Chebucto Community Net
Annual Report of the Editor-in-Chief
The unrelenting pace of development of the Chebucto Community Net
certainly manifested itself in the sphere of the Editors as well! It was a busy
year all round, with the Editors tackling many initiatives, making significant
progress on a number of fronts -- and yet still finding that there was much
more to be done!
A quick summary of the projects that we undertook:
1) Editorial Policy
Probably the most important achievement of the year was the formulation
and adoption of a formal Editorial Policy
which serves as a guide and compilation of Editorial responsibilities and
positions. This establishes a formal underpinning for the work of the
Editors and makes clear to interested parties what it is that we do. This
document underwent considerable evolution and revision as a result of the
valuable input of many CCN members and was formally adopted by the Board
of Directors. I thank everyone involved for their assistance.
2) Functional User Interface
A significant achievement this past year was determining what functionality
we would like to have represented on CCN IP pages. After sorting through a
number of options (Up & URL Stats were eliminated, etc.) we settled on the
current CCN Standard Button Bar with its functions of Find, Recent, Contacts,
Home & Web. Once this, and its coding, was adopted, we moved to
implement this button bar across all CCN IP Pages in all directories
3) Graphic User Interface
We also determined that the CCN IP pages needed a major facelift in terms of
their interface as seen through graphical browsers. In theses days of graphic
intensive uses of the World Wide Web, we wanted to bring our pages up to at
least a minimal level of visual literacy. With this in mind we developed
icons & graphics for:
All these required some development and testing. Once they were debugged
we moved to implement them in a consistent fashion across all CCN IP
- The CCN Standard Button Bar
- Headers for 2nd & 3rd pages
- Icons to tag & distinguish CCN Information Providers
- Background Pattern
Both these initiatives (as well as standardizing various aspects of coding and
layout of CCN documents) have given CCN IP pages a technical, functional
and visual coherence which was previously lacking and have significantly
improved the visual appearance of our pages.
4) Information Providers Database
With the Information Providers Database developed by the Technical
Committee we were in a position to undertake several important initiatives
with respect to the management of IPs (in addition to assisting with
debugging the functionality of the IP Database itself):
- Deleting Erroneous, Outdated, Inapplicable, etc. Applications from the IP
In excess of 50 of such were removed.
- Information Providers with no IP Agreement.
Examination of the IPDB showed 8 IPs which had slipped through our
administrative cracks and for which there were no IP Agreements in place. I
am happy to report that we now have IP Agreements for all of these.
- Old Applications
Examination of the IPDB showed some 56 old Applications gathering
electronic 'dust'. Inquires into these have 'reactivated' some 22 of these
while 34 were consigned to the archives.
- Static IPs
In the early days of the CFN, information about various organizations was
installed on our server, without, however, any IP structure or person
administering such. Many of these so-called 'static' IPs were hopelessly
out of date or represented vanished organizations, or organizations that
had developed their own websites elsewhere. Of the original 18 static IPs,
15 have been resolved in various ways (4 have become full-fledged CCN
IPs!) leaving only 3 remaining, which have all expressed interest in
evolving to be full CCN IPs.
- Other Problem Areas
As a result of working with the IP Database we have identified a couple of
additional problem areas [Dormant IPs - with no apparent activity;
Orphaned IPs - in which there is no longer any Editor to administer the
information] for which we have developed proposals which would allow us to
better monitor these problem areas. These have been submitted to the
Technical Committee for implementation in the future.
5) Group Editor
Another extremely valuable tool which has emerged from the Technical
Committee during the past year is the Group Editor. This has given the
Editors a much enhanced ability for dealing with membership of CCN edit
groups. A considerable effort was devoted over the latter half of this
year to debugging this tool, which now appears to be fully operational.
6) Editor's Website
In order to better document the many facets of responsibilities of CCN
Editors, and to have central repository of information pertaining to tasks
which they must carry out, the Editor-in-Chief has created an Editors' Website which:
This website, in addition to being a valuable reference for many aspects
of Editorial work, is also a useful tool for the training of potential new
Editors and is a template which has been exported and replicated in
Réseau communautaire Chebucto and CSuite.
- Documents Editorial Policy
- Includes a Canonical CCN Document
- Has documentation of both the IP Database and the Group Editor;
- Contains copies or links to the IP Agreement and the IP Response Letter;
- Has a listing of current members of the Editorial Collective, etc.
7) Information Provider Response Letter
In consultation with IP Training we clarified, revised and installed a
comprehensive Response Letter
to IP Applications which explains in detail the IP process and
reflects the concerns of both the Editors and IP Training. The is
automatically mailed to all IP Applicants.
8) Monitoring IP Websites
An ongoing process has been to monitor IP websites, and where necessary
provide feedback to help keep the technical level of the sites high and to
encourage IPs to comply with CCN requirements viz-a-viz credit and home
page links and also CCN suggestions viz-a-viz the use of the CCN Standard
Button Bar. This has been done both via mail-outs to all IP Editors as
well as on an individual case-by-case basis. This effort has borne some
fruit, but further work is required.
9) Assisting in IP Applications
Again, on an ongoing basis, CCN Editors continue to assist IP Editors in
many aspects of the IP Process. There is a concerted effort not to let any
applications fall through the cracks in terms of our attention and to
respond to queries/problems in as timely fashion as is possible. In this
regard I have been moving to increase our Editorial Collective so that
even in the event of absence, illness or preoccupation, we always have
people who are in a position to respond to concerns.
10) New Members of the Editorial Collective
Over the past year it has been my pleasure to welcome a number of new
members to the Editorial Collective. We have considerably enlarged our
base, bringing more hands to the task and an expanded set of collective
wisdom to draw on.
Joining us this year were:
We have also said good-bye to Sharon MacDonald
Groszko who have left to follow other pursuits.
I'm sure you'll join me in expressing my heartfelt appreciation to all of
these fine volunteers!
11) Looking Ahead
Lots of tasks lie in wait for the next year. Some of the above are
ongoing; in the case of others there is still scope for improvement or
sundry loose ends to be tied up.
Tasks at hand involve:
My personal thanks go to all the people who have so generously helped me
in my work, have patiently endured my never-ending questions, suggestions
and badgering and have contributed to the effort of making our part of the
CCN be the best it possibly can be.
- A much needed reform (with the Technical Committee) of the structure
of our edit groups (we have a hodgepodge of overlapping groups with
inconsistent jurisdictions & nomenclature);
- Expanding our efforts in terms of fundraising viz-a-viz our
- Reaching out more effectively to potential IP Organizations
- Further expanding our editorial base to bring in new editors into
neglected areas. There are still sectors of the CCN Pages which are
desperately torpid through inattention (if you'll permit me a florid
phrase). We need to awaken these and bring them up to speed with other
- Undertaking new responsibilities and tasks (with ccn-tech) viz-a-viz
new CCN initiatives such as Réseau communautaire Chebucto
and the Custom Login Page currently under development. These provide new
opportunities for us to deliver new services and expand the CCN
- Developing and Implementing new areas of functionality that we are
currently deficit in and continuing to improve and reform the contents of
our CCN pages and they way in which they work.
- A key area, in my view, is revitalizing the Volunteer Process. If we
are ever to clamber off the carousel of having too few people doing too
many things, we need to better harness our potential base of volunteers.
Many hands make light work and we constantly need to lighten the load.