GreenMajority.ca is an example of excellence in small business, non-profit websites at Toronto’s CSI- Centre for Social Innovation. Here is is a screenshot of GreenMajority.ca :
What makes CSI-Centre for Social Innovation interesting is that it supplies co-working space and collaboration tools for small businesses [about 35% of members] and non-profit organizations [about 55% of members]. The remainder is comprised of government and special offices. These various organizations contribute to a total of 2268 members as of December 2, 2017 spread over 3 offices in downtown Toronto.
Given the composition of its members, CSI provides an excellent opportunity to study small business and non-profit Web usage. Just such a study was done in March of 2017 and then repeated in August 2017 by ImagenationIT a CSI member organization. The study provides useful insights into the nature of Small Busines Website usage and support Here is a summary of those results:
- 517 member organization have had active websites in 2017 to mid-August
- 26% of CSI Web Sites are not mobile ready
- 52% of CSI Websites don’t have SSL security, 32 of those have shopping carts or take donations
- 61% of CSI Website are semi-active – 3 or more months since the last info update
- The Speed Rating of CSI Websites is above average
- CSI Websites Overall Rating is above average at 70/100 on WebsiteGrader
But of equal import is the excellence to be found in CSI websites. That is what this and 4 more reviews [the top 5 CSI websites from now well over 500 CSI organizations].
What Makes GreenMajority.ca Compelling
First and foremost GreenMajority announces its mission on in a waing full width video slider – A CANADIAN PERSPECTIVE ON SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY NATIONALLY AND ABROAD, WITH A HINT OF SATIRE. So clearly there is no doubt as to its mission.
And the means of accomplishing the mission is easily read in the menu: Radio Show & Pocasts and Climate Cartoons each of which thrives on good production values and clear delivery. Lets examine each in menu order
The Podcasts and Climate Cartoons
The podcasts are the work of Sarin Caister and Stefan Hostetter and their Team of Green Change Agents. The podcasts have top notch production values starting with resonant intro music followed by a quick update on whats happening at GreenMajority. The shows are about 30-50 minutes long [any longer and Sarin warns that audience falloff is discernable]. Many podcasts have a 2-3 minute commercial featuring some TOTown band/musicians which are quite enjoyable. Then a capsule summary and resumption of the podcast discussion.
What is most interesting is that the podcasts are well informed and far from diatribes. Rather the various participants bring up key trends and viewpoints. The following podcast on Coal underlines the plight of the victims of the economic as well environmental problems associated with coals usage.
Nonetheless, this viewer was surprised that podcasts were not interspersed with videos which would then allow the use of charts, diagrams and visuals like this:
But GreenMajority does have its Climate Cartoons which are quite good at explaining key factors in climate change.
The problem is that a shortage of funds has limited the Climate Cartoons to 4 episodes [But you can help with a donation here].
How GreenMajority.ca Is Produced
It was at first surprising to discover that GreenMajority was done on WordPress and then moved to SquareSpace about two years ago by Stefan. Fortunately, SquareSpace has solid podcast support and a solid hosting service enabling GreenMajority to earn a top notch WebsiteGrader.com mark of 94/100 [composed of 24/30 for Speed, 30/30 for Mobile support, 30/30 for SEO and 10/10 for Security].
This has been the attraction of Website Builders like Wix, Weebly and SquareSpace over CMS systems like Drupal, Joomla and WordPress. By taking care of most Web admin with excellent services for backup, updates, security, and speed/performance plus very good site/page design and SEO support [but no longer top notch], Website Builders have gained significant maket presence in the past 5 years.
The essential trade-off is a good enough design and superior operational admin for an ongoing cost of $150 to $600US per year depending on the features used. CMS systems have a huge advantage in number of addon plugins, connections to other web systems, and styling options [4500++ professional themes and outstanding UI Styling systems]. So think of GreenMajority right on the cusp of modern website development.
GreenMajority has a very polished set of podcasts on all aspects of the Green Change that is slowly emerging in North America and throughout the World. There are diverse viewpoints and a sly touch of humor in the podcasts. Finally Greenmajority avoids the 3 major weaknesses in CSI websites by having an excellent mobility rating, active and up to date podcasts plus solid SSL security. Hence the top 5 rating among CSI’s 517 websites.