20 Aug 2013

Using Google Sites as a subject and resources web portal

I use Google Sites quite a bit – as a Wiki platform for documenting processes and the mapping of workflows etc. It’s straight forward to use, quickly deployed and flexible with the ability to add on some bells and whistles if required. However, using ‘free’, cloud-based services means taking a risk when the same are discontinued (see iGoogle for example which will be offline from November of this year). Likewise, when a bunch of people add, modify and delete content from a shared Wiki, things can go wrong. A workaround for both scenarios here is to simply play it safe and back up your page in regular intervals storing it offline with full integrity maintained. httrack serves me very well for this purpose.

Through my colleague (thanks David!) I came across the idea of using Google Sites as an outlet for designing and publishing subject research and resource guides. When looking at Seth Allen’s reusable template, I immediately thought “nice one”. The selling point here is that it not only offers flexibility (you can embed services from other sources, such as Feds2JS, Zoho Creater or libraryH3lp etc.), but also allows libraries with budget strains and limited tech skill to get a fairly sophisticated web portal up and running rather quickly.

Check out Seth’s presentation below for more details.

Check out Sites Help if you're new to Google Sites.


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