Chairmans thoughts on Website Update


It's always a little nerve wracking when fairly big changes come along, but despite my doubts it appears as though the migration and virtually complete rebuild of our website has gone remarkably smoothly.

Doubtless there remain a few broken links that we have yet to discover and we are still working our way through various page module updates.

However, from a user's point of view it all seems to be going swimmingly. I have to admit I was less than convinced when confronted with the proposed redesign I had become rather comfortable with the blue colour scheme previously used, but I was finally worn down and now accept that the new layout really does look rather smart.

The final nail in the coffin of the old system was the use of Flash in the old site, this is you may know has been in the news lately with Steve Jobs of Apple explaining his views fairly directly. Our techie, Tom, it seems shares the views of Mister Jobs as on reading his proposal to me some three months ago after another argument on the proposed look and feel of the site he made the same points.   I'm pleased to say Tom you were right!

What we are aiming to provide is more of a magazine or newspaper "look and feel" for the Continuity Forum Website. To do this actually required a huge amount of work as the old guru system really wasn't particularly web friendly. This latest version of our site however is! But what are we going to do with it?

Well we'll still be migrating a lot of our old data across to this new platform, it may be a little while before all of this is done, but there's a lot more functionality that can be delivered to you as the system gives us a lot more power and capability.

We will be taking it a step at a time, but expect to see a lot more being  delivered through the site over the next few months. We are keen to create more access for our members and partners to these pages by opening up the capabilities to create your own pages. This may be through the use of blogs, the discussion forum or indeed specific areas of the site created just you (or a particular topic).

To give you an example of what is possible you could log in to the site review the latest news, book into an event or post a job listing all in a few minutes. You may choose to listen or download a podcast or review the library,  even might want to set up a private forum area for your company or to cover a subject of specific interest to yourself. All of this is available.

We are working hard to bring you more news, information and many resources, but we also are keen to help you build and sustain your own networks and  help us establish what is important to you. We'd love to hear from you directly and please do send through any ideas or suggestions you may have to

One thing I am particularly keen to develop (although also a little nervous about) is our series of podcasts.  We have already recorded a number of these which will be available soon through this site and others, perhaps even iTunes.   I am being teased terribly about these and a number of the trial versions have resulted in Sara McKenna virtually rolling on the floor laughing. At one point apparently I had descended so far that I was sounding like an American radio show host delivering traffic reports when in fact I had been aiming for more radio four style...

In a couple of weeks we will be hosting the Managing Risk event at the Churchill war rooms in London, this event is geared to help stretch some of the thinking involved in our sector, and forms part of our Thought Leadership series. We are most pleased that we will be joined by the Commissioner of the City of London police, Mike Bowron and  significantly representatives from the Cabinet Office who will be working with this through the afternoon workshop sessions.   I'm also delighted that we will be joined by the Institute of Risk Managers who will also be contributing.

Those of you who have been unable to attend one of our Thought Leadership events they are somewhat different, and include far more participation than is usual. There is more discussion, debate  and interaction giving us all a great opportunity to learn from each other and more fully appreciate the broader perspectives of the range of organisations attending. We have selected the 2012 Olympics as a core discussion topic for the day, this does not mean that the event is London centric, but rather we are looking at the impact of large-scale, high profile events and their potential to disrupt in a variety of ways, communities and business. We will also be using the information gained to feedback into the Government Office for London as it develops and refines its plans on how the Capital will manage the Olympics.

We will also shortly be making transcripts are available to members of sessions held, these along with presentation materials will be available post-event to help those unable to attend in person. Obviously the usual Chatham House rule will apply.

Over the remainder of this week I'll be Scotland supporting our Colleagues from the Police and NaCTSO (Volcanic Ash permitting) and I will tell you more about that next week. 

In closing this week's update I would like to remember a couple of people who have recently passed away. You don't know them, they weren't involved in our sector at all, but their deaths had effects that do connect with our industry.

The first worked hard and over 25 years established themselves as a leading player in their niche sector. A little more than nine months ago he was diagnosed with cancer, last week he died.   In this instance there was an orderly succession the company continues trading and will doubtless maintain its position and vibrancy.   The second situation is very different, my friend died suddenly from a massive stroke, he too had worked hard, but was in his mid 40's and still establishing the business.  The recession had not been particularly cruel, but neither had it helped, cash was hard to find and everything was still in balance.  It seems more than likely that this business will fold, putting some 35 people out of work and 'wasting' the work of half a life time.  

All our organisations rely on people and identifying what could happen if we lose them should be on our radar more, especially for the smaller business.    

Till next week