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.
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.
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.
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.
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