I am presuming that you can look at the site at the same time as reading this – print it out or use two screens. Alternatively, you can click on the links in this document to see the pages of the site.

I should say that some things in here are more notes to myself for details I need to think-on/implement.

For simplicity, I am writing this from the viewpoint of us agreeing to go forward with the approach demonstrated by the example structure I have set up – I am not assuming that you agree to this.

To be able to use the system – Go to

Enter the username and password;

username: messabout
Password: 098uyt543*

Then go to

The proposed system is (mainly) hosted at the internal site That internal site currently also hosts V2 of the public site – this is somewhat an inconvenience in the development of the proposed system. It would be best to soon instal V2 at the public site –; so this needs to be checked out. The provisional form of that can be found from Public Site menu item of the page you are looking at –


The Proposed Project Log and Connections System

This has two, rather separate, aspects

  • Project Logs (P-logs) which are to record and share information about the progress of AGH, linking to supporting content, and things like outstanding tasks. This is through the mechanism of the WordPress blog posts platform.
  • Connections, which a system for holding information about external contacts and relationships between them. This is through the mechanism of the Connections Business Directory plugin platform
  • The intersection of those aspects is in Interaction Logs (I-Logs) which record interactions (by email, phone calls, meetings etc.) between members of the core group and the external contacts. This is again through the mechanism of the WordPress blog posts platform.
  • My proposed system is built on platforms which are not designed for such a system, so the user interface is sometimes a bit clumsy to use – delivery the functionality I think we need, but not the fully desirable usability.

There are two further aspects of this line of development – two pages hosted at which are generated through the Connections Business Directory plugin.

Register of Members

Go To the link below, or in the site, within Demo menu item select – Register of Members/Trustees ….

For each entry, it shows the full name, home address, record of membership. Someone’s address can be hidden, as for Genevieve Mathews. This page would be password protected – it is not generally known to, nor accessible by, members of the public. One way to give the register to someone who reasonably requests it, is to give them a link to this page with the required password (an alternative would be to download it as an excel and send them that). Some members pf AGH (Chair, Sec, and web-master?) can register as admin for the page and edit it.

The postcode is a clickable item; in the Connections platform I think this shows other entries with the same postcode – not useful, but not a problem.

There are easy alternatives for structuring the list of members, e.g. the following which is Register V2 in the Demo menu

Our Team

This would eventually be on public view as an introduction to our Trustees and some members of the core group who have credentials worth telling people (particularly potential funders?) about. Two versions

Both in the Demo menu

These are generated by the Connections platform. A bit weird when clicking on the name or picture. I think probably better for me to do this page directly myself. (A mistake  – my email should not be there)




Overall Structure of Internal Site

Select Internal Site Home in the menu, or go to

The “users” of the system are the members of the Core Group – Trustees and Trusted Volunteers. Each will have their own login credentials, and when logged in a user will see the admin white-on-black banner at the top of the page. Different users will have different “roles”; each role has tuned capabilities in what they can or cannot do – I have not looked at this in detail – requiring significant discussion, particularly with respect to volunteers.

The page starts with links to documents (presumably in Google Drive) which users need to pay attention to.

Project Posts (P-logs)

Next is a list of the active projects (which are also accessible from the menu). I have taken Dovemount Survey as the example of the operation of the system. (Mainly for the benefit of the web master, entries give relevant actual URL of the page being linked to)

For the Dovemount Survey entry, If you click on P-Log you will see all the posts concerning this project. These are in chronological order – oldest-first. This view is geared towards: reviewing the project (how did we get into this kind of mess); and induction of a new person becoming involved in the project. (Other views are newest-first, more geared toward actually working on the project.) For each post, there is e.g.

Leave a Comment / Amber, Dovemount Survey, Genevieve, GM, RPH, Teviot Orchard / By messabout

That is: a user can comment on this post. There is the list of post categories – identifying the users and projects to which this post is relevant; e.g. if you do the P-Log   for Teviot Orchard Project, this post will show up there as well. Likewise each user has their own P-log and, and for the three users included (GM, RPH and Genevieve), they will see this post. “By” is always me  – clicking on that will, I think, show all posts created by that user.

