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TOPIC: Please evaluate our club websites

Please evaluate our club websites 3 years 1 month ago #49263

  • jamminson66
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I've had our clubs websites evaluated once before on this support forum and appreciate all of the great feedback. I just came back from our district conference and was very disappointed that our websites did not place. When I went and looked at the websites that won I was even more confused. I am looking for someone to look at them objectively and let me know what I'm missing. Thank you.

1st place: topnotch.toastmastersclubs.org/
2nd place: 6497.toastmastersclubs.org/
3rd place: 2474402.toastmastersclubs.org/

Our club websites:
abilene.toastmastersclubs.org/
dyess.toastmastersclubs.org/
The following user(s) said Thank You: Sunshine

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Please evaluate our club websites 3 years 1 month ago #49264

  • BENSONIA
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I compared all the Websites with yours. My conclusion is: The Judges of the winners loved pictures! I like yours because you used more technology. When I saw yours for the first time, a while ago, I admired the fact that so much more can be done in a Website. When there is a contest, we will never know how the judges arrived to a conclusion. It happens at a speech contest also! Your Websites, are easy to read, most of the people see a website with small tablets or phones, also you have not saturated them with pictures, you have great information. Color coordinated. I like your Websites. Aida.

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Please evaluate our club websites 3 years 1 month ago #49265

  • SteveTheTechie
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You have to understand that with website contests, you are frequently dealing with set criteria, since most of the "judges" are not going to be website experts. Because of this, the club website that "wins" will be the one that meets the *criteria* most closely, not necessarily the best website. Contests tend to ignore many good websites in favor of the few that most closely meet the set criteria. (Moreover, most contests will only address the appearance features of websites, not any of the extra operational features of a FTH website, such as use of the agendas.)

This is why in my district (D52), we opted to go to a club website excellence program based on a 10-point *rating system*, as opposed to a contest. It is still based on criteria, but by doing a rating system based program, many clubs can get rated as 10 points (or whatever the points are), as opposed to there only being one "winner" and it allows for some subjectivity in the judging. It is based on the notion that there can be many examples of excellent websites, which I think is a better approach, as opposed to there only being one "winner", as deemed by "judges" that probably have limited experience with judging websites. (We have to remember that we are in TM for public speaking, not to create websites.)

For more info on the D52 website excellence program, you only need ask our own Linda Mann... (Linda, opportunity for you to chime in here. ;) )

This is why we set up this forum section... to give clubs a way to get *qualitative* feedback from multiple people on how to improve their website. We do not claim to be website experts in every sense, but we have probably all seen great club website and have ideas that we can share. By working together, we can improve together.

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Steve James, DTM
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District 52 Pathways Chief Ambassador / Guide
www.linkedin.com/in/sejames
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Mindful Communicators - Club 1966, Presidents Distinguished Since 2008
www.mindfulcommunicators.org

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Please evaluate our club websites 3 years 1 month ago #49274

  • jamminson66
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Steve and Aida, appreciate the feedback. Steve your write TM is for public speaking, not creating websites. However, our Dyess club isn't even a year old and was hoping that this would give us some good publicity, increased morale and money for our club. Of course the ultimate goal is when we have prospective members that they are impressed with the website and will increase the chance of them joining our club. Thanks again.

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Please evaluate our club websites 3 years 1 month ago #49275

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jamminson66 wrote: Steve and Aida, appreciate the feedback. Steve your write TM is for public speaking, not creating websites. However, our Dyess club isn't even a year old and was hoping that this would give us some good publicity, increased morale and money for our club. Of course the ultimate goal is when we have prospective members that they are impressed with the website and will increase the chance of them joining our club. Thanks again.


Don't misunderstand, as I am the current FTH system developer, I have a vested interest that every club has a great website. I am simply suggesting keeping some perspective about these things. If you are looking to increase membership, you need to look at all your options, not just your club website... also, invitations, open houses, Facebook, Twitter, Meetup, etc. Meetup can be especially beneficial to use along with your website for membership growth, because Meetup's reach tends to exceed what you can generally get with just your website when starting out with a club. They are complementary.

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Steve James, DTM
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District 52 Pathways Chief Ambassador / Guide
www.linkedin.com/in/sejames
Officer Emeritus
Mindful Communicators - Club 1966, Presidents Distinguished Since 2008
www.mindfulcommunicators.org

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Please evaluate our club websites 3 years 1 month ago #49448

  • Blaine67@gmail.com
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Hello,

Personally, I like the Abilene website best of all! It is clean, and uniform. It doesn't hut the eyes to view, and has good content. But, yes, a picture does say a thousand words. Especially, action photos, where people are receiving awards, shaking hands, and oh yeah, delivering speeches. As Aida pointed out, there were a lot of pictures, but (I can't believe I'm going to say this) perhaps TOO MUCH. My personal philosophy, is if you go over 4 or 5 on a page, start a photo gallery. You might want to add one or two new photos to each site.

We don't have a District award for best website, perhaps we should. Like Steve said, a "winner" is probably based on certain criteria, or how much content someone can cram onto one page. That might look good to other Toastmasters, but not necessarily to the public. As a Corporate Magician, I have seen several magic contests, and even entered one myself this year. Professionals want to see technique, and skill. That's how they will judge. A lay audience doesn't care, they just want to be entertained! And they're the ones buying the tickets.

Just because you didn't win, don't think people won't hang around when they visit your site. Especially if you have something to offer THEM. Like information that will prompt them to visit your Toastmasters meeting. Go back and check out their SOCIAL MEDIA. There is only one with a current post.... which is actually a pretty good facebook.

So, do you want your website to serve your members, and recruit others, or... win contests?

Blaine Little, ACB

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