How NAFA uses Google

 Overview
 
This document describes the use of Google and the NAFA Organization. The reason for using Google as a repository for all NAFA info has multiple purposes:
  1. This to makes the office of General Secretary mostly paperless. Handing off the Office to the next Office holder is then very simplistic.
  2. Since all information is maintained online, the data is then secured by Google. Periodic backups could be maintained of important data, but the working info is all online. Google has demonstrated that it is a long term company that is in the industry of providing these kinds of services. The Service is free with additional free resources available to Non-For-Profits.
  3. Since the working info is all online, it can be easily shared with the NAFA community.
  4. Google acts as a central repository for all documentation related to NAFA. This central repository allows for a dependable place where the information is kept up to date.  Issues of lost information should be minimized if data is kept here. The work will be to keep it well organized, accessible and remind people that the information is there.
  5. Google web applications were picked for ease of use and accessibility. By using them, we are not bound to some other third party tool in order to read documentation (no expense). Web applications will also allow for access to the data from the next generation computing devices (ie. Smart Phones, Net Books, ...)
 
How to use Google for NAFA
 
NAFA was already centered on the use of a Google Group for disseminating announcements to the NAFA Community.  The use of the other Google Web based apps was just a simple extension to that.
 
NAFAsec
 
A  special GMail user was created to represent the NAFA General Secretary. This user is the repository of all NAFA information and documentation. He can allow access to that information in a controlled manner. Access to this user should be restricted to the General Secretary and President of NAFA. Others in the community can contribute by giving them access as Collaborators to the Google Site or by forwarding information to someone that has access.   
 
NAFAWeb Site
 
NAFA's web presence is slightly complicated.  This is done to allow NAFA to give us  the opportunity to provide the best possible web presence. 
 
It is composed of 2 pieces,  www.nafa-online.org and http://sites.google.com/site/nafaweb:
 
Why do this? Well it has to do with the strengths technically of each.
 
  • www.nafa-online.org - This is a web site provided by a normal Internet Service Provider. NAFA was able to secure this at a reasonable price. Creating content on this site requires knowledge of HTML and other Web Tools. It provides for the greatest possible web functionality short of hosting our own web server.  Because knowledge of HTML using it to disseminate community information is difficult. It is hard to keep up to date and maintain. These issues have all been demonstrated in the recent past. Its strength is that we can do most standard web based things. For example, very customized menus and graphics are possible. But along with that comes the knowledge required to do it.(Under Construction)
 
  • http://sites.google.com/site/samparkanafa (Google Site - Nepali American Friendship Association ) - Google Site on the other hand has a limited look and feel. But it what it does offer is ease of use. Creating a page like this is as easy as using Word or any other Text editor. This should reduce the amount of special skills needed to add content.  This Wiki based content creation is heavily used across multiple industries.  In addition Google provides excellent connectivity for specialized content (for example a sign-up sheet or photos from an event). In addition there are tools to monitor how the web site is being used.  These statistics can be used to improve the websites usability. Google Sites also allow for Search capability across all content in the site. This can be very useful for finding instances of when something was said or how to do something.
Google Groups
 
NAFA uses the following google groups Nepali American Friendship Association  and a group for the Executive Board. These groups allow the group to communicate in a simple email based format. The groups also provide storage  for documentation.  That documentation though does not proved good search capability. Also in many cases outside editors were used to create the content and without that software or a way to translate it the information is not accessible. Information that is not accessible is not useful.
 
Google Site (NAFAsec owner, Others Collaborators )
 
This is Googles, Wiki based web sites. It's easy to use. I'm using it right now over lunch to create this content from work. Easy and convenient. Though the NAFAsec is the owner collaborators can be added. This allows others to modify the site with information they consider valuable for the community.
 
Google Docs (NAFAsec)
 
These are a set of applications that reside online. Nothing to buy, always up to-date. Accessible from any web enabled computer. Documents created here can be easily published. When creating content for Google Sites, you should use the NAFA Sec account, to store the content. That way it will be around for as long as NAFA is tied to Google. The information is not tied to any one individual. 
 
Picasa (NAFAsec)
 
Is Googles online photo gallery. In keep with this photos of NAFA events can be maintained under the NAFAsec account on Picas.  The account offers plenty of space for photos. In additions those photos can be downloaded by the community and even made into hard prints.
 
 
 
Tasks
 
Add/Remove users as Collaborator to Google Site
  1. Navigate the NAFA Google Site in your favorite web browser.
  2. "Sign in" as NAFAsec.
  3. Under "More actions" button in the toolbar ribbon. Select "Share Site". 
  4. You can now add and remove the contributors via their email address.  They can be invited to join the site as collaborator. If they have a GMail account they can access the site from their Gmail menu.
 
 
Edit and Modify a Google Site Page
 
  1. Navigate the NAFA Google Site in your favorite web browser.
  2. "Sign in" as a  Collaborator.
  3. Click "Edit page" (upper right) on the page you you wish to modify. You will now be taken into a word processor for the page.
  4. When your done, press "Save" (upper right).
 
 
Adding New Announcement Under Latest News
 
  1. Navigate the NAFA Google Site in your favorite web browser.
  2. "Sign in" as a  Collaborator.
  3. Go to the "Latest News" page.
  4. Press Edit Page (upper right).
  5. Click on the "Text gadget".
  6. Click on "Properties". 
  7. After the top bullet point press <return>, that should open a new line with a bullet.
  8. Set cursor after new bullet. 
  9. Click "Link" 
  10. Press "Create new page"
  11. Enter the name of the new page (ie "Fund Raising Event").
  12. Select "Put the page under Latest News"
  13. Hit "Create Page"
  14. Hit "OK"
  15. Hit "Save" in the Text Box Properties.
  16. Hit "Save" in the upper right. You should now see a link to your new announcement page.
  17. Click the link. This will create the new page, and you can press "Edit page" (upper right) and fill in your info.
  18.  
     
Publishing a Google Doc to the Google Site
 
Controlling access to a Google Page
 
Publishing Photos from Picasa to Google Site
 
Additional Resources
 
 
Google Sites Help
Google Docs Help
Google Picasa Help
     
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