A new website for nargs.org

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Ben Burr
Title: Admin
Joined: 2010-12-18
A new website for nargs.org

You may have noticed from reading the Bulletin Board that the Internet Committee is pursuing the development of a new website for nargs.org.

The most important features of the proposed new site are the following:

Drupal Content Management System
Improved User Interface
Non-technical editorial control
Enhanced navigation and ease of use
Updated and enhanced visual design
Single User Login
Enhanced e-commerce
Integrated Membership Database
Join and Renewal On-line
Members Update Profiles
Enhanced RG Quarterly Page
Event Calendar

For a more complete discussion of the process and an up to date list of features, go to mcnargs.org/New_Website.html.

deesen
deesen's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-01-31

Sounds like "consultancy speak" for "we're going to make improvements folks" ! ;D

David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b

Sellars
Sellars's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-29

These planned improvements are significant and congratulations to all involved in getting this moving along for NARGS.

At the Alpine Garden Club of British Columbia, we recently upgraded our website and included many of the features proposed for the new NARGS website.  In particular, the Content Management System (CMS) revolutionizes website functionality. It allows a website to be modified with little computer knowledge - about the same level as required to post to this Forum.  This means that almost anyone can take on the role of "webmaster" and may in fact, make that role obsolete. With a CMS, a number of members can easily contribute to various aspects of the website.

We have implemented an integrated membership data base that allows on-line new subscriptions and renewals and gives members access to their contact information which can be updated by individual members.  This reduces the requirement for central administration - important in a volunteer organization ;D. We have also applied the structure and functionality of e-commerce to our seed exchange which makes it more effective to use.  It can be viewed here:

http://www.agc-bc.ca/seed-list

We have found these website changes to be very effective at the Alpine Garden Club of BC and, with the CMS, I hope our website will eventually be an effective "meeting place" for our members all over the world.  I am sure that the new NARGS website will be of great benefit to the far-flung NARGS membership and make running the organization easier and more effective once it becomes the real hub of the society.

David Sellars
From the Wet Coast of British Columbia, Canada

Feature your favourite hikes at:
www.mountainflora.ca
MountainFlora videos:
http://www.youtube.com/user/MountainFlora

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

There are some definite complexities here, particularly regarding incorporation of the NARGS Forum and the fact our forum not only allows NARGS members to participate, but it is also open to non-NARGS forum membership upon forum moderator approval; this aspect not necessarily easily rolled into the planned upgrade to the NARGS website.  I am traveling this week in Las Vegas (for work) and cannot contribute to this discussion in a more meaningful way until this coming weekend of Dec 1 & 2.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Ben Burr
Title: Admin
Joined: 2010-12-18

Hello Mark,

Non-members will have no problem registering and logging into the Drupal site.  They will be users with permission to contribute to the forum pages. 

There definitely will be work involved to make sure that the Drupal forum works to your satisfaction. 

Ben

Ben Burr

deesen
deesen's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-01-31

What does "Drupal" mean please?

David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b

McGregorUS
McGregorUS's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2009-12-18

David

I think the main points are that it's a tool for developing websites and it is "open-source" which basically means that anyone can use it, there are no owners of the tool system, and so on. There is an entry on Wikipedia but it's the sort of entry that doesn't help.

I'm sure there are others who could give you a better answer but since no-one has this is the best simple answer I can give you.

Malcolm

Malcolm McGregor
Global Moderator/NARGS Editor
East Yorkshire, UK

deesen
deesen's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-01-31

Many thanks Mark.

David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b

Ben Burr
Title: Admin
Joined: 2010-12-18

Hi David,

It is the "consultant" again.

A Content Management System (CMS) is software that organizes and controls the components of a website.  The current nargs.org uses the Joomla! CMS.  The Internet Committee chose Drupal CMS because it, like Joomla!, is open-source and widely supported.  It is particularly useful for community-based websites such as ours.  There are many developers who have contributed modules for each of the components.  For example, there are several forum modules, one of which we hope to adapt to NARGS Fourm users' satisfaction for the new website.  (The current Forum runs on SMF software and is an entirely distinct component of nargs.org.  Hence, separate logins.)  The availability of these modules means less programming (and less expense) to develop the website.  Drupal CMS permits us to assign page privileges at many levels which means that non-technical members can have much more editorial control over the content.  (Currently, only administrators, who have better things to do with their time, can make editorial changes to the main pages.)  We anticipate that this will make nargs.org a much more vibrant site.

I hope this helps.

Ben

Ben Burr

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

I've always wondered what the reason is for multiple logs. 

Thanks, Ben, and a belated welcome to the Forum, too!

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

deesen
deesen's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-01-31

Burr wrote:

........ Drupal CMS permits us to assign page privileges at many levels which means that non-technical members can have much more editorial control over the content...........

Many thanks for responding Ben, I'm a little clearer now!! One thing that worries me is the assumption that "non-technical members" actually want "more editorial control over the content" Some don't and couldn't care a fig about exercising their own "editorial control". Maybe it's an age thing but speaking personally I'm happy to leave the technical "guff" to Mark and others and concentrate solely on enjoying the content in the spirit of learning, comradeship, and, if there's a laugh about then enjoying that too.

David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b

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