The Louisville Wheelmen’s presence in cyberspace is rapidly approaching half a year, and in that time I’ve learned a thing or two, made a few new friends, and generally have had the greatest time—and found a great time sink, too.
For those of you who haven’t ventured into cyberspace, the World-Wide Web is a new, exciting graphical medium where far-flung sites and information are just a mouse click away. A home page is like a marquee, used to offer instantaneous information to those who come in to browse. Our Louisville Wheelmen home page has a lot of information about the club, its many programs and events, our history, and a wealth of links to other cycling-related sites. Our site has averaged around 100 hits (visits) a week. While not in the same league as some of the more popular sites on the Web (many of which tally 100,000 hits a day), it’s a solid number and shows that we do have an audience out there.
The Wheelmen Web page started out being served from IgLou, the local Internet service provider and was underwritten by Merrick Printing Company through the use of Joe Kipp's IgLou account. More recently, when Merrick Industries and Merrick Printing Company installed their own Internet server, the Lousville Wheelmen Web page moved to a new, and hopefully permanent, home. The new address is http://www.merrickind.com/louwheel/. Many thanks to Joe Kipp and Merrick Printing for making the Web site a reality. Without Merrick’s support and Joe's cooperation, the page would still be just a dream.
So, what does the Web page offer the club, beside being our presence on the Internet? Plenty! Already I’ve had quite a few inquiries about the recent Old Kentucky Home Tour. I can’t confirm if anyone actually rode the tour solely from the information they got from our Web page, but it’s a start. In the future, as more people get connected and get on-line, I can see the Web page as a means of instantanous communications within the club, as well as regionally to other clubs in the area. The newsletter is great for communicating club’s information and business, but the long lead-time and the labor overhead of the newsletter preclude it from being the perfect medium. The Web page, by its very nature, can be up-to-the-minute timely and is certainly less labor-intensive than the newsletter.
To achieve that goal, I need your help. Up to now, the Web page’s content is little more than the newsletter presented electronically—with all of the timeliness of the hardpaper medium. To really exploit the advantage of the World-Wide Web, we need to provide fresh contents and provide it now! I’m looking for ride reports and race results, and anything else that YOU want to communicate to the masses out there. Any format is acceptable, but electronically is the preferred medium (e-mail or hand me a disk). See next paragraph for how to contact me. And don't worry about duplicating somebody’s efforts—for an event like the Old Kentucky Home Tour, wouldn’t it be great if we could read about the ride from a half dozen perspectives? That’s another advantage of the electronic medium, we’re limited not by the Postal Service bulk mailing regulations, but only by our imagination.
So, let me hear from you. I can be reached on CompuServe (72621,2130) or via Internet e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com) or pick up the phone and call me (893-8780).
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