Earlier this month the Web and Content Strategy Team (WCST) finished re-setting our team priorities for 2020. 

This week I want to share a high level overview of our priorities for the rest of the calendar year. 

Improve the content authoring experience

Why is this a priority? 
A more intuitive and consistent authoring environment will make it easier and faster to add and edit content.

Benefits: 

  • Easier to add and edit content
  • Reduce user confusion and anxiety
  • Encourage more Extension employees to use the system
  • Decrease training and support time 

One-on-one design help for county landing pages 

Why is this a priority? 
A strong web presence at the county level is a leadership priority, and helps promote your local programming and activities.

Benefits: 

  • One-on-one with a web designer will improve page design and accessibility
  • Provides an open forum to get your website questions answered
  • Creates a consistent look and feel between counties making it easier for audience to find local programming and activities
  • Helps the WCST understand what your goals and needs are

Analytics, user research, metrics related to content strategy

Why is this a priority? 

Helps content teams make data-informed decisions by focusing on content that meets the needs of audiences.

Benefits: 

  • Helps content authors to identify gaps in content
  • Provides content teams insight into what site users are looking for
  • Highlights what content is successful and what needs improvement

Integration of CMS and CRM for Digital Engagement

Why is this a priority? 

This is the start of component 3 of Extension’s Digital Strategy. Initial focus will be on delivery of e-newsletters.

Benefits: 

  • More efficient management of subscriber lists
  • Ability to measure click-through rate, conversions, etc
  • Increase enrollments in workshops and courses
  • See Mark Kindred’s excellent blog post from June 23rd for more information

 


Have you heard of the WayBackMachine? It is one of the many resources from the Internet Archive. The Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more. The WayBackMachine has a collection of 446 billion web pages. Want to know what the Lane County website looked like in 2003? Go to https://web.archive.org/ and enter a URL, and browse through the timeline select date. 

The Extension website has come a long way over the years. Here are some screenshots from the Extension website over the years.

OSU Extension homepage
(circa 2002)


This is an example of old school hand-coded HTML, uploaded via FTP designed for 800x600 px. screens.
90 years of the OSU Extension Service

OSU Extension homepage
(circa 2003)



Designed for 15" 1024x768 px. screens
OSU Extension homepage circa 2003

OSU Extension homepage
(circa 2006)



This design incorporated Macromedia Contribute which featured a visual (WYSIWYG) editor. Eliminated need to write HTML or use a FTP program.
OSU Extension homepage circa 2006

OSU Extension homepage
(circa 2013)



Built using Drupal 6. A move in the right direction, but mostly used as a content delivery platform.
Extension homepage circa 2013

OSU Extension homepage
(circa 2020)



We are now using Drupal 8 and fully utilizing the power of the CMS with structured content.

OSU Extension homepage 2020

 

 

 

Virtual Extension

OSU Extension’s educational outreach teams — PACE, EESC and ECTU – are continually adding new resources and updates to the Virtual Extension site on the Extension Employee Intranet.

Virtual Extension complements OSU’s Keep Working and Keep Teaching websites, with information specific to our Extension and Engagement context. The website features a list of resources to help you:

Virtual Extension was featured on this week’s First Monday video.

The Virtual Extension team seeks your feedback, and for you to share your needs and ideas so we can work together through this current situation and position us for even more ways to serve Oregonians in the future. Let's talk button

OSU Extension Professional Development & Connection Opportunities

Starting this week join us for daily Zoom training sessions.

  • Marketing Mondays
  • Technology Tuesdays
  • Water Cooler Wednesdays
  • Teaching Thursdays
  • Financial Fridays

 

Extension Website Training

Wednesday April 8  8:30-10:30

Join us for a special 2 hour session for all staff and faculty who currently work on the Extension website or would like to start. This training will include an overview of Extension’s web strategy initiative, a tour of the website, and demos and Q&A based on audience interests.

Presented by: Victor Villegas, Technology & Media Support; Michele Scheib, Content Strategist; Bryan Mayjor, Web & Content Strategy Leader; Tamara Hill-Tanquist, Web Designer; Amerie Lommen, Web Developer

Join via Zoom

 

Kudos

We’d like to give a big shout to Washington County’s Jenifer Halter who posted tips for searching the Extension website.

 

Zoom Security

Learn how to properly configure your Zoom Meetings to prevent Zoombombing.

