Subject: Re: [NYCGA-IWG] what's up with
From: Sam Zimmerman
Date: Fri, 4 Nov 2011 12:04:43 -0400

hi Charles -

Thanks for the reply.  As I mentioned at our meeting a couple weeks back, what would be really helpful to know is who are the overwhelmed folks working on stuff (names) and what is their priority stack for this week and the next two.  A weekly status of just this sent out to this list would make activity seem less completely random.

I would also like clarification on the strategic issue. is not be an effective outreach and engagement tool.  My feeling is that it should be that first and foremost, but the will of the group is prioritizing it in a different direction, either intentionally or by default. Again, a weekly status memo showing what is being worked on would make the prioritization explicit and allow for consensus building on the projects.

- Sam

On Fri, Nov 4, 2011 at 11:53 AM, Charles Lenchner <> wrote:

The main reason you aren't hearing back is that the folks doing things with
these comments are overwhelmed.
I know they are paying attention and cataloging many of these tips. I heard
there was some project management software they were using to deal with it.
I think you can look there as well - if only someone will share the page
it's on, etc.

It sucks to try and help and not hear back, but at least it's not the case
that your messages are going to black hole.



-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Sam Zimmerman
Sent: Friday, November 04, 2011 11:50 AM
To: internet working group
Subject: [NYCGA-IWG] what's up with

hi all -

The week that the current version of launched there was discussion
on this list of improvements that could be made to the IA and messaging of
the site to improve it's utility and strategic focus.

Comments have included:

1. The activity thread on the home page does not add value and this
important real estate could be better used with other content

2. The "How To Help" landing page has two honking give money buttons above
the fold, communicating that giving money is the most important way people
can get involved (is it?)

3. The use of large icons on Groups landing page and the dynamic sorting
makes it very hard to learn the full set of groups and adds work for the
user to find a specific group. With so many groups to represent, oversized
icons create more visual noise than add wayfinding information value

4. The implementation of events requires the user to do work to sort out
small work group meetings from major actions.  Many many people outside of
the park who want to know the big stuff that is going on and come to the
site looking for a curated list

It is unclear to me whether any of these issues will be addressed, who is
responsible to assessing them, who would do the actual work, and what is the
correct process for working on this particular topic.
We've had conversations about it on this list.  I started a thread on the
IWG forum on the site about it, which was immediately turned off.
I submitted comments to the site feedback form, and a couple weeks later I
got a response from Lippe thanking me for the comments and encouraging me to
get involved!  I've also heard chatter on the admin IRC that the current
nycga site is going to be turned into an intranet and that different public
site coded in Drupal is on the way.

All this basically boils down to it seems impossible to participate in
improving the current site.  This may be an intentional decision that the
current site will not be improved - can anyone confirm this?

If not, then I would like to state, again, that I feel that the basic
communication requirements for the GA to connect with the outside world are
not being met.  Thousands of people are coming to the site to find out:

- what are the major public actions happening in NYC the next week
- what are the immediate priority topline issues that the GA is dealing with
yesterday and today
- what is the movement about
- how can they participate

The version 1 site did a pretty good job covering these bases. In the
version 2 site, right now, it is hard to find the info for the first three
items in this list.  There are thousands of motivated people who are
constituents for the site that cannot use it effectively to plug in to the
movement at precisely the time the movement needs to focus on outreach and

>From some spot polling that I have been doing, people outside the park who
regularly attend actions are turning to to get their
information to decide how to plan where they will plug in to every week.  If
that is the appropriate place for medium- and low- level involvement people
to go, I think that it would be good to indicate this in the site, like on
the home page.

Again, this might be a strategic decision that has already been made to
focus on serving highly-involved internal groups (a few hundred
people) much more than outreach and engagement to medium- and low- level
involved people (several thousand people).  Can anyone confirm this?

As a long time website project manager I get pretty concerned seeing the
discussion on this list about a range of new projects under development
while the big live project still seems half-baked to me.

I welcome any feedback on this, thanks.

- Sam