Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Google sites... worth a look? Simple, Free, Easy...

As I talk to people in the community it becomes more and more apparent that there is a vast amount of information that ought to be organised and made available via the web that just isn't happening. Why is that? What seems to be the problem?

  1. No idea that this sort of thing is possible
  2. Unaware of the tools that can be used to do the job
  3. Belief that it is difficult and time consuming, and that they don't have the skills to do it
  4. Assumption that it will cost heaven and earth
  5. Busy pushing it out on social media 'ineffectively' in the main

We have this most amazing tool 'the internet' at our disposal... all we need is a web browser, a device... could be a smart phone, tablet, laptop or standard PC and... internet connectivity which is becoming more and more ubiquitous as time passes.

It should be easy to be able to publish our messages / information and then put it somewhere relevant for the benefit of those that would find it useful... Judging by the amount of information that I am discovering that is no where to be seen on the internet we seem to be making it difficult somewhere along the line.

I hear a lot of this... 

  • We would love to get this information out there, but it has to be approved / updated by the main office
  • I'm still struggling with word, let alone doing anything more complicated
  • That's in the hands of our web developers.... that reminds me I must give them a call

To be honest half the battle is being prepared to give it a go... try... make mistakes and learn... empower yourself. I put together a training that shows how to build a website in 58 minutes... from scratch... 

+Uma Patil  who runs +Yoga 4 U here in #Watford watched the training video... [workshop is here] and then began to create a mini web site for a particular aspect of what she does.

The idea was Yoga Curious and the site is built using Google Sites. Uma is not a web developer but has now created a mobile friendly informational website which can be shared easily to communicate this aspect of what she does.

Now replicate this 1,000 times... no 10,000 times amongst all those who have something to say what a huge massive difference this would make!! So who could make use of this?

  • Community Groups - Often have no money, are only known about by those in them... do amazing work but no one knows. These mini websites can change all this. Once created they can be shared easily, linked to / from other websites and shared on Social media. It's just getting the information into the public domain.
  • Local Charities - Often strapped for cash. Struggle with the costs of getting information printed. Mini websites enable local charities to share documents, events, videos, stories easily and quickly. This instantly increases visibility, engagement and participation. Once published like above they can be linked to / from other website and social media pages. No need to wait... once you've created one of these... they can be rolled out / copied / changed
  • Micro businesses - It always seems that there is a new idea... new aspect to the business not quite programmed into the main website. Or... you want to highlight / expand on a particular aspect for an initiative. This gives business owners the flexibility to get on and try things out... do things and if they work they can be integrated into the main website as necessary.
  • Web site preparation - Often we need to write and prepare copy. We do this in documents and then have to piece it together afterwards to make it fit into our websites.... What if we could create the structure of our website and then prepare everything in a simple to use space ready for the web developer when they are ready.
  • e-Book, booklet or book development - As above this tool lends itself to so many uses... and it's free, multiple people can access / update.
  • People with skills who want to support community - This tool in the right hands means that we can help and support any of the above groups if we have a few hours and a willingness to contribute to community. These sites in the past would have needed domains... hosting... templates... SSL certificates... these sites need none of these and are completely free, secure and protected.

Google sites provides us with a service that can empower us to share the 97% of good news that is out there and start making a massive difference in the community. 

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