It seems that it would be a good idea to allow people to see this concept and comment on it.

By the way, please notice that the photos on the top right, rotate — with each refresh of the screen — among the photos we put in the cue.  The ones currently there came from Joe’s and Eric’s personal collections. The cue can be added to or items cycled out completely at will.

So here’s the info about this site. If none of the web technical stuff interests you, or if you don’t understand, then just poke around and see if what’s here seems easy to use, and find what you need.

Obviously, as Eric said, this is a test site, and an opportunity to play a little.  Make comments when you see the opportunity at the bottom of a page.  All comments have to be approved before they appear to the general population. This keeps us from posting spam that nobody wants to see.  The current approve-r for this test site is Kerch McConlogue.

This site is built on a WordPress platform, an open source blog platform that is highly customizable and requires no software resident on any person’s machine. Don’t let the notion of a blog scare you. This site will not be a random list of someone’s thoughts but a well organized collection of the same kinds of categories/information that we currently have, except with a capability to be much more dynamic.

There is navigation at the top of the screen to pretty static pages. Join, contact, about the club etc. The navigation in the middle column to the Categories (we’ll change that name) will yield a list of articles that are coded with those listed topics (and we can add more!).  It’s a sort of “go fish” option:  Show me all the pages that are about Tigers.  Or show me all the Tech Tips. Or show me all the United history stuff.

Possibly the biggest advantage of this site architecture is that once it is set up, no longer will only one or two people be able to add content or make changes. It would be easy to allow the chair of an upcoming United to add content about that event by himself, or, perhaps better, for him to give that responsibility to a committee member.  The President can post his own letter. The newsletter editor could post the final articles himself, without going thru a techie!

In addition, it’s easy to add pictures from any machine and put them right into the article. New pictures can be added with comments by whoever has the appropriate permissions.

Eric asked about photo galleries.  Also pretty easy to do (Joe will write careful instructions on how to do this).

Another big advantage (and depending on how you look at it, maybe biggest) is that search engines love blogs! Each change gets noticed by their robots, so to speak, and new content can appear in the search engine results withing hours rather than maybe weeks. If we want to increase membership, people have to know we exist. This will definitely help. (By the way….  this site is currently invisible to search engines until we are ready to go public.)

Still another advantage is the ability for anyone to subscribe to the site. (See the small orange subscribe square at the top of the page and the the box at the top of the right hand sidebar?) Granted, many members might not understand this concept and won’t use the feature. But by way of short explanation, any person can subscribe to the SITE.  (even non members) Then they will get an email every time new content is added. So if we add information about an upcoming event, or new tech tip, all subscribers — members and non members — will get an email and we get the publicity!

This subscription is separate from the forum — which stay basically the same.  I think SOME forum posts (like the Service Bulletins) should probably be moved for better access by the membership.

The search box in the far right sidebar will allow visitors to search all of the public part of the site (perhaps excluding the forums.. since they have a separate search function).  This makes the site incredibly useful for visitors.  And the more useful the site, the more likely we’ll attract new members and the more valuable the site will be for current members.

So, poke around the site. Find a comment box and add a comment. You’ll find that approvals come pretty quickly — generally within a couple hours.  The delay is because a real person has to look at it!

It’s a big project.  And we’re looking forward to getting started!

Kerch McConlogue
Webmaster

Comments (17)

Lots of new features. Not sure I understand this “blog” stuff, but I know a lot of users do and its a method to encourage interactive communication.

TT

Really, the only thing that is important about this blog stuff is what it means to the end user.
1. It means you can “subscribe” and get, once a day, all the new content that’s been added. If there’s nothing new, you get no email about it. I encourage you to try it out on the home page. You won’t get any spam because of it.
2. It means that you can add your thoughts to the end of a page for others to see. Ultimately not every page will be available to comment on. For example, probably not the home page, or the membership form page, or any other pages where the club is just giving out information.
3. By the way, the approval process of comments can be changed so that people who have posted a comment already, don’t have to be approved. Or we could give permission to all the board members or something else that the BoD chooses.

The changes made so far are very encouraging and reflect a lot of work on the parts of Eric and Kertch. Keep it going!

However…..

Is the very top of the page with the logo after the blue Alpine or Tiger permanent?

It seems the logo should be a copy of what we decided on when we had the new banners made. As shown it is the opposite of what we have.

I also think that using the Alpine/Tiger body style does not reflect our mission to include all Rootes vehicles under our umbrella. Maybe the logo by itself would be best.

More color, if possible, might make the overall appearance more of an eye catcher.

I like the photos on the right and the rotation of them. One other club I belong to does the same thing but added a pause in the rotation if you leave your cursor on a particular photo. Does ours do that?

Just my $0.02 after an initial cursory glance.

P.S. I placed Kertch’s explanations above in the February/March Rootes Review so all know of the changes and improvements.

Thanks for all your hard work.

F

Very cool idea with the map & “push-pin” you added.
A great way to literally see the Rootes community.