 

Web updates

The events content type has two new features:

  1. Zoom meeting information. You can now add Zoom link, meeting ID, and phone-in numbers
    Fields available for zoom events
  2. Event status. You can now add the status to events.
    screenshot showing status options

Online events now have a dedicated page. A link to the Upcoming Online Events can be found on the Statewide Events page.
onlne events list image

The Web and Content Strategy team is committed to website accessibility. Accessibility means that content is available to and used by a diverse variety of visitors. This refers to making a site useable for people with physical and situational disabilities. But, it can also apply to others, including:

  • People using small screens on mobile devices
  • English-language learners and automatic translators used by non-English speakers
  • People of diverse ages
  • Non-human visitors to the site, such as search engine crawlers

As an institution that receives federal funding, we are legally required to make content and services accessible.

Many accessibility features are built-in to Drupal platform. We promote accessibility best practices in our workshops and training materials. But what about people who speak a non-English language?

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion recently added a document translation service. The TRANSPORT translations portal is a tool you can use to submit documents for translation, or to get a price quote to help with your program planning. This tool is available to all Extension employees.

Non-english speakers in Oregon
Source: https://datausa.io/profile/geo/oregon#languages

In 2018, the most common non-English language spoken in Oregon was Spanish. 9.36% of the population of Oregon are native Spanish speakers.

Website analytics over the past year show that the percentage of users who have their browser language set to Spanish, 0.16%.  This is a sign that the Extension website is not meeting the needs for the majority of Spanish language speakers.

We are in the process of adding Spanish language translation capabilities to the Extension website.

This is an ambitious project and will be developed in 3 phases over the year.

Phase 1: Manual individual page translation

  • Over the next few months the web team will be configuring a set of multilingual modules to enable translations. Once this is in place, you’ll be able to add an Español translation to your content.
  • If a page is available in another language, users will be able to switch from English to Español by clicking the Español tab.

Phase 2: Google Translate integration

  • When a new version of an English page is saved, the system will make a call to Google Translate to create a  Spanish translation. Translations will have a moderation process, so only reviewed translations will be available to the public

Phase 3: Fully translated website

  • All content, tags, topics and menus translated

Extension & Experiment Station Communications (EESC) has some history with multilingual websites. Back in 2014, the EESC publications team produced two spiral bound, pocket-sized “flip books” for Christmas tree management. Each book has a side written in English and when you flip it over, you have the same content in Spanish. The authors were also interested mobile version for workers in the field. Using the multilingual capabilities in Drupal, we recreated each book in both English and Spanish. Users switch between English and Español by clicking a button. These are a fully translated websites, where there is a matching page for each language.

Below are some screenshots of the flip books showing both the  English and Español versions.

Mobile phone:

Mobile side-by-side comparisons

Desktop browser:

preview of EM 9093 website

preview of PNW 659 website

Website updates

  • “Languages spoken” field was added to user profiles for listing other languages that you speak.
  • An “impact stats” section that shows as an orange bar across the page has been added for program pages. You can see an example of this on the Extension homepage.
  • Added a new “podcast” content type for sharing podcasts. For more information see the Podcast chapter on the Extension Website User Guide.
The last stop on this year’s regional website trainings concluded last week at the Coos County Office in Myrtle Point. I traveled across the state with stops at the Malheur and Union County offices (Eastern Region), Wasco and Deschutes County offices (Central Region), Klamath Basin Research & Extension Center and Josephine County offices (Southern Region), Marion County office (Western Region), Washington County office (North Willamette Region), and the Tillamook and Coos County offices (Coastal Region). Thanks to Amerie Lommen and Victor Villegas who helped out during the workshops. We live in an incredibly beautiful state. 

It was great seeing familiar faces, meeting people who I’ve only known through email, and getting to know many others. Overall, 72 people participated in the workshops. Kudos to the Regional Directors, office managers, and the others who helped schedule and coordinate the workshops. 

While I’m very familiar with the technical aspects of the Content Management System, seeing how users actually interact and create content was helpful. Thanks for sharing your process, questions and feedback! If you attended one of the workshops, and haven’t taken the post workshop survey, please do. Your feedback will help us as we plan next year’s workshops. 

If you didn’t have an opportunity to attend one of the workshops, or need more help, you can request an individual or small group Zoom web conference with me. Let me know if you are interested.

