Looking at our content inventory, we discovered…
The Content Inventory & Audit work stream of Planet 4 had to answer two main questions: “What’s on our websites?” and “Is it good?”. Our initial goal was to create a sort of primer from which new website architectures could take shape and later more deeply explored in the forthcoming Concept phase.
At the very beginning, though, we realised that our work stream would be deeply interlinked with other work streams of Phase 1 (Surveys, Story and the Technical Investigation, in particular) and the outcomes of our track would very much depend on those when heading into Phase 2.
So we decided to switch focus. We took to a more listed, technical approach of consolidated reports and recommendations. This titanic quest would give us a snapshot of our overall footprint, provide numbers for data migration, and help to identify existing navigation paths; all of which will be fundamental in Phase 2.
With the help of a few volunteers and staff members, we went through a series of activities:
- Review our existing websites from a content perspective
- Crawl all global greenpeace.org websites; including online petitions and external microsites to see what we are actually dealing with
- Highlight Planet 3 sitemaps and the navigational differences between our National and Regional websites
- Check other NGO websites, also from a content perspective
Luckily, Ksenia from Greenpeace Russia (who took the lead on this working group) and I are not creative types. We are decidedly left-brained and strangely enjoyed diving into the data and discovering how similarly our colleagues both in- and outside of Greenpeace approach different missions, cultures, languages and contexts.
Looking at Greenpeace websites…
When assessing how many pages, countries and languages Greenpeace content is produced, numbers beyond our imagination were revealed. When assessing just how many microsites we have, where our current CMS was not able to satisfy special design and development needs, the number was sobering. Here are the highlights:
- 222,422 total webpages
- 31 languages, including 6 multi-language environments
- 200+ external microsites
[A microsite generally refers to an individual web page or cluster of pages which are meant to function as a supplement to the primary website.]
We ran an internal Survey to Greenpeace web content managers. It indicated that approximately 66% of the content currently available in Planet 3 would likely have to be migrated to Planet 4. Obviously, an operation of that size will need to run quite smoothly and according to some very specific workflows!
With regard to navigational patterns, we analysed how content is structured on every Greenpeace website, and replicated these paths in sketches; which will be fundamental in the Concept Phase to identify the most successful sites and the ones that need to be completely reshaped to create our new engagement-based platform.
Migrate or archive?
All of our press releases, articles, blog posts, reports and publications are de facto part of the awesome history of Greenpeace, and give website visitors a chance to learn more about us, our research, our victories, and how we became the world’s largest environmental organisation. We can not simply erase such a big part of ourselves and start a new portal from scratch. But by digging into our content, however, we realised that a big part of it needs to be edited (from text, to images, to code) to make it more relevant for today’s web.
Planet 4 is not simply a website redesign, but intended to be a complete change of focus, from “Here’s what we we do and what you can do” to “Write the next chapter with us”. And if the main goal of P4 is to ‘drive people to action, be relevant and innovate’, that means we need to change. But to do that, we need capacity to edit the format of every outdated page, and bulk-move all non-relevant ones to the Greenpeace Website Hall of Fame (aka “the archive”).
Special thanks to Ksenia (who did most of the heavy lifting), Luca (for making this post come to life), and Remy (for shaping the concept and objectives). Additional thanks to Manoj, Balazs, and Nadav.
See you in Phase 2; the Concept phase. Onwards!