Byteing Back: Turning your Web Site into a Team Player
Agenda • Intro & Overview: • Purposes • Terms & acronyms • Setting Goals • What’s in it for ME? 15 minutes • The Basics: • Why websites matter • Location & support • Define yourself • Generating traffic • Search engines • Online exposure • Print exposure 30 minutes • Advanced Topics: • Potential applications • Software & tools • Required hardware • 15 minutes • Budgeting Tips and Outsourcing 10 minutes • Summary & Resources 8 minutes • Questions & Comments • 12 minutes BYTEING BACK!
Introduction • At minimum, a good website will: • Convey professionalism • Improve communication • Increase efficiency • A bad website will: • Make a terrible first impression • Cast doubt on your integrity and professionalism • Chase away prospective members, resulting in lost revenue BYTEING BACK!
Terms &Acronyms • Tech-speak used in this presentation: • URL – A “friendly” address, the name under which users can find you on the web • HTML – HyperText Markup Language, the primary language of the WWW • PDF – Portable Document Format, used to exactly reproduce printed materials for digital distribution • Gif and JPEG – Web-ready image formats • XML – eXtensible Markup Language • Netiquette – Accepted, polite forms of behavior when using the ‘net • Spambot – A program that trawls the Internet in search of email addresses • Google – A popular tool for finding information on the web, the Google name is now synonymous with “Search” BYTEING BACK!
STUDENTS ALUMNI ADMIN PARENTS ADVISORS RESEARCHERS PHILAN-THROPISTS PUBLIC EMPLOYERS Overview Set goals! Your website should: • Make a professional impression • Reduce staff time on repetitivetasks & unnecessary calls • Address ongoing challenges • Save money, save time • Address varied audiences • Expand on current capabilities BYTEING BACK!
What’s in itfor ME? • This brainstorming activity willgenerate ideas for utilizing web resources to address: • Member recruitment • Adviser recruitment & retention • Officer/admin training • Chapter effectiveness & management • Institutional support • Public relations • Finance • Membership acceptance • Membership retention BYTEING BACK!
The Basics:Websites Matter! • First Impressions • Professionalism: Image counts as much on the web as it does in person and on paper • Credibility: Help parents to differentiate between legitimate ACHS organizations and the non-certifiable profiteers • Money Well Spent • Spend to save: Money spent on an attractive, useful, and effective website can be spent incrementally and recouped gradually in savings on staff time, supplies, lost prospects, etc. BYTEING BACK!
The Basics:Location & Support • Use your own URL • Adds professional legitimacy, builds “brand” • Differentiates between national & chapter sites • It’s CHEAP! • Use reliable server & hosting space • Good commercial sites start around $30/month • Your school’s tech person may be able to assist you in having your domain name redirected to the University’s server space at no charge BYTEING BACK!
The Basics:Define Yourself • Usability & usability testing • Basics of good layout and design • Items you MUST include in your website to be considered credible • Nat’l Officers, Headquarters Staff • Nat’l Office mailing, telephone, fax, e-mail • Criteria for membership • Benefits of membership • Membership fee • Bylaws • Chapter charter policies and procedures • Buckets! Exercise (if time) BYTEING BACK!
Buckets! • Potential bucket labels: About Us Membership Info Chapter Info Resources Services News • Potential subcategories: Merchandise Chapter list Renewals Contact Us Announcements Why join us? Bylaws Meetings Reports Activities Newsletter Handbook Forms Discussion Group Contact Info Benefits Member Criteria Awards Donations …etcetera BYTEING BACK!
The Basics:Generate Traffic • The easiest, least expensive way to increase website visibility is to ensure that your web address features prominently on everything you distribute. It should be printed on your: Stationary Business cards Brochures Periodicals, handbooks, etc. Memo pads ... even membership certificates! • Other ways to generate website traffic involve: Search Engines Online exposure Advertising BYTEING BACK!
Advanced Topics:The Potential • Online Fundraising • ePublishing & Newsletters • Online Mentoring • Interactivity/Creating Community • Online Surveys and feedback forms • Job Target • eCommerce: Shopping carts & credit cards BYTEING BACK!
Advanced Topics:Tools & Goodies • Software: HTML and Beyond • Administration & maintenance • Databases and forms • Group communication tools: • Email lists • Listservs • Discussion groups • Usenet • ‘blogs • Instant Messaging (IM) • Security BYTEING BACK!
Budgeting Tipsand Outsourcing • In-house developmentvs. Outsourcing • DIY-ers • Interns, beginners, & trade agreements • Outsourcing, professional assistance, and RFPs (Requests For Proposals) BYTEING BACK!
Summary • Bottom Line: • You should have a website • It should present a professional image • Your web info should be as easy to find as your street address and phone number • Set goals: • Know what you want the site to accomplish • Prioritize immediate and future technology needs • Your site should evolve and grow over time - plan your direction to maximize benefits • Investing in appropriate technologies and tools will allow you to provide more services and more value to your members while you save money & time BYTEING BACK!
Resources • Additional technology information training, geared specifically to non-profit organizations, is available from http://www.nten.org • N-TEN also has a 3 day conference coming up that explores these issues in depth • Links to additional resources have been compiled at www.id2net.com, and have been included on our complimentary mini-CDs BYTEING BACK!
Q&A • Live questions will be taken now • Feel free to approach me if you have questions after the session • Questions you think of later can be directed to id2net.com/contact.html BYTEING BACK!