Topic pages provide a way to share related resources in one easy-to-find place.

Topic pages provide a great opportunity for you to:

  • Put your content where people are browsing on the OSU Extension website. In our website’s main menu, the topic-related links receive the most clicks.
  • Organize the content for your topic(s). And direct people here — the place with the most up-to-date information. Whoo-hoo!
  • Learn about other fabulous resources. By working on this, you’ll learn about resources others have created across the state related to your topic. And discover other brilliant things happening across OSU Extension in other topics or programs.

Topic pages help Oregonians:

  • Find our resources and events on topics they are interested in
  • Discover who is doing this work — you, our experts! Experts are listed at the bottom of the topic pages.
  • See where things are happening across the state. See the ‘in your community’ tab. This information is added by adding a county focus area.
  • Discover the breadth and depth of what OSU Extension does
  • Stumble into answers to questions they hadn’t yet asked

Topic pages are the foundation to make our resources easy to find. They support our organizational goal to share the breadth and depth of content from across OSU Extension in one framework (not a network of separate sites), organized around topics. To learn more, read about the Navigator: OSU Extension digital strategy initiative.

Level up your topic page

Each topic page has different needs and audiences. Below are some ideas for ways to organize your topic page.

Case study: Bees and pollinators

Kudos to the bees and pollinators content team for a well organized and engaging topic page!

Read some tips on organizing your topic pages:

Case study: Youth education resources

Kudos to the ‘youth education resources’ content team on the engaging and well organized youth education resources topic page!

It was important to make the content sortable by grade level (i.e., Elementary School, Middle School, High School). These keywords were added to the related content (articles, publications, etc.).

Now we can sort our resources by grade level. And see the list of resources under ‘Browse resources.’ To explore how this works, visit the browse resources youth education resources page.

Help improve topic pages

We need your help to make topic pages awesome.

Please:

  • Review the topics related to your expertise.
  • See if the pages looks complete or if the content is out of date.

If no one has curated a topic page, then it will automatically show any latest content tagged with that topic.

To help you quickly organize content on topic pages, connect with the Extension web team.

Training

Learn more about how to edit topic pages:

UPDATED 7/17/2020.

We have added a new focus area template to each county. Here you can share information on accessing food, health care, and financial assistance in your county.

Please change the information in the template to the relevant resources for your county. Then publish it. See details on how to make the updates below.

Screenshot of the focus area template:


To find your local focus area:

  • Login to the OSU Extension website
  • Visit your county landing page
  • In the sidebar towards the bottom, click the orange button “Return to group content list.”
  • Under the heading “manage content” — find “type” and select “local focus area.”
  • Click “apply.”
  • Look for “[count name] COVID-19 resources.”
  • Click edit

To customize your local focus area:

  • Review the information
  • Delete any information that isn’t relevant for your county
  • Add local contacts for the remaining relevant information (name and contact info for your local health department, etc.). Update the text within the brackets: “[[ ]]”
  • Publish the focus area

Display it on your county landing page:

  • Visit the “What we do” page on your county’s landing page
  • Under “Highlights” click “[Reorder Focus Areas]”
  • To change the order, click and drag the arrow icons in front of the focus area names to the desired location. The first five focus areas will show up on the county landing page.

The Linn County ‘Forestry and Natural Resources’ focus area is a great example of a county focus area. These are some of the things we love:

What you can do now

Review your focus areas pages. Is there anything you can do to improve the text or images based on the example above?

See: How to create a focus area.

Website updates

Updated functionality for timezones. For example, in Malheur County the currently open/closed information displays correctly in real-time. It also displays MST/MDT next to office hours and events as appropriate.

Last week we launched a new homepage design for the OSU Extension website. Additional design refinements for the homepage will be coming soon. Homepage updates include:

  • New feature to sharing three key statistics. (This will also be available to content groups for program subpages and collections.)
  • New footer for the OSU Extension website. This is the black section at the bottom of all pages on the OSU Extension website.
  • Easy ways to find information for local county offices, including a direct links to each county’s event page.
  • A new design for homepage featured content. This will highlight awesome content across OSU Extension.
  • Ask an Expert featured questions.

