Development goals for Website

colliver's picture

D3 Upgrade and maintain website.

First a report, with goals, then a matter for decisions here in this meeting.

Report: Use of the site has accelerated, with more discussion and more blogs. We now have more for members to interact with, and to be inspired by, but we still have many many members who are not doing much on the site. Goals for the next six months are:

Increase use of the site. Increase the number of members using the site. Get all MC members competent in using the site, and in creating their own content. The main barrier here is nervousness by users, and the way to deal with that is by friendly one-to-one help in using the site. Marg O'Connell will run regular Skype coaching sessions, where people can be talking to Marg while using the site. I have a couple of pages doc on using the site (emailed to you recently), which I'll use to up-grade the "Using the site" section. And we'll mail it to new members when they join. And I'm personally committing to call every new user within a week of their joining, to say hello and to offer my help, because I suspect that early experiences have a big impact on future use.

Use what we've got. Tweek what we've got in the way of functions. We've spent half this year's development budget getting the site more usable. We have the new version of drupal yet to go in, which doesn't change the look of the site, but improves security. Our interactive content hangs of the members home page, and this is working well. The more we use it, the richer it will be and the easier members will be in moving around it. Vicki and I are we're redoing the ALARA visual identify in collaboration with a TAFE design team Susie has organised. For the website, this will mean a new banner and maybe changes to fonts and colours.

Achieve on-going editing of site content. We have inherited content along the top nav bar which is now out-of-date, in that it doesn't have current activity described, and which anyway puts most current at the bottom of the text. I want MC members to start editing this content in their area of responsibility. This is our display window to the world. We want to look as good as we are, and present the leading edge of ALARA and AL/AR.

For Decisions

Here are the alignments between MC portfolios and web content that I see:

"Home" and "About Us" ... President

"Around the world" (folding "world congress" into this section too) ... International VP

"Resources" - not sure, a big bundle of stuff in here, will need rethinking as we redefine ALARA services to members. Perhaps Marketing and Membership portfolio could take lead responsibility

"Journal" ... Publications protfolio

"Join Us" .... Membership portfolio

I want you to go read your content and decide if you'll take it on. Then say what you want from others to support you as you rework it.


Dianne.ALLEN's picture

Prompts for making connections

Hi Ross

Thanks for these ideas about development goals for the website.

Your note about committing to contact new members, and the 'block' of new members information provided on the Members Home Page, has reminded me that I can do more to encourage more website use.  The contact tab, above the member's profile, accessed from clicking on their name in that block lets me send a brief email of welcome.   I have used that to some purpose in another virtual forum.  There, my success rate was about 10-20%.  It will be interesting to see if the rate changes here.

Of course, now I want a facility to search the membership by date of addition to the database (just kidding!)

But, I also note that I can search the members database by network group, and perhaps invite souls indicating an interest in a particular area of practice to join a special interest group, so perhaps that is where I next best go, since earlier Susie asked me to consider mounting a mentoring group, and Ted has asked to put 'how, and why' about SIGS on the MC September 2007 meeting agenda.

Dianne Allen KIAMA, NSW

Susan.GOFF's picture

Responsibilities and role re web page

I like this idea very much Ross - and encourage each of the MC members to have a role on the web page taht sits with their responsibilities. Would it be possible to reshape the webpage around the MC roles - allowing for a few extra bits specific to the web master's or members' other interests? 

And thankyou Marg O for such a generous offer re Skype.
Susan Goff

Margaret.OCONNELL's picture

Resources page(s)

Given we have a increasing focus on working groups and activities, could we perhaps have an Activities page instead of the Resources page? We can break the page up into the various active groups (m'ship,publications, mentoring, etc) and make it publicly available so both members and non-members can get a 'snapshot' sense of what ALARA does within its membership? it takes the focus off content and onto the people I reckon!

I know this will be a static page, but if things (groups, members, etc) change, the MC might want to have carriage to edit this (and the other static pages).

What might also work is a central repository of all docs that have been added to the site - is that possible (and automatic somehow)? Often if you need to chase down a doc it can be easier to go to a central rep rather than sifting through recent or past groups, meetings, etc...

i'm also more than happy to edit the journal page on an ongoing basis (and perhaps change it to Publications?). 

Cheers, Marg :o)

View my activities at

colliver's picture

Resources or activities

I'm happy with "Activities" and agree that we need this page to show what we are doing. It can be update-able by Ted as SIGs develop and as they get their latest activity organised. I don't immediately warm to having our internal portfolio structure as the strcture for this page, for fear fo that being too much about all the organising we are doing (and putting off "the Public") rather than all the great things we have for you to join in and do.

Regarding central place for docs, this is the direction I've been going with "Members Group,"  which are docs about ALARA internal processes - but you mean a scan of all attached documents, do you Marg?

Ross Colliver, TTDG, 0411 226519

Margaret.OCONNELL's picture

keeping track of new members

i'd like to think of ways to engage with members in order to get them using the site and thus using Skype to help facilitate this.

As Di and ross both suggested, it's probably best at this stage to contact new members via their contact info on the member profile page, send an email and invite them to Skype if they wish (or phone, or whatever works for them).

I'd also like to encourage other users who feel ready to facilitate others, to think about getting together on a sort of 'roster' to help do this too - we're all busy so the more the merrier i say!

any other ideas as to how we might encourage ongoing and increasing use of the site by members?

i did flag to Susie and Ross that perhaps we run some online sessions or an online 'conference' to engage people online....! could also mix these ideas with some f2f activity...