Thanks,
Carl

(ED note: check out what Carl’s talking about here )

Fred, I agree with you on the banner. This was a quick bodge to simply have something. I want to produce a new one with rotating cars rather than just the non-descript roadster. I have the dial-up people in mind to keep the graphics small enough to be quick, but at the same time eye-catching. I’m on-board with the all-encompassing Rootes Vehicles mission.. as an Imp owner that comes by definition. 🙂

Our current technical hurdles include:
– the Members Only section, which isn’t supported directly in “WordPress”
– navigation for top menu items such as News and Events… so you get the news and events directly, without having to click twice. I solved the forum link to redirect automatically with a script. We may need something similar there but haven’t worked it out.

My feeling is that the categories section is kind of hidden to the right bottom. This is actually rather important, as it is the main source of navigation to articles and sections around the site, and I believe it should appear top-left. Anyone want to second that motion?

I think we stumbled on a method to automatically expire posts about events that have expired after a certain date. That way no one has to remember to pull it off manually. For instance. Robert posted a notice about a meeting for the 2010 United planning. It will stay there forever, even after the meeting. One of the admins will have to remember to take it down after the meeting has occurred. If it is not removed, the annoucement about SUNI V (which is more important than a past meeting) will be pushed down since it is older.

Carl, My S7 bike community had one of those push-pin maps. I thought that was a great idea to show the TEAE and general Rootes community graphically. Glad you like it.

Eric

Fred
As Eric said, we pretty much plucked the old site’s top banner and added the car. I didn’t know there was a new banner. But we should definitely stay in line with what the club has decided on.

I agree that the Alpine/Tiger body has a pretty narrow appeal. It would be great to include at least a bigger copy of the logo. But all the versions I have seen are pretty crappy looking when blown up to any real size.

The rotation photos at present only change when you change pages or reload the page. We can easily add a link on each graphic to info about that car.

Currently only the old front page graphic links to a bigger version of that image. But we can link it to a whole different page with more info about each kind of car.

Again, the biggest problem we had with those images is that we only had our own cars to work with. However, I’ve been going thru the old site and may be able to gather some more good shots from there.

Progress is being made!

I know you’ll all be pleased as punch to learn that now when you click on News and Events in the top navigation bar, you go to the same list of events as when you click on the category in the middle column.

I tried to look at the new web site first from the functional aspect and then my personal preference. I have NO…NADA…ZERO experience in web site design but get real irritated by the sites where you must find something to do something which you cannot find. I think that comes from either blending in with the back round or just being lost in the jumble of mass information on a page.

I like TT am not current on the concept of blogging. I will say it took me a couple of scans through to understand the layout and what links followed page to page. I most definitely find the Word Press version easier to read and follow as I scan through the pages. After I understood the layout I found it to be very convenient to have the links that followed the pages at my finger tips. I think the addition of the photos highlight the activities and purpose of the club.

The ability for many to have access to input and update information is a great thing. Another club I am very familiar with developed a web site to communicate activities practice schedules etc. The major down fall of the site were the limitations of the site manager’s time to keep the schedules current which really affected its usefulness.

Overall I think it looks good (remember I have NO…NADA…ZERO experience) and your on the right track. I like the content so far and I agree with Eric’s idea to develop a rotating title bar which includes other Sunbeams.
Great Job!
Wes

Another Rittenhouse checking in. I’ve had my tiger since 1976, and am just completing a restoration that started in the 80’s. Maybe I’m finally old enough to drive it sanely. This is a really nice site!

I placed a pin on the map for myself, then one for Richard Fritz. We live in the same town, but I can only get one pin to appear. Is there a way to get all names in one town to list out when someone touches that pin?

Fred,

You are both showing up on the Rootes Push Pin map…. if you look at the scrolling pictures at the bottom, I see both of you.

Eric

On the emails from the itchair about different Rootes information I like the concept of being able to download either an MS Word document or a PDF file. I can use a lot of this info in the newsletter.

Fred

I wanted to see how many people have added themselves to the push-pin map but had to do a bit of searching to find it. Maybe a few more links could be added in strategic spots like in “About TE/AE” and/or “Members” to encourage more use.
Also, could “News & Events” on the old site go ahead and link to the new site simply because much more up to date info is here.

Looking good!
Carl

On the push pin map I can only get one of the two names listed for Nazareth, PA. When I click on the pin I get Richard Fritz, Nazareth, PA and his photo; I cannot get Fred Baum.

If I click on the photo I placed in my file I get the message box. This is fine, except if I don’t know what photo someone placed in their file and there’s more than one person for a particular location. I won’t be able to find them without exploring all the photos at the bottom of the page.

If possible, maybe a drop down list for each pin location?

I hope this explains my delieema.

F

Thanks for the suggestion, Carl.
I put the link to the new News and Events page on the old site.
And I added a link to the map with the pins to the top of the members page here.

There seems to be people getting into the forum with nothing but porno and stupid things to say. We’ve had this problem before so maybe we need to address a solution again with the new layout.

There’s one on the Forum problems site now. Five people have viewed it. I just hope there are no worms, viruses, etc. in these posts.

F

The Forum is back up, with additional security features.

If any other inappropriate posts are made, please flag them with the “yield sign triangle exclamation mark” icon and I’ll come running to delete the inappropriate content and warn / ban the user.

Comments are closed.