Organizing a Chapter Web Site
by Scott DeLoach, Senior Member and Web Manager, Atlanta Chapter
In the last few years, the World Wide Web seems to have graduated from college and become an international superstar. TV shows, music groups, restaurants--even shampoos!-- now boast dedicated web sites. At the beginning of the 1997 term, we recognized that the growing popularity of our own web site presented a great opportunity for us to reach more members. A year later, our web site has become our primary means of communicating with our members. This article discusses the different information we currently provide and how we keep track of it.
For members who can attend meetings, our main draw is the monthly calendar of events. All of our chapter activities are noted and summarized, and maps to the different meeting places are provided. On our "chapter officer" page, we provide e-mail and phone numbers of each board member and SIG coordinator. In the near future, I plan to add photographs to help new members "put a name with a face" at chapter meetings.
For board members, I maintain a separate archive directory. Board members are encouraged to store any information related to their position such as letters, notes, and reports in the board member archive. An archive of past board meetings minutes and STC artwork is also available for everyone to use.
Our latest addition to the web site has been CommLink Online, an electronic version of our chapter newsletter. With CommLink Online, we can publish more articles to an international audience using words, pictures, sound, and video. And, as we continue to scan and tag every article from our 18 year old newsletter, our web site is becoming an invaluable record of our chapter's history.
The board information is maintained in an unlinked directory and is updated about three times a month. Each board member is provided their own sub-directory, and general files are stored at the top level. Board members email their files to me, and I post them when I upload the latest changes.
CommLink occupies the lion's share of our web space. A complete, 10-15 file "issue" is posted monthly and updates and corrections are usually made about once a week. Each CommLink issue, including CommLink Online, has its own sub-directory that contains its graphics and HTML files. CommLink Online is currently created with RoboHTML so that we can begin offering HTMLHelp versions of each issue later in the year.