Tag Archives: iccns.ca

We’re Revamping our Web Site!

WWW.ICCNS.CA was officially launched back in 2004.  That might not seem like such a long time ago, but in the world of the web…it’s ions ago and many changes and improvements have been made to web site development.  Unfortunately, our site has become “static”  and outdated.

karen_photoOne of our Fall/Winter projects is to revamp our website and give it a fresh new look.  We have hired a web designer, Karen Jeane Mills, to do just that.  Karen graduated from NSCAD in 2006 with a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts. She completed a Web Design Internship with Student Connections in Halifax in 2007.  She has since worked as a Freelance Designer, improving existing web sites and brand identities.

NS C@P approached us with the idea of creating a template that could be use for all C@P Regions across the province.  It was suggested that the WEB Site for each C@P Region should have some familiarity to it, seeing that we are all part of the C@P Program.  This would make it easier for viewers to find information as they surf from region to region.  At the same time, each region would have opportunity to make their site unique and representative of their geographical region.

Initially, we had planned to update our present web site by using Dreamweaver and purchase Adobe Contribute for each to use to update and manage their web content.  NS C@P used Joomla, an open source content management system, to create and maintain their website.  As well, a couple of other regions have successfully used this program.  We liked the idea of moving to an open source software, and decided that this would be the direction to take.  Karen did some research for us, and spent some time learning Joomla.  She experienced some frustration with the program and began to look at other options.  She did some comparisons between the different content management systems, and recommended WordPress to us.  ICCNS agreed that this was our best option. While NS C@P agreed that it was a worthy option, they decided to remain with Joomla for the present time and other regions could decide what was best for them.

Karen has been very busy creating the design layout for the template for our new site, which will also be available as a template for other regions to use to create their own web site.  There have been ongoing discussions with both the NS C@P Coordinator’s Technical Committee and Communications Committee as to what the layout should look like, what colour scheme should be used, what branding identies and government logos should be included etc.  A survey was also sent to the ICCNS Site Chairs to obtain their opinions and ideas as to what they would like to see on this new site.

Karen informs us that the New ICCNS web site represents more than just a fresh look for the old pages. Using contemporary Internet tools and trends, we will create a web site that all will enjoy.  A central feature on the new web site is a blog. Instead of writing static articles filed under each community section, staff can contribute dynamic blog entries that display both on the home page and under community sections.  However, much remains to be decided regarding the web site’s content pages, dynamic features, and design.

We will keep you updated and informed on the progress of this project.


Google Apps

I’ve been asked to make a presentation to my colleagues in NS C@P, to describe Google Apps and how we at ICCNS use this tool. I thought that the best way to do this was to blog about it.

The reason I first looked at google apps was for the sole reason of wanting our domain name or organization name reflected in our email address: @iccns.ca as opposed to @gmail.com. I believe that this gives our organization more creditability and looks more professional. Google Apps gave us that and more. Rather then try to explain all this myself, I’m going to insert a video that will do a better job!

We give each youth intern an iccns email address, and that is the email address that they are to use for their work term. Each C@P site, likewise, has an iccns.ca email address. All @iccns.ca email addresses are shared within the organization; if one of the interns needs to contact someone within our organization, that email address would automatically be in his/her contact list.

We encourage employees to use this Start Page, but some choose to forward their iccns.ca email to their personal email account – which is their decision.

For a more in depth look you can view the following video:

I’m a big fan of Google, and had already been using GMail and GCalendar, so it was easy for me to migrate to google apps. I know that this might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I wanted to share the positive experience we’ve had with this application with you.