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Georgia Southwestern State Looks To Boost Web Participation with CMS

After a year-long effort, Georgia Southwestern State University has overhauled its public Web site and added CM1, a content "marketing" system from Percussion Software, with the aim of involving more people across campus in content creation and editing.

CM1 allows an organization to build a Web site with pre-built widgets and gadgets. A drag and drop interface lets users create new templates, modify page layouts, integrate social media, and embed third-party Web applications. Version 2, which launched in September 2011, adds blogging and RSS functions, uses tags and categories to encourage reuse of material, and includes "like" and commenting features to allow visitors to rate content.

"We believe our Web site is the critical first impression that many prospective students have of Georgia Southwestern State University," said Stephen Snyder, director of university relations. "We recognized the need to make improvements that were not only aesthetically pleasing, but also included improved navigation and organizational structure of content."

He noted that a limited number of individuals are familiar with Web programming on any college campus or in any business. "As a result, [our] need for a Web content management system was important. Faculty and staff will now have the freedom to edit and update their content with more ease."

The new design of the Web site adds a rotating image slideshow on the home page and drop-down menus on the main navigation bar, which the institution hopes will help visitors find the information they need more easily.

Planning for the redesign began in spring 2011 and included input from multiple departments. The Americus, GA-based university has about 3,000 students.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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