About This Site

General Help for Building Google Sites

For general help building Google Sites, see
This site is presented both as a "working example" of how different forms of knowledge that may be useful to knowledge-based community groups can be assembled and shared to support action, and as a template that can be readily modified by a community with little prior experience using web-based tools.

The specific scenario provided by this site is built around real activities involved in assembling a series of papers relating to the development of support functions community organizations who need to assemble, share, validate and present various forms of knowledge to support actions. These papers are being prepared for a special session of a conference that takes place in November 2010 in Melbourne Australia. Several of the pages here were taken with little change from the actual special session site. However, the type of activities involved in preparing for this special session would be comparable to those many community organizations would carry out to produce a tangible knowledge-based product.

At this point, this template is a work in progress undergoing continuing modification and enhancement.

The Table of Contents in the upper left corner of this site: "Template for Knowledge Based Community Organizations", provides direct access to the main pages listed below.

[Usage Notes: (Table of Contents) You will find usage notes in various places in this template giving hints as to how the particular page or object on the page is constructed. As this note does for the Table of Contents, the usage note will normally link to more detailed documentation about the object or function; i.e., to find out more about the Table of Contents, simply click the link. The Table of Contents is an Google object that can be inserted in a page. This Table of Contents can be edited.
    1. by scrolling to the bottom of the sidebar on the left, land clicking the Edit sidebar link to display a  "Customize your site layout page. This has three sections Header, Sidebar and Page Content. The Sidebar section shows a series of vertically arrayed boxes, where the top one is labeled "Navigation".
    2. In the Navigation box, click edit to display the Configure Navigation dialog box. This allows you to add page or Web links, or to select individual items to remove them or to rearrange their sequence and hierarchical order in the contents list.
    3. to save the changes
      • click [ OK ] at the bottom of the dialog box, then
      • click [ Save changes ] in the Customize your site layout page's menu bar.]
  • Welcome - This would normally be the home page for this site. Our philosophy is that the home page should explain why the site exists and provide direct access to the important payload the site contains. In this example, in the main part of the page
      • we introduce the conference and the special session (the primary goal the group was formed to address);
      • a list of the papers being prepared where each title links directly to a subpage for each of the papers that encompasses all of the material related that paper;
      • extracts of (and links to) the most recent messages of general interest to group members; and
      • an extract and link to a to-do list.
The sidebar, in addition to the Table of Contents includes a
      • a Count-down gadget, counting down the days to when complete papers must be submitted for review,
      • a Creative Commons copyright notice licensing you to use and modify this site for your own group's non-commercial use,
      • links to recent site activity (showing a history of recent edits)
      • Links to Google's own template tips, as to how to work with Google Site templates, and editing the Sidebar
    • Join the community - provides access to a detailed membership application form that connects to a spreadsheet held in an access controlled area of Google Docs (that would normally be controlled by the group's administrator. Usage is explained on the page.
    • About this Site - this is the page you are now reading.
    • Modifying this Site - This page provides access to the detailed usage notes and background documents we have provided to help you make use of this template and other free Google tools to support various kinds of collaborative work.
  • Contributors - This is a list of key people in the community group. In this case is a list of the authors contributing papers to the special session. More generally, it could be a list of the group's Committee members. A separate sub-page placed under the Contributors page is created for each person, and the list then is formed automatically by the Subpage Listing function box.
  • Community Library - This is a direct Web link as set in the Navigation box to the Google Docs Folder the site owner has set aside for documents relating to the community group. Access to these documents is determined by Share settings for the individual documents or the storage folder. (see Google Docs documentation for further information)
  • Monkey Business - has two purposes. (1) to demonstrate a page with embedded YouTube videos, and (2) because we think these particular videos are marvelous ice-breakers to facilitate the formation of collaborative knowledge-sharing community groups. The videos demonstrate the capabilities of South American capuchin monkeys to build a complex food-processing technology and industry based on tacitly shared knowledge and social cooperation. If monkeys can build knowledge-based community action groups, people who have the added benefits of speech and writing should certainly be able to do so.
  • General Messages - is based on the Announcements Page Template and is used for general messages relating to the group as a whole. The General Messages Box on the Welcome Page is an example of using the Recent Posts Gadget to summarize posts on the General Messages page. Discussions relating to specific projects may be managed using the Announcements Page Template as a sub-page under a project page, and placing an associated Recent Posts Gadget linked to the subsidiary Announcements Page.
  • To Dos - This is a to-do list constructed using the List Page Template. Lists may be established for a variety of purposes to store knowledge or to track things that need to be done by a group, this is only one. The To Do List on the Welcome page is an example of the Recent List Items Gadget as linked to the To Dos page.
  • Event Planner - The Event Planner is an example of a Google Spreadsheet inserted in a page created from a normal Web Page Template. The spreadsheet was discovered in the Google Templates Gallery accessed via the [ From Template ] option at the bottom of the Create New pull down menu in Google Docs, and seems to be a useful tool in its own right, as it contains embedded code for generating a Gantt chart of task dependencies and completions that forms a second page to the spreadsheet.
  • Calendar - Most community groups have scheduled events. The Google Calendar function box inserted into a Web Page is a particularly useful tool. Users may link their personal Google calendars to the group calendar, and events on the group calendar will automatically show in the personal calendar.
  • Benchmark Dates - This is another example of an inserted Calendar. The only difference from the former is that the View setting in the properties has been set to Agenda. By creating another calendar in Google Calendar, the agenda items could be kept separate from the general calendar items.
  • Sitemap - By default, the Table of Contents always includes a link to the map of the site. This can be displayed either as a hierarchical table showing the logical structure of the site, or a flat list of all the pages in the site.
These pages are only a small sample of the various formats and capabilities offered by the Google Sites technology in conjunction with other free applications available on the Web.