By Harry Williams
In Atlanta, I wrote in the SHAREnews Daily President’s Corner describing work that was being done to improve the SHARE Web site, to provide facilities to become the digital resource for the next generation and to become a “must attend event” online throughout the year.
Since that time, we’ve launched a new Web site with many of the functions that you have been requesting: an enhanced usage of social media, making it easier to find resources on the SHARE Web site and making improvements to our discussion forums. On the new site, you can join “communities” which will allow you to participate in discussions, easily browse important content and see a calendar of scheduled events and other online activities you would expect from a networked community.
You now have a self-service profile where you can update all your contact information and make it available for others as your My Page, control who can see what items of your information, upload a picture of yourself, find other attendees with common interests and connect with them similar to other social media applications and many other networking activities. The new discussion forums allow both Web and
e-mail access. In many ways, we think the new Web site is bringing the best of face-to-face SHARE to the online world. In addition, Installation Representatives, the point of contact between SHARE and its member company, now have a method to manage the list of company employees.
So, have we achieved our goals? I believe we have made substantial improvements on some requested enhancements. More than 1,500 of you from over 400 member companies have logged onto the system since April to give it a test run. Gone are the shadow people, replaced with a brighter set of images, and more consistent navigation bar, a search box that searches across all content including proceedings and other files, easier to find content, online interactive communities and a consistent sign on processes. Non-members can gain access to the content by simply filling out a SHARE Profile.
The registration process for this meeting used some of the new functionality of the Web site to complete the registration process. You can now view your registration information easily from your profile, including obtaining a receipt at any time for your expense report.
Current SHARE Communities exist for many of the Programs and Projects of SHARE. Expect to find pointers to content, discussions and other methods to exchange information. You can subscribe to content and receive an e-mail when content has been updated.
The online SHARE Communities are also a method for you to provide input into SHARE. The MVS Program currently has a survey requesting input on many things, including what type of sessions you would like to see at future events. Stop by and help provide your input. From the SHARE home page, www.SHARE.org, you can select Our Community, and then select the MVS Program as the Area of Interest. The survey is available at the beginning of the page. The survey is open until 1:00 p.m. on Friday. While there, you will see link to every Bit Bucket all the way back to Bit Bucket 1 in March 1991 in San Francisco plus past MVS Storage Project newsletters and other relevant documents, plus take the poll on how long you’ve been coming to SHARE.
Some parts of the Web site conversion are not complete, but work is continuing. The proceedings prior to 2002 are not yet fully converted, but will be available shortly. We also hope that in the future we will be able to digitize past proceedings from their paper copy to make them available electronically.
During this process, we have also performed an audit of the layout, navigation and content of the SHARE Web site. The goal was to improve the site look and feel, increase usability and search engine optimization, centralize and highlight relevant content, sync up with a content schedule to ensure that relevant content and information is posted and ensure the site conveys the value of SHARE offerings through a consistent updating process.
In addition to the updated Web site, there has been an increase in SHARE activity across social media channels. SHARE’s Facebook and Twitter pages are updated on a regular basis, as is the LinkedIn discussion group. Socious will allow volunteers to take an active role in SHARE’s social media outreach.
I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved in this project, from those defining the requirements to those defining the mapping from the old to the new system and those reviewing the new look of the Web site. Their excitement has been contagious. It has truly been a team effort to move this project along. It is a true example of individuals seeing a need and pulling together to accomplish the goal - another example of SHARE at its best.
Watch for new features on the SHARE Web site, and if you have ideas of things you would like to see, please feel free to contact me at Harry@marist.edu.
SHARE in Anaheim marks the end of my term as Director of Community Enablement. It’s been a lot of fun. I’ve learned a lot, and hopefully we moved the peanut in improving the online experience. I will do what I can to assist the new Director of Community Enablement to completing the goals we’ve been working on over the past three years.