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June 23rd, 2014 at 4:35 pm

Web Master’s Annual Report

in: Main

The following is the annual report from the web master given at the BFA Reunion earlier this month:

This is an annual report on the Bunker Family Association’s web site and e-mail activities. Prior family commitments and my business commitments prevent attendance at this year’s reunion. Our e-mail group at Rootsweb.com remains active with more than 160 subscribers—about the same as last year’s total. Not all of these are members of the BFA. Anyone wishing to subscribe to the list may send an e-mail request to BUNKER-L-request@rootsweb.com with the word “subscribe” in the subject line. Alternatively, some folks prefer to allow the list manager (that’s me) to manually subscribe them. You can send me at an e-mail request at doug.detling@gmail.com and I’ll add you. This past year has been a particular challenge, as many long-time subscribers have been removed due to spam filters (interpreting our list messages as spam) at many large e-mail providers such as Microsoft, Yahoo and Comcast, forcing a lot of many re-subscription work. I believe this will continue to be a problem, and I am exploring some alternatives for Association members but this has the downside of limiting outreach to those interested in genealogy (Rootsweb is the largest provider of e-mail groups for those doing surname genealogy research).

The BFA web site at http://www.bunkerfamilyassn.org is hosted at a large commercial hosting company. The annual cost of maintaining the site has been $110, including the domain name registry and no web data traffic charges, though costs may go up later this year due to a possible switch in providers. The current provider (1and1.com) is not particularly responsive to long-time customers (such as the BFA) and during the last year we have had several outages for hours at a time on the web site. I am exploring alternatives but we may not be able to maintain the current budget level (which has been stable for several years). I don’t expect the cost to be more than $125, however.

Electronic distribution of the Bunker Banner (begun last year) has grown slightly but has not yet reached the level that BFA mailing expenses are significantly reduced. Part of the reason, I think, is that we haven’t hit on the perfect method of making these files available (large attachments are blocked by some e-mail mail providers so we are using shared document links). I will be happy to work with any member who wants to get files electronically via e-mail distribution or shared links.

Photographs of interest to BFA members continue to be accessible through the webmaster’s photo site at http://greencity.phanfare.com. I pay an annual fee for this site, but sharing a few photo albums with BFA members can be just considered a contribution to behalf of the BFA (in other words, no BFA funds are involved in this) and I will happily post photos from the reunion there.
Another activity of the web master is the production of the CDs and USB thumb drives that Bette Bunker Richards has created on the Bedford and Devon Bunker families. When current CD versions are sold, we will only be distributing these files on USB thumb drives. While USB drives are more expensive, production time is significantly shorter per copy (about 2 minutes per thumb drive compared to 20-30 minutes per CD), and the master files are easier to update as Adobe alters PDF reader requirements. Also, many newer computers don’t have CD readers.

I continue to work on scanning back issues of the Bunker Banner for distribution on thumb drives and expect to complete that by fall (more than half-way there). This work has been more time consuming that I expected, also limiting me from progressing on a new version that extends and corrects some of the work on the Devon Bunkers CD on my own line (descendants of Sobriety Bunker).

As always, any suggestions may be sent to me via e-mail (doug.detling@gmail.com)

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