An introduction to the Maidenhead Camera Club web site

The MCC web site is a key part of its activities, and members are expected and encouraged to read it for information and to contribute their own ideas and pictures. It is a ‘wiki’ site (a bit like wikipedia but somewhat smaller) which runs as a joint effort of all members of the Camera Club. A few pages are restricted to ‘editors’, mainly to avoid accidental damage to key data, and some sets of pages are restricted to registered members.

This introduction is aimed at new members, but may also be of use to those who have been around for a bit. The first few sections deal mainly with using the site for information about club activities and members’ interests; later we will deal with adding pages and pictures and becoming an active contributor.

Quick jumps have been provided to many of the pages described here by ‘hot spots’ in brighter text. The form ‘page name > another page name > another place > ’ is also used to define a path in the web site – just follow the names down the tree to the leaf indicated. (Note: wiki trees have their root at the top and the branches go ‘down’ – this is normal in the weird land of databases.)

The Front Page

The Home Page is open-to-the-world and is a gateway to the rest of the site. The Home Page carries the date and subject of the next club meeting, and a set of links in the left margin to all of the other principal pages. This page – apart from the ‘next meeting’ box – changes only slowly, and is the main link to the rest of the site. Many people ‘bookmark’ it as their regular access point.

The Home Page indexes the ‘Contact’ and ‘Join the club’ pages – but if you are reading this as a member you will not need them any more. However, if you want to see the Committee List, complete with mug-shots, here is a link which goes straight there.

Finding out what is going on

From the Home Page or from most of the next level pages indexed in the left margin you can jump to the key ‘what is going on’ links. Programme is a key place. The Meetings Programme lets you plan your activities in the club. If an entry has a bright highlight, then there is more information about that event on its own page. The Development Programme > events and field trips leads to a table of scheduled events which combine a fun trip and photo opportunities with informal tuition from an experienced club member on a particular topic.

Photos in the left margin links to Galleries – and taking and showing pictures is the essence of what we do as a club. (Taking better pictures comes under Development, and that is really important too.) Galleries > Winning images leads to pages and pages of high scoring images from our club competitions. These are rewarding to look through, and offer examples and encouragement for your own development as a photographer. If you want to know how the competitions are going, follow Featured Galleries > Competition Images > Competition Results for the latest scores and earlier competitions

Exhibitions in the left margin will take you to pages about our other showcases, the regularly changing Sainsbury’s Gallery and the ‘occasional’ special events.

Browsing for interest

Over the past five years since the web site really got going we have collected lots of interesting pages of photographs, technical information and a few interesting stories. Photos > Members’ Galleries hold a large collection of images. Some are mainly of photographic interest; some are tutorial; and a few (like Perambulatory Notes . . . ) include walk guides to good locations around the Chilterns and elsewhere.

Links in the left margin takes you to an index to external sites which mcc members have set up, or which they have found to be of interest or of educational value. Some are commercial; some are technical; some are distinctly curious. This is a place for winter evenings or long train journeys with a wifi laptop!

Everything so far has been open to the internet, and is indexed by the usual search engines. A google search on ‘Mondrian in Maidenhead’ will find us. Now log in, because some of what follows is either password protected or curtailed for non-member visitors!

If you are a member but have not yet registered, follow the link from Members Area > How to get registered here If you have problems ask an established member for help.

Recent Updates is a special. It provides a date-and-time sequenced list of changes to the main web (not the Playpen, note, which has its own local Recent Updates). It has highlight points so that you can jump to the changed page, or optionally jump to the personal page of the person who made the change – you might want to send an e-mail. One particular link Recent Changes > Web Statistics calls up a table showing the main activity on the site. (Note that many accesses represent the calls made by search engines, so do not jump to conclusions about your favourite page. If someone were to add an image called ‘Olympic accommodation in London’ it might attract misleading hits.)

Pages specially for mcc members

The left-side link For Members calls up a space where all sorts of club-based things go on. Many of its onwards links are password protected, especially the Playpen and members’ personal pages. These are the key sections:

Development: look in here to develop your creativity, to find new inspiration, or to improve your photographic technique. The club's development section has ideas and events to help with all of these. Development > critique pages will find a rich resource of experiments and discussions, some current, some retained for their reference value.

Competitions: These are a big part of mcc activities, and this section is important for knowing how to enter and what to do if you get good scores. Competitions > photographic competitions will take to the essential know-how. Look especially at Competition Rules and Guidelines, and from there the top three headings: Competition Guidance and Rules 2010-2011; then Projected Digital Image (PDI) Competition Entry Instructions; then Submitting High Scoring Prints for the www site. If in trouble, try the Competition Secretaries or anyone with a high score recently - see Competition Results!

List of people registered on the site: Find your fellow members; find their e-mail addresses; sometimes find lots more, but remember you cannot alter another member’s page – only that member can do so.

Mailing Lists: You may (with discretion, please) mail the Committee or the whole membership from here.

The Playpen

The Playpen, accessed from the Members Area, is a safe place to try things out while learning about creating and editing pages. A few of the pages are used for collecting images for the Sainsbury’s Gallery. Feel free to work in any unused Play Page (one ending in a ‘?’ mark) or even edit an existing one. From time to time the Playpen gets wiped over and reset, so it is unwise to leave stuff of long-term value there!

Now get creative

Before you change anything, please read the important information about this website. This page and other key pages are indexed from the website section of the Members Area. If you joined since January 2010 there are useful foswiki leads on your personal web page.

Otherwise follow - Members Area > The Website > How to add and edit pages; then The Website > Simple exercises on creating web pages. Later you might want to look at How to change your password: How to change your e-mail address and How to control privacy, but do not rush – lots can be achieved without bothering with these bits. The Playpen > training videos offers an alternative tutorial approach.

But mainly – get started, roam around, enjoy it and become a contributor! It is part of what being a member of Maidenhead Camera Club offers.

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Topic revision: r13 - 22 Jun 2012 - 20:04:05 - JohnAshford
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