The Importance - and Status - of Our Website

Jan. 20, 2009, 11:05 a.m. (ET)
You are reading this blog either on our “old” www.USACK.org website or on the new one we are working with USOC and its contractors to create (now located at http://canoekayak.teamusa.org). Regardless of which site you are on, the important thing is thing you have come here looking for some information you need.

Since our website is the primary point of contact between our federation and its members, it is extremely important that we have a site that is robust—i.e., it has all the information our members need organized in a way that is easy to navigate. It is also critical that the information on our site be timely. It should not be out of date and must be there when you need it, not weeks or months later.

Achieving this has proven to be far more difficult than you can imagine. Since we do not have the financial resources to hire a technical staff or to contract with one of many very capable web design/management firms, we have a “do it yourself” website. The “old” site you may be on now was an attempt to build a site that would allow our staff members and even volunteers to add information or edit existing pages on our site. It became very evident early on in that process that we would fall far short of our goal.

So in the spring of 2007 we joined a group of other NGB’s to work together with USOC to build a state of the art multi-sport web site modeled after the very successful ones used by many professional sports, including the NFL and Major League Baseball. While the work is taking longer than any of us thought, it is exciting and encouraging.

The new site is much easier for us to update and manage. It is also full of great new features that we could not afford to implement on our own, such as streaming videos. The fact that it is integrated within the Olympic family will bring new visitors to our site and with fresher and more interesting content our own members will find visiting our site more pleasant and rewarding. It is also very significant that the cost of all this, which is considerable, is being covered by USOC as a part of our new content license agreement.

So, since you’ve proven to be one of our intense website users if you’ve hung around long enough to read this blog, please give us your feedback about our new site and what we can do to make it fit your needs and wants.

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