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(Mainly addressed to the FTE web-artists and editors, if they have time)
There's a fast way I can break out a basic Chapter layout -
Copy the FTE main page as a webpage(complete) and strip out all but the basics in Dreamweaver, then add in chapter specific items (including adding Tennessee or whatever chapter to the meta tags).
I've called it up in DW3 already, and I can see it will come together quickly, but I need some advices and info.
First Q) concerns the horizontal navbar. Is "Efficacious-Brick" the application for that? I can substitute a Java APP tailored to the chapters in the same area or is it a better idea to retain it as is - and then ad a java app that is chapter oriented just beneath it?
Figure the header is the same as FTE, the menu bar stays the same, a wide chapter header of similar design, and then the chapter menubar...
As far as I know - it's FREE STYLE all the way. But my gut instinct tells me to plan it so that it looks similar (if not the same) as the main FTE site.
I robbed liberally from it on the trial page i built to see how it came out. If I can make ONE simple suggestion - go with a plain white background color. Everything else will show up good against it.
A second pointer from experience playing with these things is try very hard not to get carried away with different font sizes! Smaller really is better...
I wonder -
The chapter pages will be updated to current events over time, yeah? It used to be an old timers rule on websites to never delete anything - so as old "Index" pages are updated - it seems like the previous one should be saved as (for example) "2006january.html" and so on. That also means a "Back Issues" list would need to be kept up.... Trouble is - links for articles coming off of it would always go to the current index page if it was done the classic way.
How to keep the previous stuff accessable without it becoming over complicated is very much on my mind right now. ALWAYS think ahead...
Temporary chapter page, about to be re-hosted (as an example):
I used to use Dreamweaver - but this all has been so long in delay I no longer think it is at all viable unless something major happens.
It's just DEAD IN THE WATER.
We've talked about it for years, server capacity has been a major issue - I just don't see it happenning unless chapters float thier own pages.
It was a dissappointment, but I can see that it isn't going to happen unless we have very talented page writers as chapter members because it's a risk on KP's part. If they look bad, KP will look bad and FTE as well.
I'm sorry, but that really is what I see.
The only real alternative I can think of is if the pages are put together and edited by people at FTE home. That is the only way it can really be in FTE's solid control as to edit functions. (So as to make it acceptable with no big OOPS's)
And the only way to do that is to keep it very simple, a standard format, basic chapter logo's, and inputs from the chapters going to FTE. - All of the inputs being in WORD format or something.
Like a NEWSPAPER...
Columns - such as:
GTG's (articles describing proposed ones)
SWAP stuff (new each month, old stuff gone)
Stories about members
Pictures of trucks
Pictures from GTG's (gallery)
Local regulation news
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS (names)
PS: (And please don't take this as hate, or displeasure) I have myself tried to shake something loose and make something happen with this for more than four years. If it is going to happen, from what I have seen, it will be on FTE itself to organise and put it out their because everything I have tried has failed.
YOU will have to make it user friendly, and updateable.
Consider this though - such an arrangement creates the ability to tailor it for FTE needs and sponsors. The Chapter pages would contain sponsor advertisements pertenant to a given area, and so on.
SOUNDS LIKE A LOT OF WORK - but at least it might work....
If you want all of US to do it - it will all be different. You know that already.
In some way - FTE must control it. I offer this as the most reasonable way I can think of.
You need a standard page format for that, and a way to get inputs added. it may take extra people.
It's the only thing I can think of that will make it conform to FTE GUIDELINES.
I myself am tired of fighting for it...
MAKE IT HAPPEN OR NOT
If I want a carrot I'll get one from a store, or rip it out of the ground. I don't need one dangling in front of my nose.
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