In the past six months GSOC members may have noted some dramatic changes in the way we are communicating to our members. I’d like to outline what has been happening and the reasons and advantages for those changes. Broadly, we are making these changes so that we can disseminate upcoming events as well as our archival information to all of our existing as well as potential members. We think that this is the way to keep our club vigorous and long lasting.
First of all, if you have looked this website recently, you may have noticed that it looks completely different! But if you look closely you can see that a lot of the old content has been shifted to the new site. We have Paul Edison-Lahm to thank for setting up our new site and ISP to Squarespace, an online authoring and webhosting site. He has done a terrific job in doing the initial work and enthusing many of the rest of us in a push to make this site the best GSOC website ever.
The biggest changes you might note to the website have been in the presentation of the home page and the calendar. The upcoming events (i.e, the calendar) is now a sidebar on the home page and some of the other website pages. There are additional pages that describe GSOC field trips and lectures and information about attending those as well. Links to those pages are in the main menu of the home page.
The main body of the home page is now in blog format. In other words, there are articles and announcements that have a shortened version or excerpt and thumbnail image, with a “more” link so that the reader can expand and read the complete article. The articles include those published in the newsletter and other related announcements. One great advantage of having an online version of the articles is that pictures, video clips, or slideshows can be included with the article. That has been a problem with the Xeroxed paper newsletter that we have traditionally done.
Some things we’re considering doing with the website in the near future are to add social media links so that articles can be disseminated to a wider audience, and making links or otherwise integrate our Facebook and Twitter presence into our website. We are also testing an online payment system for membership dues and possibly other activities.
79 Years of GSOC History
So far we have been reaching into the future with our discussion of the website, but would you believe that we are also going back in time too? For you history buffs, GSOC has been embarking on an ambitious project to get some of our chief archives to the fingertips of all our members. These archives have largely been languishing in our library and cupboard and deserve to be seen! You’ll notice that in the About link in the main menu there is a link to the History page. You can read the history articles on the page (transferred from the old website) or link to the history archives section. So far we are putting up the GSOC Past Presidents books from our cupboard to the site. Some of the past presidents were really heavy hitters in the geology professionals of our state, so the articles are very interesting. Thanks to Bo Nonn and Carol Hasenberg for working on that!
The other history project is that we are having all of our past newsletters scanned on searchable pdf’s. Did you hear me say searchable? You did! Huge thanks to Tara Schoffstall, Bo Nonn, and Paul Edison-Lahm for researching the possibility of doing this work and getting the vendor, Scan-It, Inc., in Beaverton to implement it. We’ve gotten one third of the project completed and look for completion of that this year.
History projects we may be contemplating in the future include revamping our past field trip archives. If you have any interest in helping with one of these projects, the GSOC board of directors would love to hear from you!
So now I can hear some of you wondering or worrying what will happen to the old paper GSOC newsletter and whether you will be able to keep up with the club from home. Not to worry! GSOC still plans to publish a bimonthly newsletter. It will be sent to the majority of the membership via electronic link (email) and through the mail to members who request a paper copy. Reducing the printing and mailing costs have been extremely beneficial to the GSOC budget, so we are encouraging the members who can to get the electronic version. The newsletter will also be available on the website in pdf format (look at the homepage calendar sidebar). See the details on the newsletter service below:
GSOC will send electronic newsletters every two months to members. The emailing list will also provide a means to send occasional messages in case of unexpected changes or cancellations of GSOC events, such as lectures or field trips. Members who do not sign up for the email list will still receive the paper newsletter in the mail. If you believe that we don't have your email address, and would like to be included in this list, please send an email to Paul Edison-Lahm at email@example.com with "subscribe" in the subject line.
Likewise, if you prefer NOT to receive the newsletter and messages electronically, click on the "unsubscribe" button on the bottom of any email you receive from GSOC or send an email with "unsubscribe" in the subject line to at firstname.lastname@example.org.