Learn Something New

Experts tend to agree that it is good to keep learning. It is even said that learning new skills can help fend off common age-related disorders such as dementia. It also gives one a feeling of accomplishment and is just plain fun. Several years ago, I had a writing assignment for a magazine aimed at the 50+ year old population on going back to school.  I got to interview several people who returned to college; some for an advanced degree, but several also for a first one. Some, but not all were going back to school for professional reasons. One woman I spoke with was 87 and auditing classes at a state university for more than 20 years, (she earned a bachelors but decided to not get a masters) simply because she enjoyed it. It got her out of the house and reading and talking to people more.

The motivation behind my next endeavor has nothing to do with keeping my brain functioning. I have been wishing we had a Girl Scout website for our local group for some time now, and always thought it would be too complicated and time consuming for me to do, and no one else seemed to want to tackle it either. Now that I am starting to think about what I want to do next, I have been doing some research into job possibilities. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am finding that I have become a bit of a dinosaur. Though I don’t call for the kids to help me figure things out on the computer (not very often, anyway), I am discovering that I am lacking some skills that seem necessary in today’s workplace, at least the type of workplace I last inhabited.

Here seems a confluence of ideas. Web management and adeptness at social media seem to be essentials in today’s publishing world. I am comfortable with Facebook (but don’t currently see the need to add the other time suckers into my daily routine). I use other people’s websites regularly, and many of these are not as user-friendly as one would like. This adds another dimension to my dilemma. Not only am I treading uncharted waters in starting a website, I need it to be a good website. Being fond of lists (as they help me get through the most insane weeks), I guess this can be a way to start.

Website purpose:

1.       Disseminate information (meetings, events, how to join, safety regulations, etc.)

2.       Collect information (from those wishing to join, new ideas)

3.       Market the program (explain why scouting is fun/valuable)

What makes a “good” website:

1.       easy to navigate

2.       interactive

3.       interesting

4.       attractive

5.       easy to read (even for older eyes)

Necessary information:

1.       purpose of the organization

2.       photos

3.       contact information (who’s who and how to reach them)

4.       calendar of events

5.       contact us page

6.       links to resources

7.       privacy controls for sensitive information

Now I have set of guidelines. I have most of the information needed. Compiling it all and making it pretty I know will take some time. I expect the finished product will be a time saver, as I will have fewer questions to answer if people know where to go for their answers. And, I will be able to say that I have experience with websites. I know I can do this. I know it will challenge me (starting this blog had its technical challenges and I still want to improve on the appearance). Time to get started…

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