Check it out, we’d love to hear what you think! Share your feedback.

 

Come see us at the OSU Extension Annual Conference!

These are our sessions:

 

Extension Website Lightning Talks
Jennifer Alexander, Mark Kindred, Amerie Lommen, Bryan Mayjor, Michele Scheib
Wednesday, 9:15-10:00am

The Extension website is more powerful than many realize. In this session, we will present short lightning talks on tips and tricks for using the Extension website and related tools, reporting impact (including Digital Measures), best practices and requirements for web content (including accessibility for visitors with disabilities), and news about upcoming milestones in Extension’s digital strategy, including CRM development.

 

DIY Extension Marketing
Ann Marie Murphy, Nicole Strong (TBC), Michele Scheib, Erik Simmons (TBC), Chris Branam, Kym Pokorny
Tuesday, 1:30-2:45pm

Creating awareness of the value of Extension and recruiting participants and volunteers is often top of mind and can be a challenge for Extension offices and programs. This session will bring tools, ideas and experience to help you market Extension in your county and region from a variety of people and perspectives. Come prepared to share one of the most effective 2019 marketing efforts from your county or program!

 

Building a CRM Practice in Extension Programs: the How & the Why
Mark Kindred, Carrie Berger
Wednesday, 10:15-10:45am

The Extension Service is scaling up its use of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software as a digital tool to increase efficiency and strengthen productivity. For each program across Extension, the scope and scale of a CRM practice will differ. This presentation will highlight the steps undertaken to assess, plan, and implement a CRM practice using Salesforce. Learn what worked, what didn’t, and why this digital solution was necessary for helping the program achieve its goals.

 

Extension Efficiency and Growth Opportunities
Jamie Davis (TBD), Amerie Lommen, Mark Kindred, Jeff Sherman, Kelsey Knight, Kevin Leahy, Raul Burriel
Thursday, 1:00-2:00pm

Join us for a panel that will help foster ideas for social resilience and growth mindset, intergenerational marketing, community engagement, sustainable growth, keeping up meeting and event attendance within the community, reaching the next generation, and more! The panel will feature: Jamie Davis (Social Media), Amerie Lommen (EESC/Web Strategy), Mark Kindred (CRM), Jeff Sherman (non-traditional community engagement models), Kevin Leahy (holding meaningful meetings; getting community to attend Extension events), Raul Burriel (tech/media strategy)

 

Internet Productivity Tips & Tricks: Getting the Most Out of Your Web Browser and Online Search
Victor Villegas
Wednesday, 10:15-10:45am

Learn how to get the most out of your web browser, increase your productivity and find information faster online.

 

Information table at the conference

We will have a table on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Come find us and ask questions. We’d love to see you!

 

 

UPDATED 11/26/19: The new OSU Extension website homepage has been launched! Check it out, we’d love to hear what you think! Share your feedback.


A new design for the OSU Extension website homepage will be launching soon!

Updates include:

  • New feature to sharing three key statistics. (This will also be available to content groups for program subpages and collections.)
  • New footer for the OSU Extension website. This is the black section at the bottom of all pages on the OSU Extension website. This is viewable now.
  • Easy ways to find information for local county offices, including a direct links to each county’s event page.
  • A new design for homepage featured content. This will highlight awesome content across OSU Extension.
  • Added Ask an Expert featured questions.

Keep an eye on the homepage over the coming days to see the updates.

 

Come see us at OSU Extension Annual Conference!

As you plan what sessions you’ll attend, consider these:

 

Extension Website Lightning Talks
Jennifer Alexander, Mark Kindred, Amerie Lommen, Bryan Mayjor, Michele Scheib
Wednesday, 9:15-10:00am

The Extension website is more powerful than many realize. In this session, we will present short lightning talks on tips and tricks for using the Extension website and related tools, reporting impact (including Digital Measures), best practices and requirements for web content (including accessibility for visitors with disabilities), and news about upcoming milestones in Extension’s digital strategy, including CRM development.

