Yesterday I went to a meeting of the Staffordshire and Warwickshire Regional Meeting of the Guild of One-Name Studies, organised by Regional Representative Barbara Griffiths. We met in a church hall, just off the Coventry ring road to talk about our one-name websites.
First up was Susan Hundleby. She has a (so far) basic website for her Hundleby One-Name Study but concentrated on a school website she runs. Both sites are built using Joomla and the school site uses an extension called Jomsocial. Using this you can run your own social network, similar to Facebook, on your website. If you have a large number of people in your one-name study, society or, in this case, school, you can let them chat away to each other, with you in control. This sounded interesting. The downside is that it is expensive – $99, although there is a trial for $1. Don’t think my ONS is big enough to warrant the expense!
David Nelson has also set up a website using Joomla It is still very much a work in progress and he told us about his difficulties in setting it up – joomla can be complicated to start with. Help was given with some of his problems. There is also a lot of information available online. I have found the tutorials here very helpful.
Before I get thrown off WordPress for talking too much about Joomla, I should mention that the third demo was from Geoff Findon, whose website uses WordPress. The Findon one-name study is small and the website is used to attract members of the family – one advantage of WordPress is that it is easy for visitors to leave a reply. Geoff also talked about a WordPress plugin called rootspersona This can be used to display your family tree on your website, via a gedcom. I was very impressed – I don’t think Joomla has anything to compare. Not sure I could stand the stress of changing just for this though!
After tea and biscuits, John Frearson, demonstrated the advantages of keeping it simple with his website assembling the website on his computer (using MS Expression?) and uploading to a host site. Incidentally John was the only one of the above websites with a link from his Guild Profile
There then followed a general discussion about websites. The conclusion was that if you want to set up a site for your one-name study, think about what you want to do with it. Attract visitors with an interest in your name? Provide information for everyone? Set up an online community? When you have decided what you want to do, then look for the best way of doing it.
We then looked at Google+ Hangouts. We might attempt one in a month or so – if you want to join in, have a look at the information on the Guild website (members only)
Both Susan and David had brought displays about their research, which we could look at – when we weren’t busy chatting!
At the next meeting (date to be arranged) we will be looking at Data Collection.