Help Wanted

Greetings unto the Populace,

I am Jan Janssen van den Zype geheeten van den Goere,
aka Jan or JJ for short.

I’m Rowany web minister, hi there!

We are in the process of updating the Barony web site :)
This will take some time :(
There is a lot of old information I’ve found (e.g. previous WayBackMachine iterations of this site) which I’m sifting through and uploading which can be of benefit to all, especially those new to the SCA :)
I have also been attempting to collect any information that may be useful as it either comes to me or I seek it out :)
This is quite difficult :(
The difficulty can be resolved :)

 

OVERVIEW – READ THIS IS NOTHING ELSE

The main takeaway point of this post: this web site should not be a glorified brochure and you can help!
HELP to make the site a BRILLIANTLY useful, central, go-to resource for Rowany, but not exclusively.
The site should integrate such that it benefits and fits in with the whole Kingdom and SCA!

 

Why Does This Apply To You?

So many people newer to the organisation do not know what resources exist, where to find them or how to get word out to others. Much of the information available is currently being communicated through word of mouth only or on facebook groups where the information all too quickly tends to disappear down the timeline and off the end of the initial page render, into obscurity. Later, when someone has the same question, the information is being repeated… and then again and again.

I am relatively new to the SCA, don’t know where a lot of stuff is… and I’m consistently hearing the same from plenty of others. My desire is to change that. As web minister I’m in a position to action that desire. It is my responsibility to try and make the Rowany site as great a resource as I am able. As I am personally learning where to find information, I can use my lack of knowledge as a benefit, bringing fresh and innocent eyes to my role.

Many long time players have fantastic knowledge stored in their heads! If that is you, can I tap into it please? In fact, anyone and everyone may have information to contribute at this stage. I’m sure there are plenty of resources that people outside the Barony can make me aware of that would be of great benefit to have on the Rowany web site. I will not know of these things unless I ask! If you can think of ways the Barony website could better integrate with other parts of Lochac, I want to hear about this too.

 

Call To Action

I request ANYONE’S help across all groups and communication channels both within Rowany and the Kingdom at large!! This increases the chance of people taking notice and the potential, for example, to find some of the more specialist knowledge out there. It doesn’t matter who you are or how long you’ve been in the SCA.

  • Please look at the “Tell Us What You Want On Your Barony Site?” section below and at the site in general to get an idea of the current plan and state of things.
  • Now go and have a quick look at Where Is Everything Else? I really would like some help filling this page out to be a one stop quick reference guide to where useful things are. If you know of groups, sites, lists, memberships, contacts and the like not shown, I WANT TO KNOW.

If you come up with any ideas please CONTACT THE WEB MINISTER!

Any feedback is a positive thing as far as I am concerned. If you have information, recommendations or anything potentially useful (something is missing, should be moved or changed, it matters not) I’d very much appreciate hearing from you. I can link to existing resources wherever they are or potentially create new ones where a void is identified. All ideas welcome.

 

Isn’t This a Conversation?

It would be foolish not to provide somewhere people can see the ongoing conversation. I’d be missing my own point really :)
As such, I will add information HERE as I get it here, so people can see the what is being said as things trickles along.
However, you may not wish your correspondence to be public. There is absolutely no problem with this as long as you PLEASE let me know. If I don’t know I cannot respect it. If I am not directed otherwise, I will add what I receive!

So, to see the ongoing conversation GO HERE

 

Tell Us What You Want On Your Site?

The site should be a living things that meets the need of the audience, not something the techs get jollies from.

As such, be part of the process and send through ideas or outright demands. I honestly welcome ANY interaction :) (I’ll not repeat that point again, promise)
We are already mulling through some thoughts, which I’ll outline below to give you some idea of what is already planned. This may give you inspiration but at the very least, an understanding of the kind of information we’d like to provide and which you can help keep us up to date with, when up and running. Have a look through and see if you come up with any ideas.

