How to establish your web presence
This describes some basic steps to take if you want a web presence for your club, society or community group on the locallywired.com platform.
1. Think about your purpose, and how you will engage with your community. Is it a largely closed 'members only' group like a sports team, or is it a lobby group with a message and membership to spread wide and far (like 'Save Long Bay')?
2. Decide on your online identity. Which web site do you want to be part of (greenhithe.org.nz or albanynz.com at this stage). Your identity will have a name ("Albany Pony Club Inc."), may have a short name ("ABC") and might have its own internet domain name ("www.albanypony.co.nz"). These all form part of how users find you (through search engines), navigate to your site (type your domain address or a shortcut such as albanynz.com/abc). Long names are harder to type, but having your keywords in the name make it more search engine friendly (so people will find you on google if they type "albany pony club")
3. Determine who is going to 'own' the content. Register them with a user id on the appropriate site (ie greenhithe.org.nz or albanynz.com). You can have multiple editors.
4. Design what content you are going to have initially. The best advice is to start off simple and add more later. See here for a simple example.
Content types include:
- Ordinary web page content (text)
- Links (to other web sites)
- Photos, and photo galleries (the web site automatically sizes and displays these)
- In-line pictures, graphics or photos
- A blog format (eg here)
- Forms (eg here)
- Surveys/polls (these display in the left hand column)
- Discussion forums (ideally use the generally available one)
5. Do you want generic email addresses (eg firstname.lastname@example.org)? It is quite useful to give club officers and the club itself a generic address. These get pointed to the current holder of that position, so that when it changes after the AGM the address can simply be pointed to the new person. THis way, you can publish the email address on stationery. It also protects the individual's privacy and protects from SPAM.
6. There are many more features available such as email lists and a personalisable mass mailing server.
7. You may want to commercialise what you are doing. locallywired.com has a shared revenue model around advertising and marketing (including email marketing) that may be attractive. Similarly for email addresses contributed to the main community mailing lists (with people's permission of course)
8. In general, for non-commercial entities, all of this is free within reason.