WebMaster Notes 97-05|
Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: May 10th. 1997
Times Viewed: 22,498
Bright Blessings Witches of The World,
Our New Home!... April was a nightmare of configuration and frustration here at Voice central... The entire Witches' Voice web site was moved twice in the last 21 days... On April 10th we realized that we must move fast from our Web server Tiac (in Boston) because they were costing us over $200.00 per month related of our action (see First Quarter Stats) for details)... We made the decision to move to TabNet out in northern California and by 4/18/97 we were there. Although Tabnet is a very powerful server and the price was right, they offered almost no features (Wren's Email and mine couldn't be separated etc etc.) and they were impossible to get a hold of when the site crashed. Very quickly we realized we had to move again... On 5/8/97 we moved to CetLink in South Carolina... BIG Difference... Cetlink is powerful enough to do the job, driven enough to embrace the absolute latest in technology and small enough to care about their customers. CetLink is also the host for the Glittering Phoenix, Dream Roads Collective and Silver Threads... We couldn't be in better company.
Our Wonderful Sponsors... Just one moon cycle ago the future of the Witches' Voice was questionable at best related to being almost 2 grand in the red... almost 60 of you literally saved the day by putting your money were your mouth is... We will survive and we will help increase awareness related to modern Witchcraft. Do know that Wren, myself and anyone related to the Witches' Voice Inc. does this work for zero pay (with the exception of our lawyer) and every penny sent in goes to this mission. For information as to how you can help us help Witches kindly surf to our Sponsor The Witches' Voice page for details.
New Web Site Structure!... In a effort to increase speed (load time) and better define navigation here at the Witches' Voice web site we are in the middle of many changes...
Future Changes (by 5/17/97):
- Our former lethargic "homepage" is now split into 3 sections: A quick Intro page (http://www.witchvox.com), the Home page itself (featuring just the latest news and information) and a powerful site map that displays the page architecture of this web site with hot links to all of the pages.
- The footers on all the pages now offer at quick path to our Index, Homepage and Email links page.
- We have moved the graphics for any weekly awards that we receive from the Intro page to the awards page itself (we will continue to celebrate any new awards on the Intro page as a text only link)
- Our SiteMap Index page will be optimized for maximum speed by lowering the color depth of the images while maintaining their beauty. This page still loads way to slow to be effective as an index.
- The Intro page (http://www.witchvox.com) will be pruned down to the absolute minimum for maximum speed.
The Live Feedback Forum... Back in our past life Wren and I dreamed of having a open forum where cyber Witches could come and share their thoughts and beliefs related to Modern Witchcraft... A forum that would be an evolving "book of shadows" and show the world that Witches are true givers for the good of all. I modified a Guest Book script and the Live Feedback forum was born. Since June of 96 we have enjoyed the results of thousands of Witches executing over 4 million key strokes... Some wonderful information has indeed been exchanged, many new friends were made and those new to the craft were welcomed with patience and open arms.
Sadly the posts on the live feedback forum don't always adhere to the rede and when the forum digresses to a level of personal posturing we ask ourselves why we even have it on our site. Wren and I have considered shutting it down on more than one occasion. The future of the Live Feedback forum here at the Witches' Voice is questionable at best and is basically in the hands of the Witches that frequent it. Sadly, the few may just ruin it for the many.
Postscript 5/15/97: The above paragraph certainly got some people thinking... Regulars of the forum will tell you that the only time Wren and I "freak out" is when people get hurt... We don't meddle in the LFF nor have we ever felt a need to censored it. Wren and I are both empathic by nature and truly feel the pain (as many of you do) when we see people get hurt on the forum. It would be irresponsible of us to allow this behavior to dominate a forum that is so valuable and precious to so many. The regulars that post there have risen to the occasion and offered some solid suggestions in the last several days and this is most encouraging (look for implementation of some of these ideas over the next couple of weeks). We are in the process of evaluating the future format of the LFF and entertaining better ways to keep people from getting hurt. We are presently filtering the input from the forum itself, hundreds of comments from the "Your Voice Matters" submission forms, the feedback from our sponsors and tons of email related to this issue. Over the last 10 months the LFF has offered many in-depth discussions, networked many wonderful witches' and has been a comfortable home for many. The LFF has been a valuable resource in the past and it is our projection that it will be a powerful and inviting resource in the future. Look for our statement later this weekend.
New ways to chat... Related to the internet our live Feedback forum was considered "happening" just 6 months ago. These days it's considered "so 1996". Many new wonderful ways to communicate have surfaced over the last 6 months and all have their plusses and minuses... Although I hate to say it, the standard for versatile communication would have to be America Online. With its chat rooms, instant messages, buddy lists and threaded message boards involving over 11 million users it is clearly the most extensive and diverse in Cyber-space. The internet is well on it way to both emulate AOL's diversity and surpasses it with VIDEO conferencing and the like. The internet is slowly catching up: The next level of the "guestbook script" would be the new Java and cgi message boards that are starting to pop up everywhere on the Internet... Their main advantage is that they offer threaded messages. This means you can follow the responses from a specific subject verses an environment where everyone is screaming out randomly.
CGI Based: The new wave... As of this writing, CGI based message boards are the fastest and most accessible. Although great in theory they quickly become a nightmare to navigate because 95% of them can't even alphabetically sort the message subjects and YOU are left mentally filtering through a mess. However they do serve a purpose and can be quite valuable... We of the Witches' Voice have recently aligned with DaemonChild and Dancing Sidhe and are proud to point you to the Witch/Pagan Resource Message Board (their version of the threaded messaging system). They feature a variety of topics (separate boards) that are all threaded and easy to post on.
Java based: Although new and usually painfully slow, these new boards have the potential to do the job, coupled with cgi scripts they can be quite powerful. As of this post, most Java based message boards are unstable, put high demands on YOUR computer and eliminate 70% of the internet crowd due to inadequate hardware/software combinations on the client side. Java IS the fastest growing programming language in the history of computing so do look for improved stability and even larger acceptance over the next 6 months. What will the future bring ? My guess would be very fast modems (20 times faster that what we use today) and very soon. Expect radical changes over the next 18 months. This will open the door to real time video chatting and the "possibilities" that only video can deliver.
Always Remember, this is YOUR web site, we simply do the maintenance. YOU can do some wonderful things for the Witches of the World. We simply can't do this without you... Blessed Be Well - The Witches' Voice Staff
Blessed Be Well!
(Former Altarboy - Roman Catholic Tradition)
May 10th, 1997
Location: Clearwater¼, Florida
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