 

DIY Extension Marketing
Ann Marie Murphy, Nicole Strong (TBC), Michele Scheib, Erik Simmons (TBC), Chris Branam, Kym Pokorny
Tuesday, 1:30-2:45pm

Creating awareness of the value of Extension and recruiting participants and volunteers is often top of mind and can be a challenge for Extension offices and programs. This session will bring tools, ideas and experience to help you market Extension in your county and region from a variety of people and perspectives. Come prepared to share one of the most effective 2019 marketing efforts from your county or program!

 

Building a CRM Practice in Extension Programs: the How & the Why
Mark Kindred, Carrie Berger
Wednesday, 10:15-10:45am

The Extension Service is scaling up its use of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software as a digital tool to increase efficiency and strengthen productivity. For each program across Extension, the scope and scale of a CRM practice will differ. This presentation will highlight the steps undertaken to assess, plan, and implement a CRM practice using Salesforce. Learn what worked, what didn’t, and why this digital solution was necessary for helping the program achieve its goals.

 

Extension Efficiency and Growth Opportunities
Jamie Davis (TBD), Amerie Lommen, Mark Kindred, Jeff Sherman, Kelsey Knight, Kevin Leahy, Raul Burriel
Thursday, 1:00-2:00pm

Join us for a panel that will help foster ideas for social resilience and growth mindset, intergenerational marketing, community engagement, sustainable growth, keeping up meeting and event attendance within the community, reaching the next generation, and more! The panel will feature: Jamie Davis (Social Media), Amerie Lommen (EESC/Web Strategy), Mark Kindred (CRM), Jeff Sherman (non-traditional community engagement models), Kevin Leahy (holding meaningful meetings; getting community to attend Extension events), Raul Burriel (tech/media strategy)

 

Internet Productivity Tips & Tricks: Getting the Most Out of Your Web Browser and Online Search
Victor Villegas
Wednesday, 10:15-10:45am

Learn how to get the most out of your web browser, increase your productivity and find information faster online.

 

Information table at the conference

We will have a table on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Come find us and ask questions. We’d love to see you!

 

UPDATED 7/30/2020

We want people to understand what OSU Extension does and how it is relevant for their lives. This isn’t easy, we provide resources for many topics and our impact is challenging to summarize.

The county page design has places to share different parts of our story. Below are recommendations for text to use.

County landing page

Page title

Use OSU Extension in Malheur County for the page title. This is a road sign to show website visitors where they are on the site.

Intro text

Show the ways your county helps Oregonians. Share the breadth and relevance of OSU Extension. And make it easy for them to find the many ways they can learn with us. Keep it brief. Keep the words simple and easy to understand. And the text easy to scan.

We recommend using this text:

OSU Extension’s network of teachers, experts, mentors and volunteers is at your service, across Oregon and here at home. Learning with you. Sharing knowledge. Putting lessons into practice.

 

When we work together, we can create positive change in our communities. Helping farmers and gardeners grow healthy foods. Strengthening our economic and ecological future. Helping people of all ages, families and communities thrive. And much more. We’re here to help.

 

How we serve you
We provide reliable, research-based education and advice to help you make informed decisions. Access is affordable—often free. Learn through one-on-one conversations with experts, workshops, conferences, publications, hotlines, online classes, and youth development clubs and activities.

For the intro, avoid sharing how we work — or who we are (this comes later).
Don’t include:

  • Our program names
  • About trained-volunteers
  • Community partners
  • Academic terms (use ‘gardening’ instead of ‘horticulture’)
  • Complex things we do, using terms the general public isn’t very familiar with: ‘collaborative community coalitions’ or ‘family and community health’
  • The word: problem(s)

First we help them understand what we do, then we tell them how or why we do it.

The intro text was developed by Ann Marie Murphy, our OSU Extension Marketing Manager. The text matches the language we’ll use for the new OSU Extension brochure.

