Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Bird TLC website

Sorry I've been a little lite on the blog and visiting other blogs lately. I've remodeled the Bird TLC main website. It's taken up a little bit of my time. Thanks to TLC volunteer Patrick Clark for doing the headers.

About 5 years ago I was very new to Bird TLC. My wife Ruth was volunteering on Mondays crew. I would go into visit and see the different things going on, but hadn't found a spot to dig in at yet. I helped doing some repairs and did some begging at the local chain stores.

For about a month they had a sign posted on the office managers door asking for a volunteer webmaster. I had always tinkered with computers, my first was a Commodore 128, but I had never taken on a large scale project. So I finally asked about it. Glenda told me the last webmaster was too busy to keep it up. The website was down, old and outdated. I had not a clue on how to do the job, so I said "I'll give it a try". On the way home I stopped at Barnes & Noble's and bought Webmastering for Dummies.

At that time I could check out what they did have and make any changes with Microsoft Word. I got all the pages how I wanted them and updated all of the information. I just didn't know how to get it on the web. I figured it was a good time to get a return on my investment in #2 son, Ryan. He was going to UAA and computers was one of his courses he was taking. He came over and we were online in a matter of minutes.

From there it was all trial and error. I settled in and kept it updated. I figured that would be the ticket if I got one of those fancy website awards. I applied to everyone I could find. Most never answered. But I did find one guy who was really helpful. I've lost track of him over the years, but he picked the website apart and told me what changes I needed to make for it to be a good website. I stayed up all night making the changes.

After a few years I thought the website was too limiting. We needed to tell stories of what was going on. It needed to be like a journal and it had to have pictures. It also had to be easier than a website to update. It had to be friendly and not stuffy. I researched for a while and then I decided to launch "The Bird TLC blog" on July 17, 2004. For the longest time I thought I was the only one reading it, but I kept going. I figured if I got one new reader, I was making headway. The word about our organization was getting out. 4 years later and sometimes I still wonder.

I've met a lot of good blogging friends over the years. I've also made a few in person because of it. I like looking at the Feedjit Live Traffic Feed and Map on the sidebar. I see people from all over the world. I think the word about Bird TLC might be getting out.


Owlman said...

Well done - the site looks good! I wish I could come volunteer with you guys. Unfortunately the commute from NJ to TLC will be pretty hectic especially considering the current gas prices - ok and maybe the time factor. Keep up the gr8 work Dave, we are reading and enjoying your blog even when we don't comment.

Diane.in.MD said...

I read several times a week. I am very proud of the volunteer work that you do. You even inspired me to purchase bird feeders, food and a bird bath. Like the reader from NJ, the trip from MD would take to long, but I'll see you in 2009.

Susan Gets Native said...

I'm sure since I put you on my blog roll (read by millions, I bet), you have had more visitors.
You're welcome.

: ^ )

Seriously....we are glad you are here.

Robert W Gilcrease said...

I know all us squirrels here on the Permafrost Ranch sure enjoy the site and blog. Your doing great

Dave said...

Thanks for the kind words of support. Trust me, I'm not going anywhere's. I was basically telling my Bird TLC webmaster history and a little opinion. I like getting the word out.