New Class Website: Suggestions Please.

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by Bradley, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. Bradley

    Bradley Administrator Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Title says it all. There is a new class website in development please submit your comments and suggestions here and I will pass them on to the development team.
     
  2. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    38
    The singular most important thing is to just put the website into operation. Any decent up to date website is a work in progress. Tomorrow there will be new things we can do we have not even thought about today.

    Also, please make certain everyone understands, the information which members will voluntarily post on the website will NEVER constitute more than about 1/5 of the available information. We have a paid staff whose job it must be to spend many hours every working day seeking out information so they can organize that information and pass it along to the sailors who can use the information.

    Website feature?
    Example: If a sailor posts notice of a regatta, it would be great for the website email a notice to all the class members in the area the regatta is targeted to serve. The email would be sent on the day the regatta is posted and again one month before the event and again about a week before the event.

    For the office, every posting of a local event should be seen as an opportunity to gather additional information.

    The morning after each new regatta notice is posted the office staff should call or at least email the host and ask for additional information:
    1. Is your club hosting any other Laser events?
    2. Can you host more?
    3. Do you know about any other groups near you who host Laser events?
    4. Is there anybody near you who we could send Laser class information with some expectation of positive results?5. Do you have our regatta guidelines and shall we send you a copy?
    5. Do you have our scoring program?
    6. Would you like help learning the scoring program?
    7. Do you need or want class support on site?
    8. Did you know the class office stocks trophies?


    The website is a tool. Not an end.

    The website is a tool which when used will allow any dedicated person to accomplish more.

    The website cannot be seen as "finished work."
     
  3. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I assume we are talking about a North American Laser website? If so, then one very useful feature on the website would be a list of fleets with brief details of location, activities, contacts etc.

    In the good old days this information was in the newsletter. Then for a while drlaser had an excellent fleet directory. Currently, as far as I know, there is no single place where a sailor moving to a new area in the NA region can find out about Laser fleets in that area.
     
  4. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I'm sure that will be in there when they get it up and running. My deadline for getting the District 18 fleet info in is December 15th, and in the meantime, as I said in another thread, it will be in a tear out sheet in the Laser Sailor.

    Merrily
     
  5. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    48
    I have a slightly different point of view as far as the who should put the content up. Along the lines of give a man a fish or teach him to fish - use a framework that allows district sec's to post their districts info, fleet captains post fleet info etc. (and perhaps ordinary class members to post info as well). I look at it that if they have to type out an email to send to the class managers, they are 90% of the way to having it display on a web page using a framework such as DotNetNuke. This would apply to regatta results and photos as well.

    Have the districts use the same look/feel for their district web sites. (ie make them part of the NA Class website) IMHO, right now some the districts have lousy sites. Get them all on the same page (pun intended), with the same basic info (fleet info as mentioned in others' posts above)

    Here's one sure to cause a few hearts to stop - take the money spent on newsletter printing and mailing costs and put some of it into the web site - make the web site become THE source of always up to date info, informative articles etc. There is no arguing the fact that the info in the printed and mailed newsletter will be old news by the time we get, regardless of who is responsible for doing the job. If the class needs revenue from advertisements, sell space on the web pages....
     
  6. Bradley

    Bradley Administrator Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    18
    We are using framework similiar to what you mentioned and at least my goal is to have content come from many sources including but not limited to the class office. We are using a program called Mambo; more info at www.mamboforge.net.
     
  7. WestCoast

    WestCoast New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    mambo is good, that's what I use for my website.

    the designers can build it, then the workers like me can update and change the website without needing to know a lot. :)
     
  8. jon

    jon Member

    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    8
    No offence to the D18 or other fleets using mambo, but the current site actually looks pretty good from a graphic design standpoint. If you are using this mambo system, it needs to look professional.

    -For most of the districts this will be great. But don't require all districts to use the same look and feel. Some districts have the resources to a decent job so just provide links to their sites. Until the NA class proves that their site is better, don't force everyone into the same mold. If it's better, they will come.
     
  9. jon

    jon Member

    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Clarification to the above... D18 and others are not using Mambo but another content managment system, but the point is... the site should not look like a canned site.
     
  10. sailor327

    sailor327 New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    they should see if there is a way we can have full access to dr. laser again
     
  11. Bradley

    Bradley Administrator Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Please note: The District websites hosted for free by The Laser Forum are NOT part of the new class site and as Jon realized they are not powered by Mambo. They are powered by a very simple scripted called CMSimple.