Topics that generated the most audience reaction

Box shared link settingsUsing Box for file management

Programs like 4-H have forms that change every year. In the past, to update a form, you would need to login, remove the old file, upload a new file, and change the link. Is there a better way? Did you know you can set up a shared link to directly download a file bypassing Box completely? Another great feature in Box is the ability to replace files without the link changing. This is a big plus. Users will always get the current version of the form. We recommend that you don’t include the year in your links. By not including the year, you won’t need to change anything on the website next year. The drawback of using Box  is that it takes longer initially to get things set up. The plus is next year all you need to do is replace your forms in Box and users will get the correct form, without you making any changes to the website. Box also allows you to password protect files and folders with a password you set. Creating a password protected folder is a great way to share information with volunteers. See the Extension Website User Guide for more information.

Page sections

Did you know that you can change how lists are displayed? We have multiple display options. In the Page sections area on the edit screen, click the Settings tab. There you can choose the list style. See the For Advanced Users: Page Section Settings for Custom Design page on the Extension Website User Guide for details.

The screenshots below show the same list of items but with different list styles.

List (search results) 

Grid (teaser cards)

Text (bulleted list)

For those of you who didn’t get an opportunity to participate in the workshops here are the handouts we provided to attendees.

Top 5 things you can do to help improve the Extension website

  • Simple ways you can improve the website.

Extension website help and support

  • Learn where to get website help and support.
Box logoOver the last month or so I’ve been traveling around the state giving regional website training workshops. At these workshops I’ve been promoting Box for file management, especially when you have files that change on a regular basis. One of the weaknesses of Drupal, is file management. Box offers some features to make up for that.

Programs like 4-H and Master Gardener™ have quite a few forms for volunteers and participants. Updating these forms and uploading them to the website each year can be an arduous task. 

This process involves logging into the website, locating the old file, removing it, then uploading the new file. The problem with this method is the link to the file changes. What if someone bookmarked last years form, or the file wasn’t deleted? This can lead to the dreaded Page Not Found (404) error, or a Google search result that links to last years form (not good). 

This is where Box excels. With Box, you can create a URL to the file that doesn’t change, even when you replace the 2019 form with the 2020 form. Replacing a file is a snap, and Box is version controlled. Each time you replace a file, a copy is saved in the version history. So if you make a mistake, or want to see what the old file looked like, or even revert to a previous version, you can do that right in Box. 

Box shared link settingsYou can also use Box to password protect individual file(s), or folders. Have you ever wanted to provide volunteers access to files require a password to access? This is quite simple with Box. You can even create links that expire after a particular date.

Box is far from a perfect solution however. Setting the direct link to a file is not intuitive process. It is quicker to initially upload your files to the website. Yet using Box will save you time in the long run. The initial set up is tedious, but you only have to do it once. When it’s time to update your files next year, login to Box, replace the old file and you’re done. 

See our webguide (beav.es/extension-webguide) for detailed instructions for using Box to manage files. Visit the OSU Box website for complete documentation.

We are headed your way!

Starting next week and continuing through October, EESC’s web team will be hosting regional Extension website training sessions across the state. Don’t miss this in-person opportunity to learn about the website and how you can contribute. RSVP to reserve your place.

Dates and locations:

Central Region:
Sept. 17 (Tue.), Wasco County Office (The Dalles)
Sept 18 (Wed.), Deschutes County Office (Redmond)

Western Region:
Sept. 24 (Tue.), Marion County Office  (Salem)

Coastal Region – North:
Sept 26. (Thur.), Tillamook County Office (Tillamook)

Southern Region:
Oct. 2 (Wed), Klamath County Office (Klamath Falls)
Oct. 3 (Thur.), Josephine County Office (Grants Pass)

Metro Region:
Oct. 17 (Thur.), Washington County Office (Beaverton)

Coastal Region – South:
Oct. 22 (Tue.), Coos County Office (Myrtle Point)

Note: Eastern Oregon workshops were held in April.

Agenda

Each workshop will have a morning and afternoon session. Try to attend both sessions if possible.
Note: The Wasco and Deschutes County workshops have different start and end times, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Morning session (10:00 am to 12:00 pm)
The morning session will include an overview of the Navigator project, understanding the differences and purposes of office, program, and content team groups, updating your website profile, tagging, and basic content creation.

Lunch break (12:00 pm -1:00 pm)

Afternoon session (1:00 pm to 3:00 pm)
After lunch we’ll dig deeper into managing landing pages, content types, tagging, best practices, tips and tricks, how to avoid duplicating content, and answering your questions.