 


‘What we do’ page

Intro

This is a great place to share more details on how we help Oregonians. And how we provide our services.

We recommend using this text:

OSU Extension faculty, staff, and trained volunteers work alongside partners across Deschutes County to provide educational workshops, activities, and services tailored to the unique industries, natural resources, and people in our communities. [Optional history info, for example: We’ve been working in Jefferson County since 1935.]

 

Oregon State University’s land grant mission drives us to conduct research and share research-based education to minimize community risk, improve economic vitality, and promote personal and environmental health.

 

[Optional partnership info, for example: OSU Extension is a partnership of USDA at the federal level, OSU at the state level, and Harney County.]

We don’t recommend including:

  • Our program names (i.e. Family and Community Health). Include this information on focus areas.

Note: The “what we do” section provides some concrete examples of information that can be learned about in this county. About section can be a great place to include impact information, this displays further down on the page.


Focus areas

Titles

Create concise, easy to understand titles.

  • Is the title is getting too complicated? Perhaps there are too many topics contained within one focus area. Try breaking it into multiple focus areas.
  • Is the title too long? Try removing some of the information or adding it to the description.

Title example:

  • Livestock
  • Home food preservation and safety
  • Small Farms
  • Field crops
  • Nutrition and healthy living
  • Youth activities

Description

Briefly outline the benefits. The description text shows on the “What we do page”.

Example title and description:

Activities for youth
4-H empowers young people with hands-on learning experiences to help them grow and thrive. By creating a safe and welcoming environment, young people develop the skills needed to make a positive impact on the world around them.

Home garden and landscape
We provide research-based information for backyard gardeners and green industry professionals, including regional specific information.


Make it easy to read

  • Read the text out loud. Are there sentences where you need to slow down? Is the sentence long? Try breaking the information up into smaller sentences. Consider removing some information.
  • Write for a general audience. The target audience for county landing pages is the general public. Aim for an eighth-grade reading level. Use terms that are general and understandable for people unfamiliar with OSU Extension. Avoid using program names and internal jargon when possible.
  • Write directly to the reader: Whenever possible use ‘you’. We serve you. Avoid ‘clientele’, ‘customers’, and ‘audience’.
  • More tips: See writing for the web.
  • Helpful tools:
    • Hemingway Editor: Estimates the reading level. Highlights text that is hard to read. Is free. See how to use Hemingway Editor.
    • Jargon tool: A very easy way to see what words are jargon. Rates how well the words are known.

Working together on county pages

We will be collaborating with each county on developing their county pages. This will include optimizing the use of the website’s design, refining landing pages and creating focus areas.


Website updates

  • Checkout the updates to the statewide 4-H including user-friendly menu and the great way they are using the website’s designs! Nice work!
  • There is a new youth development topic page. It is ready for programs and focus areas to add this topic tag to your content. Educational content for the public can show on this topic page.

We have some wonderful program pages to share with you. These are great examples of how you can lay out your content for program participants, volunteers, and other people who are involved with or interested in your program. Here’s initial feedback we’ve been hearing from all of you about the updated design features:

  • “The sample webpage looks great!  I love the ease of navigation and how well it showcases 4-H.”
  •  “Love the ‘new’ website layout!….Really like the ‘call to action’ addition!”
  • “The overall appearance is very aesthetically pleasing….The design helps with visually de-bulking the content.”
  •  “This looks great! I appreciate that you’ve simplified & condensed the menu.”
  •  “[It] will really help to showcase the work of the volunteers locally, so thank you!”

Master Gardener local programs

  • Polk (western region example)
  • Lincoln (coastal region example)
  • Josephine (southern region example)
  • Umatilla (eastern region example)
  • Wasco (central region example)

Check these out too:

4-H local programs

These pages also turned out well:

More local 4-H examples will be coming soon.

Statewide Program

About the examples

The above examples were created through a partnership between EESC and these groups. A 4-H and Master Gardener local program was selected from each region. They were selected because they had a lot of wonderful content added to their pages, which gave us a great starting point.

