Re: National's Web Site
(no name) ((no email))
Tue, 9 Jul 1996 10:53:37 -0500
Ron Fox brought up some worthwhile points:
>1) The opening paragraph states that "if you are a boy between
>the ages of 7 to 20", and goes on to state that you might be
>interested in one of the BSA's programs. No mention that young
>women between the ages of 14 to 20 have options in the BSA
>program as well. No recognition that few males over the age of
>about 12 care to be referred to as a "boy". I realize that an
>opening paragraph has to be concise, but this misses the mark.
No mistake here. The BSA's web site is NOT designed to do
anything but to serve as an example to local Councils as to
what kinds of things National will "buy off" on without a long
The references to only male youth is also not a mistake. The BSA
is currently in litigation on two separate fronts dealing with females
in the program, and has chosen wisely not to include the fact that
female youth ARE a part of the BSA's program through the young
adult Exploring program (or at least in bold lettering).
>2) There hasn't been a change in the "What's New" section since
>the site opened. Currently, it touts a tour of Norman Rockwell
>art that ended 2 months ago. Doesn't project an image of a
>program that's really with it. And, just who is BSA's target
>audience for this site, anyway?
The target audience hasn't really been made. The site was designed
to meet the needs of the local Council, which several have been
asking for some sort of example of what a "Council site" should
look like and what it should contain. This is why I've been working
nearly overtime on the "Cardinal Council" site, which I feel (biasly)
would answer those questions a little better than the BSA official
>Do they think youth between
>the ages of 7 to 20 care about an art exhibit tour? How about
>something on what's been happening at the High Adventure bases
>this year? How about some news about some of the remarkable
>achievements of units or Scouts around the country?
You'll find all of that in _Scouting_ and _Boys'_Life_, Ron. Again,
the main purpose of the BSA's official site is NOT of communication.
It is only (right now, anyway) of national promotion and as an
example of what a local Council website should look like.
>3) There are a few typos and grammatical errors on the site. This
>was O.K. for the start, but it's been two months or more now, so
>these should have been cleaned up.
I have a few typos and grammatical errors on my pages, and I
just haven't had the time to go back and fix them, and some pages
have been up since December of 1995. I would say that there are
many pages that fit this same description as well.
When you are designing and crafting information, as well as doing
other tasks, there's really not enough time in the day to go back and
constantly clean everything all of the time.
Yeah, its' an excuse, but a valid one, I feel.
>4) Of course, one of the biggest things is that there's no resource
>material (read, BSA publications) on the site.
You won't see any. One of the concessions that the BSA's
Information Technology task force made was that there would be
NO online "manuals" or "publications", simply because those things
already appear in printed form, the BSA spends a lot of money to
distribute them and place them in the hands of the local Council, and
because local Councils asked that many of the publications NOT be
"placed on the Internet" simply for control purposes (my statement).
If the only way you can get a copy of the Chartered Organization
Represenative booklet is through the Council Service Center, you
are going to go in and maybe someone will hand you a copy. If you
can "get it from the Internet", why have a local Council office?
>5) Finally, there's no Webmaster E-Mail address. Can someone name
>another site on the Web that doesn't have a Webmaster E-Mail
The reason why there are no email addresses is a rather simple one:
They don't want to be pummelled with literally hundreds of email
postings, everything from "Can Pedro write me back please?" to "Why
is the BSA such a homophobic, sexist, racist organization?" and
stuff in-between. Imagine the excitement that would be created when
"a BSA email address" is sent out to the world!! *grinning*
>The average youth accessing www.bsa.scouting.org has seen quite a
>few sites. He (or She) is not going to be impressed with a site
>that obviously hasn't been maintained since it was put up.
But again, there's a lot of youth that haven't seen the site and would
view it and say "kewl! The BSA has a web site!! I wonder if my
Council has one, too!"
>Bonus: I'll send a CSP of Des Plaines Valley Council for the best
>.JPG or .GIF of a design for a Troop or Council Webmaster patch.
Working on it.
>Please understand that my comments here are intended to try to
>get National to make the web site that officially represents
>our movement attractive to the very people who we are trying
>to attract into our movement. I'm glad that National finally
>put a web site up, but I fear that National doesn't understand
>what to do with it.
Do I agree with you, Ron!! The BSA spent a pretty penny on
this access, and slowly but surely, they'll catch on that now that
they have a site, that they have to constantly update and refresh
it or nobody will stop by it anymore!
However, the original intent is not to communicate the programs
of the BSA to the world, but rather to allow local Councils to see
what National has done and to tailor such local pages (once the
final "approval" has been made to allow them to do so with their
monies!) to what locally their Council is all about.
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (Settummanque, the blackeagle) (
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