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duncan
Recruit

Posts: 8
Unit: RMR-CO-001

« on: March 13, 2017, 03:30:51 PM »

Is there a forum or gathering place where we can exchange ideas and examples?
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Capt. Rob Duncan
IT Director, COWG
CFI-ASMEL-IA, A&P
Ozzy
Seasoned Member

Posts: 319
Unit: NY

NY-288 Squadron Website
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2017, 03:48:07 PM »

It would be smart, there really doesn't seem to be a specific area for IT-related posts on captalk. Lobby or Tools-of-the-Trade seems to be the closest
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Ozyilmaz, TSgt, CAP
C/Lt. Colonel (Ret.)
SGT, ARNG (Out!)

NYWG Encampment 07, 08, 09, 10, (17)
CTWG Encampment 09, 11, 16
NER Cadet Leadership School 10
duncan
Recruit

Posts: 8
Unit: RMR-CO-001

« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2017, 07:26:26 PM »

Yes - I'd like steal some ideas, and perhaps provide a few. Need to suggest this to whoever makes up the permanent categories.
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Capt. Rob Duncan
IT Director, COWG
CFI-ASMEL-IA, A&P
Eclipse
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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2017, 07:30:36 PM »

It's been discussed here before, with the consensus being "not enough interest for a separate board".

If you drop the question or issue into the Lobby, it'll get read and beaten to death.

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The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by eclipse. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 689

« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2017, 08:40:15 PM »

Are you using the new template for your Squadron's local website? I took the Wordpress template and modified it a bit to create ours. Added the Facebook block into the homepage:

http://www.tuscaloosacap.org
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duncan
Recruit

Posts: 8
Unit: RMR-CO-001

« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2017, 08:59:00 PM »

Nicely done "Todd". I am the IT Director of COWG and have not worked so much on the "pretty" aspect, but we have a well-integrated Wing-level website using DNN. http://cowg.cap.gov where all member access and qualification population is controlled via daily automated CAPWATCH download. New members get placed into their respective squadrons, and old members and their responsibilities get culled. I can set "roles" to control who can see, and who can modify any page or module with a page. Has good tracking of document check-in/out and usage. Integrated calendars, but am migrating to Google calendars. The e-mail system has over 20 auto-maintained email distribution lists, i.e. everybody is on the "announcement" list, but only pilots on their list, Cadets, FRO's, Safety Officers, AeroEd, Group level distribution control, SPOT alerts, etc. We have a separate but similar mission alert system using both emails and pagers. The units have sub-pages and easy to control their permitted authors, which changes a lot! It is hard to get well qualifed help, but the system rocks otherwise.
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Capt. Rob Duncan
IT Director, COWG
CFI-ASMEL-IA, A&P
etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 689

« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2017, 09:07:21 PM »

Nicely done "Todd". I am the IT Director of COWG and have not worked so much on the "pretty" aspect, but we have a well-integrated Wing-level website using DNN. http://cowg.cap.gov

Nice! We are not looking for all the interactive uses ... yet. (Our Wing website has most of that) The one I built (it was just recently) is primarily to separate out the marketing side for our Squadron.  Looking for good search engine listing placement. And a website where we can start adding publicity photos and info of events as they transpire. And a good place to market those events to the public prior to.  And of course to get folks headed to the FB page. This website is for outside use, not member use.  LOL
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duncan
Recruit

Posts: 8
Unit: RMR-CO-001

« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2017, 09:17:07 PM »

Understood. I concur that outside marketing should focus on good Facebook practices. I will need to fabricate a pseudo-member profile to properly share what logged in members can see and do. Besides each Group/Squadron sub-websites, There are 35 other sub-webs for categories like Comm, ES, Ops, Logistics, O-rides, Safety, Stan/Eval, If nothing else, it is handy to have a login-protected online Wing-level roster! Plus members can post pictures etc. that are not public-viewable and thus have more freedom.
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Capt. Rob Duncan
IT Director, COWG
CFI-ASMEL-IA, A&P
etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 689

« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2017, 09:22:29 PM »


http://cowg.cap.gov

Most of the website is very mobile friendly. But this page is not friendly on anything, especially mobile:

http://coloradowingcap.org/FindAColoradoSquadron/tabid/161/Default.aspx

And to me (a marketing guy), the "Find a Squadron" page should be high priority.  The local website links (the ones that are not 404) try to open in the page frame, which is always a bad idea. Set the target to "blank" and let it open a new window or tab. Try using this page on an iPhone, which arguably is where most potential Cadets would be seeing your site.