Cheers, Marg :o)

View my activities at

Engaging New Members

Hi Margaret

I think it would be a great idea for ALARA to make contact with new members to encourage their participation. New members do not appear on the front page automatically however (they need to log in first) and there is a limit on the number that can appear. I would have details of all new members as I enter them as new members on the website and send the initial welcome email and new member kit.

I had an idea we could also invite them to do a short piece about themselves to appear in the newsletter. Am waiting on Susie/another to agree to this concept then probably Vicki V to review my welcome email.


Susan.GOFF's picture

Sorry - I agree!

new member intros are a GREAT idea - with perhaps some guidelines? Friendlier than  biog - about 50-100 words, picture welcome, Al and Ar passions a must - current al and ar challenge welcomed....

Edward.SANDERCOCK's picture

Special Interest Groups

Ross do we need a Special Interest Group page? There is a danger that a group will communicate with only those people who have indicated an interest in a Group. Then the rest of us may miss out. We don't always want to get emails etc. but we would still like to see what is happening and occasionally join in an event or project.


When a Group has a need or a Function, then it can post it on the webpage after say Coordinator support. Major events would also be placed in the Upcoming Events box.

Margaret.OCONNELL's picture

scan of all docs

Yep, a scan of all docs was what i had in mind...also, your thinking of exposing our great activities as opposed to our 'portfolios' and structures, was more my thinking too Ross.

Cheers, Marg :o)

View my activities at OR

Margaret.OCONNELL's picture

Switch the 'groups' function over to members

I agree Ted, being able to scan the site and see what is happening across groups is a good way to peak people's interest and move into the next steps of getting involved.

I raised the idea that the fucntionality of being able to set up groups by members coudl be trialed. For eg, if you and Susie and I wanted to discuss interdisciplinarity further, beyond the conference workshop, then we can initiate that ourselves by creating a small group that includes us (then we have admin rights to include others as well, should we wish to expand). Currently, we would need to ask Ross or John to set up the group ( a sort of 'middle man' approach).

With the software (Drupal) we are using, there is no danger is creating (or over-creating) groups. It doesn't limit functionality within and across groups - in fact you can have so many permutations of groups that crossovers are inevitable! The group function is not to be understood as a discrete grouping of members, rather it can be seen as quite organic and needs-driven - you may have heard of the term folksonomy perhaps (groups are not strictly tagging, but the process is similar)? Groups can die and be reborn, some can be more permanent than, or more relevant to, others.

I'm all for opening up this function to members entirely, but a middle step may be to allow MC members the rights to set up groups on behalf of others first off. this would enable some prior thinking about groups like SIGs for eg.

Cheers, Marg :o)

View my activities at OR

Susan.GOFF's picture

those hyperlinks

Hi Marg

Love this idea - and i agree with Ross that we need a development process to get people into it. I am also dying to know how you put those links into your text - either to some other part of our page or someone else's?
Susan Goff

colliver's picture

I'll beat Marg to the punch here

Susie, go to How to use the website and down to Creating links. If you need an expert, talk with Dianne, who now the official ALARA website Queen of Linking.

Ross Colliver, TTDG, 0411 226519

colliver's picture

Creating groups

Marg's right, at present someone has to ask me to create a group. We could loosen this up a bit by giving all MC members the power to create groups. You'd have to learn how to create a group, but hey, we're doing fine creating agenda items here in this meeting, and it's pretty much the same.

If Ted keeps a description of SIGS current in the "Activities" page (currently called "Resources", and Marg F profiles a group every e-Newsletter, another critical action will be to notice when people (on-line and in f2f interaction) have shared interests and ask them if they would like to talk together. We've had flurries of conversation around blogs, for example, that could have migrated into groups, but I didn't have my wits about me to see this possibility.

What I don't know (and I don't know why I haven't realised I don't know this before now!) is how a person, seeing interesting discussion on the Members home page, or seeing an interesting groups on the list of groups, and wanting to join a group, does so.

Unless you know the answer to that Marg O'C, I'll have to spend a little more of our dwindling website budget and ask John!

Ross Colliver, TTDG, 0411 226519

Dianne.ALLEN's picture

Yes that is a problem I have wondered about ...

Ross says

 What I don't know (and I don't know why I haven't realised I don't know this before now!) is how a person, seeing interesting discussion on the Members home page, or seeing an interesting groups on the list of groups, and wanting to join a group, does so.

It occurs to me that one way would be to use the 'contact' function of the member who forms the group, to let them know you want to join the discussion.   However, at this stage, that represents a knowledge of who is the group-forming member with inclusion rights, and knowing about the 'contact' function.   The reaction to it being too hard (I had this reaction to MargO's item on ALARA Visioning) was to let it go by.

Dianne Allen KIAMA, NSW

Margaret.OCONNELL's picture

Some hands-on 'selling' and promotion perhaps?

I hear you both Ross and Di,

This is where the technology has to make way for some good old fashioned spruking!

Firstly, we want our members to get a sense of what's going on, activites, covnersations, etc they navigate the site to see what's going on - but getting access denied to groups they might try to click on would be an immediate deterrent right?

I think we need a bit more info that keeps members hooked, like a page about groups and the opportuntiy to create their own if their SIG is not already active. This page could include a link to an MC members details to initiate setting up a group, finding out more about an exiting group and being added to an existing group. perhaps a static page could help provide this?

Or, how much more detail can be added to the description of the groups Ross?

Cheers, Marg :o)

View my activities at OR

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.