I invested my Thanksgiving Wednesday and part of Thursday in updating the K2BSA Amateur Radio Association website. Earlier in the week I’d asked several Radio Scouting related Yahoo Groups to weigh in on a Radio Scouting Emblem for use in the USA. The selected image appears in the center of the home page of the updated website and is shown here.

I didn’t anticipate starting a mini firestorm of comment. Many were not impressed with the options provided. Others were irritated that I’d want a different emblem than the current World Organization of Scouting Movement’s Radio Scouting emblem. Others thought I was a scoundrel to even suggest making a change. This comes after working with the USA National Radio Scouting Committee over the past several months going through 20 to 30 renditions, settling on the final four. This particular rendition got just a bare majority of the voting, but weighing in just as heavily was a resounding selection by a number of youth that were attending a Radio Scouting event. The purpose of this image is to be used in promotion general Radio Scouting activity from year to year along with the annual logo/patch for Jamboree on the Air that happens in October of each year. This effort has been an interesting journey, that I’m sure is not completed yet.

As to the website, I’d built a nifty video that I wanted to place on the homepage. Getting that to operate correctly and appear correctly was a bit of a challenge. I eventually ended up using Vimeo, which appeared to have the easiest to use embedding tools — I needed the video to autostart and to loop. There is still a bit of a glitch when it loops. I’ll also note that when I uploaded my high resolution .mov files to either YouTube or Vimeo they both would strip out the text that I’d put into the video. I tried a number of other formats to resolve that problem. AVI worked but was very poor resolution. The current version uses an .m4v file. Resolution is reasonable and it works! You can see a still frame image of the video here.

The WordPress template I’m using is Builder from iThemes along with the Glacier child theme. I’ve used iThemes templates for this site (called Dark Essence), for the St. Laurence Church site (called Builder with the City Church child theme), along with a number of their plugins. I find their work to be exceptional and the support is superb. When I launched into the effort, I needed to watch one of their introductory videos on Builder to get me started in the right direction. While I’d used Builder before, it is always good to refresh and try to avoid the mistakes made in the past. You should at least make some new mistakes! I’ve found Builder to be very, very versatile. That, of course, means you need to first know what you’re trying to accomplish and then have the skill and patience to figure out how to make it happen. Overall, I’m fairly pleased with the current rendition of the site. I do need to replace the home page images with .png versions with a transparent background (that will happen next week) and I need to determine how best to tweak the CSS to get the box sizes on the home page to match one another. That will be a brand new learning experience for me. Stay tuned.

You can see the current rendition of the site at K2BSA. Let me know what you think.

 

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Jim-K5ND

Freelance writer and active Scouting volunteer. Retired publishing and communication executive who writes for fun and to finance his hobby, amateur radio.

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