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Attention Region & Chapter Web Masters


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Congratulations to all who received recognition for their hard work during the past year. Region and Chapter Web Sites are getting better all the time! To let you all know how it works and what we look for, here is a rather lengthy but important post -

first, each site linked to the AACA National site is evaluated by the AACA Internet Committee. The review is a year-long process that includes many site visits by committee members to evaluate them. Here are some of the areas we consider to be important:

- Functionality and ease of use

- Originality and creativity

- Presentation, graphics, design and appeal

- Content including a calendar of events, promotion of activities, promotion of AACA, articles, activity reports, photos, club info, etc.

- Timeliness of content and currency of info.

- Interest to the membership and prospective members.

- Value to the membership and prospective members.

- Is the Webmaster clearly identified and able to be contacted?

- Are the officers of the club identified and able to be contacted?

In short, a good web site mirrors a good newsletter. It must be current, active, and of considerable value in serving the membership, encouraging participation and must also serve as a recruiting tool for prospective members.

You don't need to register in advance to participate in the review process.

Everyone receiving an award of Excellence, Distinction or Merit received a special logo that can be displayed on the web site. I will be posting a complete list of winners in the next day or so, but take the time to look at the many wonderful sites linked to the National AACA page and you'll get plenty of ideas.

Terry Bond

Chairman, Internet Committee

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  • 1 year later...

Ive been asked for some additionl detail on what the difference between the award levels is. We are evaluating the sites based on the criteria described above in this section. What ends up separating the awards is the following:

*Merit* - adequate. Meets the basic requirements. Clearly identifies the region/chapter and includes such important features as downloadable membershp application and contact information. Has good value to the region/chapter and supports the membership and recruitment objectives. Promotes events, provides sufficient info to facilitate participation. Is an interesting site that adequately describes the club, what they do, and how to participate. Supports National AACA. Is active and current.

*Distinction* - a very good to excellent site meeting all basic requirements detailed above. Has considerable value to the region/chapter and supports the membershp and recruitment objectives by actively encouraging participation. Reports on activities to encourage participation. Supports the hobby in a broader perspective and offers features and services beyond what is normally found in just a "bill-board" type of website. Is active and current.

*Excellence - *An outstandng site that is graphically appealing, navigatges extremely well, is active and does an outstanding job supporting the region/chapter and supports the membership and recruitment objectives. Offers outstanding reporting and promition of activities, encourages participation, offers features not normally found in "bill-board" style websites. Is always active and current and makes you want to visit again and again. Supportive of AACA's objectives and encourages participation on a broader scale. An exemplary site that you would refer others to as an example of "the best."

I always evaluate a site as though I were new to the area and looking for a club to join. What would make me want to do that? Is the info there going to make it easy for me to participate in some activities? Is it easy to contact people? Do I feel welcome? Sites also need to clearly identify themselves with a region or chapter logo and the AACA logo. A link to National AACA is critical as is the ability to download a membership application and find out how to become a member. Nothing about the site should be outdated, insufficient, or difficult.

Hope this helps understand the difference.

Terry

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  • 11 months later...
  • 3 months later...

Roger, I emailed PeterG, our webmaster. He will contact you here or at your e-mail address. His instructions are painless and quick.

Welcome to the AACA Webmasters Group, you're a valuable part of the organization.

Wayne

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  • 8 months later...

I am wondering if the criteria, the evaluators or some other factor was changed for the evaluation of the 2007 web sites? It seems something had changed! Our club site has received the Award of Excellence since 2003 (4 straight years), and subsequently, the Master Webmaster Award; then this year, we received an award of "Merit"! For certain, the site had not basically changed except for some better graphics or layouts and had more content! I and most of my fellow club members feel it has only improved over the last five years! Our club members are asking what pulled the site down to the status of "Honorable Mention"? I have no explanation for them. I do the website out of love of the hobby and to be a service for the club; to present our club and the hobby to the general public in a light that will encourage more people to see what we are all about. I do not do it for awards (though the accolades are appreciated), I do it because I consider it another fun part of my love of old cars. Do we need a NAAP for webmasters? Or do I need to put more flashy designs, or bells & whistles, or anecdotes, funny stories, etc., etc.? That is not representative of what this hobby is about! Our love of these classic, antique or classic cars should be our central driving force and should be what we present to the world!

Thank you.

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I agree with 'boblove'. Our regions web site was also 'downgraded' when in fact it contained more content, more pictures, more AACA involvement, more timeliness, etc. From the year it won Master Webmaster Award to this years 'AOE', it was clearly better. Some of our members are scratching their heads over this too. I look at those sites that maintained the Master Webmaster Award and can see only creative differences. However, our webmaster, a very busy person we all appreciate a bunch, does not chat endlessly on this forum like some of the 'MWA' winners - maybe thats the difference....

