Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Brags Page, Website Management

As aforementioned, I am the webmaster for the LCCOC website.  In 2009 I installed a Guest Book set up as a Brags page, where club members could post their dog's achievements. I wanted visitors to see how active our club members are and how successful in putting titles on their dogs. Further, it would be a more permanent and visible record than merely reciting a brag at the monthly meeting, and then POOF, it's gone and forgotten.  Most club members have no idea what other members are achieving all year long.

I spent many hours setting up the page, then invited members to use it, for themselves AND to help promote our club.  A few did, entering summaries for each weekend trial they attended, but this quickly became cumbersome.  Too many entries to read, and too hard to follow any one dog.  No good.  So I asked members, a few weeks back, to post a one-brag-summary of each dog's achievement for 2010.  I posted my own Maxie Brag as an example.

Alas, I only got one response.  So much for team spirit.  The sentiment seems to be "who has the time".  True, many of our club members are at trials most weekends and working during the week, yet I fear the page's emptiness makes it look like our members don't have anything to brag about. That won't do.

I reviewed a bunch of other dog club websites, and in each case where they have a Brags feature, the page is nearly empty.  Apparently the "post it yourself" plan is not the way to go.  So I'm trying to figure out new ways to get the job done.
Each year our members are asked to turn in their dog's new titles for the year so the club can present them with an award, either a plaque or a crate tag, at the Winter Party.  I wrote elsewhere in this blog about receiving my first plaque and how proud I was.  I'm not sure all of our members respond to that program, either, but a considerable number do, so I'm investigating posting that list to the website.  I'll make a presentation to the Board of Directors and see if that flies.

Some of our members wonder why I knock myself out doing stuff like this: videoing our team members' performances at trials, matches, and events; maintaining web albums, etc., while they are discouraging me with comments like "you'll tire of it soon".  Likewise, they can't believe I "waste my time" trying to maintain a Brags page.  My take on it is that it beats doing cross-word puzzles, watching game or murder shows on TV, shopping for clothes, having my nails done, hanging out in bars or cafes, or chit-chatting.  I'm not a small-talker, but I like people.  I like being active.  I need projects.  I enjoy studying the learning process.  Plus, "supporting positive effort wherever I find it" is one of my life-long mantras, and beats sitting around noticing all the things-gone-wrong in this world. I'd be drowning myself in the bottle if I had nothing positive to focus on, no one besides myself to pay attention to.  I seek out positive achievers, then do what makes me happy, which is promoting those achievements, even if it makes me sad that few appreciate it. 

Why we lavish so much attention on our dogs, with most of the humans around us bravely enduring but slowly dying of emotional starvation for lack of personal attention and positive reinforcement, I have no idea. As for me, I love to spoil unspoiled people (especially now that I have the time), believing that I may still be assisting humanity in some small way to move

Upwards and onward, 

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