JMHOs of course. Grain of salt and all that.
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 689

« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2017, 09:31:28 PM »

According to Google:  “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.”


So when working on website, we should always have our cell phones and iPads next to our keyboards. Verifying it all works across the board as we roll pages out. The big screen and large keyboard and mouse make design work easy, but the way it looks on the big screen isn't the end all anymore.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2017, 09:45:10 PM »

http://cowg.cap.gov
For a public-facing website you have way too much information jammed into one place, and no coherent design.  Your best bet would be to start
with either the a Wordpress or Google Sites template, and then slowly add-in links, pages, and modules as they are needed
vs. trying to provide every piece of information you can find.

Replicating resources NHQ already provides isn't a good idea, either.  Your "find a unit" page should just be a link
to the NHQ page that does the same thing.


http://cowg.cap.gov
Plus members can post pictures etc. that are not public-viewable and thus have more freedom.[/quote]

There's no such thing as "not public-viewable". If you can't post them publicly, don't post them at all.
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 689

« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2017, 09:51:21 PM »

Yep. The Cadets have all their own FB pages , Instagram and Snapchat apps they share photos with. The Squadron's FB page and Website should be carefully chosen photos designed to market to the public.

All that being said ... we are apples and oranges. I'm talking about a local Squadron website. Duncan's website is for a Wing, which has wholly different purposes, and goals.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2017, 09:59:04 PM »

I'm talking about a local Squadron website. Duncan's website is for a Wing, which has wholly different purposes, and goals.

Internally?  Maybe.

Externally, they should be just about the same, though I suppose you could make the argument that
a Wing's website's primary client is people who are already members, while a unit's may include recruitment of people
who aren't already in the club.
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 689

« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2017, 10:06:16 PM »

I suppose you could make the argument that
a Wing's website's primary client is people who are already members, while a unit's may include recruitment of people
who aren't already in the club.

Exactly what I was thinking.

Someone interested in learning about CAP and lives in Whoville, and Googles "whoville civil air patrol" ... hopefully a local Squadron website is at the top of the results.

The Wing websites are more internal. IMHO
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Spaceman3750
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Posts: 2,599

« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2017, 10:12:21 PM »

Please, please do not put WordPress on a .gov. If you have no choice, keep it updated and do not install plugins unless you absolutely have to.
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"Anyone can hold the helm when the seas are calm ... leadership is about weathering the storm."

The moment any commander or staff member considers themselves a gatekeeper, instead of a facilitator, they have failed at their job.
I can't fix all of CAP's problems, but I can lead from the bottom by building my squadron as a center of excellence to serve as an example of what every unit can be.
etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 689

« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2017, 10:13:32 PM »

To take it further, I doubt any of my Squadron's members ever even look at the local website.  Its strictly advertising. For internal reminders of meetings, etc, they use Facebook. And Wing handles the Calendar's etc. And of course eServices, WMIRS, etc. etc. is all national.  Which makes it easier for me to focus totally on marketing and PR when working on the website. Its a singular focus.
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 689

« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2017, 10:15:00 PM »

Please, please do not put WordPress on a .gov. If you have no choice, keep it updated and do not install plugins unless you absolutely have to.

Our Squadron website is not hosted on a .gov website. Its strictly marketing and hosted elsewhere.  ;)
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Spaceman3750
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,599

« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2017, 10:16:00 PM »

Please, please do not put WordPress on a .gov. If you have no choice, keep it updated and do not install plugins unless you absolutely have to.

Our Squadron website is not hosted on a .gov website. Its strictly marketing and hosted elsewhere.  ;)

That's cool; it was intended more as a blanket statement.
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"Anyone can hold the helm when the seas are calm ... leadership is about weathering the storm."

The moment any commander or staff member considers themselves a gatekeeper, instead of a facilitator, they have failed at their job.
I can't fix all of CAP's problems, but I can lead from the bottom by building my squadron as a center of excellence to serve as an example of what every unit can be.
Eclipse
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« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2017, 10:17:10 PM »

Its strictly advertising. For internal reminders of meetings, etc, they use Facebook.

I can't even begin to tell you how viscerally that sentence makes me react.  The world is what the world is, neither CAP, nor I,
are (is?) going to change that, but AdBook is no way to run  something like a CAP unit, and no one ever seems to
have a good response to "How do your youngest cadets get the information?".

https://www.facebook.com/terms

"5. You will not use Facebook if you are under 13."
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 689

« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2017, 10:18:56 PM »

Please, please do not put WordPress on a .gov. If you have no choice, keep it updated and do not install plugins unless you absolutely have to.

