The Betty MacDonald Network™
A literary society and fan magazine

Welcome to our open, community supported fan site for American author and humorist Betty Bard MacDonald.

Planning for FOBM Site Needed
Hello, FOBM!

Today I've caught up on about three weeks of your posts. No better use for a rainy day in the Puget Sound country. It seems you've all taken a draught of "the tonic" and perked yourselves up with renewed enthusiasm. Very cool.

Our publishing tools continue to evolve. You've expressed a number of ideas that would be straightforward to implement. By coincidence our company owner is meeting today with a couple of your colleagues who live in the Puget Sound area to discuss ideas. I'm sure they'll be on line with a summary.

Pictures are easily added to the FOBM site; we ask only that you consider the copyrights that may exist for published materials. We make every attempt to adhere to the "Fair Use" doctrine; because this is a non-profit activity that's not too hard as long as we're dealing in good faith and for academic and literary intent only, which has been true to date.

Some time later this summer we plan to move the BM forum from the Seattle Press On Line to the FOBM site. We'll leave tracks, of course, since most people originally find the site through the SPOL forums given the longevity there.

Clark Internet Publishing has committed to hosting the site in its current limited form, but with new requests - which are accompanied by work that some real person must undertake - sooner or later the time and materials for the site need to be covered. One can easily imagine the site growing into The Blob fairly quickly (...cut to action shot: panicky townsfolk running down the main street of Chimacum...), and that could affect Clark IP's ability to support it. Would there be any interest or support for creating a non-profit organization to support the site with small dues, e.g., $20/year? We could also take advertising as an alternative, but 'net ads don't generate much money in a context in which the readership is always the same people. Any ad sales people out there? We could just keep it totally open, or we could create some perks for members. It would be entirely up to the organization to set policy.

There are several things that would make sense as new features. More pictures, easier posting of long articles, the recipe idea, etc., would surely enrich the FOBM site. Each requires some resource commitment.

The Recipe Book would be fairly easy to do. Initially it could be part of the Editor's Log, and if you register on the FOBM site you could post recipes as blog posts. (More on that soon. Someone send me a recipe, and I'll experiment; use the PM link.)

Another thing we'd do with some support is to add a timeline feature. That would help you resolve some of the factual conflicts you've described (Did A really occur before B? Did BMacD play with time, space..., as much as with events?).

We could also let the organization act as a reseller of our web site system and make sites available to members and receive the commission that would normally go to a sales rep. Would any of you be interested in web sites for yourselves or for organizations to which you belong (churches, schools, civic groups)? The system make it easy for non-technical people to produce professional, well organized sites.

The matter of support determines whether good ideas become reality sooner rather than later. I think you have the nucleus of an interesting literary society, and with a little help you could make a dynamite repository of "bettyana" that would be a model for groups connected by other writers. If that were to happen, we'd direct a part of revenue back to the source and that could handle the cost of this site.

Anyway, these are just thoughts for discussion of the long-term prospects. In the meantime we're happy you're enjoying the site, and we enjoy your spirited discussions.

FA

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