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Re: NFC: nativefish.org web site critique [LONG!!]

Just adding my 2 cents to Chris's statements:

On Mon, 26 Jul 1999 13:19:07 -0400, Christian Hedemark wrote:

> Join Us (http://nativefish.org/Join/index.html)
> This page is missing something.  

Most definitely! As fanatic as I'm becoming about natives (fish that is), I
hesitated before joining last year. This page would benefit from a little
sprucing up, and needs to be made more appealing to prospective members.

> News (http://nativefish.org/News/index.html)
> In the future I could see this being split into two parts, native fish
> news, and NFC news.

That would be nice. I know the newsletter covers this, but its mailing
schedule and size leaves a bit to be desired (no offense to the newsletter
person(s), it is always pleasant too receive). 

Through comments on the message lists and conversations in the chatroom, it
seems sometimes like there're a thousand things going on in the NFC, when in
reality there's not that much at all. A regular update listing who's doing
what, and what has been done would clear up some confusion and contribute an
added sense of organization.

> Breeder's Program (http://nativefish.org/BP/index.html)
Let's not lose anymore aquarists to this black hole
> please.
> I'd like to see a little more detail on this list.  Under each name, a
> list of fish this person is working with but without success, a fish
> this person has had success with, a fish this person can provide to the
> BP (not necessary captive bred), and fish this person is interested in
> breeding but isn't currently working with.  It might sound like a lot of
> work but I think ultimately this will help the BP coordinator to
> allocate fish to the right people and also to catch up with people who
> have already had success with a tough species or close relative.

First off, I just want to state that I understand the BP is relatively new,
and therefore may not have had the time to accomplish much yet.

It would be nice to be updated periodically on any progress made by the
diligent members of the BP, even if it's just something like, "Joe Blow
induced his *Pisces nativus* to spawn this month, but was unable to raise
the fry past 1 week." Such info would be ideal for a regular reporting of
NFC news.

> Exotics Removal (http://nativefish.org/ERP/index.html)
> I love the cichlid-on-a-stick! 

That picture rocks! Ahhh, one can only imagine how loudly the "humaniacs"
are crying now...<very big smirk>

> Right now there are some great photos but the arrangement just looks a
> little cluttered.  There is definitely a bias towards the right side of
> the screen,

Balance is a key factor when presenting any document, be it on paper or the

> Native Aquarists 
> If I were to change anything I would yank the darter
> illustration and replace with a photograph, perhaps of a native
> community aquarium.

I say keep the darter. Joe T. did an awsome job (as usual).
A native community tank would make an ideal addition though.

> Quote from the page: "So we put up this homepage to help people learn
> how to catch, id and keep
> local fishes."  I don't think we're meeting any of those objectives
> yet.

There's lots of good ol' info in the articles archive. The gallery certainly
helps with the IDs, and the message lists provide a broad network of
knowledge and experience. I've certainly learned a lot from this web site.

> Bulletin board 
> I even saw someone trying to
> sell puppies(?!?!?) in there.  No, not guppies, PUPPIES.

Maybe they want to trade 'em for some shiners ;-)

> Kids' Corner (http://nativefish.org/Kids/index.html)
> On my to-do list is a game that RR and I have been talking about, which
> should make this section more fun for kids and offer real prizes to
> "junior fishheads".
> This page, IMO, should probably have a TOTALLY different look and feel
> than the rest of the site.  We need to appeal to kids. 
> In other words, have a section for kids by
> kids.  And in order to hold their interest, it needs to be constantly
> offering them new things to do and learn.  I wonder if we can somehow
> tie this in with AATP.  

Care must be taken when trying to make this page appealing to youth.
Different age groups will be attracted and repelled by different "styes."
Upper elementary and junior high ages will not be attracted to something
that they may view as "kiddie stuff." Likewise, younger kids need more
simple material, but have a tendency to be attracted to things they
associate as meant for the "big kids." Perhaps, whoever will be taking over
this page should study how some of the larger museums and educational
organizations have constructed their own scientific youth pages. I think
projects aimed at, or dealing with high school aged youth should fall under
the Native Aquarists page.

> Adopt-A-Tank (http://nativefish.org/Kids/adoptatank.html)
> Can we link to this from the home page too?  I'd hate to limit its scope
> to just kids.  This would be great in the workplace, in museums, etc.
> The text of the page is very long.  It needs to be broken up with a few
> photographs, perhaps of kids clustering around a tank while a teacher
> explains something.  Or maybe a school group out inthe field with
> collection gear.  We need to help readers visualize what this is all
> about.

I wrote the Adopt-A-Tank Program as a project in my technical writing class.
My grade took a hit for not providing any diagrams or other visuals. Your
picture ideas would be great in conveying the program's purpose.

> I think that the content of this page is logically divided already and
> should facilitate splitting the content up into multiple pages, thus
> keeping one page from looking too long.

The ol' grade took a hit for that too (even though I had little to do with
the textual formatting on the web page- I had a ruthless prof). An outline
of the AATP's content at the beginning, with quick links to each section
would be better than just throwing up the document in its entirety. However,
doing so is completely up to whoever has the time and inclination to do so.

> Featured Projects (http://nativefish.org/Kids/projects.html)
> This is a great idea.  I'd love to see this expanded.  Do we have any
> other AATP participants out there who might want to write about their
> experiences with the program?

I think most AATP projects are down for the summer. More should be available
as this year progresses.

> NFC Look & Feel, and NFC Logo / Logo Use Guidelines (not present)
The first part is the "Look &
> Feel" document, which will serve as a guidelines for people who are
> writing anything with the NFC name on it, so there will be a consistent
> look and feel that people will see when they correspond with any NFC
> officers (or volunteers).  This will put in place, for example, a
> letterhead document, the fonts to use when you write letters, etc.  

Whoah! I think yer expecting a bit too much there. This aint no University
or fortune 500 corporation.  :-)

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