Our Squadron website is not hosted on a .gov website. Its strictly marketing and hosted elsewhere.  ;)

That's cool; it was intended more as a blanket statement.

I understood it that way.  :)

Keeping it separate. Just easier that way. More flexibility.
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Spaceman3750
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Posts: 2,599

« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2017, 10:19:55 PM »

Please, please do not put WordPress on a .gov. If you have no choice, keep it updated and do not install plugins unless you absolutely have to.

Our Squadron website is not hosted on a .gov website. Its strictly marketing and hosted elsewhere.  ;)

That's cool; it was intended more as a blanket statement.

I understood it that way.  :)

Keeping it separate. Just easier that way. More flexibility.

I would still keep a close eye on it. Last thing you need is your squadron site to be hosting malware or a phishing landing page, .gov or not.
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"Anyone can hold the helm when the seas are calm ... leadership is about weathering the storm."

The moment any commander or staff member considers themselves a gatekeeper, instead of a facilitator, they have failed at their job.
I can't fix all of CAP's problems, but I can lead from the bottom by building my squadron as a center of excellence to serve as an example of what every unit can be.
etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 689

« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2017, 10:20:52 PM »

Its strictly advertising. For internal reminders of meetings, etc, they use Facebook.

I can't even begin to tell you how viscerally that sentence makes me react.  The world is what the world is, neither CAP, nor I,
are (is?) going to change that, but AdBook is no way to run  something like a CAP unit, and no one ever seems to
have a good response to "How do your youngest cadets get the information?".

https://www.facebook.com/terms

"5. You will not use Facebook if you are under 13."

I didn't say FB was the only method. Just that they post reminders, etc. on FB.  They also email, text, and yes ... even use the telephone sometimes.  ;D
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 689

« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2017, 10:23:01 PM »


I would still keep a close eye on it. Last thing you need is your squadron site to be hosting malware or a phishing landing page, .gov or not.

I own a website development and hosting company, since 1995. I'm host/developer of the site, pay for it myself, and do watch over all my websites closely. :)
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 689

« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2017, 10:27:31 PM »


 no one ever seems to
have a good response to "How do your youngest cadets get the information?".


That one is easy. Who really trusts a 12 year old with email?  For each of the younger Cadets, always have a parent/guardian email address also included in the BCC of each mass email. 
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Ozzy
Seasoned Member

Posts: 319
Unit: NY

NY-288 Squadron Website
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2017, 10:43:30 PM »

Are you using the new template for your Squadron's local website? I took the Wordpress template and modified it a bit to create ours. Added the Facebook block into the homepage:

http://www.tuscaloosacap.org

It looks good. We've been redesigning our website and it looks pretty good now: www.nassaucapli.com

What do you think?
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Ozyilmaz, TSgt, CAP
C/Lt. Colonel (Ret.)
SGT, ARNG (Out!)

NYWG Encampment 07, 08, 09, 10, (17)
CTWG Encampment 09, 11, 16
NER Cadet Leadership School 10
etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 689

« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2017, 10:54:57 PM »

Are you using the new template for your Squadron's local website? I took the Wordpress template and modified it a bit to create ours. Added the Facebook block into the homepage:

http://www.tuscaloosacap.org

It looks good. We've been redesigning our website and it looks pretty good now: www.nassaucapli.com

What do you think?

Very nice! Love the full screen that looks more modern, and yet is responsive for mobile devices. Good imagery.  I just used the 'official' template to get ours started recently, but will be moving in this type direction at some point. Young folks expect to see a website look like yours now.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #26 on: March 13, 2017, 11:10:01 PM »

That one is easy. Who really trusts a 12 year old with email? 

Many people, including a >lot< of schools.  6th grade is about the time they start teaching kids internet safety,
and many schools use Google classroom which include disposable email addresses that are changed each year.

The point was that FB explicitly prohibits use of its service by anyone under 13, yet many squadrons,
and lately even some wings use FB as their only way of contacting members, including cadets.

"Just read it without joining..." doesn't fly, nor does the "Mom said I could just lie about my age..."  BTDT way too much.

For each of the younger Cadets, always have a parent/guardian email address also included in the BCC of each mass email.

Not just the younger ones - its a requirement for all cadets when an adult member contacts them, and your best practice would be
an open /cc, not a /bcc.

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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 689

« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2017, 11:19:46 PM »


Not just the younger ones - its a requirement for all cadets when an adult member contacts them, and your best practice would be
an open /cc, not a /bcc.

