1/14/2012

The new Episcopal Church website(s)

After a long gestation period The Episcopal Church new web presence has been birthed.  It turns out there were twins, or triplets, or wait, perhaps quadruplets.

First to arrive was the new Episcopal News Service site which all in all is more or less like the old one, except for a font that I find unsatisfactory. It goes by the name, "episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens".  

Then came in rapid succession a facelift of "Episcopal Church" "episcopalchurch.org" which is much better organized than the older site, but with a "stained glass" banner that takes up a lot of bandwidth. The old complaint that it was hard to find things like a staff directory are gone. You can search the site from a box and not simply get old news items, you can click on "who we are" and find Staff Directory right there. Good changes.  It takes a bit of getting used to, but it seems much more user-friendly now.

Then there comes "Episcopal Digital Network" itself. If you had "Episcopal Life Online" in your bookmarks, this is now where that bookmark sends you.  The EDN pages are not yet filled out, and for good reason. Apparently Episcopal Life online (at best an interim solution to the ending of Episcopal Life in print) is now transmogrifying into Episcopal Digital Network, which will include Episcopal News Service, but will also have many features associated with an online magazine. If you look under "Network Properties" you find ENS.  It gives the idea that EDN is the parent publisher / holding company.  How soon Episcopal Digital Network will flower into a larger set of offerings is hard to say. This is what EDN says about its mission:

"The Episcopal Digital Network is an ad-supported media network that delivers news, information, and branded entertainment to church leaders, members, and general audiences. The network creates goodwill for the Episcopal Church and receptivity to the message of Jesus Christ by providing timely, accurate, and useful information to our audiences and by delivering value to our advertisers."

ENS is a subset of EDN, so maybe ENS should not count as a separate item. 

There is another piece out there, the Daily Scan, which is a product of TEC public affairs. This is an email directed service, with a web version.  But it too has undergone a face lift and its banner now reflects that of the Episcopal church website.

What we have here is a variety of services apparently open to including stuff from the wider episcopal church world in blogdom, webbing, etc.  Panarama mapped out under two headings: Episcopalchurch.org and Episcopaldigitalnetwork.net.  


Of course there are unanswered questions: The site offers a subset of files,"Panorama: Blogs of the Episcopal Church" points to some fine blogs indeed, but why those in particular and not, say, "Preludium" or better yet "In a Godward Direction" or "Leave it where Jesus flang it?"  So, I wandered over to "social media," which turns out to be mostly tweeting, with links to some other sites. Then, just for fun, I clicked on the "Donate to the Episcopal Church" and the list was fine, but didn't include a button to click on for Rebuilding the Church in Haiti. Then I looked at "I am Episcopalian" and that has changed into what is apparently a running long video that plays "channels" which are the old short videos. Not all the old ones are listed yet, but the idea is there. I wonder if this series would be better used if one of them at at time might appear on the front page of the website as a witness? After watching three or four I have heard enough for one day.


So there are odds and ends to work on. The Communications office noted that this would of course be the case, given the size of the task. True enough. But even with the bits and pieces of pesky stuff it is still an important new start.

It is a massive undertaking and the results are mostly positive.  Congratulations to all who are working on this. Now to take the twins, triplets, or whatever on a walk....





11 comments:

  1. And what about me? Or is Wounded Bird too naughty...too out there?

    One good thing: The webmaster for our church is now able to edit and update our information at the new site. I'm not sure if that was possible on the older site without going through channels.

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  2. Yes, improvements are noted and well received...maybe still a bit of an adventure to navigate but so much more of an interesting trail to follow! Thanks!

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  3. I like the new design...I just wish that our church by the great waters in Lewes would show up on the right place on the Goggle map when you look for churches in 19958 zip code...I dont even know how you could go about correcting it.

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  4. Sadly, I fear they rushed it. I have looked for information and tools that were one the old site, and at first they weren't there (I'm talking about an application form, and information about who at Episcopal Church Center is responsible for what). Indeed, some were not only lost from the newe site, but somehow dropped from the archive of the old site. I've passed on my concerns appropriately, and have acknowledged as things have been changed and improved. I think there are some good things about the restructure. However, I think I could have waited until most everything was in place.

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  5. GM...indeed too out there thank God. Which is why the site is no substitute for the wonders of Gandmere Mimi and Flang It.

    Jeff Ross...I noticed that too...and forgot about it (I know where we are), but still...who does one send errors to?

    Marshall... I am afraid they rushed it because they said "coming in 2011 and some of us had begun to wonder.

    I think the Communications office is trusting that we will understand that there will be glitches and dark holes down which information has flowed, etc, and will work on it.

    Who is to be contacted "appropriately"?

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  6. When I couldn't find something that I had been using for some time, in Spanish, I clicked on the word "contact" on the upper right of the home page and sent an email. Within fewer than 24 hours I had not only a reply but the link to my resource, which was one of those lost in the shuffle.
    Credit due. Thank you, TEC techies.

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  7. In the "What we believe" section, under Creeds, why does it start with "We will always have questions, but ... [we affirm]"? Sounds a little grudging, no?

    Why give ammunition to those who question our orthodoxy?

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  8. Appropriately? First, I used the "Contact" link. Among other choices of topics, it included "Website." I will say that I did receive an acknowledgment relatively quickly.

    I did also send a message to the staff person at the Episcopal Church Center noting the data that seemed to have disappeared. She is the person who could best track down and point to the material healthcare chaplains would need.

    And, to give credit where due: an application form necessary for healthcare chaplains on a regular basis was found in the archived site and linked from the new site. So, the team has been responsive.

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  9. http://www.episcopalchurch.org/parish/st-peters-episcopal-church-lewes-de has been updated, map and all. Please send comments, requests, etc directly to me.

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  10. bmerer...thanks for that. Question. WHERE do we send notes?

    You have been very helpful and I am sure the shop has been getting lots of comments, meaning, of course, that people are looking at the site a lot!

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  11. Thanks for your help bmerer !

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