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board_discussion [2008/11/12 19:27]
simonk
board_discussion [2008/11/19 19:32]
daviding Comments on Part B
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 **Jed**: (11/12/08): I am in favor of creating near-empty "​buckets"​ (i.e., pages with no content, save an introductory paragraph on what goes on that page) that can be filled with new content; doing this will in effect create a space and serve as gentle call-to-action to folks in the community that we need content to fill those pages. **Jed**: (11/12/08): I am in favor of creating near-empty "​buckets"​ (i.e., pages with no content, save an introductory paragraph on what goes on that page) that can be filled with new content; doing this will in effect create a space and serve as gentle call-to-action to folks in the community that we need content to fill those pages.
  
 +**David**: (11/​19/​2008): ​ Jed, I'm glad that you're taking initiative with this.  It's unclear to me whether you're now talking about content on Drupal (ISSS World) or Dokuwiki (Projects ISSS). ​ If it's the former, then not everyone would have edit access. ​ If it's the latter, then the appropriate content providers shouldn'​t have an excuse to not contribute or revise content.
  
 === 3 ISSS World User ID === === 3 ISSS World User ID ===
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 I don't like the current front page design with the blog entry dominating. As you say, I am interested but not overly so in the design of, especially, the front page, because that is not where my skills lie and I know that, but the aesthetics is not only about being "​pretty",​ it is about how it fits for people and their use of the site. And we do not meet that, especially on the front page. I agree a volunteer would be wonderful for the finances of the organisation,​ but something/​someone has to make us look more than we currently project. I don't like the current front page design with the blog entry dominating. As you say, I am interested but not overly so in the design of, especially, the front page, because that is not where my skills lie and I know that, but the aesthetics is not only about being "​pretty",​ it is about how it fits for people and their use of the site. And we do not meet that, especially on the front page. I agree a volunteer would be wonderful for the finances of the organisation,​ but something/​someone has to make us look more than we currently project.
 Also, What you say here does worry me about upgrading through versions of Drupal. We should be upgrading as best practice to be more secure and to have options available as the open source knowledge develops. If this is going to cause us a great deal of time and effort to be fixing things we need to look at this as to what platform is the best and most stable way forward given our limited resources. Also, What you say here does worry me about upgrading through versions of Drupal. We should be upgrading as best practice to be more secure and to have options available as the open source knowledge develops. If this is going to cause us a great deal of time and effort to be fixing things we need to look at this as to what platform is the best and most stable way forward given our limited resources.
 +
 +**David'​s responses to Jennifer'​s comments** (11/​19/​2008): ​ Actually, we haven'​t paid for Drupal, Dokuwiki, CiviCRM nor Open Journal System. ​ They'​re all "​free"​. ​ If we had (programming) expertise, we would contribute back to those communities. ​ At minimum, participating in their forums enables those with less experience than ourselves to benefit a little bit.
 +
 +Upgrading Drupal (or any other package) in the open source world is a judgement call.  We go from a system that we know works, to one that probably should work ... but if it doesn'​t,​ a modular structure means that it's unlikely other web site would have the exact same configuration. ​ Some plugins aren't updated as quickly as the main code base, which means (a) we wait until all of the plugins are tested and we're downlevel on the main code; or (b) we upgrade the core code base, and disable functions that don't work.  We really don't want to get into a situation where we upgrade and then have to revert, because few reversions really get you back 100% to where you were before.
  
 **Jed**: (11/12/08): We definitely, definitely need to revamp the site from an aesthetics perspective. There is no question in my mind. The question is only: how do we get the resources? As Jennifer said above, even those of us who are volunteering are "​costing"​ the organization because our work is valuable (in monetary terms, no less) and anything we choose to do with our time for ISSS comes at the opportunity cost of not doing other things for ISSS; in the case of redesigning the site, I think we need to bring in a paid professional who is an expert at site design. Let's start a bidding process. I have one company that I use, but we should open the process to 2-3 companies. Who can you recommend? **Jed**: (11/12/08): We definitely, definitely need to revamp the site from an aesthetics perspective. There is no question in my mind. The question is only: how do we get the resources? As Jennifer said above, even those of us who are volunteering are "​costing"​ the organization because our work is valuable (in monetary terms, no less) and anything we choose to do with our time for ISSS comes at the opportunity cost of not doing other things for ISSS; in the case of redesigning the site, I think we need to bring in a paid professional who is an expert at site design. Let's start a bidding process. I have one company that I use, but we should open the process to 2-3 companies. Who can you recommend?
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 **Simon**: (11/12/08): You are looking for a Drupal theme designer. ​ We are hopefully not considering moving away from the Drupal content management system.  ​ **Simon**: (11/12/08): You are looking for a Drupal theme designer. ​ We are hopefully not considering moving away from the Drupal content management system.  ​
 Regarding the upgrades, I upgraded Drupal this weekend and we are now running the latest version. Regarding the upgrades, I upgraded Drupal this weekend and we are now running the latest version.
 +
 +**David** (11/​19/​2008): ​ Jed, you might want to consider contracting someone local, because it's a relatively small job, and face-to-face contact might help you decide whether you're really getting someone professional,​ and then followup if there'​s any issues. ​ The group at http://​groups.drupal.org/​austin doesn'​t seem as popular as http://​groups.drupal.org/​toronto .  I went to one Toronto meetup. ​ It was an interesting group, as Drupal seems to be a favourite of not-for-profit initiatives,​ so there weren'​t any corporate interests there.
  
