As you will have noticed, the new North-shield web site is up and running! We would like to thank everyone who took the time to give us feedback on the new site, both positive and negative, as it is helping us to identify the needs of the wide variety of website visitors throughout the Kingdom.
Why Change the Website?
Whether motivated out of professional curiosity, concern, or passing interest, one inquiry we saw frequently was regarding what necessitated the change to the new site in the first place. After all, creating a new site is a lot of work! Not just for the volunteers doing all the coding, but for the everyday visitors who have to learn how to navigate all over again! The problem, or “inspiration” as we like to think of it, was not the part that is publicly seen, but with the parts that have to be maintained. The site that we were using evolved as a series of projects, each of them perfectly useful in its own way. Unfortunately this evolution happened as a series of add-ons, widgets, and thing-a-majigs that didn’t always play nicely together and required separate maintenance.The new web site is being created to integrate all of these technologies and databases into one consolidated and useful tool. The Kingdom Webminister will now be able to maintain one technology without having to learn 6 different coding traditions to do so. Additionally, we wanted to make sure that our kind wranglers (Kingdom Officers, Deputies, Branch Officers, etc.) would only have to maintain, update, or correct data in one database and not the five that we had with the old site and are now in the process of merging. “One Kingdom, One Database,” so to speak.
Why Do I Need a Login?
So, that anecdote aside, one of the technical questions that we have been hearing repeatedly is, “Why do I need to create a login? I never had to do that before…”
The main reason is to share your contact information with other people. You have the ability to hide individual contact components if you wish. You also have the ability to change things like your address or phone number as needed. There are also some fun extras available for those of you who feel like spending a few extra minutes creating your account. You can add a picture of yourself, and your device if you wish. There is also a section that allows you to add some information about your persona (or personas!) and a link to some additional information.
Another reason we encourage people to create logins is that it will allow you to make sure that your own data remains current. You will be able to update your association with different local groups if you move frequently, as well as ensuring that your own information is up-to-date and correct in the Order of Precedence. (Your friends will be able to search for you in the populace listing when recommending you for an award and the Signet will be able to link that award request to your resulting entry in the OP, rather than guessing at how you spell your very-period-forty-seven-syllable-persona name.)
For most common activities, you will not need to log in. You can check the event calendar and browse through missives and court reports without ever having sign on. On the other hand, you are required to have a login to fill out an officer report, award recommendation, or change of officer form as well as a few other areas of the web site. This brings the benefit of not having to fill out an entire section of personal information every time you submit a form. (Which may not be much trouble if you only submit one award request once a year, but is somewhat more bothersome to those who have to submit multiple reports that all request the same personal information.)
Finally, we would like to conclude with a few pieces of useful information to help us all through the transition:
If you are looking for information or a form* that used to be on the old site and does not appear to be on the new site, we request that you email us and let us know that we may have missed something! Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. While you wait for us to get back to you (which hopefully won’t be that long a wait – but minutes can feel like hours in internet time…), you can get to the old site by clicking on the “Frequently Asked Questions” link from the main Northshield Web Page and then clicking on the “Previous Version: Northshield Website” link.
Yours In Service,
The Webminister & Co
* Please refrain from using forms from the Old Site whenever possible. We used the transition from old to new as an opportunity to update many outdated forms. Forms on the new site can be found under the Library Link.