Web Working Group (ALA Staff) [Community] Archived
The Social Media Working Group met last month and finalized the following recommendations to WWG.
- Regarding the ReadWriteConnect wiki, our recommendation is to move forward with Rebecca's idea for a new content type on ala.org. We believe the social media directory should live within the forthcoming Press Center on ala.org and that Jan should be the point of contact for updates. To be clear, she wouldn't be responsible for maintaining the currency of the directory; she would only implement updates submitted by units.
In addition, we recommend adding RWC sections for Pinterest and Tumbler.
On a related note, within the ALA template we recommend removing the FriendFeed icon from the "share this page" block and adding Pinterest and Tumblr.
- SMWG is also submitting a recommendation that ALA implement Facebook's Open Graph metadata fields on ala.org and microsite pages. These fields will allow ALA staff to better control the images and teaser text associated with our content when posted to Facebook (especially for press releases) because they pre-populate the title, description, and image fields. Users can change what we provide, but if the text is compelling enough hopefully they'll share as is.
We didn't do any testing but found a module at http://drupalmodules.com/module/open-graph-meta-tags that would make it easier to implement this service.
Please let us know if you have questions about any of this.
For unknown reasons, we've been exceedingly lucky that the ReadWriteConnect wiki went unnoticed by spammers for years, but that changed recently. During the last several weeks, the amount of spam on the site has increased, and I can no longer keep up with clearing it out.
Last week I had to ask Rob Berquist to freeze the wiki in order to prevent it from being completely overrun (see http://wikis.ala.org/readwriteconnect/index.php?title=Special:RecentChan... and scroll down to get a sense of what was happening on August 22nd alone).
We need to come up with a different solution for maintaining the information on RWC, one that won't require a staff member to constantly monitor and remove spam. Now that we're in Drupal, one option might be to move it to ala.org so that edits can be made using regular ALA logins. Louise, is it possible to create pages on the site that can be edited by any authenticated user and show revisions?
Does anyone else have a suggestion for how to handle this?
Attendees: Wendy Prellwitz, Erik Cameron, Jennifer Habley, Aimee Strittmatter, Jan Carmichael, Sherri Vanyek, Louise Gruenberg, John Amundsen, David Free, Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Mary Mackay. (No one on phone.)
New item added to agenda: How to address the possible confusion when a 403 error message shows up encouraging people to log in to see something that may in fact be unpublished and therefore inaccessible (though not deleted). It was noted that this is better than the old “Access denied” rubric, but is confusing. (Louise asked to be alerted if anyone ever sees a reversion to “Access denied.”) The 403 message has to serve three disparate purposes in Drupal—ALA doesn’t have control over that. Louise presented suggestions for rewording the 403 and 404 messages, and David Free volunteered to work on fine-tuning them, with George Eberhart if he agrees. The drafts in progress are at 403: http://connect.ala.org/node/185737 and 404: http://connect.ala.org/node/185738.
We addressed the Wish List items currently in Connect.
Embedding videos: Can already be done in Drupal using the simple WYSIWYG editor in admin screens, where Louise has added the list of acceptable 3rd-party video providers (copied to the Wish List also). ITTS prefers people not to drop in code for iframes, even though it’s possible—better to use the video filter tool. Attendees were asked to offer examples of how it’s working, which could perhaps then be shared in an ITTS update.
Lightbox: An accessible and preferably mobile friendly online gallery solution is needed for units to feature artwork and images. Lightbox has accessibility problems that could be worked around only by each content editor adding code that ITTS would need to write. Erik suggested Galleria and will post some examples in Connect. This item will stay on the Wish List as Online Galleries.
Timeline: Jan suggested looking at open source solutions—she’ll post some examples. The BBW one will stay in Tiki-Toki for this season at the introductory $5/month.
PDF viewer: It was agreed that it would be helpful for ITTS to create templates for book views to help people move away from PDFs for items such as handbooks/program books/toolkits. They are not happy with how the Book module looks. AASL uses ISSUU—Jen posted an example in Connect. ITTS needs to review this as a budget item, and it will stay on the list for further investigation.
Template for initiatives such as BBW: See example http://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/carnegieadult. Aside from a complication with slideshows, this is a workable solution. Louise will post specs and instructions.
