January 31, 2011

NAFCM's New Website!

We are thrilled to unveil 
NAFCM's new website!    

Developing this website has been a substantial labor of love (emphases definitely appropriate!). We have tried to pull the best from our former site and combine them with an extensive array of new features we're pleased to introduce.  You can still find much of NAFCM's historic materials on our new site, but can now also easily connect and share resources in exciting new ways.  With our redesign and continued enhancements, we look forward to serving as the online portal for all things community mediation.

Here are just some of the exciting features we are pleased to provide in our brand new website:

  1. LOCATE A CENTER! - This feature has been the number one request of visitors to our website.  Previously, visitors could find programs by searching for their state and scrolling through lists of various lengths to hopefully find a nearby program.  Now, finding a center is as easy as zooming into an interactive Google map!  Place markers identify community mediation centers, their address, and basic contact information.  We encourage programs to search for their current listing and notify us of any additions/corrections using the link directly below the map.  We anticipate making numerous corrections in the early days of this feature, so welcome your feedback to making this feature as accurate and accessible as possible.
  2. NEW DISCUSSION GROUPS - Join one of the many new community mediation discussion groups hosted by NAFCM.  These groups, centered around geographic and topical interests, are an interactive way to connect with colleagues, share resources, and stay on top of the latest developments.  These groups act as a listserve for those interested in participating via their email, and as an online community space for those who want to login, upload profile pictures, and engage the conversation directly through their browser.  Get connected, join a group today!
  3. COMMUNITY MEDIATION CALENDAR - Community mediation happens.  NAFCM has it scheduled!  We are now hosting a centralized calendar of events relevant to our field. Whether its a conference in California, a gathering in Grand Rapids, a training in Tucson, or a teleseminar or online event, we'll publish your event details for all to see.  Adding events couldn't be easier.  Simply send an email to events@nafcm.org.  We'll also be adding a simple online form for additions soon.  
  4. COMMUNITY MEDIATION SEARCH - Looking for just the right resource, but can't quite put your fingers on it?  Now, you can use NAFCM's custom Community Mediation Search Engine to quickly find resources directly related to our field.  Using the drop down box at the top of our new website, you can choose to search NAFCM's site, the entire Web, or perform a custom "Community Mediation Search."  This last option allows you to target your search to community mediation programs' websites and related resources.  We have indexed hundreds of websites and thousands of webpages to help you quickly find the best community mediation information and resources directly from NAFCM's website.
  5. PUBLIC TESTIMONIALS - Mediation programs are too often referred to as their communities' 'best kept secrets.'  Now, through NAFCM's website, those we serve can also serve us by sharing their experience.  Visitors to NAFCM's website can choose to leave a general or program-specific testimonial by completing a quick online form, conveniently submitting a letter of support, or recording an audio message to be featured on our website.  These testimonials will help inform and encourage others to consider community mediation services for their own conflicts.  (For quality assurance and confidentiality reasons, all submitted testimonials will be reviewed prior to sharing to ensure their appropriateness for public posting.)
Those are just some of the exciting new features we've been working on, but there's more.  We're going live this week with a big list of additions yet to be unveiled.  Here are some of the features we look forward to releasing over the next month:
  1. MEMBER LOGIN - NAFCM's members are dedicated professionals who are asked to do a lot with very little.  We're working to make their work easier by providing a members-only area that houses a crowd-sourced clearinghouse of countless resources, enhanced program member profiles to be included in future map releases, and other resources to help members better connect and enhance their centers.  As we continue building this members area, you can get an early start by beginning to share resources to the new online community mediation clearinghouse using our simple upload gadget or by sending your files to share@nafcm.org.
  2. NEW CONTENT - While our new site isn't old enough to have collected any dust, not all pages and features may be completely polished either.  We're working hard to quickly upload the latest content about NAFCM, the field, and our members.  As we do so, we appreciate any feedback you have about new material you would like to see included. Share your ideas, additions, corrections, or comments about new content today!
We hope you enjoy NAFCM's new website.  It is an incredible pleasure to build and publish a site featuring the truly remarkable achievements of so many working and volunteering in the community mediation field.  We hope you find our website a fitting online portal for those in conflict and those working toward its constructive engagement.

In community,
Executive Director, NAFCM