Grand Lodge Internet Committee

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by relapse98, May 23, 2011.

  1. relapse98

    relapse98 Registered User

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    Blake,

    They didn't come out and say your name, but I can read between the lines.

    "The Internet Committee for Grand Lodge of Texas, A.F. & A.M is looking for a web designer."

    http://www.grandlodgeoftexas.org/node/3305

    And I applaud this as I find the current Grand Lodge site to be difficult to use.
     
  2. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    There are a few more of us that would like the position as well...
     
  3. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Very interesting, considering it was recently revamped. Nah, there are Brothers way more talented at that stuff than I ;)
     
  4. Jacob Johnson

    Jacob Johnson Registered User

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    I don't really like the website too much myself. I really only use it about once a month or so, to check up, and usually just for the lodge locator.
     
  5. Ol Kev

    Ol Kev Registered User

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    Well, if they don't step up . . .
     
  6. Michaelstedman81

    Michaelstedman81 Premium Member

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    Hahah yea, as soon as I got the email today I immediately thought of Blake...lol
     
  7. Michaelstedman81

    Michaelstedman81 Premium Member

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    I did like that they finally changed up the website a while back, but I am not too fond of it myself. Seems too cluttered and the navigation of it really sucks. I was all "gung-ho" when they changed it up, but after a while it just became more of chore for me to go there and check up on things. Hopefully, if they are really planning on changing the site up again, they make some major changes to the whole thing.
     
  8. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    I'd call it a POS but Mama said not to talk like that.
     
  9. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    I will say from my point of view it isn't the worst site I have ever run across but it is far from the best. I like the way the GLoO did their site. It is easy to navigate and locate what you are looking for.
     
  10. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

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    Hopefully the person who winds up doing it will have a budget, and be able to assemble a team. Too big a task, and needs to be modular so that the task can get handed to others yearly. I ran a software company for a while and have done the websites for many an organization I've been part of, so I've an idea of the challenges. I'd not do the job, personally, unless the Grand Lodge understood that website design for important sites is serious business and to be done right takes serious planning and resources.

    If they have the idea, which many do, that website design, security, and programming is something that you can devote no resources (or almost no resources) to and just pawn it off on someone then it isn't worth doing. They would have to see, or be shown the potentials and the challenges, imo. In masonry especially where we cannot recruit, the web is going to be our main representation to the future generations. Important stuff. Done right it could help masonry a great deal. Done badly or mediocre and it doesn't do much of anything.
     
  11. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    Many large professional websites are done with few personnel. I was a manager on the visa.com site for several years. We always had a team of 3-5. I was also the original webmaster for Texas Parks and Wildlife. It was an award winning site with 1 technical person and 5-6 people feeding me content. The GLoT site should be easy with the 3 they mention in the message.
     
  12. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

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    Absolutely, a large site can be done with few people. My company built and maintained fortune 100 sites, and worked in industries from energy exploration to cancer research. We never had more than 20 employees.

    Doing it professionally, in my experience anyway, has been a different critter than the volunteer sites I've worked on. In the professional world, you have a contract or mission statement of some kind, and you can hire another person if the works stagnates or becomes unscalable or otherwise has to be reworked from the bottom to the top.

    I have faced two things doing non-profit sites. The first is that there are rarely many technical people who step up to do it, so you usually have one or two people on a team who have the knowhow to do stuff like push and pull from database, what recursion is, internet compliance standards, how to both prevent and fight a denial of service attack, etc. Over half the folks wind up being non-technical, and generally the people you are reporting to are as well. Whats more, many of those folks don't understand the possibilities and challenges, so have to be educated - and many technical folks don't want to bother with that or don't necessarily have the people skills to do so. So you get one person who winds up being the go to guy and has to manage it and act as go between, or else do the lion's share of the work himself.

    And that leads to burnout when you aren't getting a paycheck and the projects become long and arduous, and they will be at points on the site in question if the ball is getting moved. Or, it can lead to stagnation where one person winds up for years being the go to person, and they are naturally protective of their work and resistant to large changes as the years go on.

    As I see it, the GL site doesn't just need to be maintained. And not just designed and coded. But the committee itself needs to be organized to steer clear of those pitfalls by organizing itself to be temporary and systematically turn over people. Otherwise you get bursts of activity and updates followed by lulls.

    I've been that guy who has caught the lion's share of the work, or the only technical guy in the crew who can explain the stuff, and I can tell you that once you get yourself into that situation it is extremely hard to chart a path out of it. Its for that reason I'd strongly urge anyone who has something to do with the effort to insist on a very specific mission statement as well as an exit strategy. Both for your own sanity and for the good of the project.

    Sorry to ramble :12:
     
  13. MikeMay

    MikeMay Premium Member

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    Its nice to see they are contemplating the transition to Drupal (or some other CMS)...which indicates they are wanting to be more interactive. That's a positive move.
     
  14. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    It's nice to see that they realize how important their web presence is to my generation. The website is the business card of the last generation.

    Now if only the York Rite would follow suit...
     
  15. Ashton Lawson

    Ashton Lawson Premium Member

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    Beathard, since you clearly have the experience, put your name in the hat.
     
  16. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    Already did. Would love to help fix the site and Brit up to date.
     
  17. Michaelstedman81

    Michaelstedman81 Premium Member

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    Good luck to you on getting selected for it. I hope it won't be too much work for you and keep you from posting as many informative posts on here..lol Really, though. Make us proud :)
     
  18. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    emphasis on "some other CMS."
     
  19. MikeMay

    MikeMay Premium Member

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    That's good...Drupal can be a drag on the servers if the wrong (or too many) modules are installed. But at this point, anything is better than where they're at currently!
     
  20. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    There are some very good free and commercial cms applications out there. Each one of them has limitations that are different. They need to decide on design and features before deciding on a management system.
     

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