The new year always kicks off some great new projects at the County, mostly because everyone has money to spend after budget approval. The focus last year was getting the new county home page off and running, and in the year since we’ve made sufficient technological progress that the home page now requires another rewrite. This time, if all goes according to plan and my knowledge of RSS and our Synapse Content Management System pays off, the home page will be able to update itself. This is probably some time off though, as we have to put most of the current county sites into the CMS in the first place.
There are a few sites already out there running the CMS, the most notable of these is the Department of Development’s site. While I’m still having fits over getting .NET to serve valid, standards-based code, the site itself has much better flow, and a significantly updated look and feel. Hopefully it actually feels like it has been designed, instead of just built.
The big ticket item for the first quarter of 2008 is a complete overhaul of the Board of Elections site, putting it into the CMS, making it more like a portal and creating pages with voter-specific information and interactive election-tracking as well. In addition to the end-user bells and whistles, behind the scenes we should end up with less labor intensive updating processes and significantly less server load.
Other sites currently in the pipeline include the Office of Homeless Services, the Board of County Commisssioners, Coroner, and Justice Affairs. This is a good chance for me to build up some earned time so that I can take time off when the kid arrives.
Here at home, I’ve switched O/M over to Bluehost, an all-around good idea, as I can and am doing a redesign with multiple WordPress installations and databases.