Our Homepage "Changing Images" Feature Undergoes an Exciting Major Upgrade

Our Homepage "Changing Images" Feature
Undergoes an Exciting Major Upgrade

August 11, 2011
It was some years ago that the then webmaster, in an overhaul and redesign of the Moon Society homepage, added a new feature, that he hoped would create interest in revisiting our website frequently - the changing image in the center panel just above the Moon Society Announcements Section.

What you saw was a thumbnail, click on it and got a larger version.

Over the years we have added more images, going from less than 20 to more than 130, with 40+ in the past week (a sign that we were having fun!). As the number of images grew, the image you saw on the homepage was often enough no longer a "thumbnail" as often when you clicked on it you would get a developed version with text explanation.

In recent years, as we kept adding images, the Changing Image Feature became a way to introduce members and visitors alike to new concepts that often enough were the topic of one article or another in our newsletter, Moon Miners' Manifesto - "MMM".

Recently, concerned by admission of many members, even some Board members, that they never looked at the homepage, we began to wonder what we could do about it. After all, we do carry a Space News Feed in the white center panel below the Moon Society Announcements section, and the links to current new stories changed daily. Indeed, that is how the MMM editor keeps up with the news - by visiting the homepage daily!

But we were also concerned about something else. Despite the fact that the first 20 years of MMM articles - those that are/were not time-sensitive - are preserved in the MMM Classics volumes, one per publication year, apparently many newer members have never botherthe  to check them out. The 21st volume preserving year 21, is scheduled for publication next December or January.

Well that sets up a situation which might explain a renewal rate lower than that we used to enjoy. Consider this scenario: a member joins and after reading a years worth of fresh MMM issues, has only a very partial and sketchy idea of all we've discussed through the years.  "Not enough for me!" So come renewal time, the incentive to renew is low.

We had already introduced the MMM Glossary, over 300 entries currently of familiar words given new meanings in MMM, and of new words coined to express ideas for which no existing word seemed to convey the concept n question with modest stretching. Many of these entries are illustrated. Browsing through the MMM Glossary is splendid way to become familiar with all the ideas discussed in 24 years and counting of MMM, ideas which drive MMM's Vision and Mission statements.

Back to the Changing Image Feature. Why the idea had never occurred to us before is a mystery. But the eureka light bulb finally lit up!  If these images are an attempt to introduce members and visitors to ideas discussed in MMM, then why not  add a link to the very document or documents in question? In other words, teling someone where to find something is not as good as putting it a click away!

Scotty Gammenthaler wrote the enabling code, and I did the rest. Of the 133 changing images now in the library as of August 11, 2010, only nine of them do not yet have links to articles in the MMM Classics, MMM Theme issues, MMM online papers, or to MMM-India Quarterly. There is one that links to an issue of Moonbeams, our new science fiction rag! There are a handful that link to outside sources or to special tell-all images.

Many hours, perhaps a bit more than a good week's worth, have gone into this substantial overhaul and upgrade. And many more images with links to articles will be added as we go along. A couple dozen are on our current "next" list.

So now members and visitors have two reasons to visit the homepage often:
1) check the current changing image -  the selection changes at random frequently - and
2) check today's space news.
And two great ways to explore the vast world of lunar frontier possibilities:
1) check the current changing image - and
2) browse through the MMM Glossary.
So don't wait! Go to our homepage, and begin your exploration!

Thanks to Scotty, you don't even have to wait for another visit to explore what's behind another image! He has added a "browse the image library" feature.

The more you explore this vast world of lunar frontier possibilities, the more you will treasure your membership.

Now the most recent three years plus of MMM issues, remain protected - you need your member username and password login to access these pdf files.

So the image links are all to public free-access materials, including much more recent and current MMM-India Quarterly articles!

So visit the homepage often,  and check out the space news section as well as the changing image feature.
And do take the MMM Glossary for a test drive as well!

And to borrow a word from a future avatar of mine, engage!
Peter Kokh - feedback and input welcome!
President, The Moon Society
Editor, Moon Miners' Manifesto