This page has a sidebar which lists “Recent Posts” – this is completely non-selective, listing all psts, and may include posts with are not of general interest. Below that is the list of all posting categories. Clicking on any one of those will give the similar page of posts for that user/project, e.g. Teviot Orchard. For a user, e.g. Amber, the list of posts relevant to her will be in newest-first. (note: the “sidebar” take up half the horizontal space of the display, which overall is quite narrow – in the live version the display area will fill the window and the sidebar will more obviously be a sidebar.)

If you scroll down to this one, clicking on the title

A random post in three categories, for attn. of three people

This one does not “leave a comment” because there are already comments. If you click on 9 Comments, you will see all the comments, with replies to comments and so on. I know that there is mechanism for collapsing and expanding the nested comment/reply structure – rather important, but I have not found out how to do it yet. Seems a bit strange that posts are not dated – will investigate that. If you look down the “Recent Posts”, the earliest ones were pre-dated to get a logical sequence of post. A post can be post-dated (not showing up until a later date) – potentially useful for :

Setting a personal reminder – a post not for the attention anyone else, nor for a project

Setting a project reminder – e.g. about an up-coming deadline.

An important point to make to every user is that this is not social media – a post should be in some (even very minor) way a contribution to the progress of a project.

Connections System

Returning to

Next after the list of active projects is

The whole Address Book

Clicking on this brings to you to a particular interface to the connections platform – a list of everything that we have contact information about – users, external individual and organisation contacts. I will deal with this later.

Returning to

Next there is the “Core Group”, a list of all users. Each entry has three elements, e.g.

  • Richard   View    Clicking on the view goes to the connections entry for that person – giving my contact information. For a user – I suggest that this gives other users guidance as to their availability. The X-ref : this entry: Me Register entry -address: Me – address. I will explain later.
  • P-Log ViewClicking on view goes to the page which is all project posts flagged as relevant to this person.
  • I-Log View About the interactions log, described below


Now we have entries for external contacts – Individuals and Organizations. Each entry has two elements

  • Bloggs, Joe   ViewClicking on this one particularly you will see the connections entry for that person. This person, Joe Bloggs, has associations with two organisations, as seen in the Connections X-ref: fields – SusTrans and TranTown; and has different phone numbers and email addresses for those different contexts. (Again more about this later)
  • I-Log View About the interactions log, described below
  • Likewise for an Organisation entry, e.g. SusTran   View . Clicking on view of this entry, shows that we know (of) three people with association with this organisation.

User and Project Pages

Now we look at the page for a user, as someone doing work for AGH. Scroll up to the Core Group. Click on Amber which takes you to the personal page for that user. That has the links for the people she will often have to communicate with. There is the link to the page of posts flagged as being relevant to her. There is the link to the page of all recorded interactions between herself and some external contact. She may include similar links to other things she needs to follow. And of course personal notes. My assumption is that when she starts on AGH business, this is where she starts.

This page is private to the individual, I imagine it being password protected using the same password she uses for logging into the system. Although not entirely private – it would be accessible to the web master for technical reasons, and the chair.

In this case, Amber and Genevieve work together on projects – they might use, say slack or something, for their discussions – the address book entries could include the id’s for that. That’s fine so long as significant progress is recorded in this AGH system.

In your personal page – going back to the main page and click on Graham in the Core Group. I have you as following all substantive posts –

            Post being followed: all projects  /  all the core group

All projects is posts in oldest-first; the other is newest-first. There also of course be I-log links.


It will straightforward for a user to set up these links by cut&paste from the entries in the page; although they need to be set up slightly better to facilitate that.

There is a similar structure for the page for a project. In the Active Projects section of the main page – Dovemount Survey.  Clicking on that takes you to the project page, which is the information particularly relevant to users working on that project – but not actually set up.

Really we need the notion of a calendar for a project and user – I have not really thought about how to do that – Google Calendars provide the kind of functionality; there are lots of Calendar plugins for WordPress.


Interaction Logs (I-Logs)

The idea is that whenever a member of the Core group has some interaction with an external contact that is noted by a particular kind of post.

From the main page, in the core group, look at the I-log for amber, click on view: I-Log View. This tells a bit of a story. Click on the title of the earliest entry (at the bottom of the list)

            Dovemount Proj Conference call

Now look at this in detail (click on the title). At the top – the white-on-black banner – click Edit Post

Note that the entry in a list of posts stops at the “—- MORE —” divider. Note that the editing interface is a cut-down , rather clunky, word-processor style. On the right hand side, possibly scrolling down a bit, most crucially are the Categories and tags. In creating, or changing a post, you tick those projects/people who should “see” this post. New categories should not be casually created – setting up a new project is quite significant. Every project post should have at least one project and one person ticked.

