Gretchen Ohmann, Communications Coordinator
Annual Report 2011
Our CMwD Media Team did quite a nice job this year at District Assembly. Several volunteers kept their keen eyes on photo ops and our video camera on major events. You can hear the Sermon Contest winner on our Podcasts page and view the Photo Album(s) on our Facebook page. Writer Pat Goller from ALUUC in Springfield also posted a DA report on her Blog.
Online workshops continued to grow in popularity. Collaborating with Phil Lund from Prairie Star District and Lisa Presley from Heartland District, we moved all of the online workshop recordings from the three Districts to one central location, www.midwestuuleadership.org. There you'll find not only the latest recorded webinars with their PowerPoint presentations and handouts, but the main calendar for the upcoming workshops.
Facebook has been something we've just dipped our toes into over the past year or so. We update it on a more casual basis than the website, but it does have extra goodies. We have set up a listing there of the CMwD congregations who have Facebook pages. Let me know if you start up a page for your congregation and be sure to "Like" the CMwD page!
Tech tweaks and improvements were the mainstay of our website work this year. Since introducing online event registrations, we've been able to implement and refine automatic report spreadsheets for the event organizers. Midwest Leadership School online registration was set up with these same tools.
Some of the news feeds have been improved, and you can now find a specific listing of upcoming online workshops right below our regular Upcoming Events. For the serious techies, you might be interested to know that we accomplished that by feeding the WordPress calendar events from Midwest UU Leadership directly to the CMwD site using Google's Feedburner.
Behind the scenes we made more consistent use of automatic backups and program upgrades, both of which add to the security of our site data. Thanks to Prairie Star's Phil Lund, we've learned more about WordPress in addition to our favorite Joomla Content Management System. We've consulted a bit with congregation webweavers and networked with our neighboring Districts.
We concentrated mightily on reviewing and revising the way we populate our e-mail lists, with the big change being a switch to using the UUA data rather than publishing our own directory. They have improved their data gathering system. Now you can Find a Congregation through the UUA website. To update your congregation's leadership information, you can go directly to my.uua.org. Is your congregation's data up-to-date with the UUA?
This year I've also been in a good spot to help Peggy with some of the office work like snail mailings and database maintenance. Doesn't sound glamorous, but I do enjoy the work!How can our District web tools be more useful to you? I invite you to contact us any time with your ideas and questions.