And so it begins.
After five months of planning and setup, and a solid month of kicking the tires with my beloved friend Judy, we are careening downhill toward the finish line like a toboggan on ice.
We are on the verge of going live, switching our various iccfa.com (and vestigial icfa.org) dns addresses to point to the new server. It is going to happen within days.
Because of how the Web works it is almost by definition necessary that a new Web site will have some broken parts when it first unveils. For instance, anything that has to do with secure transactions, like the Store or meeting registrations, won't happen until some time after iccfa.com points to this server, because we can't get a security certificate until "iccfa.com" points to this machine, and we can't setup our online merchant account interface until we have the certificate.
There are similar issues with things like automated e-mail notifications, which will slow down the implementation of the new Network. Also, the "Directories" link above points to sample "Directories" that will be greatly changed in the next week while we offload the absolutely most recent data from our database to the Web site.
Since we don't have a 24-hour bullpen of people working on the changeover, some parts are going to be delayed while either I or the Dream Team are getting our beauty sleep.
Thus the next few days will be thorny, like having a dinner party at your half-finished new house, but the construction continues apace and we absolutely must have some guests in, darn it all.
So now, we are ready to open the doors for the official insiders' preview.
Much of this Web site will be a lot like all other Web sites in that it will tell a lot of stuff about us, the proprietors, the ICCFA. We will take all the material about ourselves from the old site, dust it off, mark it for refurbishing, and post it right back up here on the new site. That is what is going to populate most of the links on the blue bar above which all say "Page not found" when you click on them. That stuff is cutting-and-pasting child's play.
But the real heart of the new iccfa.com will consist in the interactive aspects, encapsulated in the Cafe. Therefore that is the portion Judy and I have been working overtime to make workable for your average Tom, Dick and Harry. It's just about there, so Tom, Dick and Harry (and Paul and Mark and Gregg)... c'mon in!
When we open this up to the world, we want to have a semblance of a neighborhood already in place, conversations underway, stuff to read, so newcomers will get a sense of how it works and what it can be for them. Judy has been doing yeoman duty "seeding" the various sections and helping me find all the kinks, and now staff members Julie, Linda, and Bryan are involved. Now we are going to bring in some more ICCFA folks to contribute prior to going live. It's the dress rehearsal of the dress rehearsal.