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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Notes from 11/7 Content Meeting

Skillman Web Content Meeting
November 8, 2006
Attendance: Ceil Perry, Vicki Wright, Rick Stevens

We caught up on the activities of the other teams and the situation with Texas Communications. Rick presented the site map and the group went item by item, discussing the various stages of production on each page:

  1. Identity statement – Rick met with Dwight and discussed some edits to the language of the identity statement. We agreed that this statement will be an evolutionary documents: as the missional process concludes and Skillman gains new insight into its mission, the statement will change and grow.
  2. History – Rick will contact Ray to see what the status of the general history is. The group decided we will post the 50 Anniversary document on this page as an add-on.
  3. FAQ list – Ceil will work on compiling the second round of questions.
  4. Locations (maps) – Rick will check with Adam about the facilities map and Rick will work on the location map.
  5. Contact us – this information is present and ready for assembly.
  6. Submission forms – we agreed that we need to think through the use of forms to decide if we need multiple, specialized forms.
  7. Elders and Deacons – we have enough content to post the initial pages, but Rick will check with Debbie to figure out how the photos for the profiles should be displayed.
  8. News & Calendar – most of this content comes from the bulletins and other Skillman documents.
  9. Worship & Fellowship – Rick met with Nathan to talk about additional resources that we could use on this page. Nathan had some good ideas about providing some resource links so that visitors could explore the lyrics of our songs after they left our services.
  10. Class descriptions and Home Fellowship group descriptions – this information is mostly on file already, but Vicki agreed to round up the details when we need them.
  11. Service ministries – Ceil said she would take charge of this big project.
  12. Missions – we have a list, but Ceil and Vicki said they’d cull through it before we needed the content.

Most of the initial content we need should be ready to go when the design is ready (about a month, by current estimates). The other content (Elder’s profiles, etc.) will be added as it comes available.

We agreed to meet next week at the same time.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Another design link ...

Chuck Adair sent me a link to a site in reagrds to a study series, but I thought I'd take a moment to mention a few thoughts about Vintage Church.

There are more and more of these php-driven sites out. And they all tend to look rather similar. PHP is a light, flexible language that allows you to dynamically build content on the fly. It's greatest strength is its ability to incoporate database content into a presentatable form.

I tend to be against going all php for 2 reasons: first, because PHP is a bit more complex than html, so making imagery-intensive sites look good gets harder than if you use traditional HTML (this is why most php sites look alike). Second (and related) is the fact that PHP is harder to learn than HTML. Vicki is currently having this trouble with our existing Web site. And I'm not about to teach her php just so she can make some simple changes to the site.

I am of the opinion that we should use php to access and display database content, but leave the design shell in HTML. Thoughts?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Notes from October 12 Content Meeting

Attendees: Vicki Wright, Ceil Perry, Rick Stevens

General notes: Rick missed the last meeting, so the group first caught up on the previous work. Rick discussed the combined focus group report and its implications. Ricks also talked about the previous meetings of the architecture and design group meetings, salient because of the issues arising with the Texas Communications account.

The Texas Communications arrangement appears to be deteriorating. Since the company ported the Skillman Web site to a new server, the PHP database has ceased to function and they seem unable to restore existing service and reluctant to build a new database management system. This means that rather than improving the existing Web site and creating a new site in parallel with the old one, the new site may need to be developed and launched much sooner than expected.

This also implies that it might be time to get a content management package (GoLive/Dreamweaver) to allow the existing site to be manually updated. Rick agreed to look into the problems with the existing site and determine what the best course of action should be.

The team discussed some of the external activities occurring (staff logo work, member directory production, budgeting, etc) and resolved to consolidate our efforts.

Actions and Content Responsibilities:
The team looked through the growing file of available content. It was decided that the electronic versions of the content pieces would be stored locally on the church network, since the content team was doing most of their work around the Skillman facilities.

Individual piece status:
  • The ministry list has been completed.
  • The staff bios/responsibilities have been completed
  • Rick reported that Debbie Williams has agreed to help with gather portraits of the Elders, deacons and staff.
  • Many of the forms and documents are being gathered. We agreed that we need to create an inventory list of these for management and communication.
  • Charme has taken on the descriptions of the life groups and should be delivering the list soon.
  • Ceil has transcribed the 50th Anniversary document, but she and Ray are working on updating and augmenting it for a true history file.
  • The identity statement responsibility has been given to Dwight Robarts, who will deliver it soon.
  • The FAQs list has been started, and is posted to the blog for additions and comments.
  • The facilities map can be scanned, but we'd rather have a more appealing rendition.
  • The upcoming church directory will be prepared as in previous years, and we will work towards password protecting it for electronic distribution.

  • Create a list of forms and documents, designating which currently list in electronic forma dn which need to be scanned. (Ceil and Vicki)
  • Add to the FAQs list (All)
  • Continue gathering material for the history file. (Ceil and Ray)
  • A new facilities map should be created. (Rick)
  • Some minor changes to the Calendar field and identity text need to be made. (Rick)
  • The identity statement and logo efforts need to be checked up on. (Rick)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

FAQ 1.0

This is a list of questions for our FAQ. We will be adding questions (and answers) as we go. If you have any thoughts, please add them to the comments, or submit more questions in a new post.

The initial list:

Do you provide assistance with rent, utilities, groceries, etc.? (non-member calls)

Can you give me a telephone number, address, or hospital info? (member)

How do I get to your church? (non-member)

Where is an event being held? (member)

Are you a true Church of Christ? (non-member)

What type of music do you sing?  (non-member)

Do you have a Praise Team? (non-member)

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Example sites for comment

Example sites for comment

Site for fun, mostly ...

Comments by Ceil: I like this site also, except the first page.  I don't like too much "movement" when you first log on because if you stay with that page very long (I know, you can immediately click off of it), it begins to hurt your eyes. 
However, when you get to the real home page, I like the low music, the navigation.  Especially like the Video on demand and Sunday messages, which we've already talked about including.  Also, the "Hot new Items" is very appealing.  If this is our goal. let's get started (I know, a small little problem of money).

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Example sites for comment

HI Everyone,

I would love to see a flash based virtual tour like the one at Please click on the virtual tour link and imagine Skillman faces,places and events..

Also check out (neat ministry) I have actually called in to her class over the telephone and I must say it is well done and beneficial. Could we consider sponsoring her from our website or perhaps creating our own program. Her website is not cutting edge, but the service she delivers in form of the prayer class is fantastic... Focus on the prayer class.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Notes for October 4 Design Meeting

Attendees: Adam Brown, Rick Stevens

Since there were only two of us, I didn't post formal minutes. But I did show Adam the survey results and we began discussing logo designs and color schemes.