Subject: Re: [NYCGA-IWG] what's up with
From: Tom Gillis
Date: Fri, 4 Nov 2011 13:53:42 -0400

Hi Sam -
I'm involved with site dev and just wanted to affirm what Devin said -
we do have  a major upgrade that's in the final testing stages, and I
agree with you on your points about the Events module especially -
it's to really suited for an organization with many tiers of
simultaneous events.   We've been discussing ways to improve this
among the site developers and welcome suggestions.


On Fri, Nov 4, 2011 at 1:46 PM, Devin Balkind <> wrote:
Sam, the project management is so you can see what
the internet team's priorities are.

For feedback,

Word on the street is that a big update will be deployed Mondayish.

I'm working on an OWS newswire and portal.  You can read more here:

If you've got a strong vision for a project, don't let anyone stop you.
Remember: if the party sucks, it's because you didn't make it better.

On Fri, Nov 4, 2011 at 12:04 PM, Sam Zimmerman <>

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
these comments are overwhelmed.
I know they are paying attention and cataloging many of these tips. I
there was some project management software they were using to deal with
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
that your messages are going to black hole.



-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Sam
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
on this list of improvements that could be made to the IA and messaging
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
the fold, communicating that giving money is the most important way
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,
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
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
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
got a response from Lippe thanking me for the comments and encouraging me
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
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
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
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
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
movement at precisely the time the movement needs to focus on outreach

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

Devin Balkind