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Author Topic: TERPLAZIUN to the Cabinet and Minister of Stuff, specifically  (Read 43 times)

Offline GV

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Can the Minister of STUFF and Technology give us an update on the current state of the National Webspace and our national social media accounts, and an indication of her plans for them in this term?

GV, Senator for Fiova, posting to a Cosa Witt board possibly for the first time since before 1 June 2004

Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

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Re: TERPLAZIUN to the Cabinet and Minister of Stuff, specifically
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2022, 08:52:30 PM »
I thank the Senator for his question.

1.   As Minister of STUFF, I am responsible (among other things) for the content of the national website, Talossa.com, and the content of our national social media channels. As Minister of Technology, I am responsible for the administration of our national webspace, including TalossaWiki.

2.   When the 57th Cosa government was formed, I became Minister of STUFF as well as Minister of Technology, for the very good reason that there were absolutely no volunteers for either of those roles. I have only the barest minimum of tech skills. I have reached out in desperation on occasions to citizens with more technology savvy than I have, like B. Higgs or L. da Schir. Unfortunately, neither of these citizens are available to carry out the kind of real, bottom-to-top, clean-up and re-organisation of our National Website that I believe is desperately necessary.

3.   I see the following main challenges that need to be overcome if Talossa’s STUFF/Technology apparatus is to be of maximum value to the Kingdom:
a.   Information on Talossa.com. In general, this goes out of date quite quickly, and there is a question as to whether it is a confusing “double-up” with the content of TalossaWiki. My predecessor in this role, Senator E. Grischün, apparently set up some system whereby certain content on TalossaWiki would be automatically mirrored on Talossa.com. I have no idea what the details of this are.
b.   Completely out of my depth re: administration. My tech skills are limited almost entirely to being able to add or edit content on a WordPress installation (such as Talossa.com currently runs on), and to raise “support tickets” with our hosting provider. I have absolutely no idea how to do anything more complicated. The back-end of Talossa.com is running maybe 28 plugins which I neither know how to operate, or what they do, or whether it’s safe to get rid of. This back-end is also clogged with the “detritus” of abortive previous STUFF ventures, such as the Jobs Board or the Talossa.net social network.
c.   Security. I am aware of and am able to control who has access to the web hosting setup. But I am very worried about who might have access to the WordPress backend of Talossa.com and to the rest of our national website. I am very worried that, as Minister of STUFF/Tech, I do not have a single list of who has access to the National Internet Presence, with what privileges and what limitations. It doesn’t help that, due to a flaw in the old Jobs Board, literally hundreds of spambots have made accounts of Talossa.com. Though thankfully they don’t have any real access, it makes it hard to find out who does have access.
d.   Social media. Our national social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) are almost completely unused. Because of overwork on my part I delegated these to the Chancery – but the Secretary of State is, surprise surprise, also too busy to do anything with them.

4.   Although TalossaWiki’s content is not in my technical purview as STUFF minister. It is also a source of worry for me. It is more up-to-date than the information on Talossa.com, but it is still out of date. For example, there is a lot of what I consider to be irrelevant stuff linked on the front page – eg. biographies of members of the Royal Family who are no longer active, or the Magistrate’s Court which hasn’t existed for years – but I don’t have the skills with fancy wiki markup that would be needed for a thorough overhaul. (Ideally, the front page would be a one-click link to everything a new citizen might be interested in – which would in turn make the Civics Quiz more useful!)

5.   If I were able to wave a magic wand, this is what I would want to happen in the rest of this Cosa term:
a.   A new “fulltime tech nerd” to step up as Minister of Technology, Deputy Minister or Permanent Secretary.
b.   The backend of Talossa.com to be stripped of all unnecessary plugins.
c.   Talossa.com’s “About the Kingdom” page to be massively downsized to something which only needs very infrequent updates, and/or mirrored from TalossaWiki.
d.   A complete security refresh of Talossa.com and our web hosting, to restrict access to the Minister of STUFF and the Minister of Technology (respectively) and those specifically delegated responsibility by them. In future, when Governments change, all previous login access should be by default disabled (except for a Permanent Secretary – and perhaps the King?)
e.   Active maintenance of our social media to promote the Kingdom, and to automatically mirror updates to Talossa.com (including La C’hronica updates).
f.   A complete refresh of the front page of TalossaWiki along the lines mentioned above.
g.   Assistance to be given to the Chancery in updating the current Wittenberg platform to a more modern version of SMF. (The Secretary of State has previously announced that he doesn’t have the necessary technological confidence.)

6.   The bottom line is that Talossa’s national webspace is outdated; impossible to properly administer without high-level tech skills; and possibly insecure. I can’t fix most of these problems, but I can identify them. I only hope patriotic Talossans will step up to help.
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