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[ft-l] FTA Web Site

I am surprised that someone has not come along and developed some templates
which once populated would generate a web site for any trail & hiking club.
We are talking about the same site items:  Trail Condition, FAQ, Help
Wanted, Fundraising, News, Schedule, Contact Info, Links, History, Store,
Officer Page(s), Director Page(s), Membership, Permitting, Photos, etc.
Each club could pick a set of colors, fonts and menu styles to make them
unique.  Then each club would have a set of protected admin forms they could
insert, edit or delete text, web links, images, etc.  Small clubs could have
their limited data stored in an Access mdb file.  Larger clubs could store
in an SQL Engine (MySQL, SQL Server, etc).  A shared server, with different
URLs would be able to better manage the costs of certificates, shopping
carts and credit card approvals.  This would permit the clubs to break-even
or better, offer membership services and many other functions they would
never be able to afford on their own.

Because clubs and trails are different, the database behind this would
require a good deal of requirements gathering and db design.  Trails and
clubs in the mountains are more concerned about elevation, slop, soil type,
huts and lodges then the FTA is.  But these are attributes of the key data.
Same with data about trail construction.  Up north they don't likely call it
a Suwannee Sling, and the heavy duty mowers aren't THE vital tool.  Once
again, these items would just be records in the "tool" field.  Not much
would be insurmountable.

Clubs could then focus on building trail, and getting the word out.  Some
trail club web-sites look like thirty minutes of typos.  Others are quite
nice.  Why oh why don't these non-profits put there heads together with
something they obviously all want.  Besides which club will be able to
afford to keep up that bar that keeps going up?  When will the FTA-only site
be able to push trail reports based on the long-lat of the cell phone
clicking to check.  Designed properly every club could have it.  What about
accepting web form input from a hiker on-trail and based on a key-word
search, determine if the message board posting should also be forwarded to a
Section Leader, Chapter Chair or other officer?

As the capabilities of internet sites increase, so do the opportunities not
yet envisioned.

Mark Nickerson

PS, I commiserate with the web volunteers.  I've been their, done that.
People don't thank the guys who do things for free.  I never had a scout
troop write me to tell me how nice the trail they hiked was.  Be proud of
your accomplishments and what it did for the cause, isn't why you did it?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Cricket" <D_Blick@msn.com>
To: <ft-l@mailman.backcountry.net>
Sent: Thursday, July 25, 2002 9:19 PM
Subject: Re: [ft-l] FTA Web Site

Yep, it was decided at a board meeting and an Executive
Committee meeting.  And it was decided by volunteer Board
members and volunteer, elected Officers.

As I understand it, there was a little extra money in the
education budget and the Board or Ex Comm decided that the
money would be spent on upgrading the Footprint and
contracting for a professional to maintain the website since
these are our two biggest membership and community outreach

An adhoc committee from the Board and/or Chapter Council
offered to advise on the transition and find a new host.  I
know one of the reasons for going to a paid consultant was
to upgrade the FTA on-line store which has grown to the
point where it is actually starting to bring in a good chunk
of change (by FTA standards).  I wasn't at the last Board or
Ex Comm meeting so I don't know much more than that.

This change should in no way demean the time and effort that
Jeff, Daryl and Carol Ann have put into the FTA website over
the years.  They have taken our website from a simple
announcement page to an effective instrument for
communicating with our members and the public.

The job now is as Jeff stated, to refine the mission(s) of
the website and rework it to meet that mission.  As planned,
password-protected pages will be available free of charge to
chapters for their websites.  There will also be other
password-protected pages that various staff and officers
would have access to.  For example, I will be able to post
'Notices to Hikers" and notices of map updates directly
rather than going through several people to get it done.
These changes can be a real plus for the FTA.

I hope the people who in the past have been involved in the
website will stay active.  And I hope others will get
involved as well.  There are so many great things we can do
if we put our minds together on this.


> that's what i thought............we must have missed
something......a board
> meeting perhaps?
> Sunshine * Daydreams
> Later
> Sandy

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