Training & FAQs

EESC had a good turnout for the Webinar for Extension Faculty/Staff Working on the Website on June 12, 2018, which was recorded. We had a lot of questions and have posted responses under the FAQ section. Thank you for all your efforts to jump in and learn about the website through hands-on experience.

Groups

Also, since our webinar many people have been contacting us to be added to web team groups so they can add content to the website. Group managers are able to add new members to their group.

Something to keep in mind: County-based faculty need to be working with content/program groups to add content to the website rather than through county office groups. This is a change from in the past. Some people may be in more than one group based on the type of content they need to add. This is explained in the first part of the webinar and on the Content Teams page, but please have people contact us if they need further clarification.

Newsletter

EESC will be rolling out a “newsletter” content type in the next weeks. We will be moving over existing ones into this new format for you. For any upcoming newsletters, we’ll add information to the “managing content” guides online and create a how-to video to show all groups how you can add any newsletters. More coming soon!

Contact us

Other than this web upgrade project website, which is full of all the training information mentioned, EESC is available through WebEx each week in our web team’s office hours to also walk you through questions you may have.

These two weeks since the launch have been a transition period, and we are doing our best to guide you through it. This is happening through the EESC web team’s:

A few quick pieces of information that everyone entering content should know:

  • When adding content, it defaults to published. If you want to save it as a “draft” or “for review” in the unpublished state, there is now a drop-down field or checkbox above the Save button.
  • Content teams need to add “regional” tags and if relevant “MG ___county” program tags in Step 2 of the edit screen, so information that is unique to one area of Oregon can be narrowed down in search results or, if relevant, show up on Master Gardener county pages.
  • Newsletters are currently added differently depending on the group you are in. Content groups add them as “educational documents,” program groups as “program resources,” and counties as “button links” to e-news or Box. We are working on long-term solutions to make adding and displaying newsletters easier and better for everyone. For now, contact us to talk through your newsletter questions and needs, and we’ll help you develop the best short-term approach.
  • Archive sites can be found by typing “archive” in front of the old URL, e.g. https://archive.extension.oregonstate.edu/[mycounty]. These will only be available until August 1st, so content needs to be added on the new site or saved in Box by then.
  • Photos can be uploaded using the thumbnail image buttons in your edit screen. Be sure to only upload photos that you have permission to use, or photos from EESC’s Photo Archive. Include photos that represent your diverse participants.

We are also making small changes to public views and behind the scenes based on feedback in these initial weeks. Here are updates we are working on over the next few weeks:

  • Exporting Extension events into the OSU Events calendar, which will need to require the event description, contact name and contact email address fields (look for this change later in the week)
  • Guiding content teams on best ways to complete migration of content before August 1 when the archive sites go away
  • Adding regional tags and keywords to the EESC gardening stories and news to improve their findability
  • Investigating and working on improving website performance
  • Improving and providing more instruction/examples of how to display or order content in auto-populated sections of the website
  • Focusing on the overall design to improve usability, readability, and look/feel of the web pages
  • Continuing to monitor analytics to learn how audiences are using our new site and content.

Keep sending us your questions or changes that you see needed through our Web Support.

Webinar Trainings

Are you responsible for adding content to the website that people may be seeking?

If so, we have a couple webinars coming up that take you behind-the-scenes to:

  • Answer frequently asked questions,
  • Review roles & responsibilities, and
  • Show how to select & display content on pages.

It’s a new approach for many, so join us for the upcoming webinars:

June 5, 1-2 pm, Web Content Webinar for 4-H County Programs

June 12, 9:30–10:30 am, Webinar for Extension Faculty/Staff Working on the Website

The June 12 webinar will give a chance for web teams that are related with programs or county/combined sites to hear more about the content teams work too. While not required, it can help if you’ve reviewed the training and support resources first, or have tried adding to the website, so that it isn’t completely new to you before the webinar. As always EESC welcomes your questions and suggestions before, during, and after the webinars.

If you joined us Monday afternoon for the New Website Overview webinar (watch the webinar recording), then you heard how Search is the main way to navigate our new website. Many more people are taking advantage of the Search features, according to analytics from pre- and post-launch, making the Search page the top visited page over this past weekend.

10 most visited pages over this weekend

  1. Search page
  2. Home Page
  3. Programs List
  4. Gardening top-level topic
  5. Find Us page (locations)
  6. 4-H main page (statewide)
  7. Animals and Livestock second-level topic
  8. Master gardener main page (statewide)
  9. Article: How long do garden seeds last?
  10. Featured question: Raised bed lumber, pressure treated safe?

