THE STARSHIP SHUTTLE

Page Created:  06/22/15.  Last Updated:  04/13/16.
 
THE STARSHIP SHUTTLE appears on a very irregular schedule when there is Association news which would require so much space in our newsletter that it warrants a separate publication.
 
This issue was produced in June 2015 and focuses on our websites, groups and social media.
 
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......................THE STARSHIP SHUTTLE
 
...........Web Sites, Google Groups & Social Media
 
 
There have been a great many changes to the Web Sites, Google Groups and Social Media Platforms over the past several months for the Science Fiction Association of Bergen County and its writers' group, The Writers of the Weird.  Rather than continually posting the changes, I have elected to consolidate them all to one place under our extremely-irregular Special Announcement publication, THE STARSHIP SHUTTLE.
 
 
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THE STARSHIP SHUTTLE.....Volume 5, Number 1.....Copyright 2015
...............................Philip J De Parto
 
THE STARSHIP SHUTTLE is a very irregularly produced supplemental newsletter of the Science Fiction Association of Bergen County.
 
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WEB SITES
 
The Association currently maintains five active Sites:
 
This is our primary interface with the world.  The Home Page has been largely reformatted.  Recent changes include:
..........Banner Artwork by David B Mattingly
..........Small Screen Format option
..........Selection of Quick Links at Top of Home Page
..........Redesign of Quick Links in Body of Home Page
..........Redesign of A Bit More Detail Links & Text
 
SFABC PRIVATE SITE
 
Only Association members can access the Private Site.  The monthly Event Pages covering book groups, conventions, movies, readings, signings, talks and other information are the primary resource for members here.
 
 
This public site lists products and services available from members of the Association.  The largest section on the site is for books from our members.  This site is only a few months old.
 
WRITERS OF THE WEIRD OFFICIAL SITE - https://sites.google.com/site/thewritersoftheweird/
 
This public site is the main platform for our large contingent of Association authors:  The Writers of the Weird.  It presents information about our writers, their work, links to stories by members, links to their sites and blogs, news about members and much other information.  There are also numerous links and FAQs to aspects of the business and craft of writing of interest to anyone interested in writing.  Aspects of the site are frequently updated, but the basic design is unchanged.
 
WRITERS OF THE WEIRD PRIVATE SITE
 
This site is used by WOTW members to post works for comment or to post revisions to works previously critiqued.  Non members are unable to view this material.
 
GOOGLE GROUPS
 
The Association made a conscious decision to organize our Groups in a different manner than most organizations.  Typically a club will have two Google or Yahoo Groups, one public and viewable by outsiders and the other visible only to members.  Establishing a number of different groups focused on specific media and interests allows members to opt out or ignore messages from groups which they do not find of interest.  It also segregates posts by subject matter, allowing for easier searches.  I have also put in links to website pages which correspond to these groups.
 
PUBLIC GROUPS - Visible to Everyone
 
SFABC Books & Author Google Group
 
Description:  This group focuses on news, reviews and other aspects of written science fiction.
 
SFABC Bookstore Events Google Group
 
Description:  This group sends out reminders for book groups, movie nights and other club events held at bookstores, libraries & member's homes.
 
SFABC Comics & Art Google Group
 
Description:  This group is devoted to comic books, comic strips, graphic novels, manga, web comics, fantasy artwork and space art.
 
SFABC Meeting Notice Google Group
 
Description:  This group distributes our monthly Meeting Notice, THE STARSHIP LOCAL, which previews our General Meeting & other events.
 
SFABC Movie Google Group
 
Description:  The focus of this group is news about movies and actors, directors and others in cinema.
 
SFABC Programs & Speakers Google Group
 
Description:  This group updates news about past and upcoming speakers at Association General Meetings.
 
SFABC Science & Science Fiction Google Group
 
Description:  This is normally our most active group and features posts to science and technology news and articles.
..........Website Space / Science / Technology Page:  https://sites.google.com/site/sfassnofbergencounty/home/space-science-technology
 
 SFABC Television Google Group
 
Description:  This group focuses on news about current, classic and upcoming television series.
 
PRIVATE GROUPS - Visible Only to Members
 
SFABC Personals Group
 
Description:  This group is devoted to club business, sensitive information, and for anything which does not really fit in the other Groups.
Address:  Private
 
SFABC Writers of the Weird Google Group
 
Description:  This group provides news and information about the craft and business of writing.
Address:  Private
 
SOCIAL MEDIA
 
In an ideal world, the Association would have an active, dynamic presence on every Social Media platform currently in existence as well as a few which have yet to be invented.

The reality is that there is not enough time and energy to be all things to all people and it is necessary to pick and choose where we invest our resources.

Therefore, we break down social media into three categories:  Active (platforms which we update multiple times each week), Passive (platforms which hold a certain amount of information about our groups, but whose primary purpose is to steer people to our websites), and Neglected (platforms upon which we have no presence and no current plans to do so) .  Twitter is an example of an Active platform, FaceBook a Passive, and Tumblr a Neglected.

ACTIVE PLATFORMS

Twitter (Science Fiction Association of Bergen County):  https://twitter.com/SFABCdotORG

We currently Tweet once a day, around five times a week.  We do a same-day reminder Tweet for all our activities. The purpose is to drive attendance for our Association events.  We Tweet news about books, movies, television and other media the rest of the time.  These rarely overlap with material posted on the club Google Groups to prevent Association member who follow our Twitter feed from receiving the same news twice. The purpose of Tweets which do not deal with the Association is to widen our potential audience, thereby promoting the activities of the S F A B C and its members.

The Writers of the Weird is the largest and most active group within the Association.  We use Google Plus to promote the group as an entity and its members as individuals.  We currently have seven Collections to which we post:  About the Writers of the Weird (our basic information); Members of Writers of the Weird, News and Sales by Writers of the Weird, Blog Posts by Writers of the Weird, and Books by WOTW Members (all of these collections spotlight the efforts of members of the group); Monthly Reminders (for new followers); and Tips for Writers.  This last is the candy to lure the unsuspecting author into our dastardly clutches.

Note:  There has been recent speculation that Google may abandon the Google Plus platform at a future date.  Should that come to pass, we will migrate this elsewhere.  For the present, we are getting a lot of hits and I like the layout it provides much better than that of FaceBook, for example.
 
PASSIVE PLATFORMS
 
Basic information regarding the Association can be found under About (Impressum / Short Description / Long Description).  Additional Detail in a series of post under Timeline.
 
A one-paragraph description and the WOTW website link appear under About.  A series of individual posts to Timeline link to the main sections of the WOTW website.
 
The Writers of the Weird are very active on their Google Plus Page, but the Association's Page is much more rudimentary.  We have basic information under Story, with more detail under Posts.
 
A variety of technical and other issues have prevented us from properly exploiting Linked In for WOTW (and the S F A B C, for that matter).  I hope to give it a try again at some later date, but for the present time, there is only some very basic information posted.
 
Pinerest is pretty.  Pinterest is fun.  Our Pinterest Page is by far the most aesthetically pleasing of anything we have put together.  Unfortunately, the architecture of Pinterest makes it hard to use the platform in our optimum manner.  It also wants people to join Pinterest, so it greatly restricts what can be viewed by outsiders.  Still, if you have a Pinterest account, please drop by and poke around in our Boards:  About Us. Contact. Speakers/Programs. On Line. Publications. Books. Movies. Television. Writing. Science/Technology. Art. Events.
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