Pulling in feeds: This was in place with Collage, and now a solution is needed that doesn’t trigger WatchGuard and that ideally offers multiple options rather than requiring a separate module for each platform. Drupal’s feeds module doesn’t update frequently enough for media that depend on timeliness like Twitter, especially during events such as conferences. Erik is interested in investigating other options.
It was noted that feeds from division sites and others to Connect are broken—Jenny has been alerted. Louise will send a message to appropriate stakeholders to unpublish the tab and republish it when the problem is fixed.
Blog module: This is a standard Drupal module, not rolled out but can be; ITTS just needs to install permissions.
Communication: Louise will create a Drupal Content Managers/Editors group in Connect and will add the relevant staff. They will also be asked to follow WWG if not active participants so they stay informed, including about Wish List items. The Wish List will stay in place as is for now. (A blog could also be added to the training site once it’s in Drupal 7.) Available Drupal modules should be listed on the training site at the earliest opportunity.
Since there have been a few additions to the Wishlist (http://connect.ala.org/node/183946) and we did not get to it in the last meeting, we are proposing that we devote the agenda to walking through the wishlist and getting clarification from Louise on implementing items, and group feedback on what items we should prioritize.
Please review the wishlist in advance of the meeting, we're hoping time will also allow us to hatch plans to promote the functionalities requested (once we know they are doable) to all content managers across the site.
See you tomorrow!
This article, SEO: Understanding XML Site Maps, at http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/3623-SEO-Understanding-XML-Sitemaps is from Practical eCommerce. It's short (no more than 10 minutes to read it) and tells you everything you need to know except that we have a Drupal module that generates our maps automatically. Microsite 'owners' should probably peruse their site's (located in the footer links, labeled Site Index) to ensure that all significant pages are there. Let me know if you have any questions.
Because the ALA homepage is actually a very small microsite of its own, we should probably plan to implement an XML sitemap index there, which would list all the XML sitemaps that comprise the entirety of ala.org.
Delin Guerra, Don Wood, Sanhita SinhaRoy, Laurie Borman, Jan Carmichael, Greg Landgraf, and Lorelle Swader met with convener Karen Muller to continue conversations toward a common calendar of events.
Review of WWG discussions: Karen reported that the WWG had agreed that a Calendar button on the navigation ribbon would be permissible, but that the full calendar should appear on the home page, with a drop down filtering capability. The WWG had further determined that internal caledar items should not be part of the larger calendar, until they could be displayed only internally and not even part of the "all" listing.
Karen also reviewed correspondence between Jessica Horvath and Sean Fitzpatrick from two years ago when the current AL calendar was revamped. Among the items were input guidelines, which were forwarded to Greg Landgraf, Don Wood, and Jan Carmichael for further development into an input guide for the calendar, as requested last week.
Other suggestions that surfaced in the general discussion included:
- Ability to filter by month to avoid scrolling through the whole calendar
- Desirability of a graphical calendar display that could be used as a means to search for events on a particular day; in trying to understand the request, the group looked at the calendar on Outlook, remote access, where it is possible to see a calendar, then click on a day to see the events for that day.
- In looking at what would be in a calendar entry, it was agreed that there would be just one link, to the primary source of information for the calendar item. Jan would look for other ways to get reporters to press kits.
The bulk of the time was spent reviewing the taxonomy developed by Rebecca. These suggestions are in no particular order:
- Rather than "Other" use "Event" as the generic
- "Anniversaries" was suggested as an additional term
- "Celebration" was suggested instead of "Public Awareness"
- "Programs" was suggested, but rejected as these would be in the Conference Scheduler
- "Banned Books" was suggested instead of "Read Out" (which would be an event included in Banned Books)
- "Announcement" and "Deadline" are not clear in their scope
In discussion, there was concern that the list would be too long and unwieldy for those entering events: would there be hierarchies, for example, "Professional Development" is the broader term, but "Institutes", "Preconference," and "Worshop" and others would be the narrower terms that might be selected secondarily. There was also confusion about the intersection of *type* of calendar item and *audience* for the event and how the taxonomy would be manageable, but still allow for the individual calendar granularity. Or how the subject content of a Professional Development activity would be indicated--through the unit link (which would encourage siloization) or through a subject taxonomy.
