This is the Academy of the IKV Melota.
This is where you will find useful information on HOW TO to many of the things that we assume are regular processes for our ship.
This page is about the business of running a ship:
This is not intended to slam any particular site. Though I am seriously considering posting a links page with bad examples. It is a general commentary from a webmaster noticing problems with other sites.
Some sites are a simple pain in the butt for the users with flashy things, moving things, cutsy funsie things, but no real valuable information. Some sites were last updated sometime about 1950 and the data is really old. Then think of the poor commo officer when he steps up to make a simple change. "Holy Toledo Batman!!!!" Worse, the regular commo moves out of town and the new appointee faces the code for the first time. "$41T, look at all that code."
With this in mind as a communications issue, the IKV Melota site of the last 11 years at www.janissaries.net is an example of a website design that should be imitated. Yes, we had our pix, movies, and our brag-rag of things that we have done. But there weren't any flash, frames, or ads. I do use tables, however. And, I might use a moving icon. This site was designed to accomplish the following:
teach others about us
teach how we do our stuff
be easy to navigate as a user
be easy to maintain as the webmaster*
and be easy to learn if somebody else has to take it over.
*I use the KISS principle so that updating data is quick and easy. I am inclined to believe that the problem with most of the current klin sites is that they are soooo damn complicated that the webmaster must really take time out of his life to update a phone number. The websites need to be simple enough that an assistant can keep it updated in the event that the primary webmaster catches the Nuret or something. There should also be a primary and secondary webmaster. Both should have the rights and access to update the website.
Look at this site and and compare it with other sites. I don't expect everybody to agree with or even like what is on this site. The point is that it was simple to maintain and navigate. You, as a visitor will have found useful current information instead of photos and schematics of imaginary ships. It is merely offered as technical example. It is simple. No frills. No frames. No cute moving things. Easy to maintain. And up to date.
Now why did I bring this up? I did so for the greater good of Klindom.
It is an irritant to me to find a ship site that was last updated during the Ice Age. The Captain's contact email is a dead email address. A working contact address is harder to find than Jimmy Hoffa, and the Imperial Studabaker is obviously the newest object present.
Ok, I don't count. It is not my site. It is not my problem. Why should I risk hurting somebody's feelings by bringing this up?
#2: Feelings don't count. I'm here to assist my fellow klin. Any webmaster should have a business attitude and be man/klin enough to accept technical discourse for what it is.
#1: It may be irritating to me, but think of the damage to your own ship. If you have a potential recruit look you up to find that you have not met since 1999, there is no active ship to join. Your website says so by default. If all of the email links are bad, your ship just missed out by not being able to accept a contact from a potential recruit. Some pages have nothing but schematics of imaginary ships and weapons, but they don't tell anything about what the club actually does or when they do it. This cannot be encouraging to recruits because there is nothing of real value. They can get pictures anywhere. What have you provided if they are looking for a club to join? I have encountered two sites so far that were all photos of imaginary ships and real people, but absolutely no contact information. None. Zip. The links weren't bad. There just were not any links for contacting the ship.
This is an example of ships pix and stuff being present, but the calendar expects 2002 to be the future. I also had no success with the webmaster's email address. This is an embodiment of all that can be done wrong with a website. Out of date. Pictures of imaginary ships. Nothing useful about the club TODAY. Email dead.
Another example that has less neato graphics, is cleaner, but still considers June 2003 the future.
This situation hurts your ship. It also hurts KAG by extension. It is very important to maintain an up to date web site with current information and active contact links otherwise your ship, and KAG as a whole, misses out on potential recruits. I believe that a lot of the problem is simply making too complicated of a website to "WOW" instead of being useful and up to date. Following the KISS principle, a site should be easier to update, less daunting, and less time committing for the webmaster. A well designed site with a local mirror will allow a webmaster to get a phone call from the Captain and have that page updated on the Internet within 3 minutes after the call.
I work a full time job, commute 3 kinds of forever to and from work. But I still maintain a website that is no older than 3 days out of date on average. Usually, I have pages made up as events occur during a busy day so the Events Page may change 3 times in one day as things occur. If I can do this, than most webmasters should be able to be at least within a month of accuracy. Most webmasters should be able to post an upcoming event, and a report/photos about the last event within a month of either occuring.
Now look around at other sites. Look at their complexity and the last update reference. I may not have a perfect cause and effect argument here. But I do have legit arguments. And these arguments are for the greater good of klindom.
I wrote this commentary about having an updated and working website. And, yes, you will find some dead links here. The pages themselves are going to be up to date. The links that fail will be less important.
I'll post a crewman's page without his house symbol or even pictures of him in order to get a page out there for him. I figure that I'll get the pictures later. Some of the "in action" movies don't work. We are re-filming them.
I shall now add a subject that is a corellary to an abandoned website. Recent events (July 2004) in the Cold Revenge Quadrant bring up this subject. Co-related to the abandoned website Issue is to announce a ship's presence, put up a website, and then not do anything. There is a website that appears to be maintained and growing, however, there is no response to anybody if contacted. They do not appear to be doing anything except running a website, either.
