If you are in the salmon restoration field, chances are that you obsess about fish migration. Even if you are not religious or spiritual, you probably pray that all the elements align (water, dissolved oxygen, biological imperative, and habitat conditions) so that salmon are triggered to return home and spawn. When contemplating a web migration, it’s hard not to think in salmon migration analogies — the stakes are high, and the barriers are formidable.
Unless you have supervised a massive website content migration, you cannot really fathom the intricacies. Everything needs to be considered from the architecture to the fine details. You spend many, many hours contemplating the concepts and how to execute branding, social media, navigability, and security. A content migration allows you to step back and look at how much an organization and a field have evolved. For an organization like Salmonid Restoration Federation (SRF) that has existed for over three decades, it is awe-inspiring to take stock of how much the salmon restoration profession and SRF have grown.
A content migration also gives you an immense appreciation for all those who have helped along the way: the founders, the pioneers, the scientists, the on-the-ground practitioners, and the restoration heroes. A web migration makes you feel insanely grateful for your previous and current web designers and developers as well as your loyal, uber-competent, and dedicated staff.
We contemplated a web migration for many years but having overseen two migrations, I knew the additional workload and how many questions must be contemplated before embarking. We wrote a stellar RFP, so stellar that we received comprehensive proposals from all over the world: Japan, India, London, China, New York, Chicago, and Arcata. I made an executive decision that I wanted to work with someone in our time zone and we were thrilled to contract with Accelerant Design. Ironically, I wake up before dawn and I suspect the local web designer we selected is a night owl who pulled many all-nighters working on the wire-framing, coding, and other mysterious elements that are the building blocks of a contemporary, responsive website.
Responsive means that you can look at the website from any device, preferably not while driving. SRF knew that we wanted a website where we could manage the content (Content Management System) and that it would interface with a CRM (constituent relationship management database). Just as some of you dream in acronyms, these were our daily dilemmas: how to migrate 30 years of data and ten years of electronic resources so everything communicated on the back end and users could navigate seamlessly on the front end. SRF has tried to adapt and to be responsive for the beneficial use of all who participate and share our mission of salmon restoration and recovery.
I could not be more grateful for those who founded SRF, our Board of Directors who help envision how to best serve our constituents, and the SRF Program Manager and web designer who crafted the elegant solutions that will launch us forward and help us stay timeless with the interwebs.
Go ahead, check it out, you can even try to break it but be sure to let us know if you do.