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All things special district and technology related

Website bootcamp module 6: How social should districts be?

on February 6, 2019 By | Sloane Dell'Orto | 0 Comments | Website best practices
In this module we give an overview of social media platforms (including what age groups are using which) and provide tips for leveraging social media to benefit your special district and engage your communities. We also discuss the potential pitfalls for special districts and give examples of some social media "fails" and policies you may want to put into place before diving in. This content is excerpted from a longer talk we've given at various special district conferences.
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Website bootcamp module 5: Finding content matters!

on January 30, 2019 By | Sloane Dell'Orto | 0 Comments | Website best practices
It doesn’t make sense to bother writing content if no one ever reads it. In this module we’ll go over some guidelines that will ensure your content is found, including how to make searchable PDFs, and explain why it's a bad idea to bury the "pay your bill" information on the Finance Department page. This content was pulled from a longer presentation on Writing for the Web.
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Website bootcamp module 4: Writing for the web

on January 23, 2019 By | Sloane Dell'Orto | 0 Comments | Website best practices
This module will provide a lot of practical advice on how to write effective content for your website. As our online attention spans get shorter, being able to write in a way that people will pay attention to becomes even more important. This is particularly important for special districts, who often use their websites to convey critical information to their constituents. This content is a briefer version of the full talk we give at various special district association conferences.
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Website bootcamp module 3: Moving pictures - video resources for special districts

on January 16, 2019 By | Sloane Dell'Orto | 0 Comments | Website best practices
If you're considering using video to stream meetings or promote your district, this module can help! We discuss some of the things to consider (like closed captioning for accessibility), and various options that are available. This brief overview was pulled from our longer talk titled Writing for the Web.
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Website bootcamp module 2: A picture is worth a thousand words

on January 9, 2019 By | Sloane Dell'Orto | 0 Comments | Website best practices
This module introduces a lot of great information about website imagery: where to find fantastic stock photography and icons for free, how to use Google image search to find images you can reuse without copyright issues, when to use images vs. icons, and more. We also touch on the importance of making sure your images are tagged properly for accessibility. Lastly, we cover the reason you shouldn't use graphical images of text (like flyers) - at least, not unless you also add the content as text, too.
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Website bootcamp module 1: Why special districts need a great website

on January 2, 2019 By | Sloane Dell'Orto | 0 Comments | Website best practices
Websites matter, and in this module we spend some time explaining why they are even more important for special districts than for many other organizations. Special districts are doing important work, and a website can help you educate and connect with your communities - and it can also make sure that your voice is part of the conversation if any controversy arises, a rate increase is needed, etc. We also provide an overview of what each upcoming module will cover.
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Website accessibility standards for local government

There are a few formatting requirements that apply to local government agencies in California: Section 508 (for visitors with disabilities); AB 169 guidelines for anything considered “open data;” and AB 2257, which governs formatting and posting requirements for any agency’s main governing body’s agenda. In this article we’ll touch on the first two; to learn more about AB 2257 and home page agenda posting, check out this related article.  
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The 5 things your website should do for you (a manifesto)

on February 1, 2016 By | Sloane Dell'Orto | 0 Comments | Website best practices
A lifetime of involvement in special districts and a love for small local government has given me an understanding of just how challenging it can be for agencies to communicate online. However, instead of focusing on how hard it is, I’d like to look at five non-negotiable things your site should do for you. Just because it's been hard in the past doesn't mean it has to be hard now. We're here to make sure of that. 
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