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[personal profile] abqdan
Without much fanfare, I launched the latest version of the IAGSDC website last Monday. I took over as webmaster in 2004 after the Remake The Heatwave convention in Phoenix. Prior to that, the website was a set of static HTML pages that was rarely updated.

Since then, I developed a data-driven site where most pages are generated dynamically from a database. Functions include a profile system, allowing dancers to stay in touch (before everyone moved to Facebook), a club directory giving details of the locations and dance nights around the country, an event registry and calendar that can be updated by members, and a complete suite of registration applications that allow regional events and national conventions to track registrations, and accept payments by PayPal. Under the hood are other functions that assist the officers of the club in running the organization.

The site has been used to register attendees for seven national conventions, as well as over 90 other events. In total, the system has handled close to 10,000 registrations.

Overall, I'm pleased with the work I've done on this, though as with most website work, the site is regarded simply as a tool that 'exists' by a lot of people; they are unaware of the thousands of hours that go into design, programming and maintenance of it.

Well, I came to the realization this week that it is no longer 'fun' - it's become just an 'obligation'. So it's time to move on. I've let the chair of the organization know that we need to locate a replacement for me.

That may not be easy - in some ways, I've created a monster. The site is extensive, and there are still many requests for additional functions queued up. Looking after this requires someone who can work at a technical level with domain registrars and the ISP; is comfortable with PHP and MySQL (even if they just want to convert the site to something else) and above all, can work with a very diverse (and sometimes very rude and unpleasant) set of people. Fingers crossed that someone will step forward. I've already put out some inquiries with likely suspects.

I may over time miss the role; but for the moment, I feel more relieved than sad that this particular chapter of my life is closing. I am sure I will seek out some new challenge in the near future; it's not like me to just sit and rest for long!

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abqdan

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