Friday, September 3, 2010

D12 4-H Website Gets New Look

The District 12 -H website is now on a new content management system designed to make web editing and posting easier. That remains to be seen. As technology changes, in many cases quicker than we would like, it becomes a challenge to keep up. You’re either leading the charge or dragging behind kicking and screaming. Over the years, the District 12 4-H website has evolved from a “presence” to actively posting information and resources for agents, and as more families gained broadband access the site continues to provide more for parents and 4-H members. Mobile technology allows many 4-H members to access websites, download information and communicate with other 4-H members with their cell phones. One of the biggest challenges is having a site that essentially serves three distinct groups of people in the 4-H program: agents, parents/leaders, and 4-H’ers.

The new website is an attempt to reach all three groups in different ways. Youth tend to use email less than adults, relying more on cell phones and texting. Adults use website, blogs, and email more frequently as a source of information. Agents need resources available to them at any moment, especially when they’re burning the midnight oil or trying to get the newsletter published. The new District 12 4-H Website includes some of the following features in a clean, crisp, format that is easy to navigate.

  • Design - the design is simpler to navigate and includes a search box to look for information on the site.
  • Activity pages – the website will host unique pages for each event to collect data, letters, results and other important information about specific district events.
  • Galleries – both photo and video galleries are gathered together to make it easier for those needing the visual “fix” by accessing that snapshop you missed or view a cool video.
  • Service – the site co-locates all District 12 4-H Council community service projects to help counties engage locally with these projects.
  • Blog - this is currently in two different locations but will evolve to only include the native (AgriLife) blog and eventuall discontinue or RSS feed the Blogger site to this one.
  • Twitter - yes, D12 4-H tweets and those can be found on the website or you can follow tweets through your mobile device.
  • Facebook – D12 4-H is on Facebook and has a forum for anyone to post comments, discuss topics and find out what is going on with the District.
  • YouTube – D12 4-H has its own Channel on YouTube where videos of events and other informational will be posted for all to access.
While this is not the end, it is certainly not the beginning of the site’s development. Work is ongoing, but thanks to recommendation from District 12 4-H Council officers this hopefully gets us off in the right direction. If you have anything you would like to see or add to this site, don’t hesitate to Blog me, Tweet me, FB me, or Email me or simply call me. If you look off into the dark sky at night, that glow with be all the technology eminating from my kicking and screaming body. I am learning…please be patient…as I try to Make the Best Better!

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