 === 7 Logo === === 7 Logo ===
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 **Jed**: (11/12/08): The logo design, like the aesthetics of the site, is very much a priority. Let's get a logo committee together (they can also be the aesthetics committee). Beyond those on this discussion board, to whom else should we extend an invitation to join such a committee? SIG chairs? Others? **Jed**: (11/12/08): The logo design, like the aesthetics of the site, is very much a priority. Let's get a logo committee together (they can also be the aesthetics committee). Beyond those on this discussion board, to whom else should we extend an invitation to join such a committee? SIG chairs? Others?
 +
 +**David** (11/​19/​2008): ​ Actually, you can leave me off the logo review committee. ​ I would have an opinion, but know that I don't have a strong aesthetic sense in this.  I think that you just want to get a few people who are artistic. ​ They don't need to be board members.
  
 === 8 The need for a "​Disciplines"​ page === === 8 The need for a "​Disciplines"​ page ===
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 **Jed**: (11/12/08): I agree with the general sentiment you all expressed: let's use the SIGs as the organizing principle here. I don't like the term "​Units"​ because it sounds too generic and no first-time user will have any clue that it refers to the SIGs/​groups/​disciplines within ISSS. Alternatives could be: a. Organizing Units; b. Groups (sometimes simple is best); c. Areas of Interest; d. Special Integration Groups (spelling it out makes more since to the un-initiated) **Jed**: (11/12/08): I agree with the general sentiment you all expressed: let's use the SIGs as the organizing principle here. I don't like the term "​Units"​ because it sounds too generic and no first-time user will have any clue that it refers to the SIGs/​groups/​disciplines within ISSS. Alternatives could be: a. Organizing Units; b. Groups (sometimes simple is best); c. Areas of Interest; d. Special Integration Groups (spelling it out makes more since to the un-initiated)
 +
 +**David** (11/​19/​2008): ​ Jed, I like "​Groups"​. ​ A SIG is a group, and a chapter is a group.
  
 === 9 Systems primer on "​Systems Education"​ page === === 9 Systems primer on "​Systems Education"​ page ===
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 **Jed**: (11/12/08): Why don't I extend a request to all SIG chairs to write a one-page primer on their SIG that we can post to the site? That will be a start, and we can always add more later. Again, once we create the "​bucket"​ or space, people will have more of a propensity to fill it in. **Jed**: (11/12/08): Why don't I extend a request to all SIG chairs to write a one-page primer on their SIG that we can post to the site? That will be a start, and we can always add more later. Again, once we create the "​bucket"​ or space, people will have more of a propensity to fill it in.
  
 +**David** (11/​19/​2008): ​ In my role as SIG chair, I had to check http://​projects.isss.org/​sig_on_systems_applications_in_business_and_industry .  There'​s less there than I thought. ​ The page is linked at http://​isss.org/​world/​special_integration_groups .  You're going to have to chase me to fix this up!
  
 === 10 Membership page access === === 10 Membership page access ===
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 **Jed**: (11/12/08): Let's create three membership levels: a. Basic (Free) (get access to an e-mail newsletter, general announcements);​ b. Associate ($30/yr.) (access to the General Systems Bulletin and past conference CD); c. Full **Jed**: (11/12/08): Let's create three membership levels: a. Basic (Free) (get access to an e-mail newsletter, general announcements);​ b. Associate ($30/yr.) (access to the General Systems Bulletin and past conference CD); c. Full
 +
 +**David** (11/​19/​2008):​ Let's make sure we've got everything right. ​ //Full// members get SR&BS, and the Bulletin. ​ Do they get a conference CD if they don't attend the meeting? ​ Then //​associate//​ members would get a hardcopy Bulletin mailed to them -- they'​re currently available for free on download -- and a physical CD of the proceedings -- which is a collection with an ISBN/ISSN, as opposed to separate articles as available on Journals ISSS.  It feels like the natural audience for this type of offer is (a) people over 40 years old who still think physical, and (b) libraries who might then scan in the content for electronic distribution. ​ Is there really $30 of value there?
  
