January 2011

Online Communication Report January  2011

The committee members are:

  • Eric Medcalf
  • John Farnsworth
  • Kyle Macdonald
  • Linde Rosenberg
  • Sean Manning
  • Walter Logeman

The Website


In the middle of the year the re-designed website went live and Simon Gurnsey has been the webmaster, developing and managing the site with the guidance of the Online Communication Committee. While there is little outwardly obvious change since the new site went live there have been many small fixes and tweaks to ensure things wok smoothly.  There are many more such small developments in the pipeline and we can expect the site to just get better and better. People I have spoken to seem pleased with the development.


Database Register and User login:

The database of member information development slowed down as there was a request from Council to include a lot more fields.  We attempted to do this and it led to some deeper understanding as to what needs to be visible to whom, and who can configure the information.  A useful exercise, that has led to clarity around the database of members and also clarity how the Council may get the sort of information it would find useful by other means.


Elaine continues to use the old database and Simon updates the one online. This will change shortly as members can update their own information and we are sure Elaine will easily be able to use the online register database for everything.



I quote from the last report:

Simon as webmaster is responsible for the way the site works, not what goes in it.  With the new structure each page or groups of pages can be edited by someone given the password to do that.

Over time it would be good for Simon to know which Committee and within a committee a person who is responsible for the content of that  page.  He can then work with them to make it all look good and keep it up to date.

Website and printed documents.

When designating a person responsible for content it would be good for  them to re-think what is printed and what is online, and how the two interact.

It looks as if that has worked well for this years Conference, admissions have designated a person for this task.


Over time more people can be shoulder tapped to manage certain tasks, for example the Events and Workshop notices.




Communication within the organisation.


The infrastructure of the website makes it easy to have online forums, photo albums and a file library.  Technically these things are cheap and easy, socially they require a lot of thinking through.  Who is responsible, how do we promote these things?  How do we manage privacy?


NZAP has used online groups for many of its committees for about eight years.  This system is due for a review.


The Online Communication Committee


The work of this committee will become more important as the technology develops.  Policy about Internet and social network use will need to be thought through.  The committee has worked exclusively online however I believe a face-to-face meeting from time to time is needed. 


I plan to relinquish my role as Chair during the coming year, though I will stay on the committee. 


This would be a good time to hear from people who have an interest in this work, not just technically but in online communication and organisational dynamics. 


It is important that we have a member from Council on this committee.  Sean has been in that position to date.


Walter Logeman

Online Communication Committee