Forming a Community Website Group
Once you have found people interested in joining a website group, you need to consider the skills they can contribute. Apart from personal attributes such as long-term commitment to the project, being motivated and organised, an effective group would include:
- management skills to run meetings, organise committees, assist with business planning, developing business relationships and source funding
- legal skills to assist with the development of policies on acceptable website content, advertising/sponsorship guidelines, and organisational rules and constitution
- financial skills to assist with bookkeeping, preparation of financial records or to act as Treasurer for the group
- marketing/media skills to help promote the website, organise advertising or sponsorship opportunities, liaise with local media and source stories of interest to them and run promotions
- IT skills to assist with website design and development, assess host and software options, and complete the Website Sustainability Plan.
Once you have people with a range of skills and who are representative of the broad community you can allocate roles. Your group will most likely need a President or Chairperson, a Treasurer and a Secretary. Other responsibilities can include marketing, media liaison, legal and website development. These can be handled by individuals or by forming sub-committees to work through issues, develop guidelines and implement agreed actions.
Once the group has been formed, you will need a name, preferably one which tells the community who you are and what you are about.
You will also need to agree how you will communicate within the group. If all members have their own email address this is an effective communication tool.
Alternatively, some internet companies such as Yahoo and Google provide online group services, with features such as email addresses and mailing lists, bulletin boards and online calendars, which can be restricted to the members of your community website group.