As was discussed at the December meeting of the club, I have been giving the web site a complete overhaul, with the goal of making it a much more useful resource for members. A key aspect of this was to make it easy for members to contribute content. To accomplish this, I acquired the domain cayugabirdclub.org, created a new site hosted by Google, moved most of the existing content over, and created a number of useful new pages. See http://cayugabirdclub.org.
The Calendar is now a Google calendar. This means that it is very convenient to update, and anyone who already uses Google calendars at work or at home can easily integrate with it.
One of the new features I hope will be popular is the Gallery. This is intended for members to share their photos and videos. I already have four photo albums up there, and have been soliciting others to contribute. Instructions for how to share photos are at the bottom of that page. I will probably also create a "Rarities" album and a "Photo of the month" feature on that page too.
I created a new Where to Bird section. That page boasts an amazing interactive Google map that shows dozens of birding sites in the Finger Lakes area. I can't take credit for it though; the map was created collaboratively by Mike Harvey and several other local birders. It has been incredibly useful to those of us who have heard about good sites, but didn't know exactly where they were.
This page also lists the fourteen sites that were described on the old website. Each site now has its own page with a "season rating" (based on my own impressions), a map, a slideshow, and a link to the eBird report for that site. I have kept the original description for now. I am hoping to recruit volunteers to give these a refresh and to write new descriptions for the sites that have none yet.
To encourage visitors to get the most out of their time here, I have created a Trip Recommendations page and wrote up a few suggestions for places to go depending on the season and the amount of time available. I also created a Field Trips page that I hope to keep populated with reports from our club trips. See the report for the 11/19 trip for a model.
I encourage everyone to check this out at http://cayugabirdclub.org. Please let me know if I made any errors and give me feedback on what works and what doesn't. I am more than happy to give edit permissions to any member who wants to contribute. It is very easy to create and edit pages, and no-one who does so should be worried about accidentally breaking it. I will keep an eye on things to keep it in order and can revert to a previous version with little effort. Just email me: p...@grammatech.com.
- Paul Anderson
PS. Note that at the time of writing the old site is still active and Google searches will favor that site. I will change it to redirect to the new site soon.
-- Paul Anderson, VP of Engineering, GrammaTech, Inc. 531 Esty St., Ithaca, NY 14850 Tel: +1 607 273-7340 x118; http://www.grammatech.com
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