Last week, Punxsutawney Phil proclaimed six more weeks of winter. But we took little note of the pomp and circumstance surrounding our mammal friend in the Northeast. Being the industrious Beavers that we are, the project team was hard at work getting the new website ready for content entry. And our fellow content teams are continuing to work together with colleagues statewide to organize content in preparation for that.

But in the spirit of looking ahead, let’s pause for a quick update on what the next six(ish) weeks look like for this project and our work together.

Status and timeline update:

  • Launch: We are on track for a March launch.
  • Content entry: Our goal was to open the site to content teams for initial content entry in late January or early February. We’re pushing that out by 1-2 weeks to ensure the experience is as productive and hassle-free as possible for content teams. The basic framework and functions are developed. But we are taking extra time to be sure the back-end forms and front-end displays are clean, simple, and user-friendly.
  • What’s next? Our team’s focus for the next two weeks includes:
    • Continued programming and basic design
    • Permission testing (making sure content teams will be able to do what they need to do, and not see extraneous information and settings)
    • User testing (asking a couple brave souls to serve as alpha testers (guinea pigs, canaries…you get the idea) for content entry)
    • Creating basic training guides and short videos for content teams
    • As-needed advice and Q&A with content teams, and a kickoff meeting with the Community Vitality team (welcome to the party, Mallory!)

Other updates:

  • The content strategist position posting closes February 11. Please share the posting with your networks, and encourage interested and qualified candidates to apply.
  • We’ve been working with site managers for Extension association websites (OSUEA, ESP, and OAEA) to transition to the OSU WordPress platform and provide basic training. Those new sites will be live within the next couple of weeks, and current URLs will redirect to the new sites.

As always, let us know what questions you have (and check the FAQs!).

It’s been another busy and productive week in Extension website land. The project team has hunkered down to work on getting the back end of our new website ready for content teams to begin entering content. We’re on track for having that ready in early February. Whoo-hoo!

But enough about us…

Way to go, content teams!

A shout out to our content teams who are working hard to evaluate, prioritize, and organize content. Teams are making good progress and making decisions, which is sometimes difficult but very important. This is hard work that takes time. But it’s so worth it. Thank you.

Tips and ideas

Each content team is approaching things differently, which is OK. We can also learn from each other in this process. Here are some things we’ve seen or heard are working well that your team may want to consider.

  • Prioritize: Focus on content that will be removed from public access at launch (e.g., county sites) and other critical content. Do everything else as you have time after launch.
  • Map it: If your team has content spread far and wide and isn’t sure where to begin, a concept map might help. Here is an example from the Food Safety content team.
  • List it, don’t lose it: The main site and county homepages will automatically redirect at launch. If there is a link (url) that has been used in marketing materials or needs to be preserved for some other reason, please let us know and we will be sure to set up a redirect.
  • Ask for help: Our family and community health content team is engaging volunteers as appropriate to assist with some tasks. If you have ideas for what could make the content strategy, creation, or maintenance processes easier (short or long term) for your team, let your program leader know.
  • Keep calm, and carry on: Our Open Campus and Sea Grant content teams are great examples of staying super cool and bringing positive energy to this process. If you need a little break, check out the mindfulness meditation drop-in (on campus) or the University of Florida Extension publication, Mindfulness: An Introduction.

Facilitating meetings and answering questions for content teams and others across the organization (plus, developing our new site) is keeping us busy, and we are working hard to keep up with all of you!

Webinar recording

The recording of our January 18 webinar is available. This webinar included discussion, feedback, and Q&A focused on the following outcomes for office managers and county leaders:

  • Feel prepared to answer common questions, and know where to direct questions
  • Know where to find project updates, resources, information
  • Provide feedback about county presence in new website
  • Feel ready and able to take next steps to help identify and plan for non-program, county-specific content

New and revised FAQs

As a result of the latest webinar and other questions we are fielding, we’ve added and revised the following FAQs.



We made it to Friday! (Or, as one of my friends calls it, Fri”yay”!)

It’s been a busy, productive, and exciting week in terms of Extension website work, for our team and for many of you. Here are a few highlights and a reminder of the next webinar opportunity.

Ag work group webinars

We hosted the second content planning kickoff webinar for Ag & Natural Resources Extension work groups (content teams) on Jan. 11. We planned to record that webinar. Unfortunately, I (Jennifer) messed up, and that didn’t happen. I am sorry.

Fortunately, the content presented was essentially same as the Jan. 3 webinar. The Jan. 11 Q&A was different, of course, and as a result we’ve added more FAQs.

New FAQs

Here are the new FAQs added this week:

And as a helpful reminder, here are some oldies-but-goodies:

Speaking of content strategy

We’re thrilled to share that the content strategist position is posted. Please share with your networks to help us recruit an awesome new colleague.

The Content Strategist is responsible for developing, implementing, and evaluating a content strategy focused on enhancing engagement with learners and increasing awareness of the value, relevance, and impact of the OSU Extension Service (OSU Extension). Day to day, the person in this position collaborates with EESC colleagues and program/topic-based content teams to plan and manage content and associated processes for OSU Extension’s online presence.

