The Brightwell-cum-Sotwell web site will
celebrate its third birthday in May – and
by then, we hope to be well on the way to a
major revamp. As Villager readers may be aware,
we have been running an on-line survey since
Although we attract 100-150 visits a day, only
28 survey responses have been received. This
limits the value of statistical analysis, but
has helped us realise what our priorities need
While the overall
rating was generally adequate to good, there
were a few who rated the design as "poor" (and
two "very poor"). Comments included:
respondent rated ease of navigation as the
site's best feature! The site has been growing
apace, often in unexpected directions. Now the
content is more stable, we have an opportunity
to make it easier for people to find their way
- "The navigation is very difficult and has
not improved since the site was launched."
This is being
addressed in the current redesign.
- "Could choose a better typeface - your one's
a bit too chubby and slightly hard to read.
Some links are
already present. However, we had been
considering moving the existing home page text
to an ‘inside’ page. It is clear
from survey responses that many people do not
realise just how much is on the site, and we
need to make the information more accessible.
- "Change the home page to contain links to
news events and other important information."
A perennial problem for a small
team of volunteers with busy lives. In the
long term, we hope to allow direct updating
on-line by the web site group and
authorised bodies or individuals. This will
be a substantial task. and we appeal for
help from anyone with PHP, SQL or CSS
- "Needs updating more
local organisations (including the school)
have links to their own web pages. If an
organisation does not already have its own
web page(s), the web site group is happy to
provide one within the village site.
- "It would be nice to have a
link to the school and other groups."
At the moment, our agreement with The
Villager is that we have to get permission
from the writers for everything that goes
online. This would make including all
letters impractical. However, we will raise
this point with The Villager committee.
- "Please include letters page from Villager -
sometimes people are asking for information
etc and on-line readers might be able to
We already have
‘Where are they Now?’, which
features news from past villagers, and our
own News pages. Other news can be found in
"The Villager Online". As we don't want to
compete for content with The Villager, this
is probably the best place. However, we do
have the advantage of being able to publish
pictures, so perhaps expanding our picture
galleries is the best way forward.
Where is the section on the villagers?
It’s the people that we remember most
- without them the village would just be a
These are surprising
comments, as there is a lot of history and
reminiscence on the site. However, if you
spot a gap, why not write us an article to
is missing is History. The meaning of the
- "History from old villagers.
Did you know there are very few left from
pre war days?"
contains a number of areas where pictures
are displayed. So far, we have been
dependent on a very small number of regular
contributors (to whom, many thanks).
Pictures and stories can be emailed to the
editor via the Contact page on the web
- "Have more frequent updates of
village events preferably with pictures."
The village life section could be a lot
more exciting. Maybe ask people to submit a
few photographs they've taken of the
village and post the best ones? "
- "Why not have a village noticeboard,
where villagers can chat about everyday
issues? If you create a simple log-in
procedure with a valid email address to
register the message board will not have
any unwanted spam. "
This has always been a popular idea.
However, on-line forums are open to
everyone with internet access (anyone can
supply a valid e-mail address), and we
don’t have the resources for
full-time monitoring. When we revamp the
site, we may be able to have "members-only"
message boards for individual
organisations. Incidentally, the existing
Notice Board for small ads - reached via
the Village Life page - is woefully
under-used. Do people think this is worth
All comments and contributions gratefully
Sally Dugan or Myron Edwards
Myron Edwards and Sally Dugan
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