Below that is the tags. Here we have 7 tags (this shows the tags for this post with an “X” for deleting that tag). If this post records an interaction, this post goes into the interaction log for every person/organisation involved in the interaction. When creating a post about an interaction, the tag is typed in the box. There is a potential issue – if you miss-type as Ambre, the system will accept it – partly lost. Try it – start typing Smith. It is critical that you select a pre-known tag rather than accidently creating a new one.

Now go back (twice) to the I-log for Amber ( ), and follow the history from the bottom to the top. The next one is an interaction by Amber which is significant to co-workers on this issue. Note that the listing of a post includes the categories, but not the tags; so the info about whom the interaction was between needs to be at the start of the text of the post. The next two are Amber pestering the contact about the issue. She records this for her own interaction log – but not needing to be noted by anyone else.

The final one is Amber getting a result form all her pestering. Looking at this one – it logs the one-2-one conversation by tags; and flags the outcome for others via P-log categories. Now Amber passes the baton on this issue to Richard and Geneive; – having no further involvement. And note that the receivers of the baton acknowledge this by comments on this post

Here useful to look at the I-log for the external contact involved –

Going back to the main page –

Look into the I-log for that person, Scott-James – I-Log View

You see he was involved in the original conference call; and the follow-up call; not the pestering entries; then the interaction in which he made the required decision. Here we have a potential glitch because now two AGH people (Richard and Genevieve) are progressing the same issue with the same external contact (James). They both need to know what the other doing. Looking at the detail of this newest I-log post, clicking on the title and then “edit post”; going to

This is tagged as an interaction between Richard, James and Genevieve; whereas in reality this is an interaction only between Richard and James – a bit of a fudge.

(It is fairly obvious really) we need something like a project, but much more lightweight – a “task”. At the end of the original “conference”, there would be a number of tasks arising (roughly “action” points) – the person taking on the task would create a kind of category for it. If you look at the interface for creating a post. On every page there is in the admin. Bar at the top there is “+ New” which allows creating a post (try it)

In “Categories” in the sidebar there is the option to add a new category for a newly established task. Need to be some conventions about this.


Finally(?!) there is the issue of notifications of posts – will not happen automatically. When you want to tell someone you have say made a comment on a post, you send them an email with the link to your reply (copied from the web address s bar in your browser). The email will say

Clicking on that takes you (approximately) to the right place in the nested structure of comments/replies – in this case the relevant comment is

September 25, 2020 at 8:47 am A new comment

I suggest that:

There is an @AGH mailbox for every project, with autoforwarders to everyone closely involved in the project.

That each user’s personal page there is a simple e-mail-sending form for every project they are involved in and every other user with whom they are collaborating with just

  • A one-line message in is for the link to the new comment or new post
  • An optional drop-down for setting a n urgency
  • A send button.

A 10-second process.


More About the Connections System

(this bit was written before I developed P-logs and I-logs – so some repetition and possible inconsistencies)

On any page, in the top menu click on Core Group and in sub-menu select the Graham Marshall personal page, leading you to

In Personal Address Book: The whole thing

Click on The Whole Thing. This leads you to Connections admin page
These are entries for all individuals and organisations whom we (are likely to) make contact with (Our Connections). In the set-up at the moment, some entries are doubled-up or tripled-up. E.g Joe Bloggs is the same person as Joe (Peter) Bloggs; SusTrans is the same organisation as Sustainable Transport. I have three entries; you have three entries (we are both very important people). The “Categories” column shows which is which (Connections Categories are different from Post Categories). For me and you: one entry for how we appear in the Register (as member); one for how we appear in the Our Team page on the public site (Trustee or Volunteer); one for our roles as part of the Core Group. Otherwise – there may be the situation where one of Our Connections happens to be a AGH member but not significantly an active supporter in the work of AGH. So in that case there is one entry for their register listing (member) and one for them as one of Our Connections (Personal contact, Impersonal Contact).

Anyway in a live system, the Register and the Our Team listing, are at the site, whereas the Our Connections is at the site; so completely separate, although the latter links to the former so that “home address” is only kept in one place. (note to myself – an issue about the same for “personal email address”).

