Teachers Day: Sunday 4th August 2013
Subgroup focussing on our internet presence and perhaps an initial internet page.
I feel particularly strongly about the issue of CCI’s internet presence as, being a returning Co-Co-er who had completely lost touch with the movement 20 years ago, when I started trying to find it again, the impression I got was that it was an organization that was small, old, tired and perhaps even dying!
Last Sunday, 4th August, as part of the CCI’s Teachers’ Training Day at Launde Abbey, I chaired a sub-group that was formed to try to address the issue of Co-Counselling’s internet presence.
Richard Mills manager of co-counselling.co.uk,
John Talbut manager of co-counselling.org.uk CCI-UK,
JanPieter Hoogma manager of co-counselling.info CoCoInfo, cocoscotland, cornucopia.org.uk
Steve Roche and myself.
Others who had asked to be kept informed: Viv Rimmer, Sue Gray.
Offers of behind the scenes help and advice: Sue Quilliam, who also agreed to mention Co-Co whenever she appears on TV etc, where appropriate.
Unfortunately, I had to leave at 12 o’clock and so do not know what was fed back to the main group or whether any decisions were agreed.
At the time I left the sub-group it seemed to me that we were trying to get consensus about a more up-to-date ‘gateway’ page, whether we could do it ourselves, whether we needed one at all, whether individual teachers would have to give up their individual slants and presentation styles in the interests of having a united presence.
At the time I left it seemed to me that we had got as far as agreeing that we should have a ‘gateway’ page:
- This would be one page with a few ‘bullet points’ on it and perhaps some more detailed sub-pages, and immediate links to the various regional teachers, all of whom have their own websites, styles etc. That this gateway page would come up when individuals ‘out there’ typed in various ‘prompt’ words or phrases( don’t know the terminology here).
JT and JPH agree with this as long as this gateway page is not meant to be a replacement of the CCI-UK or CoCoInfo web sites.
They expressed also doubts that one single gateway page will be attractive to the various target groups in society and various types of internet users. Also it is unclear whether this would be a main-page for England only, or also for Scotland (CoCoScotland portal!), Europe (different languages!), USA etc. Whatever, even a web-site with a local focus (say England only) and potentially only attractive to some of CCI’s target audiences, that main page is still progress as long as it is maintained properly. The more coco web pages appear in the search engines, the better!
- It was also suggested that each teacher’s first page might echo the style of the ‘gateway’ page.
JT and JPH: The idea looks very attractive: like recognising the faces of people as being of the same family. Having a shared and agreed professionally designed CCI logo seems to be a good starting point. The more web sites are involved the more effective this echoing approach will be. How can we arrive at a style that will have sufficient support for it be taken up internationally? We look forward to any style proposals.
- It was suggested that we might need funding to pay for this gateway page and that I/we would approach Sue Gray who is familiar with getting funding.
- It was also suggested that we might consider bringing in a marketing consultant who might suggest ways in which we could identify and present our USPs (unique selling points) but that this would not mean we had their ideas imposed upon us but that these would be treated only as suggestions that might help us unify and clarify our approach to this gateway page.
- It was also suggested that, if/when we got as far as a proposed gateway page, that this would be presented at the next UK workshop to get feedback before considering whether/how we took it further
- I was given permission to
JT and JPH are happy for anyone to take initiatives around (new) web sites and supporting existing ones. Nobody needs to ask us for permission to do this, so we do not need to and indeed we did not give any permission.
I was given permission to tentatively and unofficially sound out the person (John Wallett of ) who had done my own website and who has done a great variety of websites for a great variety of people i.e. not imposed his ideas upon them but created websites that responded to what the individuals concerned wanted and that reflected their individual styles.
During the meeting JPH questioned how the effectiveness of his designs for attracting and returning visitors had been assessed. Pleasing customers with web site designs they want to see themselves is an effective moneymaking technique but not a good indicator of the effectiveness of his design in attracting the desired audiences. So did he gave any indication of how he assessed the successfulness of the web sites designed by him in attracting new visitors, returns and in creating steady referrals by other web sites? If so, what are the indicators he uses to assess all this?
This I have now done. John understood that this was as much about process as about outcome. He said that he would look at the various CCI websites and give it some thought.
JT and JPH: We are looking forward to John Wallet’s feedback, especially if it contains what is good about our web sites and suggestion for (preferably small step) improvements.
Personally, I think the idea of a ‘gateway’ page is vital. I think it should be a page that is colourful, contemporary and welcoming in order to appeal to a wide age range and people from a diversity of backgrounds. I also think it would give a sense of connectedness if all the UK teachers had some version/variation of the gateway page as their first page but that, after this, their styles should remain as individual as they are.
As I understand it, John Talbut was also very keen that there should be more ‘outreach’. I wonder whether there shouldn’t perhaps be a sub-group that focuses on how this could be progressed – teachers giving presentations in the work-place, colleges etc perhaps. Or perhaps developing practical introductions such as Sue Gray’s PSI.
I do hope this reflects the points we agreed at the point where I had to leave.
Please bring me up to speed with any developments that occurred following my departure on Sunday, and/or subsequently.