Tips and recommendations for program pages

Think about how your current content will best fit into this style.

  • Do you need to craft a more concise program description?
  • You can use nested subpages to make the menu not so long and help users find the content they are looking for. Do you need to create nested subpages so the side menu is shorter?

Training materials

Getting help and sharing feedback

We can walk you through how to create this look when you’re ready. Send us questions, training requests or your feedback on the designs!

Thank you

A shout out to Alisha Atha, Holly Burton, Rose Clarke, Shevon Hatcher, Renée Johnson, Samara Rufener, Sara Runkel and Michelle Sager for partnering with us to create the examples programs listed above. We greatly appreciate the content you added to the website before we got started—and your feedback and suggestions along the way! Thank you!


Website updates

  • Your profile pages on the OSU Extension website will automatically display some Digital Measures information. This includes the awards and presentations you’ve added to Digital Measures. To turn off the display of one or all of your publications and awards on your Extension profile, log into Digital Measures and go to the Activity menu. Click on Awards and Honors and/or Publications and Intellectual Contributions, and change the sharing option to “no”. This updates every 12 hours.
  • EESC added a food safety and preservation hotline “call to action” to the OSU Extension homepage; let us know if you want the topic page announcement tagged to show on your county page.

Now that the new county designs have launched, it’s time to focus on filling out content for your county’s focus areas. Here are some tips to get you started. Also, if you’re in Eastern Oregon, the web team is coming your way for a training this week (see more at the end of this blog post).

1. Review some examples

  • View a mockup of a local focus area at the end of this post. Includes annotations.
  • Review examples of county pages using the redesign and new focus areas: Tillamook county and Washington county. From the county page, click “What we do” in the county’s navigation. Items under “Highlights” are focus areas. We appreciate these county’s help with testing their current content in the new designs!

2. Choose user-friendly titles

When writing a title for your focus area, we recommend:

  • User-friendly titles: Use terms that are general and understandable for people unfamiliar with OSU Extension. Avoid using program names and internal jargon when possible.
  • Encouraging action: Show people how they can become involved (e.g., use “Preserve food at home” instead of “Food preservation”).
  • Concise titles: If a desired focus area is too big to use a simple phrase because it includes too many topics, it should probably be broken into multiple focus areas.

Here are some examples:

  • Activities for youth
  • Caring for your forestland
  • Grow your gardening skills
  • Start or grow your small farm
  • Preserve food at home

Please contact us if you have any questions or would like some help identifying focus area titles or how to organize content to fit within focus areas.

3. Select which types of local focus area

There are three options for focus areas:

  • 1) Display a custom page: this includes a place to add information about the local context, related resources, contact info, etc. See mockup at end of this blog post for an example.

Or, link to existing content:

  • 2) Link to a local program (for 4-H or MG): Links will take visitors directly to the landing page for that local program (i.e. Benton County 4-H).
  • 3) Link to an existing focus area in another county: if you would like to display a focus area that has been added by a different county (e.g. for a regional focus area), select it here. Links will take user directly to that focus area.

Select which desired option under “How to display” when creating a local focus area.

4. Create or edit a focus area

Read last week’s blog post for training materials to get started on creating or editing your focus areas.

The following focus areas have been or will been created for you:

  • Any content that is currently within county sub-pages. We’ll transition this content to focus areas for you.
  • 4-H and Master Gardener: These have been added. They link directly to county program pages (e.g., Gilliam County 4-H)
  • Gardening: A template for gardening is being developed.

You can change the order of focus areas on the ‘What we do’ page and select which three to include on the county landing page.

New locations for content in new design

County programs & local focus areas
Three focus areas are set to display on the county landing pages. The ‘What we do’ page also includes:

  • All focus areas: listed under the  ‘Highlighted’ heading.
  • Programs offered: Include all programs on the OSU Extension site that have been tagged with your county. See what is a program on the OSU Extension website.

