Developing a More Strategic and Effective Website for Your Hillel


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This presentation was given at the 2008 Hillel Professional Staff Conference and outlines the basics of developing a content management system for a Hillel, but could easily be applied to other organizations.

Slides 1-9, Brian Small, Syracuse Hillel
Slides 10-11, David Newman, Hofstra Hillel
Slides 12-21, Judah Ferst (me), Hillel of Greater Philadelphia
Slides 22-35 Paula Tokar, Gallaudet University Hillel
Slides 36- Matt Braman, Schusterman International Center

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Developing a More Strategic and Effective Website for Your Hillel

  1. 1. Developing a More Strategic and Effective Website for Your Hillel 2008 Hillel International Staff Conference Wednesday, December 17, 2008 10:15 AM
  2. 2. Developing a More Strategic and Effective Website for Your Hillel Hillel at Syracuse’s University’s Website Dilemma
  3. 3. Hillel’s Goals for the Website Redesign <ul><li>Worked with ICTG LLC to develop site goals: </li></ul><ul><li>Create an easily edited website with interchangeable parts </li></ul><ul><li>Update the aesthetics of the website while maintaining readability and usability </li></ul><ul><li>Add innovative technology to the website </li></ul><ul><li>Incorporate multimedia features </li></ul><ul><li>Add interesting new features </li></ul><ul><li>Generate updated statistics on website visitors </li></ul>
  4. 4. Editable Website <ul><li>Moved to module system on DotNetNuke / DNN </li></ul><ul><li>I can edit the website from any computer connected to the internet </li></ul><ul><li>Created page templates for consistency </li></ul><ul><li>Allowed for an Integrated E-mail system </li></ul>
  5. 5. Site Aesthetics <ul><li>Created consistent color design scheme </li></ul><ul><li>Updated banners and menu structure </li></ul><ul><li>Added more pictures </li></ul>
  6. 6. Innovative Technology <ul><li>Added “Live Schmooze” using open development tool on AOL </li></ul><ul><li>Added “Birthright Scrap Book” and readable newsletters using “Live Content” technology </li></ul><ul><li>Added embedded code provided by Google Maps </li></ul>
  7. 7. Multimedia Features <ul><li>Alternative Spring Break Movie </li></ul><ul><li>James Conlon Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Link to YouTube video of the Shticks </li></ul>
  8. 8. New Features <ul><li>New and improved events calendar </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual building tour </li></ul><ul><li>Online Nosh Box ordering </li></ul>
  9. 9. General Tips <ul><li>Consider third party programs and open-source programs and codes (but be aware of the risks and the bugs) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Can I do it myself?” </li></ul><ul><li>Contractor “24-hour E-Mail” rule </li></ul><ul><li>“ We’ll find a way to make it happen” attitude </li></ul><ul><li>Free training manual and training sessions for you and your staff </li></ul><ul><li>No charges for website content changes </li></ul><ul><li>Learn just a little HTML code at </li></ul>
  10. 10. Developing a More Strategic and Effective Website for Your Hillel Practical and Useful Links for Hosting and Creating Your Site
  11. 11. Content Management Systems <ul><li>Web Design vs. Building a Site </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wild Apricot: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Joomla: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accrisoft: </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Web hosting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Go Daddy: </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>School of Communications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Taproot Foundation: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Lori Berkowitz </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Developing a More Strategic and Effective Website for Your Hillel Why What the Public Sees is Only a Fraction of the Concern When Constructing a Website: Different components of a website
  13. 13. Public Information <ul><ul><li>Pages (information for students, parents, donors, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Jewish content (d’var torah’s, Jewish links, etc.) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Calendar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Profiles (staff, student leaders, board, etc.) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>e-Commerce (donations, event payment, purchasing merchandise, etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Links to other organizations (TBRI, SIC, Federation, local Jewish orgs, Jewish studies, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Surveys and evaluative tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Announcements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Listserve </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sign ups (events, e-communication, etc.) </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Allows and Encourages Interaction By the Public <ul><li>People can post their own events and announcements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Student leaders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student interns (CEI, etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>University officials (Jewish studies, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community partners </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Comment on content </li></ul><ul><li>Share content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E-mail </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social networking sites (facebook, etc.) </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Internal Information <ul><li>Student tracking information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What events they came to </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What categories of events they came to </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are their interests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Notes about them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff member primarily responsible </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Event tracking information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Category of event </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Externally storable (i.e. social, Israel, etc) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Internally storable (based on donor reporting requirements) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Total number of students in attendance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Number of first timers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Planning information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How many did you expect? