The regularity of ICANN meetings makes them useful markers for both the pace and the nature of the progress we're making in providing better digital services to the ICANN community. It also gives me the opportunity to ask for feedback in person at ICANN54 and through blog posts like this, for those who can't be in Dublin.
The following provides you with a snapshot of our progress.
- We launched the beta version of the new At-Large website. This new site is easier for both established members of the At-Large community and newcomers looking to find the working groups and policy matters that most concern them. It's designed to help drive wider and deeper engagement from across the globe (the use of Google's translate mechanisms give a clue to this improved inclusiveness). If you like what you see, that's because the At-Large team put in a tremendous amount of effort in articulating their need and helping us design and implement an appropriate site. This site is in beta, so now is the best time to chip in with your suggestions. Give me your feedback directly at: email@example.com.
- We updated the subscription and notification process for Government Advisory Committee members related to two-character strings. We also have a new mechanism and web forms for the submission of comments. Again, if you have any feedback or questions, let's talk here in Dublin or you can reach me anytime via email.
- We're consistently looking at what we do and searching for ways to do it better. For example, we recently completed an evaluation of the integrated working group management service. We also have an ongoing evaluation of the document co-authoring tools we use. So far, we've looked at around 50 different solutions and have yet to find one that meets the diverse needs of the community. We can wonder whether good enough is, in fact, good enough for what we need. I'll explore this further in upcoming blog posts.
- We've hired an information scientist (librarian) who will tackle document authoring, management standards and management processes. Fresh eyes and expertise are invaluable when looking for new solutions to tricky problems.
We also have plenty of projects in the pipeline.
Arguably, the biggest single project we face is reviewing icann.org's content, information architecture and site navigation. We need to make our site journeys easier, so that community members and newcomers don't revert to search by default (always a sign a site is hard to navigate). We need to make content easier to find, and we need to archive content that's no longer relevant or is inaccurate. We also need to map out what content is missing and make sure we fill the gaps. Finally, we need to provide translation for a much larger percentage of our content. We need your help and involvement on this project.
Besides reviewing content, we're looking at how to improve the ways people can find and join working groups, as well as ways of providing better reporting on group activities and participation. These groups need secure online services to provide management support, which reduces the work burden on group leaders and admins.
This will enable them to retain their existing community members and recruit new members.
We need your help
As you just read, there's much to be done and much already ongoing. More than ever, I want your thoughts on any issues you think deserve urgent attention. The purpose of digital services is to help make ICANN's communities function better - to make that happen, we need ICANN's communities to help us design them together.