Thank you for your notes. The following outlines the key issues you raise:
Ease of Use
- Users expect a system that is self-evident, in both scope of coverage and the work steps the user must take to accomplish them.
- Reduce technical barriers to use: e.g. Editing via a syntax
- Reduce cultural barriers to use: Gary suggests a feature for "email-in to wordpress" would allow mean minutes are posted sooner. However, technology is not the answer here, process is: council staff have not engaged
Expectations of the Younger demographic
Content is shared piecemeal, through twitter and facebook. Content is consolidated not through the efforts of manual editing but by the system synthesizing a view to particular person's needs.
New Process Needs
Using Additional Domain Names
Technology Platform, updates, cost of additional functionality, ease of integration with leading platforms
As explained, the costs for the virtual private server, this . In addition I sunk all development costs and hosting costs between 2001 and 2006.
Efforts to maintain
Advantages and benefits of the existing platform
Foswiki is well established as a capable platform, trusted by global corporations and small organizations alike. The past decade has resulted in a robust platform simple to administer and scale, driven by contributions from Open Source advocates. The Foswiki team, comprised of corporate intranet professionals and a network of freelance consultants, is competent and capable of building custom capability. At Redbourn we perhaps use 30% of the existing capabilities of the platform, and in particular make no use of the platform's Form capability - allowing page authors to use codes on a page to pull together composite views - is underutilized.
Drawbacks and limitations of the existing platform
Foswiki and TWiki are, however, old technologies comprised of old frameworks. The past 4 years has seen optimizations and usability enhancements in Foswiki but the paradigm and particular technology remains essentially unchanged.
Incremental changes to the existing platform
- Separation of Parish information from Redbourn content
- Creation of a Business web and structuring of Forms to act as an indexed directory
- Serving the .gov.uk domain, mapping to the Parish Council
- Improvements to the search engine
- Use of other skins via the WidgetSkin
- Use of domain for email addresses
- Update of technology from TWiki 2006 to Foswiki 1.1 (soon to be released)
Integration to other platforms
- Investigation into Facebook profile integration
- Simple "Share This" type widgets
- Subscribe by email widgets
Transition the technology to Buddypress (social network) / Wordpress (blogs) / Mediawiki (wiki)
I have been looking through Buddy Press?
and Word Press?
3.0. I agree that Wordpress 3.0 would be a good place from which to start further exploration. I'm encouraged to see Word Press?
and WPMU are merging. I've implemented Wordpress MU (WPMU) in the past - it was a painful experience to try to adapt Wordpress plugins and themes to make it work WPMU, which would be our starting point.
Wordpress 3.0 has not yet been replaced.
- Install as a subdomain on redbourn.org.uk
- Document architecture presently used
- Transition wiki content can be last
Document costs and user-impact of multiple costs
- Running multiple sites, including coordinated / integrated profiles, search, look-and feel
- Unprofessional and confuses customers
Risk of not doing a complete job
The system we have today works: the platform is reliable, the content is up-to-date with content and is contributed to by a well organised team. While by today's standards the look and feel isn't overly pretty and the content could do with a systematic reorganization, the system as a whole works. Nonetheless, while the website has won awards for its contribution past years technologies have advanced and we have not kept up to date.
Councillor Atkinson proposes both a change of technology and a change of technological paradigm. Using Word Press?
(a blogging-centric platform) rather than a Foswiki (a wiki-centric platform) will bring the look and feel up-to-date and allow us to take advantage of
Changes mean effort on technical, content reorganisation and, most importantly, engagement or training fronts. All change involves some pain, anticipated or real, short or lasting. Working around this pain requires effort, at all of these fronts. The system we have to date took 10 years to put into place. The change we are proposing will take from months to years to settle.
It is difficult to estimate how much effort it will take to establish the new systems of technology, content organisation and training. We are collectively undecided whether the move to a new technology is worth it. We conclude that only a pilot
The technology can be broken down into the following:
How Blended Perspectives staffs this project.
Outsource implementation, project manage ourselves
Implement ourselves, project manage ourselves
|| Time estimate
| Select skin
|| 3-4 hours
| Select plugins
| Install wordpress
| Establish backup of data
| Establish backup of configuration
| Install plugins
| Install advert system
| Decisions about a live-backup site
How compensation should be handled
The Redbourn site is important to BP for many reasons, but so is being fairly compensated for it in light of alternate options
Types of work
- formulating strategy
- communicating with council liaisons
- communicating to council directly
- systems selection
- technical architecture
- technical implementation
- project management with external
- success factors
- content migration strategy
- ongoing systems administration
- search engine optimisation
Possible Types of compensation
- Cash component - upfront
- Maintenance cost coverage - staff hours and
- Revenue splitting component - advertising and sponsorship
- Advocacy component - within Redbourn
- Involvement component - privy to, and having voting input for decisions
- Disclosure component - are we treated as a contractor or partner
A minimum of 3 weeks
- The council will continue to take account of goodwill and contributions
- That it would be confusing and wasteful to run multiple sites
- That all intended terms and conditions to be considered for the next 10 years would be stated now
Foswiki can be used to collect and justify needs, and establish and planning
The Parish council content might justifyibly only require the existing technology