Delin and Don agreed to do a paper and pencil tagging test using a print of the AL calendar just to gain some practical experience with the issues.
The next meeting was set for Friday, 2/24
As noted during the February 2 WWG meeting, there are some issues with the navigation on the ALA website that seem important to address.
1. The ALA logo in the header of each page should link to the main ALA home page; it currently links to the landing page for the section of the site (microsite) the user is browsing.
2. Currently, the left navigation displays as "active" only at the top level. This function should be extended to 2nd and 3rd levels of navigation. I also think the current color of the "active" display should be changed. The visual connection between highlighted navigation and the primary navigation across the top of the site is too strong.
At its last meeting, the Web Working Group was looking at what’s needed to change on the landing page for “Conferences & Events.” Also, in the past, various combinations of us have talked about how to merge the Chapter Relations-maintained calendar of state meetings with the AL-maintained calendar of conferences, etc. We also know there are many calendars around the building (see partial inventory, below).
We’ve also just received word that Sanhita SinhaRoy and Laurie Bowman, American Libraries, have put together a successful request for a University of Michigan School of Information Alternative Spring Break activity to develop a calendar. Starting February 27, two students will be researching and compiling important dates, anniversaries, and other calendar items of relevance in Libraryland (e.g., the anniversary of a major censorship/banned book ruling), so that AL can have a calendar of tweets that American Libraries can send out, working with editors to write and craft them.
Rebecca Gerber, Laurie Borman, Lorelle Swader, Louise Gruenberg, Sanhita SinhaRoy, Don Wood, George Eberhart, Greg Landgraf, David Free, and Delin Guerra, gathered, convened by Karen Muller, to begin discussions about developing an Association-wide calendar for the Drupal website.
The group reviewed a partial inventory of existing calendars:
- http://www.ala.org/conferencesevents/afficalendar (note Council mandate of “major holidays”)
In looking at these, the following list of desirable features was created:
- RSS feed capability
- Ability to pull to iCal/Outlook/Sharepoint calendars (or our own KMS)
- Display tailored by unit/filtering
- Adherence to Council mandate
- Various pull mechanisms so display can be sent to other pages
- Mouseover and pop up enabled to be able to look at a full entry
- Full entry to include link, short (
- Multiple displays – list, graphical calendar display
- “sticky” tags to keep historical events in a display (needed for AL; could be used to build the historical list of all ALA conferences)
Rebecca and Louise reviewed some of the capabilities of Drupal through tagging, etc., to maintain one comprehensive calendar, but display only tailored “Views” of it. Louise showed was has already been built in to display the Affiliates/Chapter events calendar.
Some discussion on where the calendar should “live” led to several options, which will be explored further:
- Putting a link on the ribbon under the header on all template pages leading to a tailored calendar view for that office, division, or area (units, like the ALA Library, without events would have a display of “basic” ALA events)
- Keeping the “main” calendar access point on the Conferences and Events page, as the preponderance of events are “conference related” and this is where people may be accustomed to looking for this information
- Desirability of display of the whole thing, and if not, how people might access specific elements
Rebecca had requested suggestions of what to include in the calendar, or more specifically, in the taxonomy that will drive the tailored Views.
Additional issues left unresolved include:
- Whether to include only calendar items from ALA entities (broadly interpreted to include affiliates, chapters, etc.) or any LIS calendar items
- Who will have rights
- And how events past will be retained.
- Need for style guide for abbreviations, etc., in the descriptions
- How many holidays—currently only Christian and Jewish religious holidays are included
- Another meeting February 17
- Karen to write notes and pursue a definition of policy on the holidays
- Rebecca to build the taxonomy (needed by Feb. 27)
- Louise to price the desired features that are not already present in our Drupal installation
Please note the new time for our meetings: 11am-12pm!
1) Update on Microsite guidelines (Mary Mackay).
2) Review draft of Project Proposal system (http://connect.ala.org/node/167807) and discuss its implementation (Gwendolyn Prellwitz).
3) Update on WWG scope, transition, new members, etc (Mary Mackay).
4) Please refer to Louise's update on the drupal migration to stay abreast of where we are in the process (http://connect.ala.org/node/167728).
Please feel free to leave comments if you have any additional agenda items and we will include them as time allows.