Ottawa Outdoor Club

Website & Newsletter Report: Webmaster & Newsletter Editor, Rob Burnfield - 2013 AGM

The roles of webmaster and newsletter editor are complementary roles, since each, at its core, is responsible for letting Club members and others know what is happening with the Club. These roles also require working with most of the members of the executive and other Club members to communicate their information to both the Club membership and the world.  I enjoy these roles, since one of their many benefits is that they help keep me in touch with many of the Club members.

Website

This past year, the following enhancements were made to the website:

  • Online membership registration has been available since May.  Since then, there was a steady stream of membership registrations that tapered off during the fall as the new membership year drew closer.  It is now much faster and easier for people to register and pay for their memberships.  Hopefully, this has encouraged more people to become members.

I had the pleasure of working closely at times with Ken Zimmerman, our membership secretary, in the lead-up to the introduction of the online membership registration.  Ken and other members of the executive provided many useful comments that hopefully made the online membership registration process easier to use for all.

  • Since September of 2012, it has been possible for day trip leaders to forward various fee payments to the treasurer by PayPal, saving them and the treasurer time.  In December 2012 or January 2013, after a trial period, this was publicized to trip leaders and is now included in the information on the back of the sign-up forms.
  • The text on the home page, schedule page, and activity description page was updated based on comments from Club participants to hopefully better describe the Club and to place useful information where it might be most seen.
  • The number of unique visitors to the website has increased over the past year compared to the year before, as shown in the following graph.  (For a few months in the spring of 2012, data was not collected.  The month data for October 2013 is not yet available.)

Graph of visitors over past two years

Newsletter

The newsletter is sent weekly, with every attempt made to ensure all of the week’s activities are covered.  Sometimes, unfortunately, due to time constraints, this has not always happened.

I try to have the newsletter cover the basics of the outdoor activities that will be happening each week, along with any Club announcements, upcoming social activities, and weekend trips.  As time permits, information and photos about past activities are included.

Both a draft and a final version of the newsletter are created.  The draft is sent to anyone mentioned in the newsletter, along with all executive members, for approval and changes.  The final version is sent the next day to all Club members.  This process has worked well, since it provides for feedback from many people.