“Please submit your errors and corrections in writing,” sounds so formal that I hesitate to use it, but in truth it is a great convenience for those actually doing the correction.  And “writing” can be interpreted as sending an email in our digital age.  Those of you reading through the links under recent posts or under the February 2014 links will find the balance of updates and notes from club meetings to which I had access.  Like any fellow woodworker working on fifty things at once, mistakes are bound to be made.  And if you do click on those links, you will find some twenty posts that “catches” me up on the job I agreed to do in maintaining the web site.  My usual motto of “Better never late,” has become the motto of “Better late than never.”  If you look at the titles, you will see a collection of meeting times ranging all over the year 2013.   The software provides an automatic archive feature, but does not allow making posts back in time, so all the posts are listed by when they were made, and not by when the meeting occurred.  For the delay in processing those posts, I give the club my deepest apology.  All I can say is I have spent hours and hours creating those posts, downloading photographs, and working to put appropriate words together and in general figuring out websites.  My first dovetail was far easier than this.  Even so, I am absolutely positive there is more that could have been done and I am sure there are club members that would have liked me to have done more.   Sometimes there is never enough.   That brings me to my next point.

Maintaining the club website has become a burden for me and right now it is no longer fun.  Some of the posts were great to put together, some not so much, but I need a break.  I have fulfilled my obligation for a year and leave it to the 2014 officers to find a replacement.  For those members that think that more should be done, I can offer some limited advice and instruction—call me and maybe I can help you do it.  Our website can certainly serve to chronicle the events of our club while balancing the expense of attracting new members.  Still, there is more to be done, some of it for little or no expense.

For instance:

  1. Facebook is the social networking site that many young people are flocking to.  If we want to attract new members let’s focus some effort onto younger people.  Some of them are reported to spend up to eight hours a month on Facebook.
  2. Craig’s List:  I have listed and sold some donated tools for the club and the treasury is $60.00 richer from those sales.  We know woodworkers read Craig’s List.  Listings are free.  Why can’t we list upcoming club meetings in the tools for sale section of Craig’s list where woodworkers are most likely to be browsing?  Listings could also be placed under activities and or events, maybe on a different day.
  3. Can we try again for local events on MSN’s home page?  Even if we only succeed once or twice a year it is better than nothing.

Surely other members have some ideas on how to get the word out without having to increase our dues to pay for it.  Chime in with your ideas please. 

Lastly, I want to thank the members for an opportunity to serve them.  As a result of this endeavor, I now know much more about websites than I ever wanted to know.  I have learned about web hosting, setting up a web agent on my home computer (lets you try out a website before posting it online,) and a little more about HTML.  I see that WordPress  is free open source software operated to allow more people to have more access to the internet.  And that WordPress web page developers offer some of their design work for free in the form of free themes in the hope that they can sell more products.  I have found out that YouTube videos, such as ones one using WordPress or WordPress themes are seldom updated as new software versions come out, DAMHIK.  I would like to count as some of my accomplishments the creation of a club email for the club president so a club calendar could be easily kept and updated showcasing upcoming events.  I included a home page placement of an interactive map to our meeting sites making it easier for new members to find us.  By the way keeping that interactive map on the home page is why updates and posts go to another page!  I wanted someone new to the club to see that map first.  I installed a free Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tool on our website.   Within minutes of when our new site first went up, I tested major search engines to see if they could find our site.  You can test them yourself, just enter logical words like Sarasota woodworkers or others, and you will find us on the first page of search results so I thought a purchased SEO tool is not needed.  Our new site includes provisions to make it easier to view on mobile devices, which usually have more narrow screens.  Try it on your smart phone.  Also our site uses simple color schemes that facilitates viewing for people with less than perfect eyesight.   There is a modern word for this, but we should avoid things like text in yellow or orange or other lighter colors and favor a high contrast between text and background.   In addition, Adam Ross suggested that secretary’s notes from board meetings be included long before I was capable enough to include them myself.  It is still a valid idea, thank you Adam.  Also, some simple accounting of the finances should be made.  Like I said before, there is much more to be done.  And for those that understand:

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Contents of this post provided by Andrew DiLorenzo.