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What were your goals? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff member primarily responsible </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Developing a More Strategic and Effective Website for Your Hillel Collecting and Managing Data: The (Unattainable) One-Record Theory
  17. 17. One student record that… <ul><li>Can be entered by the student or Hillel staff </li></ul><ul><li>Receives your listserve (click tracking data) </li></ul><ul><li>Can RSVP (and pay) for your events </li></ul><ul><li>Has their events tracked </li></ul><ul><li>Has their interests tracked </li></ul><ul><li>Has their personal information tracked (school address, phone, etc) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple e-mail addresses / unique ID </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Becomes an alumni/parent/donor </li></ul><ul><ul><li>DonorPerfect ID # </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. One Event That… <ul><li>Is automatically fed into our listserve </li></ul><ul><li>Students can RSVP (and pay (in different amounts)) for </li></ul><ul><li>Students records are associated with for tracking purposes </li></ul><ul><li>Is used for space reservations in a Hillel facility </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Set up / clean up time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Room set up </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supplies needed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tied in with in house kosher caterer (where available) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Can be sorted according to external and internal categories </li></ul><ul><li>Events can be on the calendar and just viewable to staff (i.e. coffee dates, leadership meetings, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Is tied to evaluation data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student leaders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participants (tied to the student record through click tracking) </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Extracting Data <ul><li>Should have queries centered around events and ones centered around students </li></ul><ul><li>Allow staff and student interns to easily access students, events and initiatives they are working on </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to write your own queries </li></ul><ul><li>Retain student record even if they unsubscribe from the listserve </li></ul>
  20. 20. Example <ul><li>Student McLovin came to a Latke Study Break run by one of your student interns in their dorm. </li></ul><ul><li>The student intern adds them to the attendance list of the program (which automatically subscribes them to our listserve) </li></ul><ul><li>The next weekly e-news they get is automatically created from: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Events that are posted on the site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Announcements that are posted on the site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A student written d’var torah posted to the site </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When looking at the student’s click tracking data we see they clicked on a Taglit-Birthright Israel: Hillel Trip Humus Happy Hour </li></ul><ul><li>We add that as an interest in their record and send them a personalized reminder about the event the day before </li></ul><ul><li>They sign up for the trip, go on the trip, they have a powerful experience at Yad V’Shem, we track them as interested in Holocaust programming </li></ul>
  21. 21. Example <ul><li>The campus staff (who did not go on the trip) is planning a yom HaShoah program. They look up students interested in holocaust programming and asks this student to help plan the program. It is tracked that he was on the planning committee of the program </li></ul><ul><li>The student graduates </li></ul><ul><li>15 years later the Hillel is looking for a donors to help fund holocaust programming and contact this student saying “I know you were involved in planning this program as an undergrad, would you be interested in funding a similar program for our Hillel” </li></ul>
  22. 22. Developing a More Strategic and Effective Website for Your Hillel Making Your Websites Accessible
  23. 23. What Is Accessibility, Anyway? <ul><li>Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can use the Web. </li></ul><ul><li>Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web. </li></ul>
  24. 24. What Is a Disability? <ul><li>There are 4 major categories of disability types that impact an individual’s ability to use the web: </li></ul><ul><li>1. VISUAL: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blindness, low vision, color-blindness </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Blindness <ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Blindness <ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. What Is a Disability? <ul><li>2. Hearing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Deafness/Hard of Hearing Wayne has important things to say! YouTube's got captions! </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. What Is a Disability? <ul><li>3. Motor </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inability to use a mouse, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>slow response time, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited fine motor control </li></ul></ul><ul><li>4. Cognitive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning disabilities, distractibility, inability to remember or focus on large amounts of information Biting the hand that feeds me… </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Who Cares? <ul><li>Though estimates vary, most studies find that about one fifth (20%) of the population has some kind of disability. </li></ul><ul><li>Depending on the university, anywhere from 6 – 11% of students currently enrolled in college today have identified themselves as having a disability. </li></ul>