Most common search terms (used on the site) over the weekend

  1. “compost tea”
  2. “compost tea brewer”
  3. “horse”
  4. “record book”
  5. “canning”
  6. “compost”
  7. “horse fair”
  8. “blueberries”
  9. “cool form”
  10. “fair book”

Twice as many people visited the Extension website after the launch and are staying twice as long to view more than one page, compared to the previous weekend on our old site.

OSU Extension has been serving Oregon for more than 100 years, and our previous website debuted in 2011. It was time for an upgrade. We are proud to be able to better showcase your content, expertise, resources, and opportunities on our new website, launched earlier today.

Thank you, OSU Extension! Whether you provided input during the research phase, serve on a content team, create or review content, participated in a webinar to learn more, or just read emails and blog posts about the project to stay informed, you helped us reach this milestone.

What has changed for our audiences?

  • Central place from which to access and explore all OSU Extension offers, including all statewide programs
  • Thanks to our content teams, the best of our content is now all in one place, with better search and filter options.
  • Content organized by easy-to-find topics, with user-focused labels
  • Mobile-friendly, responsive, on-brand design (which we continue to improve and refine)
  • Ability to find an OSU Extension location “near me” (this functionality will be added for other content in the future)

What is the same?

  • The Extension home page (extension.oregonstate.edu) as well as all county home pages (e.g. extension.oregonstate.edu/baker) have the same URL as before.
  • Some statewide programs have opted to maintain their current external site at this time. Content teams, program leaders, and the project team are developing transition plans on a case-by-case basis.

What has changed for us?

  • You should feel lighter! Hundreds of outdated, orphaned documents that were never deleted or archived are now offline and no longer show up in Google searches.
  • Content coordinated by teams, ensuring alignment with audience needs and program priorities and avoiding redundant efforts.
  • No more duplicate content. For example, OSU Extension Catalog publications are automatically added to the site, so no one needs to re-post these. Content can also be easily shared among various topics, counties, and programs as applicable.

The recent status report takes a look at what is on the website now, and we’ll share project updates in the coming months as the website continues to evolve.

What to do now?

As you explore the new website, you may be surprised! Maybe it’s a different way of finding information (we’ll be doing some demos about this in the coming week). Or maybe you didn’t know we had so much information on a particular topic.

Here are some things you can do now to explore and help improve our site.

  • Join the New Extension Website webinar on Monday, June 4, 2018, 1:00-2:00 p.m. for an overview of the website and to tour its new features.
  • Do a search or browse and see what you find. If you come across something that doesn’t look right, let us know. It will take time to get the tagging and displays fine-tuned on the site.
  • If you identify missing content, please contact the EESC project team. We will be able to help content teams access previous content so it can be reviewed, updated, and integrated into the new website.
  • It may take a month or two for the new webpages to get reindexed in Google, so it’s good to link to our new content, and encourage our audiences to do so as well. One place to begin doing this is to highlight new pages on social media.

What happens next?

We want OSU Extension’s web presence to become a go-to, trusted resource. And knowing that people often turn online for answers, we want to be sure they find us.

We’re committed to making OSU Extension’s web presence data-informed and user-driven, and we will need your ongoing support and feedback. You can expect regular updates on how the website is reaching our audiences, and how to be involved in keeping it fresh, findable, and accurate. If you have suggestions or questions at any time, please contact us.

As we go forward, we will need to continue working together to develop and sustain a true strategic approach to our online content and digital engagement. It isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it.

Switching on a new website, as we mentioned last week, can be like turning on a light—only more complex. Our new website shines a spotlight on the amazing work that OSU Extension does in helping Oregonians–and Oregon–thrive. You help that happen. Your partnerships, community relationships, programs, information, and expertise guide this work. Our new web presence captures your efforts and can help extend Extension’s reach and deepen our engagement with those we serve.

Sometime this week—barring any major issues to delay it—we will turn on the switch and you will notice a difference at http://extension.oregonstate.edu. This new web presence is just the beginning of a more engaging digital strategy. Together we will work to continue to refine and enhance the website and related strategies and systems.

If we run into any unforeseen delays or issues, we’ll post updates here and email affected groups as needed.

