Monday, September 12, 2011


Those of you who visit our website frequently might have noticed that over the past several days it has looked a little - well - jacked up.  Our Web Developer, David Lotz, is steadily converting our site from HTML to ASPX coding, a change that will streamline its operation and allow for easier updating.  Now I'm no techie but I do know this is a lot of work, and from what everyone seems to be telling me, is the next principle step to getting many of our more interactive website features - those we haven't turned on yet - working.

Some of you who have been following for a while might notice that I'm taking a much less sarcastically critical view of the website redevelopment than I did the last time it was overhauled.  No more practical jokes back and forth and far less pithy commentary - last time I received a number of emails from people that I was too critical and demeaning to our great volunteers doing the work.  Oh ye who know and appreciate my sense of humor not.  Thankfully they got it.  But I really can't make many jokes about this go-round of improvements - everyone is tired from a long year of volunteer work and many are running on empty.

So why make a push for improvements in these conditions?  Well, for one, because we're just badass like that.  But we also have some pretty cool stuff up our sleeve.

For starters, much of the HORNET Project information on the site is about six months old.  Considering the tremendous advances we've made in almost every field, what we posted is starting to seem pretty ridiculous.  Not to mention the dates are all wrong - keel laying in August?  Yeah, didn't happen quite that way.  These early postings reflected our most ambitious goals and while I don't have one iota of embarassment that it didn't come true, we have to make sure we put the most realistic view of the project on the site.

Some of the features of the site, such as the calendar, have never been 'plugged-in', meaning that they didn't work.  And while the calendar might just seem a little annoying, there are other cooler gizmos that really stand to shake things up - things you may never have noticed, like the virtual tour.  Don't get your hopes up too high - that will be open as soon as the design work for the interior of the ship is complete.  But there are many other steps in between.  The Hornet history page is one good example.  Right now it's just my little article.  But there is far more to her story that we now know, that ties her in to so many different facets of US history.  The initial page we'll be updating has a small sample of what's to come, but I'm pretty sure it will soak up more than a few hours of otherwise productive time.

In our current 'battle rythm' we're gearing up for a busy fall presentation schedule as we continue our capital campaign, and the website is a valuable part of that process.  After all, being able to refer the people we're meeting with to the website for the most updated views will help them develop a view of the project background before we meet - and in several instances, help them determine that we should meet to begin with.

Keep watching for changes to the format this week, and the major updates will kick in next.


The newest edition of The Pennant went out to our mailing list this week.  I'll re-post some of my comments here soon.


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