There was a kerfuffle today on the Social Media Page and the Social Media Strategy Group about not using the new logo until “approved” versions are available. I guess I did expect that versions suitable for social media profiles (e.g. square) would be among those released early. A date in “March” will suffice — but better staff oversight of what’s happening in the member conversations in social media might have headed off some wasted effort.
Anyway, if anyone’s listening, here’s a list of issues I’ve seen with the new web site:
I’ve been using WordPress as a website platform since 2006. At the 2007 NTC, I was carrying around my yellow WordPress messenger bag (note – even before the W logo was standardized) and tried to start a BOF session on “WordPress as a CMS” – no takers.
Anyway, fast forward to yesterday’s WordCamp San Francisco that I partially attended via live stream. There is still a *really* strong bias towards WordPress as a blog platform. And that’s fine. That’s what Matt uses it for (adding pages and image galleries to a blog do not a CMS make) and I’m sure that’s a large part of its popularity — essentially single user, expository platforms.
Two big problems I’ve had from the beginning:
Roles and capabilities are opaque. Yes, they were added *years* ago as an upgrade to the earlier, rigid levels — but to use them requires some plugin magic.
Something simple like “show these posts/pages/attachments” only to authenticated users* is a holy grail that I have yet to find. I’ve tried multiple plugins and custom code and the problems range from plugins that do *so much more* than that simple task that they’re impossible to configure, to solutions (posts/pages) that require only a few lines of local code — but if I’m writing code, there’s a problem. I haven’t yet found a solution for attachments that uses the WordPress authentication instead of .htpasswd control on a separate folder (except for one really kludgy custom code one – see above).
But the good news:
It sounds as if the 2012 theme discussed yesterday will be “web site” ready out of the box. That may trigger a cultural shift?
While Matt does talk from the “blog” point of view (or at least that’s how I hear him, over and over again), he did put out some hope for “collections of plugins” that could be installed at one swell foop for a new site. Perhaps the powers that be could be convinced to bless a certain set of plugins that would help jump start web site functionality.
*Setting a password on a post to limit its visibility is just bogus. Are you listening, Site Resources?
I’ll be attending the AAUW NV convention as a member of the AAUW Leadership Corps. They are looking at creating a virtual branch, and I’ll be talking about the Tar Heel branch experience, contrasting that with CA Online, and helping them address the questions of
What would a virtual branch be expected to accomplish?
Who would need to be involved in the project?
What best practices have emerged that Nevada can pick up?
[I've heard that the AAUW Membership committee is working on that last question -- or something similar -- but I haven't had any direct contact with them.]
I’m also looking forward to attending the AAUW Action Fund training for Nevada as an impact grant state.
I’ll be attending the AAUW NYS convention in Rochester, April 20-22. I’m going as a member of two NYS branches – Rockland County (where my mother-in-law lives) and St. Lawrence County (which is just an awesome branch, particularly for someone who supports openupaauw.org).