Future of ILMarching
Filed under: — ilmarching @ 10:56 pm

Dear Illinois Marching Online Community,

In the past several months, I have entered a phase of my life that requires my personal attention much more than I have previously given it. For this reason, I am no longer able to update Illinois Marching Online regularly as I have done in the past. You all have undoubtedly noticed the lack of website updates, forum posts, contest predictions, and results for the 2006 season, and these are a direct result of real-life issues that are not at all related to this website.

Some might believe that I should shut down this website, and I can understand where they are coming from. Unfortunately, during my absence, a few chose to up issues on the forums, and it was certainly frustrating for all of you to not get your updates posted to the website. In addition, I have found that while I really enjoy marching band, I get much more enjoyment out of developing new features for the site than from the mundane work of copy-pasting and reformatting score reports or updating the front page with contest predictions (which, on an average week during the season, could take more than 4 hours to do properly. This is time I no longer have).

In spite of all of this, I have dedicated many hours to developing and updating this website, and I would really like to see it succeed. My time constraints no longer allow me to do this essentially on my own, but I believe it can be done with help from some of you. About a year ago I switched the main page of the website to run off of open-source software called WordPress. WordPress is essentially group blogging software, which publishes articles on the front page, and also automatically generates an RSS feed (something the nerds among you may appreciate). Also, all the scores, media links, and band pages on the entire website are housed in a database that, I believe, I can let other people edit.

Because of this, I am hoping to create several positions I’m calling “Contributors”. These people will have the power to update the band/scores/media databases, as well as to post news stories on the front page. If you have an update, you can mail it to the appropriate Contributor, and they will be responsible for updating the site. These people will not be moderators on the forums, though I may add one or two of those as well. I will stay around to make fixes to problems on the site, do bookkeeping, etc., and if I find that I’m having more free time, maybe even add new features.

What I’m looking for is a few Contributors to add to the site in the next few weeks. Obviously a lot of stuff needs updating, so you’d start with that, and keep going from there. You’d also be in contact with me about possible new ideas for things to post on the front page. I will maintain moderator capabilities, so I can always get rid of Contributors if necessary.

To be considered for a Contributor position, you must be a high school graduate and preferably either in college or a college graduate, and be at least 18 years old. You must have been a participant in marching band in some way, either as a student, or as a band director or parent. You must have been active in the IL Marching Forums, and have sufficient posting history for me to look at and make sure you’re going to be a discerning poster on the main website. Understand that posting on the main site does not mean promoting your own band – it means reporting the news that affects bands all over the state.

If you feel you meet all these qualifications, send me an e-mail at ilmarching@ilmarching.cjb.net, telling me how you meet these qualifications, what high school you are/were associated with, your forum username, and a few sentences on why you want to be a Contributor. It’s not an essay, so don’t write more than a few sentences. I won’t read them otherwise.

It’s my hope that with this new Contributor system, you, the community, can pick up where I have left off, and make this website even better in my absence.

Founder, IL Marching Online

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