Webmaster's Report: Rob Burnfield - 2018 AGM

As webmaster, this past year has generally been one of continuity.  My priorities have been

  • to work with our activity coordinators to ensure that the activity schedule is updated in a timely manner
  • to work with our membership secretary, Bonnie Lalonde, to ensure that she has access to the latest membership registrations that come in from the website, and to ensure that the email list used for the newsletter is up to date
  • to work with our newsletter editor, Sam Ludmer, and his various vacation substitutes when any issues have arisen regarding the process of creating or sending the newsletter
  • to work with OOC members and members of the executive as required when they have had issues related to our Internet presence
  • since part of our website uses a content management system (CMS, specifically, Drupal) for the website content, to ensure that the CMS components are kept up to date when updates are provided
  • to work with our web hosting provider as required


The Twitter feed that was added a couple of years ago is used occasionally.  Anyone can post to it by including the hashtag #ottawaoutdoorclub.  It's been used by leaders to post last-minute issues (such as those related to weather) and by others to post photos of recent outings.  I encourage all activity coordinators to inform or remind your trip leaders of this possibility.


Since the decision a number of years ago by the executive to open up our Facebook group to commentary again after a number of years of not permitting group members to comment, the membership in our Facebook group has continued to grow, although at a slower rate.  Here's the membership history over the past few years:

  • 30 September 2015:  about 340
  • 30 September 2016:  1245
  • 30 September 2017:  1563
  • 30 September 2018:  1967

It has continued to be very successful, with many Club members posting photos and comments.  In addition, people have been posting questions and Club members have been answering many of them.  All of this has very likely helped foster a greater sense of camaraderie in the Club and, since both Club members and non-members can be part of the Facebook group, has advertised the Club to others.  As the numbers have increased, we've started seeing wider conversations on the group.  We continue to have discussions in the executive as to how free-ranging to let it be.

I want to extend a big thanks to our Secretary, Jenn Dorr, for quickly accepting new requests for membership in our Facebook group, posting enticing banner pictures, posting "welcome new members" weekly, and just all-around keeping on top of the group.

Occasionally, we have a few people post information completely unrelated to what we do or might do.  In these cases, I've sent the posters a Facebook text message telling them that their post was being deleted.  For some cases, it was just a misunderstanding of the limits of our group.  In other cases, a person would join and would, within minutes or a day, post what is clearly advertising.  In these cases, I would remove the posting and remove the person from our group, along with informing the person of such.

Website statistics for the past year

We had about 3% fewer visitors to the website this past year compared to the previous year.

This chart shows the numbers of visits categorized by their lengths (in seconds or minutes) over the past year. This is little-changed from last year.  It suggests that about half of the people entered the website, realized that it was not where they wanted to be, and moved on.

Most people visit one or two pages:  the schedule page and the home page.  As a result, I try to put as much information related to immediate activity needs as possible in these two pages, trying to balance the needs of new and potentially-new Club members vs. the needs of experienced Club members.

Not unexpectedly, a plurality of our visitors are from the Ottawa-Gatineau area, with half of that number from the Toronto area.  We've had visitors from all over the world (of course, many by accidenet).


People accessed the website from the devices shown in the table below over the past year.  There was no major shift over the previous year.