Webinar reminder

We are hosting an informational webinar for county leaders and office managers on Thursday, Jan. 18, 9 a.m. (WebEx link).

I promise to remember to hit “record” this time!




The recording of the Jan. 3, 2018 content planning kickoff webinar for Ag & Natural Resources Extension work groups is now available. A second webinar opportunity (same information) is available on Jan. 11, 9 a.m (WebEx link). This information is also posted on the content teams page for reference.

Thank you for your engagement and participation. As a result of the Q&A during the webinar, we have added a few new FAQs to this project website, including:


Webinars for Ag work groups

We have scheduled two kickoff webinars for Ag & Natural Resources Extension work groups to discuss next steps and provide resources to help you organize and prepare content for the new OSU Extension website. The same information will be shared on both webinars. Please plan to attend whichever best fits your schedule. We will post recordings on this project website. While all are welcome, the information will be geared toward work group leaders.

Webinar for county leaders/office managers

This webinar (Jan. 18, 9 a.m.) is an opportunity for county leaders and office managers to engage in dialogue with the Extension web project team—and with each other. We will post the recording on this project website.

WebEx link

Agenda Feedback, questions, ideas, and discussion about the following topics:

  • How to identify and manage non-program content
  • County presence (“landing pages”) on the new website
  • How to best support you, as you receive questions from faculty, staff, and others
  • The project in general


Season’s greetings to our OSU Extension Colleagues!

‘Tis the season for wrapping up (no pun intended) 2017 activities and planning for 2018. And the Extension web upgrade project is no exception.

Thank you!

It was great to connect and visit with many of you recently at Extension Annual Conference. Thank you to the program leaders and other group leaders who welcomed members of our project team to join your meetings, or otherwise used some of your valuable in-person time to discuss the website project. Thanks also to everyone who chatted with us during meals and breaks. It was helpful to hear the ideas, feedback, and questions.

After the conference, our team took a moment to celebrate the demo (a major milestone), and then got right back to work.

What’s next

Here’s what’s happening over the next few weeks:

  • Two kickoff web meetings for Ag & Natural Resource Extension work group leaders in early January
    • You’ll be able to pick which to attend based on your schedule, and we’ll record them.
    • Purpose: provide specific next steps as well as tools and process suggestions to help your groups organize and prepare content
    • We are working to schedule those meetings week and will send calendar notices and emails with the details.
    • In the meantime: If your work group has already started to organize and work together, that’s great! If you have initial questions, please contact us and we can provide quick answers to help you keep on track and moving forward.
  • Web meeting for office managers and county leaders in January
    • Purpose: Feedback and questions about (1) project in general, (2) any content that’s not being managed by a program/topic content team, (3) county presence on the new website
    • We are working to schedule the meeting this week and will send calendar notices and emails with the details.
  • Continuing to meet with content teams
  • Continuing programming, development, and site planning
  • Finalizing position description and forming search committee for content strategist. This position will be a liaison between program/topic-based content teams and EESC’s web and content strategy team.


homepage preview

What will the new Extension website look like?

We gave a brief website demo at the Extension Annual Conference during Tuesday morning’s Administrative Update session. This was the first opportunity to share working-draft versions of a few basic landing pages, features, and content examples. See below for screenshots of the new website in progress. Click images below to view screenshot of entire page.

Thanks to the hardworking content teams for helping us achieve this exciting milestone! We are at this point only because of the feedback we’ve had during our kickoff and  planning meetings with each of you! Together, we are making good progress and on track for our March 2018 initial launch.


homepage preview

Program page

program page

County page

county page example


County page

Related content examples

related content preview

related content preview

New site for internal content

Our new internal/employee resources website will launch this week, likely on Wednesday, Nov. 15. The Employee Resources link on the Extension website will be updated to point to the new location. The new address will be

Tune in to the Nov. 17 Outreach & Engagement Quarterly Conversation for a short demo of our new intranet site.


  • The organization of the new website and the content is essentially unchanged.
  • The site is now mobile friendly and incorporates the new OSU branding.
  • The Out of State Travel and Professional Development forms have been recreated, with the same functionality.
  • In the future (after our new external website is launched and running smoothly), we can focus on additions and improvements to our internal content.
  • If you’d like to share needs, ideas, or requests for an engaging “intranet” site, please contact the project team and we will add them to our growing “wish list.”

Content teams continue to make good progress

  • Nine content teams (at least one in each program area) are formed. See the content teams page for team info and progress updates.
  • Over the next week, we are looking forward to kickoff meetings with the Food Safety and Home Horticulture content teams, and follow-up meetings with a couple of other teams.
  • With each meeting, our project team has received valuable feedback and examples of content that are helping us revise the topic list/menus, and site structure and functions.
  • This engagement with content teams is critically important in helping us prepare for an initial web demo at Extension Annual Conference. Thank you!