This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm
July 17th, 2006

Changes Coming

We are fast approaching our tenth year as an Internet web site. We recently went through a nightmare of recreating the site on a new server. We knew we had grown tremendously over the years, but uploading for a solid 17 hours on a very fast connection really brought it home. We aren't big. Fly Anglers OnLine (FAOL) is huge. Of course we are the largest fly-fishing site in the world, but just the amount of information available is staggering.

What that creates is confusion. Where to find things? Where are the tutorials? The Chatroom and so forth.

So we made a decision. We are re-creating how you see FAOL. It is in process, all hidden behind a wall for now. As each section is reorganized, we will create a new, separate contents page for it.

Since we are a weekly magazine, (e-zene to the techiest out there) we are going to present FAOL as a magazine to you.

There will still be a 'front page' with information about some of the new articles, but you will be able to click on a spot which will take you to ALL the new articles this week. Or a spot on the front page which will take you to Fly Tying. Nothing terribly radical, just a better way to navigate the site. A way which will make it easier to read. There will be a table of contents just like you are accustomed to seeing in a magazine.

If you entered this month's drawing, you probably noticed there are no questions at all. That will change for the August drawing. Just a few specific questions and a new look. The biggest change on the drawing will be to enter you must be registered on the Bulletin Board. Eventually as we proceed, you will have to be registered on the Bulletin Board to enter the Chat Room too. All of these are security issues which help protect our site from hackers.

We probably should have done an update of this kind a long time ago - and frankly it is a bit scary to me. I want to be sure our readers can find the things they want, and as we do the changes make sure we don't lose anything.

One of the first things you will notice is the left-hand 'frames' listing where you can go will be gone. The actual article will fill the frame with nothing on the left-hand side at all.

We will keep the same colors we've been using, but there will be differences at the top of pages to reflect where you are and other sections which are related. The web standard is you should not have to make more than two clicks of the mouse to get where you want to go. We do have that in some places - not all. The idea is to fix those which take too many clicks to get where you want to go.

We will also be able to add some features we haven't had. One being video. We've tried to keep the site simple, not requiring you to download other programs on your computer in order to view something. But most folks now have a program such as Quick Time downloaded, and the newer computers come with it installed. We will provide instructions for those who are not computer literate so you won't miss out. And you wouldn't want to miss out on real casting lessons in video, would you?

This is not going to happen overnight. With so many content pages, we will take one bite of the elephant at a time. . .it's impossible to eat a whole elephant at once. Stay tuned, this should be fun. ~ The LadyFisher

If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!

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