Class of 1957 case study
The Class of 1969, looking forward to its 40th Reunion in May 2009, decided that it needed many more capabilities than the existing HAA web site offered. We reviewed every other class web site to create a wish-list of features we admired, such as a photo album, blog, and map. A critical feature was the ability to send e-mail messages directly to classmates.
So we purchased a domain, HR60.org. Then we engaged a web designer, who recommended the Joomla content management system (which other classes have also used) because it is inexpensive and has a number of interesting additions that are also inexpensive. Many developers around the world are writing programs to enhance Joomla and they are making these programs available either free or at low cost. Best of all, Joomla seemed to offer all the features we wanted!
It was valuable to have a web specialist set up Joomla, because it requires some technical knowledge and the documentation is not comprehensive.
Our site is now live and has the following features: registration subject to approval by webmaster; ability to send e-mails to some or all registered users; ability to put features behind log-in and thereby restrict access to classmates only; easy-to-use photo album; Google map of where classmates live; and self-moderated discussion area for classmates to post news and announcements. It is easy for the webmaster to create new menu items, edit pages, or add new ones.