Help Wanted

Greetings unto the Populace,

I am Jan Janssen van den Zype geheeten van den Goere,
aka Jan or JJ for short, Geoff in mundane speak.
I am Rowany web minister, hi there!

I am in the process of updating the Barony web site :)
This will take some time :(
There is a lot of old information I’ve found (e.g. previous WayBackMachine iterations of this site) which I’m sifting through and uploading which can be of benefit to all, especially those new to the SCA :)
I have also been attempting to collect any information that may be useful as it either comes to me or I seek it out :)
This is quite difficult :(
The difficulty can be resolved :)

 

OVERVIEW – READ THIS IS NOTHING ELSE

This is a fairly long wad of information, sorry. However, this is relevant and hopefully valuable to both the Barony and Kingdom at large.
Do at the very least browse the headings and bits that catch your eye!

The main takeaway point of this post: this web site should not be a glorified brochure and you can help!
I NEED YOUR HELP to make the site a BRILLIANTLY useful, central, go-to resource for Rowany, but not exclusively.
The site should integrate such that it benefits the whole Kingdom and SCA!

 

Why Does This Apply To You?

So many people newer to the organisation do not know what resources exist, where to find them or how to get word out to others. Much of the information available is currently being communicated through word of mouth only or on facebook groups where the information all too quickly tends to disappear down the timeline and off the end of the initial page render, into obscurity. Later, when someone has the same question, the information is being repeated… and then again and again.

I am relatively new to the SCA, don’t know where a lot of stuff is… and I’m consistently hearing the same from plenty of others. My desire is to change that. As web minister I’m in a position to action that desire. It is my responsibility to try and make the Rowany site as great a resource as I am able. As I am personally learning where to find information, I can use my lack of knowledge as a benefit, bringing fresh and innocent eyes to my role.

Many long time players have fantastic knowledge stored in their heads! If that is you, can I tap into it please? In fact, anyone and everyone may have information to contribute at this stage. I’m sure there are plenty of resources that people outside the Barony can make me aware of that would be of great benefit to have on the Rowany web site. I will not know of these things unless I ask! If you can think of ways the Barony website could better integrate with other parts of Lochac, I want to hear about this too.

 

Call To Action

I request ANYONE’S help across all groups and communication channels both within Rowany and the Kingdom at large!! This increases the chance of people taking notice and the potential, for example, to find some of the more specialist knowledge out there. It doesn’t matter who you are or how long you’ve been in the SCA.

  • Please look at the “Tell Us What You Want On Your Barony Site?” section below and at the site in general to get an idea of the current plan and state of things.
  • Now go and have a quick look at Where Is Everything Else? I really would like some help filling this page out to be a one stop quick reference guide to where useful things are. If you know of groups, sites, lists, memberships, contacts and the like not shown, I WANT TO KNOW.

If you come up with any ideas please CONTACT THE WEB MINISTER!

Any feedback is a positive thing as far as I am concerned. If you have information, recommendations or anything potentially useful (something is missing, should be moved or changed, it matters not) I’d very much appreciate hearing from you. I can link to existing resources wherever they are or potentially create new ones where a void is identified. All ideas welcome.

 

Isn’t This a Conversation?

It would be foolish not to provide information so people can see the ongoing conversation. I’d be missing my own point really :)
As such, I will add information as I get it HERE as I get it here so people can see the conversation.
However, you may not wish your correspondence to be public. There is absolutely no problem with this as long as you PLEASE let me know. If I don’t know I cannot respect it. If I am not directed otherwise, I will add what I receive!

So, to see the ongoing conversation GO HERE

 

Tell Us What You Want On Your Site?

The site should be a living things that meets the need of the audience, not something the techs get jollies from.

As such, be part of the process and send through ideas or outright demands. I honestly welcome ANY interaction :) (I’ll not repeat that point again, promise)
We are already mulling through some thoughts, which I’ll outline below to give you some idea of what is already planned. This may give you inspiration but at the very least, an understanding of the kind of information we’d like to provide and which you can help keep us up to date with, when up and running. Have a look through and see if you come up with any ideas.

First thing on the TODO list is create major sections (where not already created) for each discipline of the society and major communication / function / need currently identified…   something like this…

Site Structure Plan

- Newbies Start Here
(Newbie central with a welcome pack full of good info and links to other resources laid out to help newbies get a good overview of how things fit together)

- Links
    – Where is everything else?
(Links to legal / rule type stuff, facebook groups, mailing lists, forms, finance etc.)