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I was wondering about this myself. I know the newsletters are judged by a point system. Are web sites still judged subjectively? Our site had won the Award of Distinction for the first two years and then this year it won the award of Merit.

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I'd like to see a"NAAP" point system for the websites too. I'm an editor as well as webmaster, and the NAAP was a good thing. The problem with judging websites without a points system of some kind is he who can do programing is most always going to have an advanatage. The websites are to get infromation out to members and invite the publice to join us. They don't have to be fancy to do that.

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Hello everyone, thanks for the comments and exchange concerning the web site and the web site contest. My name is Joe Gagliano and I will be the VP- Internet for 2008. It has taken me a little longer than anticipated to transition into this position as I was the club Secretary last year and had to close out some 2007 business before I could jump in with both feet on this one. Unfortunately, I did not have direct involvement with the contest judging last year so I can not comment on the results but I will do some investigation.

To the best of my knowledge the criteria for judging did not change from 2006 to 2007 nor do I intend to change it this year. I would appreciate any comments and suggestions concerning the contest, we'll certainly look into a point judging approach like the newsletter contest, NAAP, if it is concluded that is the best and fairest way to do it.

Thanks

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Joe, I think it the same for the webmasters as it was for the newsletter editors, in we're left cluess to a degree. basiclly we told keep it current, and informative. But then it is a case of what helps and what doesn't. Like some of the newsletter juddes have problems with things not being stapled where the web judge could have a dislike for things that flash. I think everyone would like to be completely on the same page.

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Thanks, as I am also on the Publications Committee this year I will be looking closely at the NAAP program as part of those responsibilities. I've also asked for any suggestions or comments from other web masters.

JOE

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Joe, I hear where you're coming from and I appreciate your position, but please, let's get away from calling this a "contest" and feeling we are in competition with each other. Some have more skills than others, and some have more funds to buy the software required to look professional, but most are volunteers doing this for their local clubs or regions and I hope, like me, enjoy it as much as we enjoy our participation in the old car hobby. I sometimes get the feeling that those that evaluate the newsletters and websites bring with them the same philosophy that encompasses a car show! Much money is spent to be better than the next person in his class just to win a trophy and be considered an owner of a valuable representation of the antique car hobby. Besides, how many of those at a car show have done the actual work of restoration themselves? The newsletters and websites representing our clubs are a means of communication as well as a representation to the general public of who we are and what we represent as a group of enthusiasts. We can't all be skilled enough to have such a well scripted and great looking web site such as the one that represents the national club. I'm sure it didn't get written by a club member in his/her spare time nor was it done with your basic software package and populated with photos and visuals done by other club members. Let's just tell those clubs that have good sites or newsletters that they are doing a great job and let it go at that. I, for one, do not feel that I am in any way competing with other sites or editors. I appreciate all the accolades I have received, but do not feel they are required for me to continue nor do I feel I have done any work inferior to others that have received a higher reward. I also agree with previous comments that if an evaluation or award is given, then the basis for the evaluation should be the same for all and not based on money spent nor amount of flashy gee-gaws included.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I also agree with previous comments that if an evaluation or award is given, then the basis for the evaluation should be the same for all and not based on money spent nor amount of flashy gee-gaws included. </div></div>

The basis for the awards as far as i can remember has never been on the money spent or flashy. BUT..... yes it does appear that way sometimes. Being human and judging the newsletters and websites, tends to leave a lot of room for preferances. At one time (years ago) the editor of a region newsletter was told as long as he does it in digest form, he will never get the Master Editor award. This past year the Coil Wire for the Alamance Region and the newsletter for the Brass Nickle Touring Region both were in digest form and recieved the Master Editor Award. Aparently at that time when he told that someone(s) on the comittee had a problem with the digest format. When you rate something and just put it in a catagory, it is hard to leave out the personal preferances. That is where the NAAP makes it nice for the "underdog" newsletters because now all that color, glossy paper, fancy fonts, etc don't mean a blessed thing. As long as you have a pres. message you get points, calendar you get points, member story you get points, etc and then the points are added for that issue. a WAAP program can be done it achive the same thing.

As for the "contest" or "achivement program" thing, I could care less what you call it. If you've read the threads about point judging and the ten point spread, although each vehicle is scaore based soley on that car, they still argue the vehicles are judged against each other because one out scores the other. The same thing can/does apply here even with the current system. I look at it this way, I could care less about what award your newsletter/website gets. I don't belong to your region, don't read your newsletter/website, etc. But I know what my newsletter got the first year I did it, and I have improved on that to the point I got the Master Editor award this year. I also got the Master Webmaster for the NC Region site but an award of didticntion for the Alamance site. That means I'm doing something right with the newsletter and the NC region site but need to do some work on the Alamance site while maintaining the other two. Now as for your newsletter/website, YES it is nice to see others achive the award of excellance and the master status. I look at these "programs" soley as an achivement ladder of how good of a job I am doing.

