Members of Down and Dirty Offroad, Welcome to the 2018 season! We are excited this year to launch a new website to replace the old forum page that Jeff had been running. The goal of this new website is to provide a more complete experience than a simple forum page. What this means is that some things have moved around, and features that were limited by only have a forum available have moved, but provide a lot more functionality. I want to highlight some of the key differences/upgrades below:
The first thing you may notice upon registration is that we have a full user profile option. Upon creating your account and signing in for the first time, we HIGHLY recommend that you choose the Edit Account option. This profile editor was built to replace the paper Membership Application forms that everyone filled out on the 23rd with all their details. This is the first step in our attempt to go more digital and be less dependent on a binder full of offroaders.
I’ve heavily restricted the amount of public information to Name, Offroad Experience, City/State, and Vehicle Year/Make/Model. I deeply care about private data, so any identifying information is kept confidential in the event group leadership has access to the details that ensure the safety of the group, as well as access to emergency contact info. Once I’ve seen you register, I will flag the account with the appropriate membership level. Paid members will be listed in the Member Directory. Please remember to fill out your description field in your profile, as this will be the only section where you can talk about you.
One of the features I’m most proud of is our new Events Page. This is a single place that lists every event we’ve planned for the year. If you are not a paid member (or I don’t like you), you will not have visibility to the member-only events. If I have flagged you in the system as a paid member, our member-only runs will appear in your list. If you dig into the detail of any given event, all details and information will be in one single location. This was a feature that was “forced” in the old forums.
Here, you will see key information describing the event such as pretty pictures/logos and descriptions on wheels’ up time and lodging information. You also have the option to integrate the events directly into your Google calendars, or export the data for use in your calendar program of choice. I’ve also integrated with Google Maps so the key information is accessible wherever you have internet access.
My favorite feature of the Events calendar is the fact that comments can be added right on the event page. This will provide a single location for all of us to isolate conversations about each event, again, alongside all of the event detail. This will enable us to track who is or is not attending, and also enable us to give each other hell about that one time we twisted an axle at a particular trail (which is typically Travis at just about EVERY trail).
As key information for the group becomes available, I’ve built a dedicated News page. In fact, that is how you are reading this exact post now. For important group information, I’ll ensure we put a banner on the home page identifying that there is new information for members to check out. This won’t just be limited to club specific items. I often get bored and enjoy writing, so you may see some cool stuff pop up once in a while.
For example, I’ve been doing a ton of research on FRS Radios based on their usage being brought up during our kickoff meeting. In fact, I think Darrell could go into sales for Motorolla/Uniden/Midland and make a ton of money with how thick he was laying it on. I intend to post some key information on CB vs. FRS and trail worthiness based on what I’ve learned, which would pop up as a news item that, while not critical to the group, provides significant value based on a topic relevant to us.