Who am I and what do I do? 

I am a web and communications manager in the third (NGO and community) sector. I also do a lot of facilitation, which I bring to all communications and meetings. 

My approach is like having that person in your organisation. I open up all of the website-related questions that come up in an organisation doing a web project – including strategy, IT, design, communications, engagement, training, operations, decision-making, long term service arrangements, updates, power, conflict resolution, who gets to say what goes on the homepage etc.

I work transparently using shared google pages in a shared google folder (unless requested to use alternatives). Each step is documented as pithily as possible. I aim to be replaceable at any step as well – ie someone else could step in, read the notes, and pick up where I left off.

There are three approximate stages/levels of work which I’ve outlined below


1. Set up and look after WordPress sites

I set up and look after WordPress websites using standard themes for clients who are happy to use standard WordPress themes (e.g. http://dorchesteryoga.co.uk/, http://dorsetcommunityenergy.org.uk/).

WordPress themes are easy, useful, flexible and impressive. I encourage people to try this; the minute you get into specialisation, the website will always require specialist support, adding another layer of complication and cost to the experience that in most cases, isn’t necessary.

I firmly believe that clients should have control over their sites, and do their own editing – it’s fun and empowering.

I also firmly believe that clients should own their own domain names, and be in charge of their own web hosting contracts; it’s not hard, and I’m happy to set them up with clients. These are your things, it’s important, and you need to know that you are in control, and I am replaceable. 

This also keeps costs low as the process doesn’t include any designers or developers and related processes, and the process simple (from set up to ongoing maintenance).

Part of my job is to help the client identify the roles and responsibilities required to tend to their own site and support them make the change. I always train clients to manage the sites themselves, and edit their own content. I remain available for the more fiddly work as required (e.g. new pages, menus, security certificate updates).

When clients want or need more complicated sites with specialisation, I can project manage for them, working with designers or developers, or may advise that it may be suitable to hand the whole thing over to an agency (as I might just get in the way).


2. Manage sites that start simple and get more complicated

Some sites start simple (which I can sort out) and become more complicated (which I can’t).

If the complications are things that we can ask a developer to work on for us, and build into the site, while I keep managing it, that’s good. 


3. Project Manage more complicated sites

Most recently I was the technical producer for Schumacher College, producing/project managing The Schumacher Network; a complex online community system

If the complications are more fundamental, we simply find a developer/designer/agency and let them work on the WordPress installation on the web host that you the client would have.


Websites and Communications

  • WordPress website design, building, editing, administration, advice and support
  • Communications planning, delivery and assessment
  • Writing for the web: websites, newsletters, social media
  • Google Apps intranet set up and migrations
  • Drupal editing, administration, advice and support
  • Use freely available ‘cloud’ services to organise, co-ordinate and deliver projects

We have enjoyed working with Ed on the development, hosting and maintenance of Transition Network internet services for 5 years. He is competent, insightful and understanding and we will miss working  with him.

Webarchitects Co-operative, 2015


Project Management and Consultancy

  • Web, Communications, Digital Security, Community Engagement, Network Design
  • Standalone and multi-stakeholder projects, departments, organisations, community groups
  • Long history with community-based projects, membership and NGO groups
  • Experienced in management of multi-disciplinary teams, varying budgets and technologies, producing requirements, handling agencies
  • Familiar with project managing web life cycle from strategy, to requirements, into production, and then round in no particular order: user experience design, usability, programming, editorial, interface design, measurement, bug fixing, maintenance, version 2 etc.

We found Ed to be an invaluable asset to the team bringing technical expertise and experience and excellent skills in working with people and groups to clarify vision and purpose; create joint action plans; and resolve conflicts. 

He understands that all successful IT initiatives both support and depend on good working relationships and a supportive organisational structure.
In addition, Ed is well respected and connected in the sector and brings a wealth of personal qualities including enthusiasm; dynamism; humour and reliability. 
He is an excellent team player and I have no hesitation in recommending him for future work in this area.

(Julie Richardson, Senior Lecturer and Head of Schumacher Worldwide, Schumacher College, 2015)

Engagement

  • Outreach and network development
  • Facilitation for workshops, events, meetings: big and small
  • Facilitator mentoring
  • Individual coaching
  • Community engagement online and offline
  • Long term group design and development

Ed was the community editor (i.e. the boss of a lot of volunteers and the man in charge of the keys of the machine) during the best times of the KnowledgeBoard. He succeeded in pushing through an agenda of activities and in herding a lot of proud troublesome cats to write, moderate, and generally produce an award-winning knowledge-sharing community.

He supported, prodded and encouraged us all (editors and members), got the most out of a difficult corporate and infrastructure situation, and was key to getting us all to give our best. 

Hats off for an impressive work and a person that can do it.

(Miguel Cornejo Castro, Macuarium, 2007)