- News (all news from all news areas on the site will also go here so there is one place to see ALL info)
    – Positions Vacant

- Events (all events from all event areas on the site will go here so there is one place to see all event info)
    – Baronial Calendar
    – Regular Events
    – How About Events Outside Rowany?
    – Rowany Festival
    – A&S Events and Activities
        – Things You Should Know (What to bring to events, etc.)
        – Gallery
    – Combat / Martial Arts Events and Activities
        – Things You Should Know (What to bring to events, etc.)
       - Gallery

- Newsletters
    – Folia Roani (Rowany newsletter… currently not being “printed” as we have no Chronicler)
(This will at least move to a periodical (quarterly?) but may become obsolete as the kind of information it contains is being consumed by other resources – Such as blogging / updates to the Rowany site)
        – Back Issues
    – Pegasus (Link to SCA’s newsletter)
    – East Kingdom Gazette

- The Barony, Baron and Baroness (Who are these people?)
    – News
    – Notices
    – Admins and Officers (a non-public area with info about responsibilities and things like how to run events)
    – Minutes From Meetings

- Arts and Sciences
    – Historical and Background Info
    – News
    – Notices
    – Events and Activities (Same as in events above)
        – Things You Should Know (What to bring to events, etc.)
        – Gallery
    – Questions You’ve Asked
(Specific area for questions being asked and their responses so we don’t lose that info in facebook groups)
    – FAQs
    – Gallery
    – Links and Resources
    – Competitions
    – How About A&S Outside Rowany?
    – Focus Areas
        – Costuming
            – Gallery
            – Resources
        – Music
            – Gallery
            – Resources
        – Craft
            – Gallery
            – Resources
        – etc.
    – Admins and Officers (a non-public area with info about responsibilities and things like how to run events)

- Combat / Martial Arts
    – Historical and Background Info
    – News
    – Notices
    – Events and Activities (Same as in events above)
        – Things You Should Know (What to bring to events, etc.)
        – Gallery
    – Questions You’ve Asked
(Specific area for questions being asked and their responses so we don’t lose that info in facebook groups)
    – FAQs
    – Gallery
    – Links and Resources
    – Competitions
    – How About Combat Outside Rowany?
    – Focus Areas
        – Heavy Combat
            – Sword and Board
                – Gallery
                – Resources
            – Polearm
                – Gallery
                – Resources
            – etc.
        – Light Combat
            – Fencing
                – Gallery
                – Resources
            – Archery
                – Gallery
                – Resources
            – etc.
    – Admins and Officers (a non-public area with info about responsibilities and things like how to run events)

- Heraldry
    – Historical and Background Info
    – FAQs
    – Links and Resources

- What have I missed? (I don’t know much which is a brilliant opportunity. Learn me so we can help others as clueless as I! What is missing, let us know so we can help promote it so that I and other newbies have the benefit of knowing you exist, PLEASE)

- Contacts
    – Groups and Localities

- What is The SCA
    – Overview
    – Groups and Localities
    – The Barony and where we fit
    – Map of Kingdoms, Baronies etc (probably a Google Map with overlays, still thinking here)
    – Structures, Awards, Ceremonies and how things fit together
(Kingdoms, Baronies, Cantons, Houses and the like)
(Laurels, Pelicans and Knights)
    – SUPER GRAPHICAL REPRESENTATION (I’ll probably attempt a mind map and maybe draw out how ALL of the above fits together visually unless someone beats me to it (nudge nudge))

- Membership (what it means, how to sign up, etc.)

Hopefully get the gist? (you do get the gist don’t you?)

Future

- Automation is awesome and will REALLY HELP make it easier for the Rowany site to become a central spot for information
- Somewhat complete is the ability to automatically update facebook with links to posts and pages created on the Rowany site
- We are waiting on a plugin developer to also add the ability to go the other way… to automatically pull facebook comments back to the Rowany site

- I’m looking into the best way to enable you all to add information directly to the site (much like you do to facebook)
- Any post you create will be a draft and require approval by admin or Web Minions before going live
- This WILL cut out at least one step from the current process
- The approval process and potentially membership will be required to prevent spamming / flooding the site with crud

- When we have automation to and from facebook, depending on just how good we can get this, it may also cut out the need to post to both places
- I’m going to say this is a LONG way off or may never happen with the hope of under promising and over delivering
- Still, NO PROMISES
- Obviously it will be each person’s choice whether they use such a function or not and most people will still be using Facebook each day

 

How The Site Should Stay Informative

At present, the site is quite static. News, events, updates and general information has been posted somewhat everywhere other than here. The situation really should be quite different. I’m trying to address changes in another post here. If you are a part of Rowany or have any potentially useful information you’d like to share here, please have a quick read through this. Thanks :)

 

Summary / Overview

- The Rowany Barony Site is in the process of being updated, wicked :)
- Help with this, PLEASE!
- Check through the structure plan above and if you come up with ideas, get in touch
- Go and have a quick look at Where Is Everything Else? (I really would like some help filling this page out to be a quick reference guide to where things are). If you know of groups, sites, lists, memberships, contacts not there, PLEASE LET ME KNOW.
- If you have any other desires or ideas (about the web site)… get in touch, I love feedback

- NOTE: I will add information here as I get it here so people can see the conversation. However, you may not wish your correspondence to be public. There is absolutely no problem with this as long as you PLEASE let me know. If I don’t know I cannot respect it.