I'm not the one that sends the emails to Cadets. But when I send out emails to pilots or any other group I always send to myself and then add the whole group to BCC. Really annoys me when I get those group emails with 75 addresses in the To or CC field. Such an invitation for spammers. Bad practice to have those emails showing.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2017, 11:24:38 PM »

I'm not the one that sends the emails to Cadets. But when I send out emails to pilots or any other group I always send to myself and then add the whole group to BCC. Really annoys me when I get those group emails with 75 addresses in the To or CC field. Such an invitation for spammers. Bad practice to have those emails showing.

Agreed, very annoying and unnecessary.
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 689

« Reply #29 on: March 13, 2017, 11:31:07 PM »

I'm not the one that sends the emails to Cadets. But when I send out emails to pilots or any other group I always send to myself and then add the whole group to BCC. Really annoys me when I get those group emails with 75 addresses in the To or CC field. Such an invitation for spammers. Bad practice to have those emails showing.

Agreed, very annoying and unnecessary.

Not sure if any of this is what the OP wanted to talk about. I just took it and ran, testing the waters of discussion, and he jumped ship in the night.  ;D
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A.Member
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,590

« Reply #30 on: March 14, 2017, 01:30:05 AM »

This topic has been covered so many times...there should be a sticky.  Or at least a notice to use the sites Search function.

Facebook can be part of an online solution but it should not be THE online solution. 

Most squadrons are best served by having a limited online presence or letting their Wing handle it.  Simply put, too many people don't know what they're doing or what their objective is.

It's not perfect but this is still one of the better external/public websites at the Wing level:  mnwg.cap.gov
« Last Edit: March 14, 2017, 01:55:12 AM by A.Member » Logged
"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return." - Leonardo da Vinci
Майор Хаткевич
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Unit: GLR-IL-049

« Reply #31 on: March 14, 2017, 10:34:07 AM »

your best practice would be
an open /cc, not a /bcc.


Eh...I had a situation with open CCs just a month ago...
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 689

« Reply #32 on: March 14, 2017, 12:12:03 PM »



Most squadrons are best served by having a limited online presence....

That is what ours is. Wing handles all the internal member things ... we just have a local website that is strictly geared to marketing. A singular purpose. Anyone in a city that searches for "MyCity Civil Air Patrol" will rarely ever see a Wing website (a few exceptions, like when the Wing hdqrs is the same city LOL). So Squadrons wanting to reach out to the public searching for local Squadrons , and want to be found, should have a targeted website.

But again .... I'm the marketing type guy ... and will leave all the administrative/internal things to others on the Wing and Hdqrs side. I'm just trying to reach potential new members.
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duncan
Recruit

Posts: 8
Unit: RMR-CO-001

« Reply #33 on: March 14, 2017, 07:16:42 PM »

I have developed over 250 aviation-related websites since 1995 on my own well-secured servers with e-commerce, FAA drug testing, etc. Most are heavily database driven, and for lots of larger pilot/related organizations. I truly understand all of your above comments. But that is not my focus. Mission support is, and that goes far beyond WIMRS.

Minor non-responsive portion issues aside, I don't think you understand all that our site offers. There is no way this can be done with WordPress and off-the shelf plugins. Our site has absolute accountability to NHQ source for all member and squadron data. If a member drops out per NHQ, they are automatically removed from all mailing lists and their web permission revoked. When a new Squadron is created, or new officers appointed, it is automatically updated in real time. Posting special info pages and documents in secure "non-public" areas is how we handle lots of things that REQUIRE a central and secure repository per ISO-9000. Example, how do you handle continuity documentation, e.g. what happens when an officer "moves on", how do you fully train their replacment in the myriad of items that are not part of CAPR? Where is that "master" document, who last modified it and when? Our website handles all of this. There is never a need to import somebody's private e-mail list to send out notices.

Cosmetics and getting new members is not "mission critical". Lets' talk about - how are your members notified when a mission is announced? How is this contact list populated and culled? Backup plans?
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Capt. Rob Duncan
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Eclipse
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« Reply #34 on: March 14, 2017, 08:28:40 PM »

Cosmetics and getting new members is not "mission critical".

It actually is.  UI design is an art, not a science, and these days you're lucky if people read the first sentence of a paragraph.
Between the colors and the confused design, I was turned off to your website in a few minutes, and seriously could not make heads or tales of it.

Website engines like Wordpress and GSites look and work the way they do after years of user testing and study.
Without engagement, the information is useless.

How are your members notified when a mission is announced?
Calendar entries and repeated emails.


How is this contact list populated and culled?

Direct from eServices as the authoritative source.  It's very simple to grab the addresses you need when you need them.

Backup plan?

