Thursday, June 28, 2007

Web Site - Always Under Construction

I have been keeping busy today setting up the framework and components of the new Island Sail web site. The transfer of site content from the current site will take place over the course of the summer season. The bulk of the work will be entered into as a collaborative process with our instructors and board members - to consider and evolve potential uses for new site features. Obviously, the blog is a new feature and presents a wide range of application opportunities. This was the first time I have created a blog with Blogger since it was upgraded this past December. I have used WordPress for blog projects in the past, but chose to try and align tools for this season that would provide easy access and interaction for instructors. I am impressed with Google's improvements to Blogger (it must be the the result of leadership by Google's founder - a fellow University of Michigan grad :o) In addition to the new blog, I have set up a Google Group team space to help expand collaboration and communication between Island Sail staff members. It will provide the means for documenting and organizing program information resources - to synthesize them into formal curriculum and instructional assets. I am confident that our tech-savvy instructors will think up a variety a ways to apply this community building tool set. Also, I have created a online calendar that will be used to post special Island Sail events and a schedule of program activities.

The initial design for the new Island Sail web site will undergo consistent transformation in the coming year, which will be shaped by input and feedback of staff and program participants. I impressed myself by creating my first drop-down menu system from scratch... although I am a bit concerned it will present some hurdles for making easy alterations. This is one of those challenges with lot of potential for learning from mistakes ;o)

I encourage people to provide feedback and ideas related to each of these new tools. My experience designing web sites for a wide variety of projects and organizations has prepared me for the inevitable suggestion that I should have picked different colors or explanation of the difference between patience and patients. It is a starting place... stay tuned and share in our growth!

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