 

Do I need to do any preparation before the workshop?

No. However, you’ll get more out of the workshop by learning about the Navigator project and skimming through the website guide beforehand.

What should I expect?

The format will be a combination of lectures, how-to demonstrations, one-on-one assistance, advice, and learning from your peers.

What should I bring?

Your ideas and questions

A WiFi enabled laptop, tablet, or pair up with a colleague.

Bring anything you want to add to the website on a flash drive, or on your laptop. We’ll show you how to add it to the website.

What will I learn?

You will learn: How to create and edit content. What tagging is and why it is important. Your role within your office, program or content team. And where to get your questions answered as you learn how the website works.

RSVP

If you are planning on coming to a workshop, please RSVP to ensure we have enough room for everyone.

Imagine if you could ask your smart speaker to search the OSU Extension website for events located near you, or ask Siri to find all of the blueberry pruning publications in the OSU Extension Catalog?

Alexa, ask OSU Extension what upcoming Master Gardener events are happening near me? 
Siri, show me all of the OSU Extension Catalog publications on pruning blueberries

While this isn’t a reality today, we designed the website to be “exportable”, giving us the  ability to send content to multiple platforms. This might take the form of a virtual assistant, like Alexa, a smartphone application, a chatbot, or whatever the future brings. None of this would be possible without all of that structured content that you all have been creating.

Today, we can interact with machines in highly intuitive, natural ways through smartphones. Virtual assistants like Alexa, Cortana, Google Assistant, and Siri have changed the way we interact with machines, using technology like Natural Language Processing (NLP). 1

How people interact with computers is no longer limited to the mouse and keyboard. Recent advances in Natural Language Processing, Artificial Intelligence, and voice recognition software are rapidly changing how we interact with our devices and computers. Remember when we all used floppy disks, rotary phones, and VCR’s? Do you miss them? Keyboards and mice are also destined to become relics of the past. Talking to your phone feels kind of strange to most people, myself included. I typically just use Siri for settings reminders, alarms, and timers, but much more is possible.

Siri, remind me to create a blog post on August 2nd at 2:00 pm.

For me, this is much faster than launching a program, typing and entering the date and time. Let us know how you are using virtual assistants by leaving a comment below.
OSU Extension digital strategy diafram

Here are some interesting statistics on voice activated searches. 2

  1. 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020
  2. About 30% of all searches will be done without a screen by 2020
  3. 13% of all households in the United States owned a smart speaker in 2017. That number is predicted to rise to 55% by 2022.

Providing an engaging, high-quality online experience is a key element to the success of the Navigator project. This online experience can be enhanced by website personalization. In the future, users will be able to create a personal profile by selecting the topics, programs, projects they are interested in, and their location. We can then provide a customized dashboard highlighting the latest tagged content, local events, and much more. Our Customer Relationship Management (CRM) will be able to provide additional insights into users interests, based on previous interactions with Extension. Here is a simple example of how this might work. “Bob” participated in a canning workshop last fall. Chances are he might be also interested in becoming a Master Food Preserver. Knowing this, next time Bob visits the website, his dashboard displays information on the course and how to register.

Preparing for the future – part one

 

Recent website updates

  • Members of topic committees are now able to modify content tags.

 

_______________

1 https://www.axelerant.com/resources/articles/conversational-commerce-integrating-bots-with-drupal-commerce

2 https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2018/04/10/voice-search-statistics-2018

“Why is adding content so complicated?”, this is a question I’ve heard frequently since the website launched last year. The short answer is we’re creating Structured Content. All of those individual fields you see when creating an event (i.e., topics, programs, counties, short descriptions, etc.), these fields help us create structured content.

When your program’s event is tagged with a topic, it displays on the corresponding topic page. If you tag your event to the surrounding counties, it shows up on the event list on those counties. This increases the reach of your event.

We recently added ‘Local Focus Areas’ for county office groups that appear on the county’s “What we do” page. Local focus areas provide a way for counties to share information about your local Extension activities, work, or research. Local focus areas are intended to act as a link between counties, programs and topics.

Once a local focus area is created, other offices can link to it. When tagged with a topic, a link to the topic page automatically appears on the local focus area page. Pretty cool, but wait there’s more. When your focus area is tagged with a topic, an “In Your Community” page is generated on the tagged topic’s page. The page displays a page with a map showcasing your county’s unique work, and connects the high number of new visitors who enter the site through topic pages to learn more about what is in their county.