Site Structure Plans

First thing on the TODO list is create major sections (where not already created) for each discipline of the society as well as major communications situations, functions and needs that have been identified as currently being used or desired…   something like this

Hopefully get the gist? (you do get the gist don’t you?)

Desired Outcomes

- In a nutshell we would like the Rowany site to become a central spot for information and communication, one spot to do the things which a number of other resources are currently being used for (which is problematic)

Let You Add Information
– I’m looking into the best way to enable Rowany populace to add information directly to the site (much like you do to Facebook)
– Any post you wish to create will either be a draft (and require approval by moderator or Web Minions before going live) OR we create a membership system and members can automatically add content
– The approval process or vetted membership will be required to prevent spamming / flooding the site with crud
– I feel a membership system would be best as we can limit any approval (making sure the potential member is part of the SCA for example) to the joining process, leaving people to then happily post without need for any moderator approval
– This will cut out a number of steps from the current process of adding information to the site, which is a rather manual and static affair
– People will be empowered to add content directly to the site instead of having to use Facebook where posts quickly disappear off the end of a page resulting in questions (and other important information) being repeated
– Information posted here is accessible, easy to manage and can include those who do not use Facebook (which is used quite exclusively at present)

Automate Cross-Posting
– We are looking to take information posted on the site and automatically post to appropriate / related Facebook groups based on categories selected by the content creator
– It would be great if information added to various sections on the site (again based on category selection) could also be automatically sent to appropriate mailing lists
– Facebook and mailing lists are great for notifications and many folk are accustomed to using those resources. The web site should work in with existing resources and people’s habits instead of trying to replace them
– However, when we have completed the automation of cross-posting to and from Facebook, depending on just how good we can get this, it may also cut out the NEED to post to both places (something people forget to do). Posting to one place (the site) and automating the spread of that information to the other resources (mailing lists, Facebook) is a major goal

Social Networking Features
– Forums or more social networking features have been requested. We will add this functionality too.

Knowledge Base
– A knowledge base of some sort is also in the works. At present, the winning idea to use a wiki. A wiki handles dynamic information well and can be searched quite easily compared to virtually all other options (such as forums). If you feel something else would be better, please let us know!

Where Are We Currently?
– We are testing a few options for adding social networking ability to the site
– We are looking at a short list of membership options
– Somewhat complete is the ability to automatically update Facebook with links to posts and pages created on the Rowany site. We do have some other options (e.g. RSS) if this plugin does not work as desired. So this ability may be some way off but is likely doable
– We are waiting on the plugin developer to also add the ability to go the other way… to automatically pull Facebook comments back to the Rowany site. This is quite some way off and may never actually happen. No alternatives have been sourced thus far
– Obviously it will be each person’s choice whether they use such a function or not and most people will still use Facebook each day. At the moment, there is no real alternative for people to add their own information. Creating a (hopefully better) alternative is what we wish to achieve

If you want to see a little more technical detail regarding proposed changes and progress, go here.

 

How The Site Should Stay Informative

At present, the site is quite static. News, events, updates and general information has been posted somewhat everywhere other than here. The situation really should be quite different. I’m trying to address changes in another post here. If you are a part of Rowany or have any potentially useful information you’d like to share here, please have a quick read through this. Thanks :)

 

Summary / Overview

- The Rowany Barony Site is in the process of being updated, wicked :)
– Help with this, PLEASE!
– Check through the site structure plan here and if you come up with ideas, get in touch
– Go and have a quick look at Where Is Everything Else? (I really would like some help filling this page out to be a quick reference guide to where things are). If you know of groups, sites, lists, memberships, contacts not there, PLEASE LET ME KNOW.
– If you have any other desires or ideas (about the web site)… get in touch, I love feedback

- NOTE: I will add information here as I get it here so people can see the conversation. However, you may not wish your correspondence to be public. There is absolutely no problem with this as long as you PLEASE let me know. If I don’t know I cannot respect it.

 

We are all in service, please help me do it well!
Jan!