Five Basic Questions

Hi Eastside Staff Members,

I'm Kevin Gibby and I'm heading up a new initiative to make EBC's website the great information portal we need and want it to be. I can't do this alone; there’s so much happening at Eastside no one person can know all the answers to the questions our website visitors will have. This is why I am asking for your help to make ebcfamily.org the place to go for answers about events, activities, ministries, and everything else that’s happening at Eastside.

What

This campaign will ensure every page on our website answers the five basics questions everybody has about every event and activity. Known as the Five Ws, these five simple questions cover almost every question our members and visitors will have.

  • What
  • Who
  • When
  • Where
  • Why

These questions have been identified and discussed since at least the ancient Greeks practiced rhetoric, over 2,000 years ago, and haven't changed since. If we answer these five simple questions right on the page, we can reduce the questions you answer every day, reduce frustration of the readers by giving them the information they want right away, and reduce barriers to newcomers to our church.

A more detailed breakdown of these questions and how to answer them is addressed here.

Who

Ultimately, these questions must be answered by you, the people in charge of our activities and ministries. While I will help you in any way I can, I can’t provide these answers because I am not involved in all these programs and don't know the details.

Everyone benefits from this effort, the congregation, visitors, and staff. The congregation gets more detailed, up-to-date event information. Visitors see a more compelling website and better information about our church. Moreover, you, the staff, will have a more robust and concise way of conveying information to your volunteers and event goers.

For more information, you can contact any of the web team:

When

It starts right now! The sooner you submit your pages for your projects, the sooner we can publish them and you can direct your workers and attendants to the new page, full of the awesome answers they are looking for!

Where

You submit pages over at ebcfamily.org/pagesubmit. That page should suffice for most of your needs, but if you need something really elaborate, email us.

Why

I won't lie, Eastside's website is in sore need of attention. Aesthetically, it looks amazing, but looks are deceiving. Aside from one or two pages out of forty currently on the site, no page answers the five basic questions. This is cannot be maintained if we want to keep in-touch with today's web-driven society—not to mention the church members who plain stop going to our website because it lacks basic information.

The primary function of a website is to inform. The goal of this initiative is to make ebcfamily.org the place everybody goes when they have a question about an event, activity, or ministry at Eastside. It will answer every question, or point to someone who can answer their question.

How

Each project and event needs a page that answers all Five Basic Questions. For the reasons I mentioned above, almost every page needs to be edited or rewritten. It sounds daunting, but the answers to these questions you already know and probably don't even need to look up because you have them in your head right now.

Before you start writing or editing, you should check out this page. It goes into more detail on each of the Five Basic Questions.

We have set up a submission form on the website (ebcfamily.org/pagesubmit) so we have a central location for all submissions. You'll simply pull up that web page and give us the content you want on the page. You write everything that goes on the page.

Once you submit a page, we'll receive it and proofread it—not that we don’t trust you, but so that we can hopefully catch any mistakes or possible misunderstandings. After all, a high-quality website will give glory to God just as anything else we work hard to accomplish to further His Kingdom.

You can upload pictures right on that submission form (at the bottom). It would help us out a lot if you could name the pictures with meaningful names and then tell us where you want those pictures in your text write up. You might tell us with something like [Joe.jpg]. Videos should be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo and simply link to it in your text. If you want an embedded video, tell us in your text content with [embedded video link].

Keep in mind the FBQ should be answered in the text of the page since it is still common for mobile devices to incorrectly render pictures and video. Besides, who wants to sit through a three-minute video when they could have read three sentences? Pictures and videos are awesome and have a permanent place in our tool belt, but they should be considered a nice-to-have, not a necessity, when addressing the FBQ.

Summary

You might read this through and ask yourself, "Weren't we doing this already? This is so basic…" Yes, it is basic, and it is easy to do. However, just as we constantly need sermons on the elementary need to love God, obey his commandments, give to missionaries, and in general do all the basic things the Bible tells us to do over and over, we need to ensure we do the simple things on our website. Informing our readers is this website's most basic job; it's our job to ensure it does that.

As it stands, our members don't use ebcfamily.org like we want them to because they don't expect much from it. Once we have a consistent level of easily accessible information on the website, we can start doing more complex and awesome things.

 - Kevin Gibby
Kevin.Gibby@gmail.com

Where to Go Next