I got a fabulous Christmas present today - no not a plasmaTV - even better - the first person to step forward as a Brand Information Coordinator.
The Panasonic Brand is now in the capable hands of Glauco BruZZi.
How does the process work. Mark Rubin identifies and approves candidates. They are put in touch with me, and generally provide me with an email address (although this probably can be done AVS's private message service).
All my work has been done off-line. I email the volunteer 2 (sometimes three) (.doc) files, containing all the brand information collected to-date. They assume ownership and repost the information under their name (so they can edit it in the future).
They inform me that they have reposted, or better yet, the URL's that get created, and I link these pages to the brand index. They then have the keys to the car. Process will probably take you 10 minutes - all the pages are preformatted - it's simply copy/paste.
Considering I set up the framework and data for all 33 brands in about 50 hours (although I have to admit here, that I built this off the previous work of others at the forum, which I copied with permission, - it really helped the process), I have a pretty good handle of how much effort it takes to do this. The key pages are the Home Page and the Model Summary (ask yourself how often does a manufacturer introduce new models that you would have to keep track of - did I hear you answer once a year). Maintainence of a brand I still contend should take about 2 hours per week per brand. One hour reading (which many of you do already) recent posts and then linking to them if they relate to your brand, and one hour hunting through previous posts or the internet for items pertinent to your brand. Larger brands may take slightly more, because of the topic pages, but these BIC's should seek out sub coordinators for the topic pages.
Now being a brand coordinator does have some responsibilities, and you should know this up front - here is a draft copy of what we feel these responsibilities are:Brand Information Coordinator Responsibilities
------------------------------------------------------------------------------1) Maintain the Brand Home Page
-Be aware of how to edit this (your) page's posting, and visit the page at least once a week and read any comments to it. Take action as necessary to the comments posted.2) Coordinate page layout (not information editing) changes with us, so that there is consistency across the brands
- It is expected, that a brand task force (including the forums moderators, editors, and forum experts) will be chosen to set some minimum requirements as to what is on your home page
- It is also expected that some flexibility will be given, to the Brand Information Coordinator to have an area maybe titled â€œCoordinator Specialsâ€ where you might want to experiment with information particular to your brand (i.e input cards, or external tuners)
- Check your private messages, to see if change recommendations have issued, such as new topics, or page re-organization ideas
- Once a month communicate with us to let us know your problems, and new ideas or suggestions that have occurred during the month
- Itâ€™s important that you do not change your pageâ€™s identifying thread numbers, or start a new home page or model summary thread without informing us, because - for this to work - your page(s) should link back to the Manufacturerâ€™s Index (which I currently have edit control), as well as to the Plasma/LCD FAQ page (which Deeann edits)3) Maintain the Brand Model Page
- Seek verification of all information posted
- Correct information when itâ€™s proven wrong
- Try to fill in the missing field data
- Manage the anticipated model section
- Share resources if you find information that would be valuable to other brand managers4) Maintain other topic pages as they are introduced
- Scour the Plasma/LCD posting board for relevant topics that can be associated to your brand and then link to them. Scouring need only be done once â€“ thereafter you only need to review recent posting (i.e. since such and such date, or any posting since my last visit.
- Decide where a link should be set: under the brand page, the model page, or under specific detail about the model, or possibly all three
- Suggest additional topics that may be of interest across all brands
- Share resources that you find with other brand coordinators5) Look for additional volunteers to help the process
- Itâ€™s fine if you delegate responsibility to others for these other topics especially if you have a large brand (see 4) â€“ above)
- If you coordinate with others let me or Deann know who this person is should something should happen to you - she will know who to contact (see 2) above)6)Shared Hints for Faster Development
- Read and understand the section on how to search and experiment with some advanced search techniques (AND, OR, NOT)http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/search.php
- Read and understand the vB
code section that can be found at:http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/misc....&action=bbcode
- Ask other brand coordinators if you need help with something
(If this experiment works and we recruit some volunteers, I will circulate through private messages who the brand coordinators are.)
- Consider developing your posted pages off-line â€“ itâ€™s much faster
- Consider using a word processor for development of your pages
- Consider developing in landscape layout (page turned sideways) to get slightly wider pages
- Consider using an equally spaced font (each character has the same width) in your word processor such as Courier â€“ this will let you create postings that look more like tables (along with the use of the code command when posting (see vB
- Consider storing your master copy of your pages on your own computer. The edit function of your posts will change your post to what you desire, but I found if you edit a second time, it will pull up your original post, and you will have to make changes for all prior edits. This was mostly evident in the post testing area, and Iâ€™m not sure if this is true elsewhere in the forum. But why risk it â€“ save your master pages on your hard drive.
- VERY IMPORTANT if youâ€™ve taken the suggestion to develop off-line, when you copy/paste your work into the message posting area â€“ itâ€™s kind of important to uncheck the Option box regarding automatically parsing URL tags on any http: addresses (this option is pre-checked whenever you create a new post). Iâ€™ve run into many problems with this option double-inserting these tags. As you build your page off-line you should be inserting these URL codes yourself to give you better control on how your page looks. The good news is, if this happens to you, that you will have your master pages on your own computer, so just recopy/repaste.
- Be aware that although you can edit your posting at any time, there is a five minutes deadline on editing the subject title - choose carefully.