A Web SIG Action Plan
Here we go again in 2000
Most of the action plan used in 1997 is
still in use. FrontPage2000 is the new tool of choice with the web site
being built on an NT4.0 server upgraded with service pack6a.
The Web sig headed by Jerry Sass, is now located at RBK Enterprises, LTD with the use of
6 PC's to train the WEB
How it was Pull Off in 1997
A first and very critical step in any project is to plan
well. This involves defining the goals of the group, how new members will be gathered, how
jobs will be delegated, how work will be coordinated and how volunteers will be rewarded.
Here is an overview of what we plan to do and some status
information on how far weve gotten as of April.
- Define the
- Gather the
Support of the CCS
- Design the
Hardware & Software Tools
and Configure the System
- Define the Roles & Responsibilities
- Set Up
- Do the Work!
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Define the Groups Goals
Our group wanted to help bring the CCS and its members into
the age of the Internet. But we wanted to do more than just meet and talk about itwe
wanted to get members actually involved in doing it!
Gain the Support of CCS Board
Starting early last fall, we began meeting with the CCS
Board of Directors to share our ideas and seek their support.
In February, after much discussion, the Board of Directors
decided to support the idea of moving the functionality of the BBS to the Internet.
And, in early March, they suggested the formation of a new
SIG to help make it happen.
Design the Development Process
It seemed obvious from the start that we needed a process
whereby a large group of people could develop a cohesive piece of software like a Web site
together over a long period of time without occupying the same place or time. Prior to the
Internet, this would not have been possible, but with it, it now is.
Early on, we decided to allow the group to work wherever
they liked, whenever they liked and to use the Internet to submit their work at regular
intervals. This would require a Web site design and development tool that worked over the
Net and allowed many people to work simultaneously. Such tools exist today, we merely had
to select the best one to use.
4. Select Hardware & Software Tools
Many new tools and platforms were available, but we needed
one that was robust enough to accommodate a project our size and inexpensive enough to be
purchased by our members.
We also wanted to use tools that would be widely accepted
so that the skills our volunteers developed on the CCS Web site would be attractive to a
wide base of employers.
Finally, we wanted to use a tool and a platform that was
available and familiar to our members, many of whom have Windows 95 PCs and use Microsoft
products, such as Word.
After all the criteria were evaluated, the clear choice was
FrontPage97. We decided to go with it, even though it does not produce the cleanest, most
5. Install and Configure the System
After the tools were chosen, we needed to turn our
attention to configuring a CCS machine with these new tools and connecting it up to the
Internet. In March, we loaded our first test version of our new Web site on our server.
This is where we will be doing our development work. It will also eventually host the
production (live) version of our new Web site as soon as it is ready for release.
6. Gather Volunteers (in progress)
Since March, we have been assembling a team of CCS
volunteers which currently numbers over 30 people and is still growing. We held our first
organizational meeting last month over beer and pizza. We selected a centrally located
meeting site at McDonalds Headquarters in Oak Brook, IL (thanks to Jerry Sasss
efforts) to encourage members from all over Chicagoland to attend.
We will be meeting the first Saturday of each month
starting at 10:00 am. See details at end of article.
Step 7. Define the Roles & Responsibilities (in progress)
Whenever a group tries to work together, some coordination
is necessary. In our case, we needed to allow members to volunteer for specific Web pages
to build and maintain.
To accomplish this, we drafted a hierarchical
representation of the Web site and began taking volunteers for each page. In addition, we
are looking for volunteers for specialized roles that span multiple pages or require
Although we have a made good start, a Web site is something
that should grow and change over time. We know we will continually need to define new
roles as new members volunteer to create and maintain new pages, features, and
If you have ideas about what youd like to see in the
CCS Web Site, please send in your comments. See details at end of article.
Train Volunteers (in progress)
To help Web Site volunteers get on board quickly, we
arranged for a special one-day seminar on FrontPage97, the Web site development tool
selected for the project.
The class was free of charge to all CCS Web Site SIG
members who will be working on the Web site. This represented a savings of $50 over the
regular price of the class.
It was scheduled for Saturday, April 5, 1997 from 10:00 am
to 4:00 pm at McDonalds in Oak Brook, IL. Not surprisingly, the class filled up
Set Up Communication Channels
In addition to normal communication channels, we plan to
use the Internet to talk with each other (did you expect anything else?)
Since everyone will have an Internet account to work on the
Web Site, we plan to use email extensively to coordinate our activities. Email is fast,
cheap, and easy to use and can be read at the convenience of the viewer.
We also have set aside an area on the new Web site called
the "Developers Corner" which we plan to use to explain the development
process, the schedule, the players, the roles, etc.
We plan to create and disseminate a step-by-step
development guide which explains the process involved in publishing the CCS Web Site. This
will be available 24 hours a day on the Web site (of course!)
As one of the first steps in the above, we have developed a
Web page that allows our volunteers to look up each others email addresses from the
We also plan to publish name of the Webmaster responsible
for each page in our Web site right on the page, with an email link so that viewers
can send comments, updates, and suggestions directly to the person doing the work.
Do the Work! (in progress)
With a good start at the planning and preparation behind
us, we have now started to do the work. Sections in the new site are beginning to come
together and over time, with the help of our volunteers, the CCS Web site will grow.