I spend a lot of my time working on our webpage, several hours each week. It has been my goal over the course of the years to automate as much of the work as possible. That’s why you can sign yourself up to receive the e-Advocate Newsletter, for instance. The weekly email newsletters go out automatically, while I’m sleeping. I am constantly amazed at what it is possible to do, programatically, with a website. It is only limited to the imagination of those involved with the website!
Several years ago, I decided to lock down some of the content of the website. I did this, in part, so that we could continue to archive the pieces written for the magazine, and respect the copyrights of the writers involved. I don’t force writers to sell me all of the rights to their work. I think it’s unethical. As such, when you go into the archive and find a piece written in 2002, for instance that you want to read, you need to pay a small fee to do so. That money, as I’ve said before, goes directly to the authors.
I also decided at that same time to require registration to view the particulars of jobs listed on the site. Anyone could search the jobs, but without registering you were unable to view the details. I did this in an effort to make sure that those looking at the jobs were seriously interested in the resource. At the time I made that decision, the company which hosts our website charged us a fee for the use of bandwidth above and beyond that included in our monthly package. Today, the job search is the most popular resource on our website.
Several things have changed over the course of the past year or so. First, the company which hosts our site has dramatically increased the amount of bandwidth we may use each month as a part of the fee we pay. They have also dramatically increased the number of gigs of storage space we may use each month. Secondly, the sheer number of people visiting the site has risen steadily over the course of the past 16 months. We have an immense database of registered users, and it grows daily. That is a clear indication that the information, services, etc…that we offer on our website appeal to a large cross-section of users. When I locked down the content of the magazine archive, and the particulars of the jobs, we lost users. We have more than made up for the folks who simply didn’t want to register.
Here’s the bottom line: I am preparing to open up the previously locked down content of the AdjunctNation.com website. To begin, users will no longer be prompted to login to view job particulars. When you search and click on the links that come up, the particulars will be immediately displayed. Next, I am going to offer magazine content without registration. As always, selected pieces from the most current issue will be available free of charge. The entire contents of the previous bimonthly issue will also be available without registration or charge. In order to view older content, users will have to purchase AdjunctNationCredits.
Instead of requiring registration, we will invite visitors to join the AdjunctNation Family. By subscribing to the magazine and/or joining the Family, Family members will be notified automatically when new issues of Adjunct Advocate are posted online, and other parts of the website are updated, such as the blogs, JOBLIST and Forums. There will an exclusive email newsletter just for Family members, and special weekly prize drawings: we’ll give away books, AdjunctNationCredits, Adjunct Advocate subscriptions, teaching supplies and even conference entry fees to events nationwide. We’ll be organizing Family events in 2008, and it will culminate with an AdjunctNation Family Reunion in the Fall of 2008.
I am very excited at the opportunity to make such profound changes to the way we serve those who subscribe to Adjunct Advocate online and make AdjunctNation.com a regular destination. For the past 16 years, we have made leaps forward and been rewarded with more cheers than jeers. As always, I want to know what you think. Crazy? Genius? Somewhere in between? I look forward to reading your comments!
The song accompanying this entry really needs no introduction; it’s a classic.
Listen to my blog entry here.