At its Executive meeting held in December, Brent McLaren, the Town Crier for Perth Ontario, was officially appointed as the webmaster for the Guild’s website, http://towncrier.on.ca. The Guild’s website had fallen behind in updating its current membership lists and had no easy way to provide the public with updates on Guild events and activities, or to post photographs.
With our current hosting contract expiring one of Crier McLaren’s first tasks was to move our website to a new web host. The new host provides us with services that were unavailable previously, including access to online databases, blogs and photo galleries as well other web services that the Guild can access in the future. His initial mandate was to correct the information on the Guild’s current web site, to provide a more secure script so that email addresses could not be easily spammed from the member’s list and to provide a vehicle for many of these new features while maintaining the look and feel of the current site.
The arrival of The Bedellus. which is linked to the “News & Events” link on the site is the first step. The Bedellus, which is ancient Latin for “to herald” fills this immediate need. The new Photo Gallery, which replaces the original “Photos” page, means that photos can be easily put online for members and visitors to enjoy. A simple step-by-step instruction manual is being prepared so that appointed members of the Guild can post and update these web features without special training and software.
Many Guild members do not realize that their names, address, phone numbers and email address can only appear on the Guild’s members page with their written permission. The annual membership renewal form contains spots for this approval and for a signature. The links on the sidebar of The Bedellus are taken from these lists and from those provided through search engines. A member can request that a link be added, corrected or removed from The Bedellus by contacting the Webmaster. Changes to the main membership list must be made in writing through the Guild Secretary.
Finally, the new site also contains a private, password protected area for members only. Here the Guild’s constitution, competition rules, ethics documents and other items of interest to Guild members are stored and can be quickly retrieved.