Chapter 319 Re-Launches Its Website
By Kristine Quiocho
Cal Poly Pomona Chapter 319 had been without a website going back to 2010 until volunteer Kristine Quiocho recently stepped up and rebuilt it. In this first-person account, Kristine discusses the tricky path to launching the new site. Pictured in the front row, from left, are Chapter 319's Rocky Sanchez, Lucy Breza, Kristine, and Deborah Campbell, and in the back row are Vaughn Lucas (left) and Robert Rice.
A couple of days after I joined the e-board at Cal Poly Pomona Chapter 319 last spring, I went through the CSUEU website looking for a link to the Pomona site. It wasn’t on the list of chapter links, and I soon discovered the reason: when Cal Poly Pomona’s I&IT division updated their web services in 2010, their changes took down our old website, which until then had been housed on their server, maintained by member Brad Willes. Since then, the chapter hadn’t been successful in getting the website up and running again on Pomona’s new web infrastructure.
Earlier this year, the e-board discussed rebuilding the site using CSEA’s secure server and DotNetNuke (DNN) software, and, since I had experience in that field, Chief Steward Rocky Sanchez approached me about taking the lead. I agreed but immediately found myself facing two challenges: I didn’t know how to use DNN, since I usually work with Adobe Dreamweaver, and I didn’t know what to include for content.
Luckily, I had support from the CSEA staff with the technical issues I was having as I learned the ropes. I remember a particular day when I was suddenly kicked off while editing and was unable to log back in. Fearing that I'd deleted the entire site, I contacted CSEA webmaster Steve Aunan, and he was able to log me in immediately. And, no, I hadn't deleted the entire site. Whew!
I knew that, as long as I had a manual, I could build the site. I went to DNN online and found one there. I then spent more than two weeks browsing the other CSUEU chapter websites as research. I went through every single page and analyzed what worked and what didn’t. When I found something beneficial, I simply customized it and added it our website.
The greatest challenge was creating the site’s navigation. Learning how to use the DNN modules and add new pages turned into a one-week period of trial and error. And, if you’re the one building your chapter website, you might run into a multitude of problems like I did, such as accidentally deleting an entire page. If that happens, just find a way to create a new one! Once you do, you’ll find that making those mistakes at 3 a.m. and solving them is better than any manual you’ll ever find.
After a couple of weeks of development, I presented the draft website to the e-board for its approval. After we made minor changes, it was finally ready to be launched and added once again onto CSUEU.org’s list of the chapter website.
Although it might look as if I built the site entirely on my own, it really was a collaborative effort. I never felt that the board abandoned me with this task. As a matter of fact, I’m grateful that I was left alone at first, because it allowed me to be creative. Board members were also kind enough to offer constructive criticism and helped me with minor changes in order to make the site more accessible for the members.
Working on the website was a wonderful experience. Of course, there were those moments of frustration when I ran across technical issues that I couldn’t solve quickly. But one thought kept me going: that it was my responsibility and also this chapter’s responsibility to provide members with this resource.
And it really was the most gratifying feeling ever when Chapter President Deborah Campbell recently announced during a chapter meeting that the site was finally available to the members.
I invite you to check out the new site!
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