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  • Katie Weir posted an update in the group Group logo of Grayshott Parish CouncilGrayshott Parish Council 1 year, 9 months ago

    Your new Community website

    We would like to update you on where we are with the new grayshott.com.

    As you will recall at last year’s Parish Assembly Peter Hatch announced that he had decided to step down from running the current grayshott.com. Over the last few months Peter and John Holden have been working with David Zack and various volunteers to build a new version of the site. The goal is to make it a sustainable website that is easier for a team of volunteers to maintain and support.

    The Council has had various meetings to gather feedback on the new site and the (limited) feedback has been rolled into the new site design and user experience.

    The target launch date for the new website is 1st September 2017. The old site will be shut down but an archived “snapshot” will be available on the new website for historical purposes. There will be some changes, with the main change being shifting the forums and marketplace to new services designed for these activities.

    We understand that the new site will not please 100% of the people or provide 100% of the features that people want. But please remember the site will be run by a community team who are doing this in their own time.

    With that said, for areas that we are moving off the site (forums, marketplace) they will be replaced by services that are easy to maintain and target specific functionality. Examples include Facebook and nextdoor.co.uk for the current forums and Facebook Marketplaces for selling items. We also hope to add some new features and services we were not able to provide previously as well as making it easier to find what you need as quickly as possible.

    The design team is undertaking some measures to make the transition as easy as they can:

    • The team will setup various sessions to help Grayshott businesses and organisations transition their information over to the new site as well as keeping their own information, events and news up to date on the site.

    • They will also setup sessions to help those who want to use the new nextdoor.co.uk, Facebook Forums and Facebook Marketplace create accounts and provide tutorials on how to use the new tools.

    We are looking for some volunteers to help with the new website. We have plenty of help on the technical side but could use some help as follows:

    • We need volunteers to start testing the new website in the summer to provide early feedback.

    • We are also forming a “management” community team composed of people from local businesses, local organisations and villagers who want to help steer the website in the right direction. Basically to explore new features and services and to decide what is wanted versus what should be provided and what we can do.

    The community team is currently represented as follows:
    Original Site(s): Peter Hatch, John Holden,
    Parish Council: Richard Lyon, David Zack
    Local Businesses: Will Benson, Peter Knifton
    Local Organisations: Tony Legat, TBD
    Residents: Katie Weir, TBD

    The team has had an initial meeting and are considering the best, but simplest format for an easily maintained website so that users can easily navigate their way around the site and will want to return to it rather than using Google to find what they need to know about Grayshott; and maintaining it is not too onerous a task for the volunteers. They’re also discussing sponsorship and advertising on the website. If you’re currently an advertiser or sponsor on grayshott.com we’re hoping you will want to continue to support your community’s website.

    The team is also looking into the best options for training in the use of the new website for any organisation, club or individual who wants to get the best out of it.
    If you would like to help test the new site or are interested in joining the community team, particularly if you are associated with one of the many local organisations or are a resident, please contact the Parish Office.

    Please remember you do not need to be technically minded to test the website or be on the community team.

    Technology changes very quickly and we needed to make changes to the current version of grayshott.com to make it easier to maintain and support. As we feel it is a valuable community resource the Council has funded the costs to migrate to a new website, with Cllr Floss Mitchell also giving a grant towards the set-up costs. However, once up and running it does need to be self-funding so we hope that the current sponsors and advertisers will continue their support. Any yearly surplus will be used for further development of the website, or it will be put back into the community.

    We will keep you updated on the launch date and training possibilities. Once the new look grayshott.com is up and running we would appreciate your comments on what is provided and what you might like added. The community team can’t promise to fulfil everyone wishes, but they will consider them all.

    We hope you will have an open mind to the changes and work with us to make the new website a success.