Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Going Live

It was in July 2003 that I first told Becky I wanted to volunteer to build Fiddle Club a website. It took me nearly six years to get around to just having a site that had current meeting information, in the old black-and-white site hosted at this domain, and another year to get the full website going.

In that time, I've matured as a musician, and as a web designer, and though there's forever going to be a strong strain of "amateur" playing both through my reels and my HTML (I like to say my fiddling is end of the 18th century and my web design end of the 20th!), it's now finally something I can be proud of.

The first place you'll go when visiting the site is the meetings page. It's my intention to have that always updated with the next upcoming meeting. That's where members will want to go first, and new people interested in going to a meeting in person. After that, if you're interested, is the button for the "About" page, to tell you more about what Fiddle Club is. And third, a place for you to join.

Most exciting to me has been building the webstore. We have a local store; these are things you could buy at any Fiddle Club meeting, like CDs, T-shirts, and, of course to renew your membership, or join as a new member. All that functionality is now available. On top of that, there's a link to a CafePress store, where you can find more gear with the new Fiddle Club logo.

That's right, the fiddling lion has roared into the new century too. Colorized, and either alone or set upon the saltire, we've got a new look.

After that, there's the media gallery. Right now, I just have pictures and a couple videos from a few events. We have a calendar, and this blog.

And this is where you come in. I want to know what you want to help turn this online presence into an online community, and a resource. Links? Bios of our more frequent performers? Classifieds? A chat room? What would enhance your experience, and what would you most use?

Soon after, I'm going to begin issuing passwords to enter the Members' Only section. There you'll find a member directory, past newsletters back 7 years, and a members' webstore where you will be able to buy past years music, in paper copy - or, eventually, a digital copy; and a downloads section with special audio and video, and music from meetings you might have missed.

Fiddle club's been making a lot of changes to finally move into the digital era, and this website is only part. We have a new mailing list, and email addresses for the Fiddle Club officers. We're sending out the newsletter via email for almost all members, saving the club a bundle in mailing costs. Most importantly, we're expanding our ability to reach out to the music world, to increase our visibility, and thus our ability to share the music we love so much.

It was with great sadness that we recently learned that our founder, Anne Leslie, passed away. The December newsletter and meeting will feature a tribute to her. Anne never had the chance to see the new direction we're going, but I hope she'd be as excited as I've been.

So there we are. The new Potomac Valley Scottish Fiddle Club website is live, and growing. May our music and friends forever increase!

Ur deagh-slàinte agus chì mi sibhse as ùr a dh'aithghearr,

Monday, November 1, 2010