  30. 30. What Does the Law Say? <ul><li>Several federal laws protect college student with disabilities from discrimination </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(applies to all colleges that receive federal $$ assistance) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(applies to employers, government entities, such as state universities, and private entities that serve the public) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Religious institutions are often exempt from some of these laws, but… </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t we answer to a “Higher Authority?” </li></ul>
  31. 31. Adaptations <ul><li>Each of the major categories of disabilities requires certain types of adaptations in the design of the web content. </li></ul><ul><li>Most of the time, these adaptations benefit nearly everyone, not just people with disabilities. </li></ul><ul><li>Almost everyone benefits from: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>helpful illustrations, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>properly-organized content and clear navigation. While captions are a necessity for Deaf users, they can be helpful to others, including anyone who views a video without audio. </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. What Can I Do… Cheap? <ul><li>Provide appropriate alternative text </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alt Text provides a textual alternative to non-text content in web pages. It’s especially helpful for people who are blind and rely on a screen reader to have the content of the website read to them. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ensure users can complete and submit all forms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ensure that every form element (text field, checkbox, dropdown list, etc.) has a label and make sure that label is associated to the correct form element using the <label> tag. </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. What Can I Do… Cheap? <ul><li>Caption and/or provide transcripts for media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Videos and live audio must have captions and/or a transcript. With archived audio, a transcript might be sufficient. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ensure accessibility of non-HTML content, including pdf files, word documents, PowerPoint presentations and Adobe flash content. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you cannot make it accessible, consider using HTML instead or, at the very least, provide an accessible alternative. PDF documents should also include a series of tags to make it more accessible. A tagged PDF file looks the same, but it is almost always more accessible to a person using a screen reader. </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. What Can I Do… Cheap? <ul><li>Do not rely on color alone to convey meaning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The use of color can enhance comprehension, but do not use color alone to convey information. That information may not be available to a person who is colorblind and will be unavailable to screen reader users. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make sure content is clearly written and easy to read </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Write clearly, use clear fonts, and use headings and lists appropriately. </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. To find more info… <ul><li>Web Accessibility Initiative www.w3/org/WAI </li></ul><ul><li>WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Initiative of Utah State University, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Center for Persons with Disabilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  36. 36. Developing a More Strategic and Effective Website for Your Hillel Future Trends
  37. 37. Future Model
  38. 38. Future Model <ul><li>Infrastructure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical environment (servers, security, etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Content Management System </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Diverse control </li></ul></ul><ul><li>User Interface </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Navigation, graphics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Integration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>News feeds, databases, tools </li></ul></ul>
  39. 39. Web 2.0+ <ul><li>Semantic web </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Beyond displaying words </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Structured data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Freebase </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mashups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dapper </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Collaboration tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Second Life </li></ul></ul>
  40. 40. Developing a More Strategic and Effective Website for Your Hillel Evaluating and Measuring Your Website with Effective Statistics
  41. 41. Your Website Statistics <ul><li>Who visit your website? </li></ul><ul><li>How long do they stay? </li></ul><ul><li>Where are they directed from? </li></ul><ul><li>What keywords are they using? </li></ul><ul><li>Where are they visiting from? </li></ul><ul><li>Google Analytics </li></ul>
  42. 42. Developing a More Strategic and Effective Website for Your Hillel 2008 Hillel International Staff Conference Wednesday, December 17, 2008 10:15 AM