 

We are all in service, please help me do it well!
Jan!

You’ll Want To Post Here!

If you are posting Rowany related information anywhere, you will also want to post here. Let me start the explanation with…

 

OH NO! Something is Wrong

I sadly report, YOU are missing out on a valuable resource!

Most people are posting great information to various groups and mailing lists and unless you know where it all is and have signed up “everywhere”, you are likely missing information you’d very much be interested in! Unfortunately, this site is being under-utilised. It is a little stale and has become unattractive. People are forgetting to post here :(

The people who volunteer their time to run this site are in the process of sprucing things up :) We are in the process of collecting information from any place we happen to remember to get it from. However, we cannot know all the Facebook groups and events happening across ALL of the wonderfully diverse areas and interests of SCA goings on (can you?). Besides, it is not the web team’s responsibility to sift through every email on every mailing list in case there is information that is really useful to others who may not be on THAT list.

The information should come to us.
The website should be a central spot for information and not just some glorified brochure with a bit of static information in case someone happens to go take a look

Repeat with me, “BORING!

 

What’s That Got To Do With You?

Bluntly, much of what you are posting elsewhere should also be added here.
Rather importantly, if you are running an event of some sort, you REALLY should make sure the information is here also.

 

IMPORTANT – Why?

There are important reasons for this:

1)  Everyone with internet access then also has access to the Barony web site. Even without internet connected at home, people will usually have a smart phone, can go to their neighbours house or use an internet cafe.
2)  Not everyone is on Facebook (most of the planet, sure, but some people choose not to, which we should fully respect) AND… Not everyone has joined your favourite mailing list, you know, the one which you actively post to or get information from. Posting here does not exclude people.
3)  Much of the information available is currently being communicated through word of mouth only or on facebook groups where the information all too quickly tends to disappear down the timeline and off the end of the initial page render, into obscurity. Later, when someone has the same question, the information is being repeated… and then again and again. Having the information here secures the information by enabling us to make sure it is easy to find next week and next year, not just for a day or three.
4)  It is part of our rules and regulations that any official information must go through an official channel. Mailing lists and the SCA web sites are part of this, but Facebook is not.

Side Note: we have a specific set of rules for use of social media, perhaps I can scare you into reading them (jokes, or maybe not, but yes.. or am I joking)? There are rules, they may not fit your circumstance, but you’ll have to read them to find out!

Do you know where to find these rule? If you’ve been playing a while, the answer is probably yes. If not, your answer is probably I’ll go ask someone who’s been playing a while! Well, there should be another option… go check the logically laid out web site which will have a link to the information I need in an easy enough location for me to find! Don’t look for a link to the regulations right now as it’s NOT there. My point is, it should be. Give me some time and it will be :)

We may be “playing” medieval but we can do better than “ask someone” to find common, useful information here in the 21st Century!

 

What SHOULD You Do Right Now

I strongly urge everyone to go read through Site Details And Contributing (especially the part about “Writing Articles and Event Notices”)

We are also in the process of doing some fairly significant changes to the site which should breath some life back. We’d love your help!

Now please also go and have a quick look at Where Is Everything Else?
I really would like some help filling this page out to be a one stop quick reference guide to where useful things are.
REQUEST: If you know of groups, sites, lists, memberships, contacts and the like not shown, PLEASE LET ME KNOW

 

What CAN You Do From Now On

If you have some juicy info or there is an event happening and you are organising it...

Please get in contact with all information (go and read the info in the link above) so we can get it onto the web site.
You are already (usually) sending to mailing lists, posting to Facebook groups and often creating Facebook events. You really SHOULD be sending to us to be posted on the web site too.

The web site could (and should) be the central resource all other things flow from.
If you send something through to us as an afterthought or with a subset of the information you are putting elsewhere, you should be beaten with a rattan sword! Why would you do that? Think about it!

 

If you have something to say, you want to post it here too, don’t you! You WANT to post the information here…  go on, do it :)

Thanks for taking the time to read through :) Please keep in touch!!

Your In Service,
Rowany Webminister