A New Website for nargs.org
The New NARGS Website
The website is the external face of NARGS. There is currently a lack of consistency between what NARGS is and what is presented on the website and in the Quarterly. There are both structural and organizational problems that prevent a strong editorial role that can market the organization and truly keep the site up to date.
At the direction of the AdCom, the Internet Committee was encouraged to aggressively pursue an upgrade of the current NARGS website. The Internet committee drew up a list of needs and recommendations for the new site. NARGS contracted with Monarch Digital to make an evaluation of the present site and make recommendations for implementing a new site based on the needs of the organization along with cost estimates. The Internet Committee then prioritized this list of recommendations and came up with an estimated budget. A proposal for the new website was developed and along with supporting documents was submitted to the AdCom. This proposal was accepted and a Request for Proposals was sent out to a select list of web developers deemed capable of meeting our specific needs. Four proposals were received and evaluated. On November 14, Monarch Digital was notified that it had won the bid. A current list of Requirements and Features can be viewed here.
The proposed site will have an improved user interface. There will be non-technical editorial control, enhanced navigation and ease of use, updated and enhanced visual design, single user login for all components of the website, and enhanced e-commerce. The new site will have an integrated membership database. This will automate many tasks for the Executive Secretary and remove unnecessary burdens. The on-line database will facilitate on-line joining and renewal. Members will be able to update their profiles, but their information will be kept private. There will also be an enhanced Rock Garden Quarterly page, with access to all back issues of the Bulletin and Quarterly, and an event calendar.
To replace the current web administration, we envision a new set of roles for and responsibilities to manage the site: A Website Developer will make major upgrades to the site. A Site Administrator will perform day to day technical administration. The Executive Secretary will manage the membership database. A Content Editor will have overall editorial control and assign tasks to Content Managers who will make changes and update pages. Members will be able to login, view member-restricted material, make changes to the WIKI and Forum pages. Non-members accounts on the Forum will continue to be accommodated.
Daniel Dillon has agreed to be the new Site Administrator and Malcolm McGregor has agreed to be the initial Content Editor. This will provide continuity between the Rock Garden Quarterly and the website. Administration and editorial management of the Forum and WIKI pages will not change.
Esther Wrightman, Chair
Hugh Mac Millan
Daniel Dillon, Technical Advisor