Progress Report: Major pieces coming together
The data files for the various Directories lookups are finally completed - ugh, that took longer than expected. Luckily I have figured out a workflow in Excel which has saved me from some of the disasters I've managed in the past when some misplaced "copy and paste" action or erratic finger twitch would accidentally undo several hours of work. Here's how it works:
Do something significant in Excel, then save the file under a new name. Repeat until either the job is finished or your head crashes into the keyboard. When you get done, you will have a slew of files like companies.xls, companies_1.xls, companies_2.xls and so on, most of which can then be deleted if you are REALLY sure you are done with that iteration.
Next will be to check if the online payment configuration has magically started to work, or if the Dream Team as done anything with it. Then, to finally set up the online store and online meeting registration.
Also next will be to fix all the various missing content pieces and consequently keep old Bozo the Error Page clown from popping up on your screen all the time.
Also next (criminy, this a lot of "nexts") is to get some documentation written for using the various functions here, so the vast majority of our visitors will no longer log in, scratch their heads, and go away.
Then of course there is the mountain of content to continue to upload, including many more videos. That section will not really be useful until there is a critical mass of different topics (and eras) so most visitors here will find at least a few things that interest them.
Speaking of interest, I hope all you bookworm types spend some time browsing the Reading Room. Right now it is still a little hamstrung by the critical mass issue referenced above, but it is beginning to become something pretty cool, especially for those into industry history or, really, American history.
More than that, though, the Reading Room is beginning to reveal some fascinating stuff because of the topical tag feature. Click on the modern cemetery tag, for instance, and you begin to get a sense of the vision that has in some sense driven this organization for 120 years. And it's not just about cemeteries, but the industry as a whole. Obviously Hubert Eaton's address at the 1929 convention is near the top of the list for historical significance, but there is more than that if you browse the pieces going back to 1893. Much more is coming - loading and tagging those are also a bit time-consuming but I am a history buff so it's a labor of love ... well, technically it's a labor of caffeine and cabernet and love. But mostly love.
Sorry for the lateness in getting any good documentation for what to actually do at this Web site. I assure you it is, like everything else, coming very soon.