In a technical memorandum released this date to all CS officers nationwide and to their unit commanders, the National IT department has declared "end of life" for unit websites built with the prototype pushbutton website platform "WOW". Any unit website not converted to the succesor WOW II platform by 31 March 2012 will be stood down by national, and their content discarded. The announcement comes as WOW II has proven wildly popular, with 321 units standing up WOW II sites since its national rollout in August, 2011 at NACON. Of these, 147 have already petitioned for, and received national approval for listing as a units "official" website.

Follow up:

"The popularity of WOW II is off the charts," said Kevin Redden, Division Chief of CS User Support -- the "top" of the Communications Services "parallel chain". "We are finding flotillas and divisions not only converting from WOW-I to WOW II, but units with conventional websites are rushing to abandon them in favor of the highly-automated WOW II pushbutton website approach."

Redden indicated that the conversion from WOW-I to WOW II websites typically only takes a few minutes. "The engineers built an automatic conversion routine right into WOW II, and just the push of a button is required." He added that newly converted sites usually only need a "few more minutes of care and feeding," to make sure illustrations are suitably tagged for Section 508 compliance, but typically that's it. And, his group has been "fast-tracking" WOW II national website approvals, enabling them to be listed in the National Flotilla Finder. "It's a win for all concerned; units gain a site that even the flotilla commander can maintain, and our support burden drops dramatically."

Several districts have built content-rich district sites with the WOW II platform already. According to Redden, a flotilla can stand up a basic WOW II site in less than 30 seconds with a staff list, meeting information, the online National Public Education Database and Zip Code Course Finder, links to division and district sites, and automatic links to the national help desk and the national website.

For a copy of the official End of Life Memorandum, click here.

Source [Steve Johnson, ANACO-IT]