New website features at-a-glance

  • Mobile-friendly, responsive design
  • More visual design, with vibrant photos
  • Content from across Extension in one place with improved search and filter options
  • Content organized by easy-to-find topics, with user-focused labels
  • Consistent county presence
  • Central place from which to access and explore all OSU Extension offers, including all statewide programs
  • Content easier to enter and maintain
  • Content coordinated by teams, avoiding duplication and redundant effort
  • Visual design aligned with OSU brand; messaging beginning to align with OSU Extension sub-brand

Please keep in mind design modifications and content entry continue this week and will remain an iterative process even after the launch.

After the launch

If you have feedback or requests following the launch—from “Where is all my content?” to “What an amazing search tool!”—the EESC support team is ready to listen, consider, share, and celebrate.

Notice any power surges or flickering lights initially? We will continue to monitor and modify what is needed as we move into Phase 2 of the website upgrade project. This part of the web upgrade will evaluate how the website is performing and find new ways for the design and content to meet our goals and our audience’s interests and needs.

With much appreciation

For now stay tuned for news on the launch. A big thank you to all the Extension teams that worked hard to make it happen! You sifted through a lot of content, evaluated, revised, and uploaded much of it. The website content is stronger for your expertise and collaboration.

If you have questions at any time, please contact the project team.

We have some exciting news. The first phase of our project to update the OSU Extension family of websites is close to realization!

We are planning to launch the site the week of May 29, and “go live” by Thursday. What may seem like “flipping a switch” to make the new site public is actually a sequence of behind-the-scenes steps and collaboration with OSU’s central web services team.

If you have questions at any time, please contact the project team.

What to expect

If we run into any unforseen delays or issues, we’ll post updates here on this blog and email affected groups as needed.

Please keep in mind design modifications and content entry continue this week and will remain an iterative process even after the launch. Expect the look and feel to evolve, the functionality to be fine-tuned, and content to be expanded in the coming weeks. We are making changes in stages, and the Phase 1 launch will be a minimum viable product. Not a perfectly polished site with all the bells and whistles and all content fully in place.

How to prepare

  • County page managers should be entering events and announcements for June on the new website, and county-specific content on county pages. Linn county and Hood River County have been working on their pages during the last week, so can serve as examples.
  • Content and program teams are responsible for coordinating statewide to take stock of existing content, evaluate it, organize it, and enter it into the new website. Many sub-topic pages are filling in such as Dairy, Health Outreach, and Forest Health & Management. Check them out!
  • Want to see what else is already there? Take a preview look at the new website!

Reminders about existing content

  • Existing content on the extension.oregonstate.edu URL (which includes county and combined experiment station sites) will go offline and not be automatically moved to the new site. Individual content creators should be working with the appropriate content team to make decisions about this content.
  • Program sites that are currently housed elsewhere (not on the extension.oregonstate.edu site) will remain live until relevant content has been integrated to the new website. Content teams, program leaders, and the project team are developing transition plans on a case-by-case basis.

How to learn more

On this OSU Extension Web Upgrade Project blog you can also find information about the strategy for the new website, frequently asked questions, and content teams. Under the “Learn” menu the Training and Support page details how to enter content.

Thanks and shout outs

It’s taken a lot of people, conversations, and collaboration to get successfully to this point. It hasn’t always been easy, but by working together we are well on the way to a more effective and engaging online presence. Thank you.

This week, we give special thanks and a shout out to Wendy Hein from Clackamas County, who helped recruit several usability testing participants. Being “user-focused” is one of the guiding principles for this project, and these initial user tests have been crucial in making improvements leading up to the phase 1 launch.

Thanks again, and please contact the team with any questions.

We have been hearing over the past week from several programs, content teams, and county/combined station page managers. You have been asking specifics about how to best add content and discussing adjustments needed to make content fit on the site. We are listening, and providing one-on-one guidance as needed along the way.

Programs

  • It’s not your imagination. If you’ve been on the staging website you may have noticed your submenus are now easier to locate on the left side of a desktop screen.
  • Want to have a list of all program events happening across the state? We set up a section on the statewide program page that pulls in any county events or announcements tagged with your program.
  • Refer to the “Managing Program Content” guide for the details on how to add “program tagged content lists” using keywords or “program resources list” using categories to the landing pages. It’s a little bit of magic to help arrange content on your program page.

Content Teams

  • We have added Expert profiles on the sidebar of sub-topic pages. Are you missing and want to be added to a page? Let EESC know.
  • Coming soon! We are in the process of migrating more EESC content that falls under these topics, such as featured gardening questions or news. It will help fill out topic pages.
  • Thanks for those who have been adding content. Since content teams will continue after the launch, how is the coordination process going? Share your lessons learned with EESC.

