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Presentation to SG Execs on New Website

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Specifically intended for view by the AU Student Government executives, this presentation overviews the proposal for the new SG website for the 2010-11 academic year.

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Presentation to SG Execs on New Website

  1. 1. Proposed Layout & Construction Timeline for New AUSG Website Submitted by Douglas Bell, Interim Director of Information Technology June 15, 2010
  2. 2. Introduction • AUSG Needs a New Website (duh!) • Looking at new.ausg.org, I don’t believe that it is adequate to meet the needs of this year’s Student Government • Proposal: Completely new AUSG website, from scratch • Goal: Nearly-complete site launch in time for Fall Welcome Week • This will be the biggest website I’ve worked on to date • 4-5 times bigger than ATV website
  3. 3. Framework Development Management
  4. 4. Framework
  5. 5. New Website Questionnaire 1. Briefly describe what your department does, in a few sentences or less. 2. How do you currently communicate with AU students regarding the activities put on by your department? 3. Imagine that your department has its very own website. What would it look like? What would be the key features that it would provide? 4. Please share any other suggestions that you have about what you'd like to see in a new AUSG website.
  6. 6. Questionnaire Conclusions • SG is comprised of many diverse “mini-organizations” with many different needs & goals • Communications are not centralized • There is no single, consistent channel of communication • Current website is considered inaccessible and poor at serving the needs of most of the Student Government • Too much text & information in some places, not enough in others
  7. 7. Goals of the New Website • Become the central communications “hub” for all of the SG • Meet the unique needs of every department in the SG • Unify all departments in the SG under one “roof” • Make the SG instantly accessible to all non-SGers
  8. 8. WordPress 3.0 • Latest and Greatest, Just About to Be Released • Free and Open Source • Easiest CMS to Learn and Use • Extensive libraries of themes and plugins • I’m familiar with it!
  9. 9. WordPress Multi-Site • Allows multiple WordPress sites to spawn off a single installation • Works exactly like WordPress.com • Every SG department gets their own site • AUSG.org becomes a network of sites • User accounts, themes, available features, & much more are integrated across the entire network
  10. 10. The Main (“Top-Level”) Site www.ausg.org Meet the navigation bar: Home About Advocacy∇ Student Services∇ Events∇ Branches∇ News Media Get Involved Categorized Drop-Down Menus Join AUSG form of Department Sites About the SG, Org Chart, Gov. Docs, Page for visual media Directory of Officers & Contact, etc. (Photos,Videos) Blog for SG-wide news Home Page for the Website & media releases
  11. 11. Advocacy www.ausg.org/advocacy/ • Academic Affairs - academics.ausg.org • Military Affairs Commission - military.ausg.org • Arts Council - arts.ausg.org • Residential & Campus Life - • Atheltics & Recreation - campuslife.ausg.org athletics.ausg.org • Student Health - health.ausg.org • Diversity Advocacy - diversity.ausg.org • Student Transportation - • Environmental Policy - transportation.ausg.org environment.ausg.org • Women’s Initiative - wi.ausg.org • IDEAS - ideas.ausg.org
  12. 12. Student Services www.ausg.org/services/ • AUTO - auto.ausg.org • Bike Lending - bikes.ausg.org • Community Service Coalition - csc.ausg.org • Jobs Board - jobs.ausg.org • Outreach & Recruitment - outreach.ausg.org • SAC - sac.ausg.org • Unity & Spirit - spirit.ausg.org
  13. 13. Events www.ausg.org/events/ • Events - events.ausg.org • Shared by Founders Week, Artemas Ward Week, Spring Fling, etc. • KPU - kpu.ausg.org • SPEC - spec.ausg.org • SUB - sub.ausg.org
  14. 14. Branches www.ausg.org/branches/ • Undergraduate Senate - senate.ausg.org • Used by Speaker, Clerk, Parliamentarian, and Director of Open Government • Possible future idea to provide sites for each senator • Judicial Board - judicial.ausg.org • Board of Elections - elections.ausg.org
  15. 15. Branches www.ausg.org/branches/ • Executive Board (shared by four executives) - executives.ausg.org • President - executives.ausg.org/president/ (president.ausg.org) • Vice President - executives.ausg.org/vicepresident/ (vp.ausg.org) • Comptroller - executives.ausg.org/comptroller/ (comptroller.ausg.org) • Secretary - executives.ausg.org/secretary/ (secretary.ausg.org)
  16. 16. Class Councils (under “Branches”) councils.ausg.org • Class of 2011 - 2011.ausg.org • School of Communication - soc.ausg.org • Class of 2012 - 2012.ausg.org • School of International Service - • Class of 2013 - 2013.ausg.org sis.ausg.org • Class of 2014 - 2014.ausg.org • School of Public Affairs - spa.ausg.org • College of Arts and Sciences - cas.ausg.org • Undergraduate Business Association - uba.ausg.org (kogod.ausg.org)
  17. 17. Other Departments • Historian gets a separate archives.ausg.org site • Communications Dept. gets to use the main site blog for news/media releases and other AUSG-wide communications • Design Dept. probably doesn’t need one (but can have one if they want one) • IT Dept. runs the whole website anyway, so why do we need one? :)
  18. 18. User Accounts • IT Department will manage user accounts on the website in tandem with the current Google Apps accounts • All members who have an @ausg.org e-mail address through Google Apps will have the same username on the ausg.org website • Single sign-on: One account covers entire ausg.org website • More on user accounts later in this presentation...
