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Webmaster’s report for the 2018 AGM

The Friends’ website is:   . It has been running since 2011 and has had one facelift in that time.

The title ‘Webmaster’ means the person who maintains and uploads the content of a website.

Who’s Who
I upload relevant news about the Friends and its activities, such as notices of events, reports of past events, and anything of interest about how the money from the Friends fundraising is spent on church improvements. Most of these I get from announcements and articles elsewhere, but occasionally I write something myself.

Clare Lauwerys, an IT professional and website consultant in Peldon, controls the unseen workings of the site, the site’s efficiently, and  its connection to a server. Clare also renews our domain name fees and looks after other registration matters.

Clare and I don’t charge for what we do, but there are fees from outside bodies which total around £100 per year.

The website itself
The site has the following subject areas:

  • information about the Friends (purpose, activities etc.);
  • a potted history of St. Marys, and projects attributable/partly attributable to the Friends;
  • advance notice of Friends events;
  • details of how to make a donation;
  • reports of Friends events;
  • Friends’ merchandise;
  • contact details.

A lot of this is reported on occasion in ‘Village News’ and in the Friends Newsletters, but it’s scattered over many issues over many years, and unseen by those who don’t get either publication. The website is a source  of information for all, whether you are a long-serving member, have only just joined, or you are a non-member who wishes to know something about the Friends.

Excluding myself, In the last 12 nonths the site has been looked up 1256 times, 948 of which were from the UK viewes, 256 times from France and 112 times from the USA. How many of these were by mistake cannot be found out, but it’s comforting to know that the number of ‘hits’ was over the thousand in 12 months. The part of the site most looked up was the Homepage (435 times) followed by the advance notice of this year’s Fete (141 times) and the ‘Chocks Away’ post on this years aerobatic display (116 times). Various other pages were looked up a lot less, but nevertheless they were looked up ! (for example the notice of the Highland Fling (32 times) and the brief history of St. Mary’s (23 times). The average number of pages looked up during each viewer session was close to three.

Development of the site over the year
1}  Due to the reduced number of events the past year, and the loose ends arising at the last AGM, it has been a very quiet year for me, with not much to report on and next to no information provided to me.

2)  I removed the temporary area in the website for the Peldon History Project. It transpired that Mersea Museum offered to house the findings of the History Project, and they have done this admirably, so there was no need for the area any more.

Friends Facebook page
This was set up and launched by Clare Lauwerys shortly before the last AGM. It’s somewhat linked to the website, so that when a post goes up on the website, it automatically appears on the Facebook page. This sounds like duplication but it’s not – the website presents information about the Friends and its activities,  and the Facebook page is for online chat about it.

How you can help
Please help me to keep the website current and refreshed, by giving me some input. For example could you:

  • send me photos that you take at a Friends’ event (copies of camera files in .jpeg or .jpg are best);
  • spread the word about the Friends’ website and facebook page;
  • send me news about building works, repairs etc. at St. Marys since the start of 2018, that were attributable to to the Friends’ fundraising;
  • send me up-to-date information on the current state-of-play in the list of improvements needed for the church and it’s grounds, and what part the Friends can play, or is playing, in funding it, or part-funding it.

Many thanks for your interest. Please note my new email (below).

Geoff Gonella
18 October 2018

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