Newly redesigned PCA website up and running!

(from Pentrace post, 2/8)

The Board of Directors of the PCA is delighted to announce the launch of our newly re-designed member website. This project has been in the works for the better part of a year, and we hope it will provide members and non-members alike with information and ideas to help keep our hobby vibrant and growing.

Key to this effort, the new PCA website has been developed using special software designed for creating digital archives and online communities. Unlike a static website, which is only viewed by its visitors, the PCA site will provide its members with opportunities for interaction, exchange, communication, and contribution.

** The more members take advantage of these opportunities and contribute their own materials, sites, and expertise, the more the site will grow and benefit the entire collecting community. ** Like the message boards we all now use, the information will be immediately available to users, but the major improvement is that the postings will be available and searchable forever in a clear, easy-to-access format.

Located at http://www.pencollectorsofamerica.com, here is an overview of the site’s offerings.

· Reference Library – members can download digital copies of PCA materials that have been scanned from originals. Members can also help develop the library by contributing their own materials.

· Pennant Archive – members will be able to view searchable contents of past issues of the Pennant, download high-quality digitized versions, and contribute articles to future issues.

· Discussion Forum – members can exchange comments and knowledge about their collecting interests, and they can help and be helped by other collectors.

· Web Bookmarks – members can submit web-based resources directly to the PCA site, and the site will assign a thumbnail of their submission so that the resource has visual representation.

· Show Calendar – the calendar has already been populated with all the major pen shows for 2009, and members can post their own local club meetings as well.

· Member Database – members manage their own private online profiles through a database that keeps their PCA information current and reminds them of membership renewals.

* Website FAQ – developed from questions members have asked, this area is the first place to check for instructions on using the site, including the fine points of all the features listed above.

If you are a current PCA member and we have your email address on file (e.g. you receive PCAccents), you can easily register for website participation by opening the MEMBERS tab, selecting the FAQs, and reading “Website Registration for members who provided an e-mail address.” You DO need an email address on file in our secure database for full participation in the PCA’s online community. Please be assured that your email address is confidential and will only be used to confirm your website registration and to periodically (less than once a month) send you our PCAccent email newsletter. If you are a current member and would like to provide us with your email address, please use the “Membership” link in the “Contact” menu. If you are not yet a PCA member or you need to renew your membership, the FAQs will explain how to do that online by using Paypal or mailing a check.

The site was developed by Dr. Barry Eckhouse, collector and PCA member. Barry worked closely with the PCA Board to insure a site that would serve the organization’s members and one that would grow through the efforts of its membership. Barry is a Professor of Rhetoric at Saint Mary’s College (California), where he teaches and studies the use of emerging technologies in web-based communities. His collecting interests include Chilton, Conklin, and Waterman’s.

We hope this new website will prove to be a wonderful part of your collecting “library.” Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have any difficulties on this site.

Warmly,
Carla Mortensen, President, for the PCA Board of Directors and the site developer.
mortensen.carla@gmail.com

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