This afternoon, the Communicators Forum listserv started a conversation about using Google sites. I thought the message I wrote on that list would be of interest to this list as well.
For the past few months, Chris Goodland from OIT and I have been working on branded templates for Google sites that can be used by University units. The template mentioned on the Forum list for IT communities of practice is one that we had collaborated on a year or so ago and is a good choice for anyone who needs to develop a Google site right away.
In the upcoming months, U Relations will be working closely with OIT to more fully develop this template and work through the details that units need to be aware of when using Google sites. Things like being sure to set your site's permissions correctly to avoid publishing a site that anyone at the U can edit, or refining the search in a way that will allow it to produce the results your want or expect.
Along with the template development, we are writing guidelines and instructions that will help ensure units understand how a site should properly be constructed for use as an official University site.
Beyond Google sites, we are also working to provide approved, branded templates for other Google apps, such as Blogger, docs, spreadsheets, and so on.
If your unit is interesting in using Google for an official University site, please let me know. We'd be happy to work with you as we develop templates for University use.
Marketing & E-Communications
University of Minnesota