For?
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 689

« Reply #35 on: March 14, 2017, 08:49:30 PM »


Minor non-responsive portion issues aside, I don't think you understand all that our site offers. There is no way this can be done with WordPress and off-the shelf plugins.

Of course not. Thats why I emphasized that the website I built is strictly marketing. Its apples and oranges.

Yes ... you are building a great "Wing" website. I'll step aside now and let the web masters of other "Wing" websites chime in. Thats who you need to talk with. Not us 'little Squadron website folks'.  LOL

« Last Edit: March 14, 2017, 08:55:10 PM by etodd » Logged
etodd
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« Reply #36 on: March 14, 2017, 09:01:50 PM »


... getting new members is not "mission critical".

I see the Recruiting and Retention officers having monthly video chats and I'd bet most would argue your point. Without an influx of new recruits to offset CAPs growing retention problem ... all the websites and databases will be a mute point as servers grow cobwebs.

CAP is a team. ALL players ARE Mission Critical.
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SarDragon
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« Reply #37 on: March 15, 2017, 01:18:13 AM »


... getting new members is not "mission critical".

I see the Recruiting and Retention officers having monthly video chats and I'd bet most would argue your point. Without an influx of new recruits to offset CAPs growing retention problem ... all the websites and databases will be a mute point as servers grow cobwebs.

CAP is a team. ALL players ARE Mission Critical.

NO!

Our recruiting program is working fairly well, and has been that way for a long time. Our retention SUCKS!

Every time I go to a wing conference (every two or three years), I hear the same statistic - one half of our cadet population has been in CAP less than one year. That means we lose about half of the people we recruit every year. If we retained as many as 25% of those new cadets, we would have significant growth.
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Dave Bowles
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etodd
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« Reply #38 on: March 15, 2017, 09:18:38 AM »


... getting new members is not "mission critical".

I see the Recruiting and Retention officers having monthly video chats and I'd bet most would argue your point. Without an influx of new recruits to offset CAPs growing retention problem ... all the websites and databases will be a mute point as servers grow cobwebs.

CAP is a team. ALL players ARE Mission Critical.

NO!

Our recruiting program is working fairly well, and has been that way for a long time. Our retention SUCKS!

Every time I go to a wing conference (every two or three years), I hear the same statistic - one half of our cadet population has been in CAP less than one year. That means we lose about half of the people we recruit every year. If we retained as many as 25% of those new cadets, we would have significant growth.

Read my post again. We actually agree.  :)

And read the post I was responding too. I was letting the other fella know that the Recruiting folks are doing a fine job and ARE Mission Critical, as are all CAP members. Its a team.
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duncan
Recruit

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Unit: RMR-CO-001

« Reply #39 on: March 15, 2017, 06:45:17 PM »

Eclipse:

- are your "calendar entries" pro-active, e.g. notification via text messages to smart phones, or do they just sit on your website, waiting for somebody to read them?

- what does "repeated emails" mean? Somebody is tasked with manually sending them over and over? How is recipient list populated?

- so if something needs to be sent, somebody logs to eSevices, manually runs a query and extracts the recipient addresses? Sounds time consuming, and requires eServices operation training, and proper permissions.

- "backup plan" is for if your email or eServices is down.

In our system, for mission alerts, the AFRCC, Sheriff Department, or Alert Officer simply logs into a secure and non-disclosed website, then adds simple text message which is sent to several Alert Officers via a e-list and pagers. These recipients then decide which resource(s) and group(s) need to be notified, and distribute the info via other controlled e-lists. We have multi-level backup plans in case the servers are down, or telephones, and/or CAP radio net. All this automation is well documented and securely saved on website via login passwords and roles.

Recruitment, retention, and "mine is (subjectively) prettier than yours", should be discussed on a different thread. I wish to discuss the steak, not the sizzle.
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Capt. Rob Duncan
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Eclipse
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« Reply #40 on: March 15, 2017, 06:57:41 PM »

^ You're dragging in all sorts of "not a website / not IT's problem" into your discussion of your website, and to some extent comparing a Wing's
needs to a units which are decidedly different.  Radio nets, AFRCC alerting, Armageddon backup scenarios, don't have much of anything to do with the
website, which won't be accessible, if the tubes are plugged.

What you currently have in regards to "steak" is a complete recently killed carcass thrown on the fire.  The "sizzle" you think
you hear is the unexploded ordance cooking off from the chain gun used to "slaughter" it.

If you think it fits your needs, then good on 'ye, but I'm telling you as someone who looked at it cold, between the color choices and
the densely packed, oddly formatted text, I couldn't make heads or tails of it.