    The district websites were designed as a free, easy to use solution for District Secretaries without web experts to manage a site. The interface is easy to use but the front end display is rather simple. I have developed another, better looking theme that I will offer to the TLF district sites shortly. Also, most (all?) people are located inside one district and spend most of their time on one district website. Not many people in D12 will sail in an event in D18 or look at the D18 website.

    However, for districts with more web expertise, I offer a different solution. Districts are welcome to design their own site with a custom theme and host it (for FREE) on the forum server. Unfortunately, not every district has a web expert. District 11 has a great website. Jon, I commend you for that. Personally, I really liked your site, design, and scripting you wrote. I wanted to implement your program on a broader spectrum, but you were unwilling to release your proprietary code, even for a fee. So I was forced to choose another solution.

    This post is somewhat off topic, I just felt compelled to explain the district website situation. At this time the class website will NOT host the district websites. This may be an option at some point in the future. The only part that may be hosted by the class is the calendar, and this would be in the forum of a link or some kind of RSS implementation.

    For more information about district websites hosted on the forum please visit this thread: http://www.laserforum.org/showthread.php?t=3058. Comments regarding the district website solution on the forum should be directed towards that thread.

    Also, after rereading this post it seems to comes off bitter, please do not take it that way, I just want to present the facts.

    Thanks,
     
  12. Bradley

    Bradley Administrator Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    18
    This will never happen due to International Copyright laws. Shevy Gunter was(is?) a strong believer in these laws. It would be irresponsible for the class or any individual to host this content without his consent. This includes the information on his site that was written by other authors. You may want to view this post by Shevy (the owner of all content on drLaser): http://archives.laserforum.org/2001/msg05383.html

    Cheers,
     
  13. jon

    jon Member

    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Sorry, I did not mean to equate the D18 site or any of the other sites as being unprofessional. They are simple, clean, easy to use and professional and they have good content.

    My intention was to make the point that the NA site looks great from a visual standpoint and we shouldn't loose that. It shows off the laser and what the class is about. The content and organization of it maybe leaves a bit to be desired, but the look works.

    I had initially incorrectly assumed that the D18 site was on the same content managment system as Bradley was proposing, but upon further investigation I found it was not. I looked into Mambo (including setting up a test environment on my own server) and I found no reason it couldn't work just fine for this application.

    Sorry for the confusion. Good luck.

    -Jon
     
  14. sailor327

    sailor327 New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    oh he closed it because of copyright laws. yah laws shut down lots of good things.
     
  15. Bradley

    Bradley Administrator Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I think you kind of missed my point. Shevy closed it for unknown reasons. The forum or class can not reopen the site without his permission due to copyright laws.
     
  16. sailor327

    sailor327 New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Oh sorry i thought that you ment that he closed it because he could get in touble with copyright laws and stuff he had on his website.
     
  17. Georg W.F.

    Georg W.F. Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Bradley et al
    It would be nice to have the articles that previously appeared in the helpsection on the new laserwebsite. This could include other articles, such as the one of Gouvernail with all kinds of pictures of his rigging. For people who start sailing a laser, who want to upgrade their rigging, or are struggling with some other "standard" question the laserwebsite could be a first resort. In this way the DrLaser-hiatus can perhaps slowly be filled up.
    I know that there are some questions answered on the current site, however, this is rather limited, and could be extended. There is some in formation scattered over the internet on storing boats, building homemade dollies, creating tiller extensions out of all different kind of things. There should be at least links to these pages in this helpsection.
    I am not sure if the current website has a list of laser-literature. It would be nice to have some book-titles, preferably with some reviews. There are a couple of obvious candidates for this list that are specifically aimed at laser-sailing, but there are also some other interesting books on windstrategy and small boat sailing.

    Thanks for all your efforts, and thanks for asking us!

    GWF
     
  18. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    38
    What the heck??? Why not download the entire current website and http://cerebus.winsite.com/laser/laser and put all that content somewhere on the new website where it can be easily accessed.

    Lots of us love history. I know lots can be found on the internet wayback machine but the links don't work well there.
     
  19. sailor327

    sailor327 New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think it would be really cool if they had a section where you could view old results from championships (Both international and national). You could also view pictures.
     
  20. rock steady

    rock steady New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    What about putting all back issues of "The Laser Sailor" on-line?
     

Share This Page