  19. 19. WordPress Permission Types • Subscriber - User can only manage their own profile • Contributor - Can write posts and submit for review, cannot publish their own posts • Author - Can write, publish, and manage their own posts • Editor - Can publish posts & pages and manage other users’ posts • Administrator - Full administrative access on the one site • Super Admin - Full administrative access throughout the entire network, including managing sites & users
  20. 20. Assigned Permissions • Department directors have Admin access to own site; can manage users & control permissions on their own • Posting permissions on main site blog for executives, Speaker, Chairs of J-Board & BOE, Communications Director, and IT Director • Contributor permissions for Communications/IT Dept. members • Super Admin privileges for executives and IT Director (& Deputy) • Executives expected to check with IT Director before messing with network-wide settings, except in emergency!
  21. 21. Visitor Stats • Google Analytics will be used to track website visitor statistics • One Analytics profile for all of AUSG.org • Individual Analytics profile for each of the sites on AUSG.org • Any SG member with a Google account can request access to the Analytics profile(s) for their department site(s)
  22. 22. Framework www.ausg.org Advocacy Student Services Events Branches Exec Depts. UG Senate Executive Board Judicial Board Board of Elections Councils
  23. 23. Framework • 35 Websites in One Website • Each one unique, but unified together for one AUSG website • One user-base for everyone in SG to have controlled access to everything • Using WordPress 3.0, so there’s very little learning curve
  24. 24. Framework Development Management
  25. 25. Development
  26. 26. Development Calendar Out • June 17-July 4: Milestone I Aug of To ust 1 wn: July • July 5-August 13: Milestone II Wor king 6, Au gust 19-2 20-2 4, at AT 2 • Late August (Date TBD): Website Launch V: Au gust 17-1 • September-October: Milestone III 9 • Launch at Start of Sixth Undergraduate Senate • October-January: Milestone IV • Launch at Start of Spring 2011 Semester
  27. 27. Development Environment • New development site (ANewSG) hosted at www.anewsg.info • Department sites at subdomain.anewsg.info • Entire website will be merged over to ausg.org at designated launch date • Most SG departments expected to contribute to ANewSG during the summer
  28. 28. Milestone I (June 17-July 4) • Getting Main Basic Features Underway • Initial installation and setup of WordPress 3.0 • Development of Top-Level Site Pages & Content • Building & Integration of Primary Site-Wide Features
  29. 29. Milestone 1: Top-Level Site • Main Site Navigation Bar • New Home Page w/ Slideshow, Upcoming Events Calendar, & Organized Links to Department Sites • About Section • Re-written “About AUSG” w/ New Org Chart, Gov. Docs Downloads, etc. • Directory of Officers linking to new Contact form • Media Section for photos, videos, etc. • New “Join AUSG” form & back-end (replacing the AUSG Recruiter)
  30. 30. Milestone I: Site-Wide Features • Unified site-wide navigation bar • Default themes for sites to choose from • Feedback/Contact form w/ limited customization • Social networking integration (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, etc.) • Other basic features (Anti-Spam, Maintenance Mode, Google XML Sitemaps, Google Analytics, Feedburner, etc.)