Yes, the website is a marketing tool for your ship. But the ship must also get out and do things for the mundanes to see you in action. Most recruits are acquired on face2face contact and not the website.
I shall now add a subject that I did not expect to need to discuss. It relates to the current poor state of the IKV website relative to the above paragraph. However, in light of recent events (Sep 2005), I must now bring up this subject. The IKV Melota website went from 1.2gig of movies alone to 97kilobytes of text overnight due to a former member demanding that we pull all references to himself and a separate and distinct klingon club.
With a 24 hour notice to remove his images, movies and references, there was no option but a quick "delete" and I put up a few sterilized pages to at least have some sort of website until I could rebuild. It then took over a week of editing an hour after work each night to re-assemble a sterilized website.
To avoid this problem in the future, the IKV Melota now requires a legally binding Video/photo Waiver for videography and photography. To participate in any IKV Melota event one must sign the waiver, period. If we are at a non-IKVMelota event, and that host wants the event filmed, that host must support and enforce this policy otherwise there will be no filming.
With this experience in mind, it would now be very much suggested by the IKV Melota Academy that you consider the possibility of this very situation happening to your website. If you have poems, texts, documents, or pictures (movies) of various members, could a disgruntled former member take down your website or gut it? Consider, seriously, the use of video/photo waivers for your future events to avoid having the same possiblity occuring.
Next we shall start working on a waiver/license for text products
As I am no longer Communications Officer as of this writing, it remains to be seen if the new and improved official IKV Melota website shall be up to my standards. The Janissaries site is now a LEGACY site that I shall maintain, but not necessarily update as I am no longer responsible for keeping a current website with up to date Pages.
Some folks have wanted control of the web content and video creation for the past few years and with the vote of last February had the opportunity to use the control that the vote gave them.
Well, the experiment to move control and creation of the web/video function to another group's control was an interesting experiment indeed. From Feb2009 to Okt2009 the IKV Melota under a different command structure managed to not send out AERs (but one) or to generate new movies (at all) and started building (but never made fully functional) a "new and improved" web page that is everything that I stressed not to do. Upon becoming Commo Officer again I have inherited a website that is soooo damn complicated that I don't want anything to do with it. I intend to maintain the old Janissaries pages as active and up to date pages since they meet the criteria for ease of updating. Just do a "view source" on the new pages and my pages and you will quickly see the difference in complexity.
Once again, there is another Commo Officer and these pages revert to a Legacy status. Once the transition is complete, I shall no longer be maintaining an up-to-date Events Page. I shall keep the AERs and Past Events Pages as these are a written history of over a decade of klingon service to the community.
As of this writing, we have had a Good Day to Dine, a Klingon Ball, attended a few conventions and Venom Wars VIII. However, the new Communications Officer has posted no AERs publicly nor performed prior billing to attract participants to future (at that time) events.
I am once again the Commo Officer. As of today (201303.30) the new and improved IKV Melota website is the very example of what I said not to do. This website is once again the official website. I have realized that I have gotten out of the habit of keeping Events up to date and Crew Pages somewhat accurate.
I shall endeavor to once again recreate the SLA that I intend to provide the Klingon Assault Group.
As a blast from the past, I have a photo of the early IKV Melota website equipment. When I took over as Commo back in 1999, I abandoned the Geocities website in favor of hosting the IKV Melota website myself. This photo is from those early days of video editing and web hosting. It is a pretty large photo for clarity. But, it will show you what I used to create the website as it became back then. Monolith, the host remained the constant even though Zen and Bluecher were rebuilt many times with newer video editing components. Eventually, Monolith was retired because Comcast, @Home, AT&T (the name changed with buyouts, but the personnel did not) just did not have the competency to keep the Internet running. I had to move the website to a bona fide webhost outside of the house. This was the IKV Melota website until last February (2009).
Bluecher         Celeron 300
Zen         Pentium 133
Bridge         Pentium 120
Monolith, the webserver was an AST Premium SE 486dx33 server with 16 meg of ram
The IKV Melota is a non-profit organization supporting Mr. Roddenberry's vision of the future. We find it very distressing that Viacom and Paramount do not share his visions. We find it even more distressing that a fellow fan would attempt to crush a fan website. We recognize all trademarks and copyrights as belonging to their owners and hope that the owners have sense enough to realize that we fans pay the bills. We also expect members, guests and former members to recognize a de facto if not de jure Waiver when allowing themselves to be filmed for a period of years. You cannot say that you did not know that you were being filmed and the implied consent thereof remains with the copyRight and copyLeft owner of the videos. There is no need outside of testosterone and rectal attitudes to pursue fan sites.
Given that this is not a commercial venture, as webmaster, I partake of the KISS principle and shall have a very simple site. Simplicity is beauty, like the curve of the Ba'Leth.
As of 1807.06 I am retired and moving too far away from DFW to be an active member of the IKV Melota. The home of my new life does not have Internet access or even cell coverage. I can no longer maintain a living web page. This is now voluntarily (this time) a LEGACY website.
Strength and Honor
Cdr. Salek Sutai
Ship's Brewer, IKV Melota