Web/IT Committee Year End Report 2008/09
The year 2008/09 started quietly for the Web/IT cmt but has reached a
crescendo of activity as we roll in to a new year for the association.
For the first half of the year webmaster Robert Burr keeping core activities
running smoothly and new board member John Calvert helped out with specific
tasks. Routine updates to the www.oldottawasouth.ca website continued apace
with Firehall Program Guides, link to the external e-registration site, The
OSCAR in PDF, and special features on the Firehall Renovation project.
Agendas, minutes, reports and policies of the board of directors, which had
fallen over 2 years out of date, were updated and published on a monthly
basis in advance of the regular board meetings.
The Events calendar continues to be very popular with 130 events registered
over the 12 months May 2008 to April 2009, with a mix of general interest,
musical and community association events. Nearly 600 people are registered
to receive the once a week events bulletin sent by email.
Some modest technical improvements were instituted including email
distribution aliases for the board and committees to simplify addressing of
group messages, and personal branded emails @oldottawasouth.ca were made
available. A new discussion forum was implemented on a trial basis, but it
was decided not to launch this in a big way pending a full review of the
Part way in to the 2008/09 year the board of directors mandated as one of
OSCA's top 5 priorities for the year a revamped website with improved
capabilities and fresh content. In December 2008 the Web/IT cmt was revived
with new members and a renewed sense of mission. Under John's leadership all
the content on the current website was reviewed and out of date or erroneous
material was removed. Thanks to board member Greg Strahl and community
member Kathy Krywicki for their assistance with this effort.
At the same time community member Chris Solar joined John and Rob on the
committee and work got underway to plan and research options for the
revamped website. Recently in April 2009 we have completed a technical
evaluation of Joomla and Drupal as replacement content management systems,
and given OSCA's tight finances during the Firehall closure for renovation,
we are recommending the lower cost solution, a volunteer driven
implementation of Joomla. We hope to implement this over the summer and
early fall 2009 to launch the revamped website in late fall 2009 or early
winter 2010. Credit to Chris for taking the lead on the technical side of
the website revamp.
A big thank you to our webmaster Robert Burr for his ongoing reliable
stewardship of the www.oldottawasouth.ca site.
New members for the Web/IT cmt are welcome, especially with the major
project to revamp the website in Joomla, and to launch additional
capabilities which will require new volunteer investment, such as a periodic
electronic newsletter and community discussion forums.
John M. Calvert, Director
Chair, Web/IT Committee