disadvantaged communities in Ontario.
  23. 23. CLEONet Home Page at
  24. 24. Add CLEONet Feeds to Your Site
  25. 25. CLEONet Content Feeds - Examples Community Advocacy & Legal Centre – Legal Information Pages Under their own information, they offer the CLEONet feeds by subject
  26. 26. Other examples of CLEONet Feeds Injured Workers Online includes a feed to CLEONet’s Latest resources - Employment and Work > Injured workers compensation - Justice for Children and Youth under “Online Resources – Feed to CLEONet’s Latest Resource on Legal Issues for Children and Youth
  27. 27. Other examples - OPICCO
  28. 28. What’s Next? - Webinars CLEO is currently in the planning phase to develop, in collaboration with community and legal partners, legal information webinars.  These would be presented by community organizations and legal clinics for community advocates and/or the general public  Available as recordings or Podcasts for the general public on CLEONet  We are using a tool called ReadyTalk which combines a phone-based conference call with an integrated web meeting.
  29. 29. Webinars
  30. 30. Some On Line Resources  - The Technology Place for Nonprofits provides nonprofit organizations with technology information, products and community.  American Bar Ass’n – Best Practice Guidelines for Legal Info Web Site Providers –  Comparing Open Source Content Management Systems - WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Plone
  31. 31. Ask for Help and Keep in touch! Fiona MacCool Community Legal Education Ontario T: 416-408-4420 E-mail: Web site: