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This post describes the re-organization/upgrade of WVEC’s website and offers a few tips on how to navigate the new site (as well as information of interest to potential contributors or commenters).
The site uses WordPress as a content management system to organize and index content so that almost anythihng on the site can easily be found by various methods (the old site had become a labyrinth of ‘issue’ and ‘article’ pages with manually maintained cross-indexes). Material can now be published (or edited) directly by WVEC offices/lobby team or guest contributors than having to flow through the webmaster. The site also supports comments to encourage discussion of issues among WVEC members and member organizations (and other interested parties).
Links shown in the navigation bar (Home, Join, Calendar etc) lead to fixed ‘pages’ that provide (hopefully) current information about WVEC and its activities. Various types of transient content are displayed in the sidebar where appropriate as well as in archive lists, searches and by ‘issue.’
The site uses WordPress ‘Categories’ to organize transient content into these four primary types:
Various “issues” that WVEC has addressed over the years have been defined as ‘tags’ which can be associated with any post, allowing all posts to also be indexed by relevant issues. All the ‘issue’ and ‘article’ pages retained from the old site have been indexed by ‘issue’ (ujing ‘tags’).
Below is a list of various ways to locate information on the new site:
- The most recent posts of any sort will automatically be displayed on the home page, with an excerpt and featured images. Click on the image or title to view the full post.
- The 5 most recent posts, and 3 most recent Action alerts and updates are automatically listed in the sidebar. The most recent alert also shows up at the top of the home page sidebar.
- The ‘Archive’ links shows all transient content listed chronologically by type (back to the late 1990s in some cases)
- Search by keywords using the search box in the header.
- Click on sidebar list titles (Action Alert, Legislative Update, WVEC Blog) to view lists of posts showing excerpts and associated ‘issue’ tags.
- Click on a link in the sidebar ‘tag cloud’ to view a list of posts (with excerpts) relevant to a given issue, such as Lifeboat Earth
- Click on category links shown below a post’s title, or tag links shown at the bottom of a post to find related posts
- Click on the ‘author’ link shown below a post’s title for a list of posts by that author. WVEC has been assigned as ‘author’ for all content from the old site.
- The home page also provides facebook and Twitter activity feeds.
The new site features a ‘responsive’ design, which means it should adapt gracefully to small devices. For example, the header image will shrink and the search/donate box will overlay the header to save space. Content should gracefully collapse into one long column on narrow devices, with the actual page content just below the shrunken header (the sidebar will move to a position below the page content). Content width should collapse down to the available pixels so you don’t have to scroll sideways on a small screen.
The archiving system for old newsletters and legislative updates uses an embedded document viewer to display pdf files (which should work even if you don’t have a pdf reader installed on your computer or device). You can view a pdf in the document window, or for easier reading, use the ‘Pop-out’ option to view the pdf in full-screen mode. The ‘Pop-out’ button becomes visible when you hover at the upper right-hand corner of the pdf document. If you have a pdf reader you prefer to use, click the ‘Download’ link to view (or save) the pdf with your reader.
User Accounts and Contributing to the WVEC Website
The new site allows people other than the webmaster to post content to the site. Of course, as of this post’s publication date I’m the only person who has actually posted anything to the site (i.e., virtually all th content that was archived on the old site). But Marium Bria (WVEC’s new Outreach Coordinator) is learning how to publish (and classify) new material, and some WVEC officers or members of the lobby team may soon do the same, allowing them to instantly publish time-sensitive information (or non-time sensitive rants) or whatever may be appropriate to a given issue.
Over the years a few articles written by WVEC members were published on miscellaneous ‘issue’ pages of the old site (i.e., in the labyrinth). It’s now possible for WVEC members (or member organizations) to author new posts directly online. To be able to post as a ‘contributor’ you would first need to create a an ‘account’ (by clicking the ‘registration’ link in the sidebar), and then contact someone at WVEC to have your account approved for ‘Contributor’ privileges. At that point you would have access to the WordPress editor and be able to compose and preview posts. Someone at WVEC would still have to approve your posts for publication, though some contributors could be granted ‘publication’ privileges at the discretion of WVEC (especially if they are posting time sensitive material).
Since none of this was not possible with the old site, there is no official policy in place for approving new contributor accounts or posts, though I suspect one will develop as needed. At the moment I’m the only site ‘administrator,’ but that will change when one or two WVEC officers become ‘administrators’ (and thus be able to change account privileges).
If you are interested in posting as a ‘Contributor’ I’d suggest contacting WVEC’s Outreach Coordinator, Legislative Coordinator, or Secretary (see the Contact page for current officers – if they can’t yet personally administer accounts, one of them will at least be able to grant approval and ask me to make the tweak…).
If you are a current WVEC officer who needs the ability to author new posts, edit informational pages, or approve new contributors, simply create an account and contact me (Don Alexander) to have your account upgraded to author, editor, or administrator status (depending on you what you need to be able to do).
If you are a WVEC member who once (or even more often) contributed articles that have been retained from the old site, you might want to create an account so you can be properly listed as the ‘author.’ All old articles currently display ‘WVEC’ as the author, but most old articles also include the actual author’s name in the content field, so searching the site for your name should list any article you may have written. You won’t need to have your account upgraded to ‘contributor’ unless you want to make additional posts in the future. Just create an account and ask me (by email) to tweak the author field of any material you authored.
If you just want to view the site or make comments on various posts, you do not need to create an account (at least for now, though if you comment frequently you might want to create an account). If you want your personal avatar to appear with comments, sign up for a free Gravatar account using the same email address as you use to register or post comments on the WVEC website.
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Please add a comment to this post if you notice any problems with the new site…