Links to the ‘What we do’ page are in your county’s navigation. Links to 4-H and Master Gardener can now be found with focus areas.

Social media & newsletters
When the content is for:

  • The county as a whole (e.g., county newsletter): These go in the orange quick link bar on the county landing page.
  • A particular topic or program (e.g., Eastern Oregon Gardening Newsletter): These go in the orange quick link bar on the relevant local focus areas. County Master Gardener and 4-H social media are already part of local program pages, but can also be added to relevant focus areas.

We recommend using announcements to promote new newsletter issues.

County subpages
Content that is currently in county subpages will be transitioned to local focus areas by EESC. If we aren’t sure how to make the content fit, we’ll work with you to find a solution.

Eastern Oregon website trainings this week

You are invited to attend in-person trainings in Eastern Oregon this week:

  • Malheur County office on Wed., April 24: 10am-noon, lunch break, then continues 1-3pm. If anyone wants more personal, hands on instruction, contact Bobbi Howell.
  • Union County office on Thurs., April 25: 10am-noon, lunch break, then continues 1-3pm. If anyone wants more personal, hands on instruction, contact Sherry Nantz.

The trainings will focus on using the new county page designs. Please bring your questions and a laptop if possible, so we can work with you on your county pages. For questions about the location or accommodation, please contact Bobbi Howell (Malheur County) or Sherry Nantz (Union County). For questions related to the training, contact Bryan Mayjor or Victor Villegas.

Getting help

  • Attend our office hours starting April 26th on Tuesdays and Fridays. Visit by WebEx, in person or by phone.
  • As always, you are welcome to contact us if you have a question or suggestion.

Mockups & a shout out

A shout out to Carrie Berger and the forestry team for the awesome content they developed for county subpages! This content provided an inspiration and starting place for the focus area mockups below.

Focus area mockup with annotations.
Click mockup to view larger version.

Focus area mockup.
Click mockup to view larger version.

The updated designs provide a way to share and highlight what OSU Extension does within our counties and helps to:

  • Provide a landing spot for local relationships: These pages provide a place where people can find what is offered in their county and learn the local context of programs and other county offerings.
  • Provide guidance for finding resources: These pages provide ways to help users visiting county pages find educational resources on the OSU Extension website.
  • Decrease duplicate content entry: When one faculty member works in multiple counties, focus areas provide a way for them to enter county or region specific information about a topic or program. This info can then be shared on other relevant counties.
  • Prioritize local content: Local events and announcements will be given priority. They will display before and display separate from other tagged events (e.g., other events you might be interested in).

What is coming this week

  • County landing pages: We updated the county designs based on your feedback and posted the new county designs.
  • Local focus area content: County offices can highlight what you do in your county and share the local context. See below for an example.
  • What we do page: This page displays a list of local focus areas and programs offered in this county.
  • County events: There will be a new events page to display all county related events. And ways to highlight a few upcoming events on county landing page and on focus areas.

Please keep in mind design modifications will remain an iterative process. Expect the look and feel to evolve, the functionality to be fine-tuned.

Shout outs

Thank you to Amy Schmid, Jenifer Halter and Laurie Gibson for working with us last week to help us test out county content in the new county designs.

How to prepare

  • Review new county designs and think about any content you need to create.
  • Find or take a photo of your county office to help people find your building. This will display with the county contact info.
  • See training options below.
  • County group coordinators, keep an eye out for an email from us this week when the changes and new features are live and ready for you to use.

Training

  • Watch video on how to create local focus areas.

Visit our new user guide to learn:

Getting help and providing feedback

  • Contact us to schedule one-on-one help sessions
  • Attend office hours. Our team will be available for weekly office hours after the new county designs launch.
  • As always, you are welcome to contact us if you have a question or suggestion.

Thank you

Thank you for sharing your feedback and challenges related to the county pages and the site as a whole. Please continue to share any feedback on how these changes are working for your counties and teams.

Examples of new county page designs

Example county landing page

Example focus area