How to keep a policy institute looking fresh and fly on the web?
June 5, 2012 1:01 PM   Subscribe

How to keep a policy institute looking fresh and fly on the web?

My supervisor asked me to brainstorm ways to develop a "what's new" or "spotlight" page fresh.

What she basically wants is a way to have short little content items like: "Researcher XYZ gave a talk at ABC and it was on QWERTY and the UIOP."Also she wants to be able to post pdfs of powerpoints or edited speaker notes of talks given. Also links to any radio interviews that have been done.

Each content item will go in a little spotlight section where you can click through to see the full content.

All material that has ever been spotlighted should go to some type of archive place where someone could scroll through all previous spotlighted materials.

My supervisor also seems to want me to take her idea and run with it, because I am "young" and ostensibly understand the new mini-content revolution and the internet. In other words I need help coming up with what ELSE we can do to communicate small-sized provocative and interesting stuff and become more interactive with consumers of our research material.

So my questions are:

Got any ideas for me? What other materials might be interesting to post on a constantly updated spotlight-y section? Any pitfalls I should watch out for?

What's the best way to explain what we want to the web team (I am supposed to interface with them even though I don't know any web terms or jargon)?
posted by powerbumpkin to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
What you are describing is a blog. You want to ask your web team to add a Wordpress blog to your site.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:06 PM on June 5, 2012

I work on a web team. My advice is to go talk to them with what you have here. A lot of what they can do for you will depend on what they already support, so it's way easier to open a conversation about it.

Don't worry about not knowing your terms and jargon. It should be someone's job to walk you through it. You shouldn't walk into the doctor and say you need thisveryspecificdrug, but instead tell them about your symptoms. Same goes for most help you need.

If you wanted me to guess at some solutions, I'll go with "you need a twitter feed..."
posted by advicepig at 1:45 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Why reinvent the wheel? Take an hour to look at the front pages of some other similar institutions. Make notes of what you like, check with your web team on which approaches are feasible for them , and then come up with a proposal for your boss.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 1:51 PM on June 5, 2012

Honestly the web team will love you coming to them without pre-conceived ideas. The description you wrote is great - just tell them that. They're not expecting you to know any technical terms.

Mr.Know-it-some also has a great point. Have a look around at what other sites do, find a few that approach what you'd like to achieve and let the web team know about these. Let them know what you like and don't like about them.

With all that information the web team can let you know what they can do, and how long it will take.

(Also be aware you may need to make a "content gathering plan". If you don't already have these stories turn up, you'll need to figure out how you find out about them in order to pop them on the page).
posted by SuckPoppet at 1:01 AM on June 6, 2012

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