  
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 === 1. === === 1. ===
    
 +
  
   * I respect the history of the site as David has shared in such detail, but we need to transcend the history of the site's development in favor of what user will find most useful today; the guiding principles should be:                              ​   * I respect the history of the site as David has shared in such detail, but we need to transcend the history of the site's development in favor of what user will find most useful today; the guiding principles should be:                              ​
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 **Jed**: (11/12/08): See my comments relative to similar question posted in above section. **Jed**: (11/12/08): See my comments relative to similar question posted in above section.
-                      ​+ 
 +**David'​s response to Jennifer** (11/​19/​2008): ​ On .. 
 + 
 +  * //Jennifer said:// ​ CiviCRM was not taken forward because you thought AMember was better and Amember was useless to me. 
 + 
 +I think that there'​s some confusion here.  I thought Amember was a disaster, but it cost under $200 when the next best alternative was $5000. ​ AMember was developed in the days when we still had static web pages, before we adopted Drupal. ​ We ran AMember at the same time that I was running phpWebSite, which was not successful. 
 + 
 +CiviCRM has a significant list of organizations at http://​wiki.civicrm.org/​confluence/​display/​CRMDOC/​Case+Studies .  That being said, we were relatively early with CiviCRM, and they'​re now up to v2.0.  At the same time, I think that our development organization probably doesn'​t compare with those. 
 + 
 +The best alternative may be to find an intermediary to handle the online registrations. ​ I looked at http://​www.regonline.com/​ , and it looks event-oriented rather than membership-oriented. 
 + 
 +The last time we had payments working on Drupal was 2 years ago, for Sonoma. ​ I was using the ecommerce module at http://​drupal.org/​project/​ecommerce .  Now, if I look at http://​drupal.org/​project/​Modules/​category/​55 , and I remember Ubercart was just starting up in 2005.  In addition, I remember that CiviCRM could only handle donations, not payments, but they now have CiviEvent at http://​civicrm.org/​civievent . 
 + 
 +I'm not saying that we should necessarily go the direction of managing our own payments again. ​ It worked at Sonoma using the Drupal ecommerce module, but since it's a module, it adds more complications to managing the whole web site.                        ​
  
 === 4. === === 4. ===
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 c. Request a userID (etc.) c. Request a userID (etc.)
               ​               ​
 +**David** (11/​19/​2008): ​ On submitting content ... I see a "​Contact"​ module on Drupal that isn't turned out.  That isn't an e-mail address, and may or may not reduce spam.  (I still get spam from the comments fields on my blogs).
  
 === 8. === === 8. ===
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 **Jed**: (11/12/08): Tom has no official position with the organization and we do not need to be afraid of what he is going to say or do (break our legs?). He can still have his primer on the old ISSS site. (Note, however, that we need to migrate the World site to: www.isss.org,​ not www.isss.org/​world. This is the ISSS's URL, not Tom'​s.) **Jed**: (11/12/08): Tom has no official position with the organization and we do not need to be afraid of what he is going to say or do (break our legs?). He can still have his primer on the old ISSS site. (Note, however, that we need to migrate the World site to: www.isss.org,​ not www.isss.org/​world. This is the ISSS's URL, not Tom'​s.)
 +
 +**David** (11/​19/​2008): ​ Actually, Tom is still an official ISSS member, and he attended Madison. ​ He hasn't stepped down as chair of the Primer SIG, so we should follow due process if we're replacing him.
  
  
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 Jed: (11/12/08): Most people don't know how to use the newsreaders that David uses. And, even if they do, they don't know where to go to find the content to subscribe to anyway. Most of the value of being an content aggregator comes from doing the work of finding good content resources in the first place, not the link itself (although the link also helps!). David, I think you would be an excellent candidate for being our resident aggregator for systems-related blog content that we could link to. Any interest? Jed: (11/12/08): Most people don't know how to use the newsreaders that David uses. And, even if they do, they don't know where to go to find the content to subscribe to anyway. Most of the value of being an content aggregator comes from doing the work of finding good content resources in the first place, not the link itself (although the link also helps!). David, I think you would be an excellent candidate for being our resident aggregator for systems-related blog content that we could link to. Any interest?
 +
 +**David** (11/​19/​2008): ​ No, I'm not interested in becoming an aggregator in that way.  I'm conscious of things that we do in ISSS as a group (e.g. the Connections Conversation all get documented on isss.org) versus the things that I do as an individual (that goes on coevolving.com or Facebook). ​ In "​Tipping Point" language, I'm a maven, not a connector. ​ You really want a connector.
                        
  
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