There is a cross-referencing structure between entries – but not fully set-up for this artificial example structure

Let’s look at the entry for Joe Bloggs as a Personal Contact – the first entry. Move the mouse pointer to that entry (“hovering” there) and up pops a menu – click on “View” which goes to his entry –

The first line “SusTrans” is the organisation he is primarily associated with; and his department within that. That occurrence of “SusTrans” is a link which is not useful – it gives a list of some of the entries that mention SusTrans, but not all of them (so useless).

Their home address is in The Register because he is a member of AGH.

Next come some phone numbers. The convention I have adopted is that Work Phone is his phone number at his primary association workplace; whereas the (potentially multiple) Organisation (Phone) is his number at another organisation he is associated with. Some of these are clickable to initiate a call if your computer has that facility – these Organisation phone numbers don’t provide that because I have included the info as to which organisation they pertain to.

Next are the email addresses. Again there could be multiple Organization Email lines; for these the domain name makes it clear which email relates which organisation.

There can be lines with links to relevant facebook page, skype-id etc. particularly RSS feed which I know nothing about.

Here we come to the cross-referencing – links from this entry to related entries.

Proj. Mangmt ref. This takes you to the page which shows the sequence of all our interactions with this person,

Connections X-ref: These link to the Connections entries for those organisation. The text for the link says which organisation and the role(s) this person, Joe Bloggs, has within that organization.

X-ref : this entry: A technicality to do with setting up the cross-referencing.

Register entry -address: If Joe Bloggs is a member of AGH (which he is) this links to the Register entry for him, particularly to find his home address.

Further thought – include the capability for cross-referencing to “helper” individual entries; e.g. for this person’s PA or Deputy. That suggests a further category for entries of people who are only of interest to us in this subordinate way.

Notes / Biographical There is the capability for two free-text entries, for general information about this individual – I think we only need Notes, and can suppress Biographical.

Then there is Entry Management for editing or deleting the entry; and Meta about who did what to it when.

At the bottom of the entry is Categories. (note the plural, an entry can be in more than one category)

Appendix below is the (very provisional) hierarchy of categories which gives a classification of entries which can be used as one way of searching the entries, and can be used to control what entries are displayed on a particular web page – as seen in the Register page and the Our Team page.

Now is the time to explore the cross-referencing. Only part of the structure has been set up. So in the entry for Joe Bloggs, click on the link in

Connections X-refSusTrans – Board of Directors, Finance

Joe Bloggs was an Individual entry; this takes us to the SusTrans entry,

which is an Organisation entry (the general Connections platform has also a “Family” type of entry – I see no use for it, so currently disabled). (PS I now do see a possible use)

Home is the place you go to meet a member of staff. There might be several of these for a large organisation with multiple “branches”

Reg. Office This is the formal address if different. This organisation is an organizational member of AGH, so its registered office address is in our AGH The Register page. There needs to be a specific cross-reference to the person(s) who is that organization’s representative concerning AGH business.

Organisation (Phone) is the main “switchboard” – again there might be multiple. The Connections platform allows multiple entries for “departments” within an organisation – I have not yet thought about that.

Work Fax should be Organisation Fax

Biographical Info and Notes would function as for an individual entry


Register entry -address: this is the link into the AGH The Register entry

X-ref : this entry A technicality concerning setting up the cross-referencing.

The others link to the entries for other people we know (of) who are some way associated with this organisation. There could be in principle be links to related organisations, although I can’t think of a reason why (although I am sure I will be able to think of something)

The Joe Bloggs entry has the x-ref: Connections X-refSusTrans – Board of Directors, Finance

This organisation entry has the matching x-ref: Connections X-refJoe Bloggs – Board of Directors, Finance

Unfortunately, maintaining this consistency is a manual task. If Joe Bloggs switches to HR, both ends of the link need to be updated – not difficult; just about paying attention.

Now you as Trustee X need to contact SusTrans about some task, assuming you would use your relationship with Joe Bloggs; You notice that “we” (i.e. as a different Trustee, Y) have some relationship with someone else associated with SusTrans.  So, follow that link to Anne Smith –

You see that Anne Smith also has some association with the TranTown organisation, which might be relevant to this task such that she might be a better person to be talking to. Here, you would then look at the logs of all our interactions (by Trustee Y) with Anne Smith – Proj. Mangmt ref.: I-log – there aren’t any yet – hence an error message.

Establishing this structure may be an administrative overhead in the short term, but possibly 5 years down the road it just might turn out to have earned its keep. One way to find out.

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