I’ve been the webmaster for the Connecticut Council on Developmental Disabilities for the past 2.5 years. It’s one of the only clients I kept after accepting the fulltime job at C3. It’s not that difficult, and I enjoy working with the Council staff. As the parent of a child with a disability, I appreciate the importance of the work they’re doing.
What I don’t appreciate is the CMS the State of Connecticut uses. It’s clunky, it’s slow, it’s mind-numbingly dense and not at all user friendly, and it requires IE 6+ to do anything.
So whenever possible I’ve been encouraging the council to take advantage of the reliable technologies outside of the ct.gov domain. When they wanted a way to have more active feedback from readers and I found the message board on the ct.gov site to be unusable, I set up a blog at ctcdd.org (now I would have just done it on WordPress.com).
They wanted to show off pictures, so I set them up on Flickr.
They wanted an easy way to update a calendar of events in the community. I set them up with a Google Calendar account and embedded it in a page on the ct.gov site.
We mostly use the ct.gov site itself for meeting minutes, budget and council member lists, upcoming meeting announcements and other items that are text-based and need to be on the main site for whatever reason.
One of the Council’s biggest projects is “Able Lives,” a series of short pieces that air on Connecticut Public Television. A couple of months ago, the Council spoke to me about how we could embed video on the ct.gov site. Ugh. Wasn’t even going to go there with that CMS. I suggested that they work with CPTV to allow the clips to be uploaded to YouTube. They’re short clips, and on YouTube they have a better chance of being seen by a wider audience. Then I can simply embed the player on ct.gov (if it’ll let me).
I was thrilled to see this morning that’s exactly what they did (and apparently it’s on MySpace, too):
I love when it’s not technology for technology’s sake.