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The National Association of Writers' Groups

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Website Plans: Participation

Website Plans
  • Overview – The starting point for documentation about our plans for the website.

    • Introduction
    • Terminology
    • Document structure
  • Strategy – Details of our strategy for developing the website.

    • Evolution over revolution
    • IT and joined-up data
  • Your input We want your help. This is your website; we value your ideas and feedback.

    • What are we looking for?
    • How to send us your ideas.
  • Schedule – When things are going to happen. Time scales, as far as we are able to estimate them.

  • Participation – A website where you get to take part, rather than passively absorb information, will be more fun and productive. We have plans to make this happen.

    • Communication
    • Members-only areas
    • Interaction
    • Contribution
  • Facilities – Plans for the website in terms of functionality, useful tools and other applications.

    • Social media integration
    • Directory of writing groups
    • On-line competitions
    • Link magazine
  • Features – Plans for the behavioural and technical aspects of the site.

    • Privacy & security
    • People database
    • Articles & editing

      • Temporal content
      • Markdown for content
      • Automatic TOC generation
    • PayPal integration
  • Content – Plans for what articles, pages and other information to have on the site. Examples: news, information, events, competitions, products and services.

    • Material

      • Revamp "who is NAWG?" area
    • Organisation
  • Presentation – Plans for improvements and additions to the way the site appears, e.g. its layout, styling and navigation.

    • Layout
    • Style
    • Navigation
  • Management – Plans to improve the operational aspects of the site, i.e. the way it's run and maintained, and the way we respond to communications.

    • Operations & procedures
    • Who does what?

Some of the above titles are hyperlinks.

Click for more detailed documentation.

More will become links as things evolve.

We want the website to be a more fun and interactive place for writers. This document sets out some of our plans to make that happen.

#### Communication

At present, we have only a few simple, one-directional methods for communicating. For example:

  * We give you information by posting it on the site.
  * We give members information in the e-newsletter and in Link magazine.
  * We occasionally send e-mails to your group contacts.
  * You can make enquiries to us using the official e-mail addresses.
  * You can use the form on the "contact us" page.
  * You can post comments on articles.
  * We reply to e-mails and comments.

We don't yet have any specific plans for this area, although we certainly do want to introduce other, more interactive areas.

Having said that, there are some concerns over the contact form, namely:

  - We're getting a lot of spam and other irrelevant messages, such as touting for business unrelated to writing.
  - The contact form relies on a plug-in (third party software), which means:
    ~ Extra testing and other maintenance issues when new versions are released.
    ~ Unnecessary complexity -- the plug-in does far more than we need.
  - Whilst it may be convenient to users; operationally, the form does little more than relay the messages to an official NAWG e-mail account.

Possible solutions include:

  + Re-implement the contact form using simpler, home-grown software.
  + Add anti-spam measures (e.g. CAPTCHA).
  + Drop the contact form altogether and promote the use of e-mail directly.

#### Members-only Areas

We want to introduce areas on the website that can only be accessed by NAWG members. This will almost certainly involve setting up accounts with passwords to log in.

This will provide the necessary security for members to be able to collaborate on things such as writing-related projects, without concerns about copyright issues and other privacy concerns.

It will also allow NAWG to provide information that's aimed at for our membership, rather than the general public.

#### Interaction

Here are a couple of proposed new facilities to make interaction easier.

  * Discussion forums.
  * Chat rooms.

No details as yet, but if anyone has experience in these areas, then please let us know.

#### Contribution

Once the necessary infrastructure is in place, we'd like users to be able to produce and edit their own articles for the site, rather than relying on a web administrator to do it for them.

This would probably require at least the following features to be up and running:

  * Security & privacy, to support members' logins.
  * Some sort of workflow process and/or quality control.
  * Markdown and/or rich text editing support (current system requires knowledge of HTML).
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Author: Kevin Machin Date: September 25, 2015 5:33 pm
Categories: Website Tags: plans
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