In your community page

Learning how to add content to the OSU Extension website does take a bit of patience, planning, and time. I think you’ll find this time well spent. In part two, we’ll explore how structured content fits into website personalization, CRM integration, chat bots and other possibilities, as we prepare for the future.

Preparing for the future – part two

Coming to a location near you

We are in the process of scheduling regional in-person website workshops. We are looking at dates in September and October and will let you know when they have been finalized. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact us, submit a help ticket, or visit the Extension web guide.

Recent website updates

  • Ability to ‘feature’ an announcement to show it on your county’s landing page. By default, the newest announcement is displayed.
  • Tabbed sections, like on BEPA 2.0, are now available for use on program pages.
  • Fixed problem with misaligned map markers.

Navigator Update

As an organization, we’ve all been heads-down, working hard, and focused on the Extension website for the past year. We’ve made great progress, but this is just one component of an overall digital strategy that we call “Navigator.” It’s a good time to celebrate how far we’ve come, focus on next steps, and look ahead.

Navigor slide deck imageYou may be wondering:

  • What is Navigator?
  • How does this relate to the Extension website?
  • How does this connect to our CRM (Salesforce)?
  • What’s important for me to know or do right now?

We shared a general Navigator update at the May 17 Outreach & Engagement Quarterly conversation to answer these questions and provide more information. You can watch the recording (starts at 1:30) or view the slides. If you’re in a hurry, skip to the last two slides for tips on what to know and do right now, and where to learn more (hint: beav.es/navigator)

We’ve also revised the homepage for the project website to provide quick, easy access to common questions and helpful resources.

And as always, we welcome your comments and questions.

 

Upcoming webinars

Managing County Landing Pages and Local Focus Areas

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 2:00 4:00 pm
Friday, May 31, 2019 9:00 – 11:00 am

Presented by Bryan Mayjor

This series of webinars are geared towards staff and faculty who are responsible for managing County landing pages, announcements and events. Program and Content Team members are welcome to attend.

Learn about the new options for managing County landing pages, and Local focus areas.

The webinar will also cover basics such as:

  • logging in using DUO
  • editing your your website profile and photo
  • your role(s) and responsibilities

Connection details

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 2:00 – 4:00 pm

Meeting number: 926 421 616
https://oregonstate.webex.com/oregonstate/j.php?MTID=mba8857044232bad552e68e86dcd0310a

Join by phone
+1-415-655-0002 US Toll
Access code: 926 421 616

Friday, May 31, 2019 9:00 – 11:00 am
Meeting number: 920 145 176

https://oregonstate.webex.com/oregonstate/k2/j.php?MTID=t076ed23b5c0de87cdf34c2a4df4ba482

Join by phone
+1-415-655-0002 US Toll
Access code: 924 232 853

 

 

Extension Website updates

List of recent updates and changes:

  • County Social Media lists change of location: These used to be displayed on the sidebar navigation, now display on the landing page.
  • County faculty and staff listing: Regional Directors are now displayed at the end of list. Previously Regional Directors were listed first.
  • Ability to customize introductory text on local programs list pages (for statewide programs).
  • Fix non-local events showing in short list on landing page.
  • “Image Slider” paragraph type no longer crops images.
The Division of Outreach and Engagement is excited to welcome Mark Kindred in our newly established Salesforce developer position. Mark comes to O&E from our cousins in Ecampus where he served as a multimedia developer. His specialty was database and web app development. Prior to arriving at OSU in 2013, Mark was an entrepreneur running a consulting agency with clients in five states. In all of these professional roles, the time spent connecting with the people who are clients/stakeholders was among the most rewarding aspects of performing the work at hand. With a life that has included stints in Maryland, Alaska, Texas, and his standout favorite, Oregon, Mark’s enjoyment of unique, new places means he will enjoy the process of learning about your corner of Oregon as the role takes shape.

Mark will be working with Lucas Turpin and O&E Leadership to begin the needs assessment and alignment phase of our Customer Relationship Management implementation across O&E. During this time, don’t expect to see a lot of changes as 90% of this work will be planning to ensure our implementation aligns with the business needs of your units and the long term strategy of the university.

The team looks forward to talking with you about how CRM is aligned with your work and can provide new benefits to you.