New SF Datalink Added

June 12, 2008

Do you like your science fiction news in a brief digest format, separated by general category? Perhaps you missed an announcement or did not have time to read the details until now. Or it was just a rumor and you want to hear it from an official source.

SF Datalink is our club’s science fiction news resource that has been there since the early days of our Relative Times newsletter. From our founding year up though a few years ago, a team of dedicated members researched through magazines and newspapers to find items of interest to science fiction fans devoted mainly to media science fiction (tv and movies). Currently, SF Datalink is edited by Dan Giese, one of our club’s founding members and most frequent submitter of content to our site. As fans, we want to know about the current productions as well as how our favorite SF celebrities are doing professionally (and sometimes personally). Some of us do not have time to sift through media magazines or websites for just a few tidbits of interest. SF Datalink offers a brief and concise view of the current state of the industry.

The online version of SF Datalink is the same as what is printed in our Relative Times newsletter. Milwaukee Time Lords members receive eight issues per year that contain a review of recent science fiction events in a handy, digest format. While we have had to reduce the dimensions of our newsletter to help reduce postage costs, we still produce a paper-based newsletter for those who prefer something they can hold and read wherever they are.

I have tried different formats for the online version, now settling with the one that is least time-consuming to implement. Please read through our new columns and post here your comments. We may not have today’s news, but at least we cover the previous month, including items that may have slipped by you.


Website Updates

April 29, 2008

I have spent today editing our site.  My main goal is to increase activity and make the site a resource for you the member.

MAIN PAGE

I have retired the Tardis image that was on the upper left menu.  When I clicked it, I found that it opens the file directory of our site (not good).  I have replaced it with the Java clock, which I had before below our main page logo.

I have replaced the gray ads with Amazon cloud keyword field.  It’s half size because it takes some time to load.  It uses page text to find related keywords.  There’s room for more ads.  If you have a favorite product to recommend, I’ll look it up at Amazon and post an ad.

I have edited the left menu with a new indented style.  There are four main categories:  info about the club, communications pages, submissions by members and external links pages.  This blog is accessed with the “Communications” link.  The left menu could be a little wider.  I would like a different, more gradual style.  If I used the script version, I could have full control of the blog page and put other content.  Many sites use the blog as the main page.  (such as Bad Astronomy, as an example)

I changed the main page introduction to relate more to our club and its mission.  The second paragraph covers a broader concern that the industry continues to deliver us programming we enjoy viewing.   We can be a part of that by working to grow our club and attract “online-only” fans while taking advantage of “new media” resources we could only dream about in our early days.

DATALINK

I reconfigured the latest Datalink with an Amazon ad and placed the news text within a table.  The text is now nicely separated from the left menu.  The news column is the place to put context ads with all those keywords to grab onto.

LINKS

I have reconfigured the links page.  External links take lots of extra time to manage because they are other people’s sites, which can disappear, leaving broken links that have to be removed.  It is one of the best resources of a website because it’s a convenient list of sites to visit.  I have refined the categories a bit and reordered them. There are new ads.  Two that caught my eye while looking for Doctor Who products to display are a new Doctor Who guide and a John Barrowman book.

Please try out the site today and see what works for  you.

Milwaukee Time Lords Website


Virtual Conventions

April 29, 2008

Have you always wanted to attend a science fiction convention, but never had enough funds or it was too far away?  Perhaps you have attended conventions in the past and want to know if there are video clips available that you can view right now.  Good news! Here’s your chance to be an “armchair” convention-goer, provided you have broadband access.

Today, I have added a new feature next to the conventions list in the Links section of our website. This feature makes use of the New Media resource YouTube, which is a huge collection of video clips, both original and captured.  You can find anything you want by typing search keywords that relate to your interests.

I have set up links based upon specific convention names.  For “ChicagoTardis”, I have a link to ChicagoTardis-related video clips.  Likewise, I found collections of clips for MarsCon and DragonCon (really huge collection!).  At our site all you have to do is click the virtual convention link next to the convention name and you’ll get a list of clips you can view.

Some are split into multiple parts, so be sure to view them in order in that case.  You can find all parts by entering the complete clip name into the searchbox.  If you seek a specific guest, you can add the name to the search box and it will narrow it down.

I spent last weekend “attending” DragonCon and other US conventions by searching for interview and panel video clips.

Now, everyday can be science fiction convention day!

To get you started, here’s a special treat to enjoy:  BSG Panel Dragoncon 2007


Milwaukee Science Fiction Club Holds Annual Dinner Meeting

September 16, 2007

The Milwaukee Time Lords held it’s annual dinner meeting Saturday, September 15th, celebrating 18 years of science fiction fandom and friendship.

Club members met at Athens Restaurant in the northwest side of Milwaukee, a site used a few times before for dinner meetings. Most were founding members who have been with the club since its founding August 26th, 1989. A few were members who joined later upon hearing of a Doctor Who club in Milwaukee. Initially, the dinner meeting was held at the first weekend in September. Past locations include The Old Country Buffet and Mykonos Restaurant. Last year the club tried a catering service. The dinner ended with the presentation of a cake the restaurant staff made for us.

Following the dinner, we met at the Evans’ house, our usual meeting place for videos and gaming. Other members, who celebrated separately elsewhere, joined us at the Evans’ house. We held a brief announcements meeting. After that, there was either videos or gaming downstairs. Those of us who opted for videos selected “Flushed Away”.

Debbie and I left after that, so if anyone can fill in the rest of the evening may do so here. Please let us know how the meeting went and tell us your stories.

If you hold annual dinner meetings or other forms of celebration, please post your experiences. Let us know how your club marks your anniversary.


Annual Safehouse Night Defeated by Robots

March 26, 2006

Each year, our club meets for dinner at the Safehouse, a Milwaukee area restaurant. The highly regarded spy-themed establishment has been an area "hot spot" for years. It's a unique experience not to be missed when you get around to visiting Milwaukee.

This year, unfortunately, we were unable to reserve a table on our usual weekend in March. A robotics convention in town has preempted our annual event. Fortunately, we are small and flexible and merely had to move the event up to April 8th. Check our calendar for the update.

On a previous occasion, years ago, many members opted to help our local public television pledge drive rather than attend our Safehouse event. At the time, the way to support Dr. Who and other similar programming was to volunteer at the local PBS station. For some of us, it led to more skills for our resumes and increased knowledge of how TV works.

Show your support for unique and unusual TV programming by visiting and supporting your local clubs. If you don't have a club in your town, start one! Clubs are a great way of sharing resources, providing a healthy outlet for your sci-fi interests, gaining valuable social skills and helping to boost your background for employment purposes.

www.milwaukeetimelords.org
http://www.safe-house.com/

If you are in town, please join us at our next meeting located at
Mayfair Mall, lower level. You will find our meeting schedule if you
click the "Calendar" link on the menu to the left.