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I am pretty much in agreement with the comments concerning evaluation programs for newsletters and web sites, I think it is a stretch comparing it to our class judging system for cars, however, except in the case where you don't get extra points for over restoration as you shouldn't with all the fancy stuff put in a web site. I'm a pretty simple person so when I look at things like newsletters and web sites I look for appearance, message, content and it's connection with the members. We do all of this (hopefully) for the benefit of our members not for self gradification. Each region and chapter has its own identity and "personallity" so newsletters and sites should be tailored to their members and potential future members. Web sites really need to communicate, connect and advertise the club. I think Terry Bond said, I look at each site as if I was a potential new member that moved into the area and I was looking for an antique car club to possibly join...what message do I get from the site? Unlike most newsletters the web sites are accessible by anyone, even non-region or chapter members.

An evaluation system provides guidance for web masters, based on best practices learned, it provides a level playing field for all club web masters ( big, small, rich or poor) and it creates some objectives and recognition levels for the web master and local club to set your sights on. We are really just discussing how detailed a system we need to evaluate these elements.

Thanks

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I think it is a hard compare different regions.

We are a small region made up of mostly older enthusiasts.

We have 5 members that have E-mail address listed in our club roster and at least one of those has email though their grandson because they don't use computers.

Our site averages 5 pageloads a day, mostly due to someone searching and finding it by mistake. Less than 20 sec stays. I post pictures of all our events we have and attend.

True, I don't spend a lot of time on it, it has no frames or flash but it serves our clubs purpose. Our club is rural and some members have dial up and all the flash just slows them down.

Our club does not publish a news letter.

Our secretary does send out postcards before meeting and events.

I host and manage our webpage it does not cost the Region one cent.

I have had a few people contact me concerning joining our Region and a few have even attend one meeting but unfortunately no new members.

We have about 3, me being one who uses the page to see when the next meeting is or to show some of pictures. It works for us.

So to put in Class judging term I don’t think our Crosley Farm King need the same shinny paint as some other region Duesenberg to be a winner.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">So to put in Class judging term I don’t think our Crosley Farm King need the same shinny paint as some other region Duesenberg to be a winner. </div></div>

Jay, you don't need the shiney paint to get the job done. An achievement program would be more about who and how a web site gets the job done, rather then how pretty it is.

I've been working with the Newsletter Achievement Awards Program (NAAP) for 2 years now, and there are, of course, points to be made for color pictures, and other options that large regions have in their newsletters, but by and far the <span style="font-weight: bold">biggest gains made in points</span>, are for content and material that appeals to the members. After all, if it's not appealing to regional members, then it won't be read.

We have seminars at the Annual Meeting each year in Philadelphia that cover newsletters. Maybe we need to think about promoting web sites each year, too. confused.giflaugh.gif

New ideas promote good businesses! wink.gifsmile.gif

Wayne

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> I think it is a stretch comparing it to our class judging system for cars </div></div>

My statement was regarding the calling this a contest or achivement program.

I used the class judging thing because as you and I know the cars start at 400 points and is judged soley on the car's merit, not compared to the one next to it and the scores fall where they do as it what award you get. Yet some people get completely bent out of shape that the cars are competing and judged against each other.

The point I was trying to make is no matter what it is called, it can be used as a indicator of how good of a job you are doing regardless of what awards others gets as long as you don't get hung up on it being life or death to achive the master/excellent status.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest imported_Brenda Shore

I wanted to make a point to your posting, aligned with Joe and Terry's response. I have been reviewing the web sites for 7 or 8 years now (my goodness that is a long time). Anyway I can assure you that flashy and expensive is definitely not one of the things we look at when reviewing the site. I for one have an issue with things that flash and/or scroll on-line since I have sensitivity to that type of thing. Therefore it is much more important that the basic information is included. Basic information includes the following:

1. What is the club about?

2. How to get involved? Who to contact, where are the meetings, what is going on?

3. That the site is currect - VERY important.

I know that Joe will continue to add information about how the judging is accomplished but for now, suffice it to say, bigger is not always better.

Hope this helps a little bit.

Brenda

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  • 3 weeks later...

Bob,

I took a look at your Tallahassee Region Website and it looks great to me! I like the layout and photos. The only thing I noticed that might have "demoted" you from Excellence was the absense of contact information for club officers. At least it wasn't obvious to me.

And I have seen the same thing happen to the Tucson Region website since 2006. Ours has dropped from Excellence to Merit without any significant changes in content or appearance. The only thing I can think of is that someone doing an online review must have logged on one time before I had a chance to remove some outdated activities. I try to update the site once a week but sometimes that's just not possible.

We must also keep in mind that the folks doing the evaluations are also fellow club members and volunteers and I'm sure they only want the best for our websites and newsletters.

Roy Ireland

Webmaster, Tucson Region

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