Questions for other neighborhood web mastersgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Morniside Lenox Park Web Redesign : One Thread
1. How much do you pay?
2. What is the process for updating content (for authors, editors, and publishers)?
3. How technical do the authors and others really need to be?
4. How much work is involved by how many folks?
5. Do you let folks join online? If so, does anybody join that way?
6. Are there members only features? Do members use them. How much trouble is managing user passwords?
7. Do you use your host service for SPAM?
8. How is traffic to and on the site? What's popular?
9. Does your site work well all or most of the time.
10. What are y'all planning?
-- Terry Kearns (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 09, 2001
Talking with the Ansley Park webmaster:
Ansley Park contracts with a professional service firm at an hourly rate for managing and updating the site. The average month requires one to two billable hours. There are projects that require more time such their tour of homes pages.
Ansley members send content, usually by email, to the webmaster who publishes the information to the web. The webmaster publishes the information mostly as is. He doesn't edit for content.
About 80% of the site is only available to members: Committee reports, event alerts and news (such as the 17th Street bridge), board and committee contacts. The site also allows individuals to update their own membership information online: Address, telephone number, etc.
Registering to use the site:
Ansley Park maintains it's on offline database in addition to a web database. When a new member joins, the Association sends a message (hey, we've got a new member) to the webmaster who updates the web database. The new member can then register online to access the members'-only features.
Joining the association from the website:
Someone can join from the web but cannot pay via the web. Folks can submit an application via a form on the website. The webmaster will relay the form to the Association for acceptance and payment.
Ansley does not accept online payment for membership or for their tour of homes. One of the issues is the setup cost and transaction fees.
Managing a mailing list via the web:
Ansley does use email broadcasts but does not use the web to do it. However, the website is capable of managing these lists.
Thanks to Ansley Park for their help.
-- Terry Kearns (email@example.com), November 19, 2001.
This is long. You might find it easier to read in the forum than in email.
>1. How much do you pay?
Up until now GPNA has been co-developing the site and the software that produces it so they haven't been paying. They will soon. >2. What is the process for updating content (for authors, editors, and publishers)?
Anyone can submit content. There are "submit" links throughout the website. The website present a for that allows the user to identify herself, choose a category for the article, and a place to type in or paste in the article. You can past in HTML. The author then clicks on the submit button.
A submission sends an e-mail to the site administrator(s). The site administrator has a special logon that allows him to view the submission, edit the submission, set a date for publication and removal form publication, and then publish it to the website.
The website itself controls the appearance of the content. That is, the font size, color, background. Etc.
There is no direct way to include pictures or image in the content right now. Authors must send the image files to the admin or publish the images on another servers and include links to the image in the content. (This sounds technical but there are lots of folks who know how to do this.)
>3. How technical do the authors and others really need to be?
The site administrators must learn how to operate the system but it's not programming. The authors need only deal with text. It's just like typing an e-mail or pasting text into an e-mail. If the author can produce HTML, he can produce more elaborate content.
>4. How much work is involved by how many folks?
The administrator is the editor/publisher and is the primary bottleneck. There can and should be more than one administrator. It is not a technical job but it involves using lists, reports, and forms. Editing the content to meet editorial standards can be a time consuming job. Checking for submissions and publishing them is more of steady routine - to keep the site current, you have to do this every day. The administrator also must answer e-mails to the webmaster.
At GPNA one person performs this job but they hope to add more administrators.
The author's job is straightforward: Create the content, go to the website and submit the content. A submission might require a conversation with the editor (administrator).
>5. Do you let folks join online? If so, does anybody join that way?
Right now GPNA does not have memberships.
>6. Are there member's only features? Do members use them? How much trouble is managing user passwords?
Initially several features of the website required registration. That is, if you want to see certain pages, you had to submit an email address, your name, etc. and select and remember a password. (The system would help you remember your password.) Over time they made more features available without registering/logging on. Forums are one feature that requires logon.
As there are no GPNA members per se, there is no coordination between members and folks who have registered on the site.
>7. Do you use your host service for sending email alerts?
The service can manage email alerts. We did not go into detail on this.
>8. How is traffic to and on the site? What's popular?
We didn't discuss this. There is a statistics page that show's page- views.
>9. Does your site work well all or most of the time.
We didn't discuss this.
>10. What are y'all planning?
GPNA is planning quite a lot: more administrators, more authors, more basic neighborhood information (they've concentrated on news), home history, more everything.
-- Terry Kearns (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 14, 2001.