Friday, November 9, 2012

Webmaster I Am Not


social media 11-9-12

                                                                 Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

As I may have mentioned, my responsibilities with ΦΘΚ involve keeping up the social media for the chapter.  And, by “keeping up”, I mean create and implement a whole new plan of action.  It seems in the past, the chapter often didn’t have a PR officer, so any form of advertisement (if that’s the right word) pretty much fell by the wayside.  They did have a Facebook page which wasn’t being utilized, but beyond that, not much.

So, in addition to trying to put the Facebook page to work for keeping members informed, and doing the same with a campus forum for members, I’ve been trying to stay in touch with our campus newspaper to get the club mentioned at least once a month and keeping fliers posted on the bulletin boards. 

But, I also decided to launch a chapter blog a week or so ago, figuring one or two posts a week would keep things plenty updated for the moment.  It’s not getting a lot of traffic, but that’s okay; I knew it would be slow going.  One of the other things my duties call for, though, is publishing two newsletters per semester.  I’m running a little behind, because I only just got the first one done.  Rather than print them for distribution, our advisor thought an electronic publication would be a better choice, suggesting I simply put it up on the blog.

All of that sounded like a great idea until I got around to actually trying to upload a document from template format into a blog post.  Wowser.  You know, Word has a “save as web page” option, so I didn’t anticipate it being much of a problem, but I find that things rarely go the way that I think they will, especially when technology is involved.

After many, many attempts and a lot of trial and error with modifying the HTML code, I finally got it almost right—certainly close enough that I could live with.  I work in Chrome, and it was fine there; ditto for Firefox.  Sadly, when I got to IE for testing, I found that it does not display in that browser.  WTH?  But, it was after midnight, and the blog stats say that most of what readers we’ve had have come in from Firefox, so this is a battle I simply cannot continue to fight tonight.  Maybe I’ll tackle it again tomorrow, or maybe I’ll just try and get it worked out within the next month or so before the next volume has to be published. 

But, the ordeal has served to remind me of some of my limitations.  I waltzed into this whole thing thinking, how hard could it be?.  I figured, post a few Facebook status updates, a blog post or two, maybe get some pictures floating around, and life would be good.  After all, I already know how to use Facebook, Blogger, and a camera, right?  If only.

Frustrating as it is, though, sometimes it’s good to come up against the things you don’t know, to figure out how to use what you do know, and what you might want to learn next.  While I was pondering this, I found a quote: 

In the process of trial and error, our failed attempts are meant to destroy arrogance and provoke humility.”  ~Master Jin Kwon.

Seems just about right to me.

What sorts of things have provoked humility for you recently? 

Oh, and if anyone knows any simple secrets to converting Word newsletter templates to HTML, I would love to hear them!