  31. 31. Theme for Main AUSG.org Site $48 Traction PRO by The Theme Foundry www.thethemefoundry.com
  32. 32. Milestone II (July 5-August 13) • Setting Up Most Department Sites • Adding accounts for Department Directors & Officers • Individualized Attention for Each Department • Development & Integration of Custom Features (as needed) • Assistance for Customizing Theme & Content Layout • Site-Wide Bug Testing • Participation & Cooperation With Departments is Critical
  33. 33. Site-Based Themes • 2-3 default (free) themes will be made available • Choosier departments can request implementation of any other WordPress theme (subject to IT Director approval) • All themes include customizable menus, sidebar widgets; default themes include customizable header/layout options
  34. 34. Plugins • Functionality can be added to individual sites or network-wide through WordPress Plugins • Most customizations will be programmed as plugins • Plugins must be installed & activated by the IT Director • Most of the existing plugins on the WordPress.org Directory can be set up if requested
  35. 35. Milestone II: Top Priority Sites • auto.ausg.org • kpu.ausg.org • bikes.ausg.org • sac.ausg.org • csc.ausg.org • senate.ausg.org • elections.ausg.org • spec.ausg.org • events.ausg.org • sub.ausg.org • executives.ausg.org • wi.ausg.org • judicial.ausg.org
  36. 36. Milestone II: Lower Priority Sites • All Other “Advocacy” Sites (10) • “Student Services” Sites (2) • outreach.ausg.org • spirit.ausg.org • All Class & School Councils, except 2014 (8)
  37. 37. Website Launch • Will Require a Full Day Outage (minimum) for Site Transition & Bug Testing Prior to Launch • Goal is for a late-August website launch timed for start of Fall 2010 • ATV hosted (and advertised for) a launch event during its November 2009 website relaunch -- possible to plan this for AUSG?
  38. 38. Milestone III (September-October) • Development of all sites left out of Milestone II • 2014.ausg.org • archives.ausg.org • Any lingering bugs or suggested changes since website launch • Blogs for Senators (depending on feedback)
  39. 39. Milestone IV (October-January) • Jobs Board • Private Area for SG Members • Any other major new features
  40. 40. Development • Milestone I -- Just for me to get the basic site architecture in place • Milestone II -- Get the primary SG departments involved & set up • Launch the site mostly feature-complete in time for Fall Semester • Milestones III-IV -- Finishing up the rest of the site and fixing things
  41. 41. Framework Development Management
  42. 42. Management (DRAFT)
  43. 43. Site Management • Site Administrators have these privileges... • Write, Publish, and Manage Content (Posts, Pages, Links, Uploaded Media, and Comments) • Customize Layout, including front page, sidebar(s), navigation, header & background images, on pre-installed themes where supported • Manage & remove users on their site, including changing permissions • Managing site-based general settings & preferences
  44. 44. Site Management • These privileges are restricted to Super Administrators: • Installing & Activating New Themes (themes not already made available to sites to use) • Installing & Activating WordPress Plugins • Adding new users to sites • Creating new sites • Managing WordPress Network Options
  45. 45. User Account Management • Google Apps & AUSG.org Account Management to be centralized under the IT Department • Google Apps account “equals” an AUSG.org Account • Will create a standard online form for requesting new user accounts (for internal use) • No longer necessary to beg the Secretary! (Unless you also need swipe access...)
  46. 46. Ensuring the Site Gets Managed • Departments are expected to take an active role in utilizing the website for their communication purposes • IT Department available to provide services & technical support for sites as needed • For departments struggling to maintain their site... • IT Dept. will provide a liaison to help the department with content & site management • Depending on needs, we may work with the Communications Dept. or Secretary’s Cabinet
  47. 47. Make-Up of the IT Department • IT Director (that’s me!) • Chief Website Architect & Webmaster; Primary Inter-Departmental Contact pertaining to website & other IT-related concerns • Probably the only guy running the show during summer development • Deputy IT Director -- Assistant for all tasks, as well as other duties depending on the skills they bring to the position • Representatives from Communications & Design Depts. • Secretary Hiebel, ex officio
  48. 48. Keeping In Touch • IT Director Proposed Office Hours (for Fall 2010): • Mon, Wed, Thurs 2:30-7:30 PM in SG Office • Unofficially on Tuesdays & Fridays at ATV • E-mail or Gchat: douglas.bell@ausg.org / it@ausg.org • Except during Senate, when I’m wearing my “Parliamentarian” hat
  49. 49. Conclusions • Focus must be on the content, not the features • Needs to serve AU students, not the SG itself • Easy & self-explanatory to use & navigate • We get things done on deadlines ;-) • I’ve got the fiery passion to get this done right!
  50. 50. The End Questions? Comments? Suggestions?

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