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Software, upgrades, politics and listening

July 18, 2016

We have been working on a web site upgrade evaluation for a few months.  Recently I had the big cheese and another little big cheese show up in my office to discuss a couple things.

Listen – listen to what is being asked for.  Talk about it, with them, with yourself and with your colleges.  You cannot over talk some of this stuff – since the talking should lead to enlightenment or understanding.

Rather than push some opinion about what could be done, listen, listen critically, understand what they are trying to express.

Specifically – I heard these things

our list-server – push email solution is not the best for sharing information.  Rather, we would like a space on the new web site where we could put things, like files, discussions.  Rather than a discussion in the email list serve – with file attachments, we should have a space on the website where the people we want (people on the current list serve) could come into to and engage the content there.  We would need a forum type activity – that would promote discussion among the group.  The space would be password protected, in addition to hiding behind authentication requirement.   When content in the space updated, we would want to push out an email to them, like the list-serve – inviting them into the space for discussion or whatever.  The concept of a push notification is still important, but only as a means to bring them into the website space.  Even include a link in the email to the space.

How then can we add a discussion type activity to a space, where we also can upload files and video links etc.

There is currently a shared space on the existing site – hiding behind a password, but there is no forum or other other medium for discussion.

I also heard one of the chiefs say “we want a consistent use of software – or a familiarity.”  They would like a common piece of software to use to improve collaboration.  Some of our other customers are already using software a, so software a looks better in our comparison to software b.  Software b is good, strong, but unfamiliar.  That is software b’s disadvantage.  It is unfamiliar.  When big cheese  says “some of my districts already use it”, that is a big fat influence to the decision to use software a or b.

Before concluding, let me try to brain dump what I heard from both big cheeses.

a shared space for collaboration

the list server is not efficient

is there additional cost if we need to create accounts in the software to allow authentication into shared space? – no was the answer – we have unlimited account creation options.

We want to use a common piece of software.

Moodle is a LMS, BB Wires, Finalsite would be CMS’s. ( leaning -vs- content management systems).  Moodle could be the best tool for creating a shared space that included a discussion forum, files, videos etc.

An email group would still be used to notify people when something has changed in the group.   A push to a group called say – big_cheeses.

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