Scientists say a goldfish has a nine-second attention span. And according to a recent study mentioned in Time/Health, the average person browsing the Internet has a shorter attention span than a goldfish!
Researchers say a one-second delay in the loading of a website page can decrease a user’s satisfaction by 16%. An unpleasant experience on a site may mean the viewer will never return.
With those statistics in mind, along with an eagerness to better serve our writing community, the WAG Board recently commissioned a redesign of the website.
The MENU now appears in the banner at the top of the screen. To go to a page, click the appropriate heading: HOME, ABOUT, BACOPA, BLOG, BOOKS BY MEMBERS, EVENTS, MEMBERSHIP, and WAG DIGEST or a subhead. To access CRITIQUE PODS, click on the Critique Pod picture in the right column. Anytime you wish to return to the HOME page, just click the banner at the top of the page.
If you have not explored the refurbished website, here are 10 reasons to explore it today:
- Learn about writing-related programs. They’re listed on the HOME page under “Coming Events” by date. Click the title of the event for details: program, speaker, time, venue, map. All Sunday programs are free and open to the public.
- Pick up writing-related tips in program summaries. Whether you missed the last program entirely or want to review key points made by the speaker, check out the summaries. The title of the most recent talk appears on the HOME page under “The Latest.” Click the title and jump to the full article, written by a WAG member. For archived program summaries, click EVENTS, scroll down, and click “Previous Events.” If you would like to volunteer to write a summary for an upcoming program, contact Program Coordinator Roz Miller.
- Find a critique pod to visit. WAG’s small, genre-specific groups (for members only) meet at the convenience of pod members. Click on the Critique Pod picture (right column, HOME page), select the genre and then the name of the pod you wish to visit, and send a note to the pod leader or pod coordinator.
- Have your own blog, website, and/or book listed (members only). Click BOOKS BY MEMBERS and select the appropriate subhead. Supply your information under “Get Listed.” Note that each time a visitor goes to WAG’s home page, a different author/book is featured (see example at right).
- Purchase a book. Click BOOKS BY MEMBERS, then “Books.” Select a title and read the description. If you wish to purchase the book, click the “Buy” button. You’ll be taken to Amazon to complete the purchase. Note: WAG receives a kickback percentage on any purchase made on Amazon if the buyer accesses Amazon through WAG’s website. A great way to support local authors and WAG.
- Learn about WAG’s mission, history, and bylaws. (ABOUT page) WAG is always looking for new volunteer talent. Would you like to be more involved in the organization? If so, you’re welcome to attend WAG’s Board Meetings, usually held on the second Sunday of the month at 1:30 p.m., Millhopper Library. If you’d like to volunteer for a position, see the job descriptions in WAG’s bylaws.
- Contact Board Members.The Executive Committee (elected officers and immediate past president) and all volunteer board members are listed at the bottom of the ABOUT page. Click the name of the person you wish to contact and the person’s email address will pop up.
- Read the WAG Digest. Click WAG DIGEST to read the latest and/or archived issues. These newsletters are chock full of writing news, tips, and contests. The WAG Digest publishes bimonthly — on the first day of February, April, June, August, October, and December. If you have news, “WAG BRAGS,” etc. for the newsletter, send the information to Editor Wendy Thornton two weeks before the pub date.
- Join or renew your WAG membership. Click MEMBERSHIP in the menu or the JOIN button in the right column. You may fill out the membership form and pay online, or print the form and complete and mail it with a check to the address given, or hand it with a check (or cold hard cash) to the membership coordinator at a WAG meeting.
- Find information about our annual journal, Bacopa Literary Review. On the HOME page, click BACOPA in the menu, or click the Bacopa photo in the right column. The Editorial Board and all contributors to past editions are listed on the Bacopa pages. There, you will also find a link to the Bacopa Editors’ Blog, edited by Editor-in-Chief Mary Bast. Watch for submissions to open again in early 2018.
Even with all the features mentioned, our new site loads faster than the old one. We hope you agree that we’ve improved the UI (user interface) and UX (user’s experience). I had to throw in those two terms, having just learned them at the WordCamp in Jacksonville, a two-day Word-Press workshop. This camp and others like it, held at various locations including Orlando and Miami, are worthwhile for those interested in learning more about websites, and WordPress in particularly. The fee for the Jacksonville Camp was only $40, and that included lunch both days, plus coffee, donuts, and a Popsicle!
WAG’s site was built with WordPress, the most popular content management system for websites out there. Our designer and developer, Mary Ann de Stefano, provides ongoing support for the site, installing updates as needed, performing routine maintenance, and adding enhancements. Most recently, the WAG Board commissioned her to add RSS feed, whereby anyone may subscribe to receive an email with a link to the latest blog post. She is now in the process of enhancing our security.
WAG volunteers Connie Morrison and Susie Baxter, with editorial assistance from Joan Carter, keep WAG’s website content up to date. Duties are divided as follows:
Susie Baxter: HOME, ABOUT, BACOPA, EVENTS, and BLOG.
Connie Morrison: CRITIQUE PODS, MEMBERSHIP, MEMBERS’ BOOKS/WEBSITES/BLOGS, and WAG DIGEST
If you would like to assist with WAG’s website, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also join Connie and Susie at the next monthly WordPress MeetUp. The group convenes at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday night of each month at Santa Fe’s CIED unit, 530 W. University Avenue.
The sessions are FREE, and if you plan to go, skip dinner. Sponsors provide free pizza!