This morning (June 12th central European time), the datacenter where my host has its servers, went down during a test. It took about five hours to get things working again.
On moving from WordPress.com to a self-hosted website, I figured it was time to see if any country page needed updating. I had a few Grand Lodge names to look into and soon found out that I failed to list some organisations. Then I had the bright idea to check the members list of Clipsas to see if it has any women’s or mixed gender organisations that I overlooked until now. Well, there were……
So, I’ve been expanding country pages, added countries that weren’t yet listed and in the proces split up pages such as “Scandinavia” and “Balkan” into separate countries. Quite a job, because the Clipsas list doesn’t always link to a website, so often I had to try to find that website (and more than one organisation proves to have none!) and when on that website, I had to see if it is a men-only organisation or one that deserves a place on this website. Several Clipsas members I can’t find! What doesn’t help is that sometimes a French name is listed, but the actual name is in the language of the country where the organisation resides.
Too much work for now to also check for broken links, organisations that have folded, etc. On a few occasions I made some nice discoveries. When I set up the website a couple of years ago one organisation allowed women as visitors and by now it is a mixed gender organisation itself. On another occasion I had “triangles” (‘lodges in the making’) listed which by now became lodges and more lodges had been founded in the meantime.
So, this website is again more up-to-date. I would still like to invite you to check your country and/or the countries you know Masonically well to see if I missed something, list an organisation that is no longer in existence or simply have anything incorrect. Also when I only have information like “founded in 2010, 3 lodges” and you know more, let us know. A little bit of history is nice. Perhaps some information on the Rites that are worked in. Things that members and prospective members would like to know.
I followed the complaints of WordPress.com users about the new advertisements for a couple of days. The subject is looked at, but I only see more advertisement and the one on top of the sidebar is still there. Which made me think. I prefer to have as much control over my websites as possible and this event shows that on a free service, the provider can do pretty much everything they want. Perhaps the advertisement will be brought back to more reasonable proportions, but who knows what new ideas will come up next year?
Another thing that I noticed is that logged in users do not get ads, so perhaps WordPress aims to have many logged in users, which smells a bit like what Facebook is doing: try to keep you logged in, so they can gather information about your surfing behavior and present targeted advertisement.
It is not difficult, nor expensive, to have a self-hosted WordPress site, but I did have a reason to use WordPress.com: it has built in ‘social features’. A WordPress.com website can be found searching WordPress.com, followed, shared, etc. But does that weigh against what’s happening now? Of course I could upgrade to a paid WordPress.com, but that is $ 4,- per month per site, while now I have three sites for $ 5,- per year.
I like to inform you and am also willing to invest some of my own money to do so, but I don’t intend to play ball all the time.
So, please update your bookmarks. If you followed the old website in your (WordPress) feed reader, please resubscribe using the following url: https://comasonry.3-5-7.nl/feed/
Apparently WordPress.com needs more income so they have started to experiment with more advertisement. I have no problems with ads on a free service, but that gigantic add that pushes down the sidebar is way too much. Of course people complain about this, so hopefully there will be a reasonable alternative soon. Should this not be the case, I will have to reconsider this little website.
I undertook the tedious job of checking links. Most are repaired when needed.
I have been thinking a bit about the future of the website. I think I have found most information about mixed gender and female Freemasonry around the world. I have made short overviews per country, a Google map for navigation, I say a bit about suggested reading and I post a little news every now and then. The world is too big to try to keep up with news. Besides, chanels like Facebook are much easier ways to share news. I can write a little article every now and then, but that (of course) requires that I come up with something to write about.
So I was thinking. In order to make the website a bit more of a place for (potential) co- and female Freemasons *and* a counter balance to the many website about regular Freemasonry, would it be an idea if I posted people’s stories about how and why they joined a mixed or female lodge, experiences since or other short texts that could give information to (potential) brothers and sisters, inspire people to find their own lodge, etc.
What do you think of this idea? Would you submit such a story?
In August 2014 I started with this website. The choice for a free WordPress.com was deliberate. I wanted to see if the built-in interactivity of WordPress would be helpfull to attract visitors. This did not really prove to be true, but I do at least have to “followers”.
I did not want to make a “blog” with articles on current events. I wanted to make a website that is informative for members and especially for potential members. This somewhat static approach does make that people who no longer visit websites, but rather just consume news items on Facebook or whereever, might not find this website. Continue reading
What do you think about this? A map of the world. When you click on it you will go to Google Maps where you can zoon, scroll and click on the links to come back here.
The ‘country pages’ (also see navigation on top) are work in progress. I now only added all Le Droit Humain countries. There may be more orders active, but that will be a project for some time in the future.
As you can see in the navigation on top, I have been working on new and more structured information. Instead of a long list with orders per country, I started making pages for different countries. Sometimes the information is minimal, sometimes there is more. Also I made tabs for printed information, online information and my little story about the different Rites became too long to be just part of another piece of text. I also made some sort of website intro and I wanted to draw extra attention to ‘virtual meeting places’ so I made a tab “discuss“.