Twin Cities Public Television (tpt)

What did they need?

Twin Cities Public Television (tpt) had done internal assessment and decided that their static HTML intranet was underutilized as a resource and communications tool for staff. Updating content was a hassle, requiring a few people to create content for the many, with no control left to staff to organize or search materials in new ways.

Additional features were added in through isolated scripts intended to list files in sub-directories, read and print events from external databases, and a FileMaker database for staff phone numbers. Consequently, much information was missing or out of date, staff frequently didn't know where to find information they needed, and there was a lack of accountability and transparency in information sharing.

The assessments concluded that allowing staff in each department to update their own content would increase efficiency, improve the quality of the content available to others, and hold each area more accountable for what was found on the intranet.

What did I do?

I evaluated the reports provided and interviewed staff members to get a better sense of their use-case scenarios. I extracted data from the static HTML pages and PHP scripts on the old intranet site and migrated them into Drupal.

Working within Drupal, I created a calendar of events (sortable by department) a directory of phone numbers for staff and facilities (organized by department or with first names and photos, exportable as CSV or XLS sheets when necessary), and turned the front page into a dynamic collection of recent departmental announcements. I opened up content editing features for staff to make easy edits and keep revisions of materials, added keyword taxonomies to the content (to allow for increased control over information organization), and even imported staff event photo galleries.

I implemented a visual theme previously developed and approved by staff in earlier tests.

Who did I work with?

I worked with two primary contacts within tpt, the original author of the communications assessments and a primary Web Developer. Together, two of us presented our ideas to the executive team and the managers, then met with representative users selected from each department who would become involved in testing the new features and editing future content on the new intranet.

What did I learn?

This project gave me a chance to explore some new modules and features of Drupal that I hadn't had much experience with. This was my first site with views attachments, calendars, and customizing CKEditor with plugins and extra configurations. This project also gave me a chance to think about and write out my work methodology, which I hope will help me communicate even more effectively with future contacts.

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