A new mandate for 42 Points. Kinda.

So if you’ve been following this blog at all you will know that I recently took on a new gig spinning for a small professional association / bargaining agent in Ottawa.

One of my first projects is to oversee the total redevelopment of the association’s brand and website. There’s a lot of background on this that I shant get into in a public forum but the Coles Notes version of the story is that our website is the very essence of web 1.0. Perhaps web 0.9. It was put together around 2000 or 2001 and has remained the same since then.

That’s all about to change. I’ve been given a broad mandate for change including the complete integration of many social media and community-building tools.

After spending a few weeks researching I’ve come to the somewhat surprising realization that organizations like ours (professional association, membership-driven etc) haven’t really embraced these tools to the extent I would have expected. We are going to be making up a lot of things from scratch or, at the very least, adapting strategies used in other fields.

And I plan to blog about it.

With the blessing of my employers, I am going to document a lot of the process that will lead us to our new site. The web relaunch is a major priority for the association so most of the heavy lifting will be done over the summer months. I plan to talk about everything here, from the process of finding the right web firm to work with to the nuts and bolts of developing our information infrastructure and dealing with the inevitable concerns about privacy, official languages, accessibility etc.

Why am I doing this? Well, I’d like to think that it’s not just an exercise in narcissism. I’m hoping to use this as something of a sounding board / living case study. While I haven’t found a lot of examples of similar groups doing similar things I know that I am not the first person to go through a process like this. Hopefully they’ll stumble upon this site and share some of their experiences. Hopefully my experiences will be able to help someone else down the road too.

I’m going to file all of my musings on this subject under Case Study; I hope you’ll follow along and contribute.


  1. Sounds interesting, Joe. We’re planning a big web site overhaul at my place of employment as well. We’re switching to a Content Management System, which is supposed to make life much easier for everyone. The powers that be have been working on the changes for some time already, but it could be another year before we see any real changes on the site.
    Something else my team is working on is a blog for students working in development abroad. We’re hoping to launch a pilot in June or July, starting with just two students. “Blog” might be overstating it a bit, as we (actually, most likely me) will be monitoring content and comments daily. Right now we’re working on the Terms of Use, Content Policy, and Disclaimer — we’re trying to figure out what exactly we need to include to cover our butts. The students are going abroad through a program funded by a government agency and managed by us, so we have to make sure they don’t say anything to piss off the funder, too. Got any tips for me? (I noticed you have added a disclaimer to your own blog. )

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