You may well have outstanding email lists, a world-class alerting system, and the back-end of a system that fits your
needs, but the UI on the website is dated and difficult to use at best.
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etodd
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Posts: 689

« Reply #41 on: March 15, 2017, 07:06:06 PM »

^ You're dragging in all sorts of "not a website / not IT's problem" into your discussion of your website, and to some extent comparing a Wing's
needs to a units which are decidedly different.

What you currently have in regards to "steak" is a complete recently killed carcass thrown on the fire.  If you think it fits your
needs, then good on 'ye, but I'm telling you as someone who looked at it cold, between the odd color choices and
the densely packed, oddly formatted text, I couldn't make heads or tails of it.

You may well have outstanding email lists, a world-class alerting system, and the back-end of a system that fits your
needs, but the UI on the website is dated and difficult to use at best.

Duncan came here saying he wanted to "exchange ideas and examples" ... but me thinks he just wanted to show off his, and have others beg for his code. (Maybe he wants to sell it?) ^^^ But what he wound up here getting were critiques. 

But seriously Duncan .... create one of your mailing lists for all the "Wing Webmasters".   I bet there isn't more than a handful of them on Captalk. Create a mailing list or other forum that ALL the Wing Webmasters can be notified , join and start exchanging ideas.

Better yet ... since your system is 'the best' , why not approach the folks at Hdqrs and see if they want to roll it out for all the Wings?

.
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A.Member
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Posts: 1,590

« Reply #42 on: March 15, 2017, 10:12:38 PM »

In our system, for mission alerts, the AFRCC, Sheriff Department, or Alert Officer simply logs into a secure and non-disclosed website, then adds simple text message which is sent to several Alert Officers via a e-list and pagers. These recipients then decide which resource(s) and group(s) need to be notified, and distribute the info via other controlled e-lists. We have multi-level backup plans in case the servers are down, or telephones, and/or CAP radio net. All this automation is well documented and securely saved on website via login passwords and roles.
Where does one find pagers in this day and age?!  :D LOL   Consider adding text notifications and social media apps to bring the system into this millennium.  I'm sure most Wings have call down lists as back up, if not primary, as well.

Not to hog pile but I'm curious about your intake process for requests for assistance.  Each Wing/State has it's own system.  For example, in my state we are not the first point of contact; all requests for assistance must go through the State Duty Officer.  The Duty Officer in turn contacts the NOC, who in turn contacts us.   With your system, you seem to have bypassed the NOC entirely and are taking requests directly...is that really the process?  Your Wing received approval on this approach?  I'd be interested in hearing more about that. 

One more thing, for all the emphasis on secure and controlled information, you have a lot of PII/PERSEC info published. I would not publicly list personal phone numbers or any numbers other than a Wing HQ contact info, which is presumably a business office phone.  Using a single form to a single contact mailbox is good approach for a public facing site (rules on the mailbox can route messages as needed).   But the rest of the info should be on a secured intranet or eServices.  It also makes for a lot of maintenance updating all the names and duty positions found throughout the site.  Why list all that info publicly?  What is the objective of the CO Wing site; who is the target audience?  Do you have a members only intranet?

All that said, while I have to agree that your website needs a lot of aesthetic help and some of the functionality is redundant to that of eServices, I very much applaud your efforts to automate and improve your notifications/call down lists.

Check out this past thread for another approach that was put together by JeffDG from Tennessee Wing using Google Apps:
http://captalk.net/index.php?topic=18966.0
« Last Edit: March 15, 2017, 10:55:58 PM by A.Member » Logged
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sardak
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Posts: 1,130

« Reply #43 on: March 15, 2017, 10:34:37 PM »

Quote
Where does one find pagers in this day and age?!
I was told that only doctors and drug dealers still carry pagers. In some cases is there a difference?

Mike
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A.Member
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Posts: 1,590

« Reply #44 on: March 15, 2017, 10:35:41 PM »

Quote
Where does one find pagers in this day and age?!
I was told that only doctors and drug dealers still carry pagers. In some cases is there a difference?

Mike
Mike, that was 1996. :D
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sardak
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Posts: 1,130

« Reply #45 on: March 15, 2017, 10:43:23 PM »

^Nice. :clap:
Mike
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Майор Хаткевич
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« Reply #46 on: March 16, 2017, 11:06:06 AM »

^Nice. :clap:
Mike




I purchased a pager at age 13 in 2003. One year's service was about $100 with the pager included.


My parents would text the number with a preset list of codes to communicate.


