Society Day at the 2013 Federation of Genealogical Societies kicked off with a plenary session led by Cyndi Howells. You might know her better as the Cyndi in Cyndi's List.
Is your society web site all it's cracked up to be? That was the title of her talk and the question she asked of all the attendees.
Cyndi has seen a lot of web sites. There are over 7,000 society web sites alone on her own site, so she's more than qualified to advise others.
First, Cyndi said that society web sites should be updated--at the very least--quarterly or monthly. However, she recommends updating your web site with fresh content each week. Not everything needs to be "new" but upcoming events should be current.
Does your website accurately represent your society? If it is updated or stagnant, what does that say about your society?
Cyndi talked about ease of use and design. Simple is in. Cutesy graphics and sound are huge outs.
One of the most simple and important points Cyndi made is that your full society's name should be on each page of your web site. For example, you shouldn't be a "genealogical society" on one page and a "genealogy society" on another. Also, if you're a county society, PLEASE include your state somewhere in the title.
Cyndi provided a ton of good advice, too much to list here. Basically it was a call for societies to look at their websites with fresh eyes from the perspective of new members.
My favorite takeaway from this session was that if your society does not update its website regularly, it's like sending out the same newsletter every month.
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