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Interesting site features

posted Sep 24, 2008, 5:44 AM by Eddie Woo   [ updated Sep 24, 2008, 6:22 AM ]
There are a whole slew of interesting features in the site that extend it beyond an ordinary collection of pages, files and links. Here is a short list of things I've just noticed in the last couple of hours. 
  1. The search box at the top-right. One of the greatest problems with our intranet site is the abundance of data, coupled with a horrid navigation scheme. In other words, there's lots of good stuff that is needlessly difficult to access. This would be slightly redeemed by a search function, but without it, it really seems like we're trying to make it harder for people to find things on the site.
  2. Commenting. People invited as collaborators can participate in discussion on various pages, making content-relevant talk and requests a seamless process. Want to talk about some file on the year 7 page? Make a comment on the year 7 page itself (see this example). Easy and fast.
  3. The dynamic sitemap. It's available at the bottom of the Navigation bar on the left. Unlike most static sitemaps which serve like an outdated contents page, this is spontaneously generated by Google's servers and therefore is permanent up-to-date. Every page on the site is viewable from there, and the site's organisational hierarchy is also clearly visible. That's a big plus for helping people to find the information they need.
  4. Entirely automated record of site activity. You can see the recent site activity on the left beneath the navigation, and you can also view this exhaustive list of changes that have been made to the site, along with exactly when it all happened. I have a manually-updated "Recent Updates" list and page on the intranet site that is really just a weak imitation of this.
Still plenty of things to explore and understand.