After a year, I got my first flip phone.
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 689

« Reply #47 on: March 16, 2017, 04:19:27 PM »

I had one of those 'ball & chains' back in the '70s. Before caller-id, so you didn't know who was beeping you but assumed it was the company. So you had to look for a pay phone while driving around.
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duncan
Recruit

Posts: 8
Unit: RMR-CO-001

« Reply #48 on: March 17, 2017, 08:09:20 PM »

Some good responses - thank you!

Pagers - In addition to cell phones, some Alert Staff have pagers simply due to the Rockies. There are many places where is zero cell phone coverage, but the pager towers will get through. The downside is that there is no "retry until received" on pager technology, unlike text messaging.

Published Email or Phone Numbers/PII - There are only a few of these shown in public areas, and these were specifically requested by that person. Per CAPR, individuals are allowed to over-ride PII guidelines if required for their duties. However you will also note that no e-mail address are ever given out, and all public e-mail hyperlinks do not contain the e-mail address, thus are spider-proof. All email contact is via forms where the recipient address is hidden. That's my goal, and I offer that it should be similarly implemented on all other web pages. Please let me know if somebody spots a suspiciously open phone or email address on COWG.CAP.GOV.

Google Apps Webinar - good info. I will need to see that happened to this idea from three years ago. Anybody here using it now?

Wing Webmaster Mailing List - Another good idea. I have previously asked for this at HQ level, but it was unobtainium. So I am trying here. FYI the COWG website already has automatic updated list of all Wing/Squadron website authors. I want squadron webmaster input too. We have several squadrons doing much more than simple marketing/recruiting with their website.

Target Audience - Paraphrased from CAPR, our mission (as webmasters) is to "develop and implement policies and procedures in support of CAP's missions." Examples: If Comm needs a centralized and secure web place to store Call Signs, then that is part of our job. If a CC needs an org chart - that is also our job. Coordinate Orientation rides? - yes. Broadcast an email about upcoming SLS classes? - yes. So our target audience is us - any officer with a task that can be done more easily via Wing or Squadron website technology. 

Advice - I am truly here to ask "what are others doing?" This overall knowledge is also unobtainium. This should be driven from the HQ level, seeking improvements and sharing. Certainly not me. I am but a lowly webmaster, and I do fully listen to all criticisms.
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Capt. Rob Duncan
IT Director, COWG
CFI-ASMEL-IA, A&P
stillamarine
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« Reply #49 on: March 18, 2017, 10:53:17 AM »

^Nice. :clap:
Mike




I purchased a pager at age 13 in 2003. One year's service was about $100 with the pager included.


My parents would text the number with a preset list of codes to communicate.


After a year, I got my first flip phone.

13 in 2003????
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Tim Gardiner, 1st LT, CAP

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Eclipse
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« Reply #50 on: March 18, 2017, 11:47:54 AM »

Heh. Right?
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Chappie
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Posts: 1,041

« Reply #51 on: March 22, 2017, 04:08:34 PM »

Are you using the new template for your Squadron's local website? I took the Wordpress template and modified it a bit to create ours. Added the Facebook block into the homepage:

http://www.tuscaloosacap.org

It looks good. We've been redesigning our website and it looks pretty good now: www.nassaucapli.com

What do you think?

Looks good....recently the CAP Chaplain Corps redesigned our website (it has a link on the National website...but is not part of NHQ's control per se):  https://capchaplain.com/    It was redesigned by one of our own members.
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ourpobox
Recruit

Posts: 13
Unit: MER-VA-108

« Reply #52 on: April 05, 2017, 08:55:10 AM »

Some good responses - thank you!

Google Apps Webinar - good info. I will need to see that happened to this idea from three years ago. Anybody here using it now?

Advice - I am truly here to ask "what are others doing?" This overall knowledge is also unobtainium. This should be driven from the HQ level, seeking improvements and sharing. Certainly not me. I am but a lowly webmaster, and I do fully listen to all criticisms.

VAWG is using Google Apps for MOST things presently, but only transitioning the website (due to manpower/time issues) to Google Sites now.  Website transition is still a work in progress.

