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What You Can Do for the Web Site

... and other webby things

An invitation to members of the BPS


Inspired by Graham Ackers' "What You Can Do for the Society" page, I made this list of things people could do to help with the BPS Web Site. There are lots of tasks, large and small, some needing few computing skills, some needing a bit more. As a general rule, if you can use a web browser and a word processor, you can do most of these tasks. If you feel you can help with any of these, or want to discuss it further, please contact me, the Web Site Editor, Anthony Pigott.

Here are some ideas:

Look for News items. We have a page of fern-related news items that have appeared on the web. Someone could regularly trawl the net with the help of Google Alerts, etc., to find suitable items.

Look for Good Pteridophyte Links. Our links page has a selection of links to good quality sites with relevant content. We need someone to look for new worthwhile links.

Process Journal PDFs. We're in the process of putting the back numbers of the BPS journals on the web site. Several issues exist in digital form, usually PDFs, but need some processing to get them into the right size files for downloading. Mostly it's just chopping them up into smaller files.

Scan Photos from the Archive. We have a large number of historic photos in the Society's archive. These could be put on the web site but need scanning into digital format.

Scan Documents from the Archive. We have a large number of interesting documents in the Society's archive. These could be put on the web site but need scanning and possibly 'OCR-ing' into digital format.

Testing the Web Site. New pages and updates are normally tested on the popular current browsers. However, it would be useful to carry out more extensive testing on a wide range of browser versions. Essentially, this just means going through the web site with a particular browser and looking for any problems. Other problems such as broken links can be checked for. This sort of testing helps improve the quality of the site by finding problems before our users do.

Contribute to the Web Forum. Although our journals are a fine medium for communicating ideas, by their very nature and publication schedules they cannot be considered “current”, and do not have letters columns. This has prompted the implementation of the BPS Fern Forum enabling members and others to ask questions, supply answers, and generally exchange ideas on a real time basis. Please visit the forum, see the range of topics being discussed, and contribute if and when you have something useful and interesting to say. More experienced users might consider being Moderators.

Contribute to 'PteridoWiki'. We are developing a new web resource which uses MediaWiki software (the same as Wikipedia) to provide information on topics where many people may need to contribute. Current sections being developed include Ferns in Members Gardens, Where to See Ferns and Hardy Ferns. People can contribute by adding content and helping with the development of the wiki.

Contribute to the Web Site Content. The success of the web site depends upon the availability of good content. If you would like to contribute to the web site, please contact the Editor to discuss your ideas.

Contribute to a Web Site Project. We often have ideas about how a particular web technique or piece of software could be used to give new features on the web site. Before that can be done, things need to be tried out, prototyped, played-with, etc., to know whether or not it will work and be worthwhile. The more technically adept might like to do some of this.

Contribute to BPS publicity on ‘Social networking sites’. With our new Publicity Officer, we’re establishing a BPS ‘presence’ on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Posterous. All contributions are welcome.

Anthony Pigott, September 2010.


Information supplied by: Web Site Editor.


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This page was last updated on 8/4/11