County/Combined Stations

Who can add to your county site?

What events should you put up?

  • The website will launch the last week of May 2018, so add any of your events happening June 1 or after. Events for May will remain visible on the existing Extension website through the end of the month.

Want to still feature topic- or program-based content?

We welcome your questions! Contact us or drop in for office hours/open labs on Wednesdays 9am – 12pm and Fridays 2 pm – 5 pm.

County teams can now begin adding announcements, events, sub-pages, and social media links! View our Friday county webinar for the details. Also refer to the managing county content guide for specifics on entering content.

All teams (topic, program, county):
As more content gets added to the website, keep sending us your questions and suggestions. It helps to clarify if you’re on the right track before you enter too much content. Your suggestions help us to make needed changes, too.

Tips for content entry

When entering in your content, remember to:

  • Make sure any links do not point to content on the current Extension website (URL includes http://extension.oregonstate.edu/)
  • Include a thumbnail image, so that it looks unique on the landing pages (when in the edit screen, click the thumbnail button to upload)
  • Tag your content in Step 2 of the edit screen with the topics, programs, and/or counties it may relate to (so it can show up across the site in all relevant places)

Content: Good examples

As more content is entered, we’ll show examples of well-formatted content on the site. This week we highlight this article: Hay Options – When You’re Short on Hay

  • It uses short paragraphs with the key point in the first line of each.
  • The headings make it easy to skim.
  • The style of writing to “you” is welcoming.
  • The tips are clear and helpful.

Next week we’ll look for an example of a well-formatted program landing page or county sub-page to share. Here’s a video with instructions on making a sub-landing page.

What’s next

We are still designing the topic landing pages and will continue to work with content team leaders on this. If you have suggestions or questions, please let us know.

There are two major events happening with the Extension web upgrade project this week that are of interest to many of you: events and a demo of county pages.

Events

We are making final adjustments to the “events” content type, ensuring that events display properly in various places on the new site, and updating the quick-start guide with instructions. We anticipate this will take 1-2 days. We will notify content team leaders directly “events” are ready for use.

County pages demo

On Friday, May 4, 2-2:30 p.m., we invite you to join a webinar focused on the county/combined station pages in our new web presence. We will record the WebEx session and share/post the link for those who can’t attend live.

Connection info:

  • WebEx link (same as the link for our regular Friday office hours/open lab help sessions)
  • To connect to audio by phone dial: +1-415-655-0002 (US Toll), access code: 929 325 368

Audience:

County leaders, office managers, current county and combined station site managers

Purpose:

  • Review design, content, functionality of county/combined station presence in new website
  • Provide “getting started” resources for site managers to manage county-specific, non-program content and pages

Background:

  • Because county/combined station pages pull much information dynamically from other content in the system (e.g., staff directory, map, statewide programs, educational content from content teams), that information needed to be in the site before it would make sense to design or review county pages.
  • Content teams have been entering content since early March, and events will be available this week. There is now enough content in the system to allow us all to have a better sense of how county pages are taking shape.

Welcome, Michele!

This week, please help us extend a warm welcome to Michele Scheib, who started work as content strategist for OSU Extension on Monday.

  • Content team leaders are welcome to “drop in” (virtually or in person) and meet Michele during office hours/open labs, beginning this Friday.
  • Content teams will also begin to see Michele copied on email responses, as a way for her to come up to speed on the project and learn about our content.
  • Michele will join EESC director Jennifer Alexander at the May 8 OSU Extension Regional Operations meeting for introductions and a website update with program leaders and regional directors.

Updates and next steps

  • Reminder: May 29 is the target “launch week” for phase 1 of our new Extension web presence. Content teams should continue to focus on content entry, consulting with the project team as needed.
  • Cool development: Our site now automatically creates a thumbnail image from the first page of uploaded documents. We are exploring options to do this also for online resources (i.e., links to external websites), but for now content owners should continue to upload a thumbnail image for these manually.
  • Coming soon:
    • We anticipate releasing the “events” content type to content teams this week. We will notify content team leaders directly when this is available.
    • Pending successful launch and early use of the “events” content type, we anticipate being able to re-engage with office managers and county leaders to review county office landing pages next week. We will communicate directly with those groups about a webinar opportunity.