What’s new and old but yet undiscovered.
So what’s new and old but yet undiscovered? Like much in Freemasonry it takes a keen eye and an adventurous spirit to delve into the many facets of the Suffolk Masonic District Website. This will be a continuing series about the District Website and Webmaster tips and tricks for Lodge websites from the mundane to the complicated. As well as things like SEO and promoting your Lodge Events to the Masons and the Public to get more attendance.
OK so if you haven’t already registered as a user on the site, you can do that here->Register
Already registered? Well just Login and start exploring the items below.
Note: if you’re having issues with login (forgot username or password) there is a fix for that. Just click on the “forgot password” link under the Login & Register buttons on either page. As well there is a menu drop down under login menu. Enter your email address (the one you registered previously with) and an email will be sent with a link to reset your password securely. This can be done 24/7/365 without ant assistance from the Site admins. Additionally if you don’t get an email from the site within a few minutes be sure and check your spam or junk mail folder. If it’s not there let us know and we’ll track the message and find out why you didn’t receive it. The messages are in html format so some mobile email readers may show you three dots(***) to load the message.
So why register on the site you ask? Well for one you can Submit Posts of Masonic interest on the site once approved, if you are the Lodge Liasion you can also post your Lodge’s events. So let’s take a short tour of the places on the Suffolk Masonic District Website that only members can go to.
So login follow your conductor and fear no danger….
- The Collation Room – Just like the collation room in so many Lodges around the jurisdiction, here you can have discussions, mention others and use Hashtags (#) for extra emphasis on your status, event, etc. For those on Facebook this will be very familiar, if not it’s simple. If you want to mention someone (another user) just put the @ just before the first few letters of their name (e.g. @Bill) and any user with the first name Bill will be displayed, just hit enter or click on the user you want to mention and continue type your message. Also you can add hashtags # to get a message or something trending, look to the info on the right of the Collation Room or Blog pages to see trending hashtags. A great way to get a conversation going or to find comments of interest. Click on any of the hashtags to display posts with that hashtag only. Just like the real ones, The Collation Room is not a tiled Lodge. The Collation Room is also all member’s aggregated together. You can view your own or other members individually in the Profile area, either yours or another members (see below). Mentioning another member (@membername) will generate a notification to that member that someone mentioned them in a post.
What’s in a Profile…
- Your Profile Page – Each member gets their own profile Page on the site. You can find this under “My Profile” on the main menu under “My Account”. (can only be seen or accessed after login)
- You can add a personal touch by editing your profile, changing the cover pic (the big image that is your background) and your profile pic (the small image in the circle). As long as it’s in good taste feel free to post your pics, very facebooky I know. As well add info to the Bio, phone #s, B-date, Date raised, etc. To edit your profile look for the green cog in the right corner of your profile and click on it for the choices. This info is not seen by the public but is available only to members, members who may want to contact you; very helpful. In contrast you can hide your online status, member profile from all but followers or Friends or nobody but yourself (for the anti-social crowd). You can go to “My Account” and look under “Privacy”. Also under “My Account” you can also change your Password and your email address if necessary.
- More to see in your Profile – Under your profile once you’ve updated your pic and cover images, look below to see the user activity bar. Click on the different items to see what’s in them.
- About – is your Bio – say something about yourself, where you’ve been or where you’re going.
- Activity – is your spot in “The Collation Room” to post status, thoughts, as above but will only show your own.
- Documents – Add yours or your Lodge’s docs. Caution as the doc library is public. Don’t post any sensitive docs like names, phone #s or addresses and alike. If you do please be sure it’s marked “private” so it won’t be show to the general public. If you post an event flyer or something you want shared with all members and the public, just message the webmaster to have them “pin” it so it shows on the top.
- Posts – self explanatory. This tab will show any post you have published.
- Comments – Again obvious, any comments you have made on a post will be displayed.
- NEW *Images – here you can post images to your profile. If you would like the image(s) placed into the District Photo Gallery, please message the Webmaster(s) and give the image(s) names to be placed with details on what the images are of (who, what, where, dates, etc.).
- Messages – here you can view all private messages sent or received on the site.
- Events – Although all members can see the events tab only Lodge Liaisons can add events. Lodge Liaisons would see any events they have published under this tab.
- Friends – If you make or receive Friend requests this is where they are displayed. This is not really a friending in the FB sense but more of a privacy thing like mentioned above. Nobody sees this except the profile owner.
- Also on your profile will be displayed number of those that follow you and those you follow. This is so you get notified when someone you follow posts something.
- Another bit that you may notice on the site that only logged in members see. The Notification bell. A small circle with a bell (with or without a smaller red circled number) may pop up at the bottom right of the screen. If it pops up and disappears you have no new notifications. If it pops with a number in a red circle it indicates you have “that” many new notifications. You can click on the circle to see the notifications or go to your notifications page. Notifications can also me modified under “My Account“, Notifications (for an email when something happens) and Web Notifications (the bell with number pop up). You can turn these on and off as you wish in “My Account” -> Web Notifications.
So these features are to enable better communication between members of the District and facilitate action, Fraternity and Brotherhood between Brothers and share ideas and experiences. Use them how you like but use them. Need to contact someone at another Lodge but don’t know their email? Well if they’ve created a profile, message them from the Site Members page and they will get notified of the message.
Finally a Coming Soon item: We are endeavoring to construct a monthly or bi-monthly District newsletter originating from the site. So as items and events are posted to the District site they will be added to the Newsletter and automatically sent to all members. The newsletter will contain a section for upcoming events in the District and Posts of Interests, maybe a note from the DDGM, Staff Officer or AGLs.
If you’re a registered site member or were receiving the DDGM’s emails already you will receive the newsletter when published so no need to do anything. When you get the newsletter there is an “edit my subscription” at the bottom for you to change your email or name.
Next Edition -> Promoting your Lodge Event to get better attendance and Effectively Using Social Media for the benefit of the Lodge.