On a related topic, I disagree that squadron sites should be EXCLUSIVELY for recruiting.  My unit site provides entry-level direction for SAR quals, Professional Development info...etc...that is of interest to members.  I don't know how many of my people read stuff on our site, but I get high praise from other squadron commanders who use the tools to help their people get training!  :-)
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etodd
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Posts: 689

« Reply #53 on: April 05, 2017, 06:42:36 PM »


My unit site provides entry-level direction for SAR quals, Professional Development info...etc...that is of interest to members.  I don't know how many of my people read stuff on our site, but I get high praise from other squadron commanders who use the tools to help their people get training!  :-)

My view is that each squadron should not have to be re-inventing the wheel on those.  That should all be in eServices, Ops Quals or any of the other myriad of websites a newbie has to learn.  :o
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Eclipse
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« Reply #54 on: April 05, 2017, 10:51:59 PM »

+1 - when you duplicate resources that already exist at NHQ, you run the risk of regularly being out of date, which is a
HHUUGGEE problem with CAP websites, including NHQ.
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Paul Creed III
Forum Regular

Posts: 185
Unit: GLR-OH-254

« Reply #55 on: April 06, 2017, 07:57:15 AM »

Some good responses - thank you!

Google Apps Webinar - good info. I will need to see that happened to this idea from three years ago. Anybody here using it now?

Advice - I am truly here to ask "what are others doing?" This overall knowledge is also unobtainium. This should be driven from the HQ level, seeking improvements and sharing. Certainly not me. I am but a lowly webmaster, and I do fully listen to all criticisms.

VAWG is using Google Apps for MOST things presently, but only transitioning the website (due to manpower/time issues) to Google Sites now.  Website transition is still a work in progress.

You may want to enter a hold on the move to Google Sites. It is my understanding that the WordPress platform will become the de facto platform for all CAP websites in the field. All websites in GLR are moving there now. You may want to have your Wing Director of PA check with Maj Bowden at NHQ.
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Lt Col Paul Creed III, CAP
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« Reply #56 on: April 06, 2017, 08:37:38 AM »

All websites in GLR are moving there now.

All? Cite please.
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Paul Creed III
Forum Regular

Posts: 185
Unit: GLR-OH-254

« Reply #57 on: April 06, 2017, 08:55:21 AM »

All websites in GLR are moving there now.

All? Cite please.

Direct conversations I have had with Maj Bowden.
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Lt Col Paul Creed III, CAP
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Ohio Wing Group 3 Commander
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« Reply #58 on: April 06, 2017, 09:59:28 AM »

All websites in GLR are moving there now.

All? Cite please.

Direct conversations I have had with Maj Bowden.

Maj Bowden may be sharing a plan or idea with you, but nothing has been communicated to the field in this regard.

As of today "all" websites in GLR are not "moving to Wordpress".

Assuming this is someone's good idea, I would be very curious, for example, who will pay for it, among other non-trivial
issues with such a notion.
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Paul Creed III
Forum Regular

Posts: 185
Unit: GLR-OH-254

« Reply #59 on: April 06, 2017, 10:37:56 AM »

All websites in GLR are moving there now.

All? Cite please.

Direct conversations I have had with Maj Bowden.

Maj Bowden may be sharing a plan or idea with you, but nothing has been communicated to the field in this regard.

As of today "all" websites in GLR are not "moving to Wordpress".

Assuming this is someone's good idea, I would be very curious, for example, who will pay for it, among other non-trivial
issues with such a notion.

Actually, it has been communicated to the field, at least within my AOR anyway, through the chain, that this is coming.

As for payment, the hosting is being provided to CAP at no cost.
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Lt Col Paul Creed III, CAP
Great Lakes Region Cyber Programs Officer
Ohio Wing Group 3 Commander
Майор Хаткевич
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« Reply #60 on: April 06, 2017, 10:41:33 AM »


Actually, it has been communicated to the field,




at least within my AOR anyway, through the chain, that this is coming.



Pick one?
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Paul Creed III
Forum Regular

Posts: 185
Unit: GLR-OH-254

« Reply #61 on: April 06, 2017, 10:44:37 AM »


Actually, it has been communicated to the field,




at least within my AOR anyway, through the chain, that this is coming.



Pick one?


Bowden>Ohio Wing PAO>Group Commanders>Unit Commanders.
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Lt Col Paul Creed III, CAP
Great Lakes Region Cyber Programs Officer
Ohio Wing Group 3 Commander
Eclipse
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« Reply #62 on: April 06, 2017, 11:54:31 AM »

Actually, it has been communicated to the field, at least within my AOR anyway, through the chain, that this is coming.

As for payment, the hosting is being provided to CAP at no cost.

Your AOR isn't "all GLR".  As of today, nothing has been communicated in this regard.  If there is a plan or idea, and
you have details, feel free to share, otherwise, advising someone in another Wing and Region that there is some
sort of national plan already in process that will force a platform choice simply isn't cricket.

And as soon as you start saying that NHQ will provide the hosting for 1300 charters, that's a scale that probably isn't
going to be in place any time soon, if ever.
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