Goodbye, e-Review. Hello, Florida Conference Connection.
You are reading this story on the spanking-new website for news about the Florida United Methodist Conference. From now on, the Florida Conference Connection will be the place to go to learn the latest goings-on in the Conference.
For years, the e-Review served that purpose, but the technology supporting that website began to prove cumbersome and outdated. And in the process of switching to a new service provider, it was clear that the site itself needed to be redesigned to offer a more flexible and inviting site.
The new design will allow us to create a site that has the feel of a magazine, with features stories focused on monthly themes, many of them tied to the seasons of the church year, in addition to stories about news of the conference.
As you can see, the new Florida Conference Connection has three main features: News, Connections and Conversations. The latest and most important news and feature stories will be centrally and prominently displayed, with older headlines visible and accessible.
Connections will include notes about upcoming events, opportunities for training and service, and other brief items of interest.
Conversations will feature commentary on a range of topics of interest to United Methodists, from our beliefs and practices to spirituality to how we make decisions together. We are not only lining up Conference leaders to contribute commentaries but hope to hear from the rank and file members of the Conference as well.
To keep abreast of United Methodist news beyond the boundaries of the Conference, we will have the top headlines from the United Methodist News Service and the United Methodist Reporter as well.
Because the same service provider also will support the Conference’s main page, it too is undergoing a redesign and will be launched within a matter of weeks. The new design of the main page will be cleaner and less cluttered and, we believe, easier to navigate. There will be more about that when it appears.
As Gretchen Hastings, the Conference’s Director of Connectional Relations, writes in the first commentary to appear in our Conversations section, both the redesigned Conference web page and the Florida Conference Connection are intended to be part of an “Age of Engagement” communications strategy: “Clarity and simplicity, not frequency, creates a memorable message.”
In keeping with that strategy, we will no longer be sending out Digests, the biweekly emails that summarized recently posted stories. You don’t need one more email in your in-box, and news and notices on the Florida Conference Connection will be posted on a more continuous basis rather than being published on a biweekly deadline.
We hope you find the new website clear, simple and engaging. We welcome your comments and feedback about how we’re doing. Send your remarks to Cary McMullen, Manager of Communication Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org or to Gretchen Hastings, Director of Connectional Relations, at email@example.com. We’ll be listening.