Back in June this year I wrote a blog called Changes, about the demise of the website for an online Dragon Magick Clan I belong to. Well, I’m happy to say that after one false start on a free hosted uCoz website (which a lot of people had trouble accessing) we now have a shiny new website for our Clan at dmvclan.com.
Our Clan’s High Priest has very generously paid for 2 years hosting and a domain name and installed a Drupal CMS on the site, after which I then set to work setting up the new website. Never having worked with Drupal before I found it to be a very confusing and difficult beast at first, but eventually made enough headway to end up with a half decent looking website. There’s still a lot of work to do on the website, but at least I’ve managed to figure out how to install the necessary modules to get new forums set up, the user groups and viewing/posting permissions sorted and pages of information posted, as well as a separate section for our “Book Of Dragon” which is only viewable by full Clan members rather than all and sundry.
Setting up the new Drupal site from scratch and then copying all the information from the uCoz website to the new one by myself was a mammoth effort, but also a “labour of love” (or just plain insanity, lol) as I wanted to get something set up as quickly as possible so the group wouldn’t disappear due to an apparent lack of interest as people waited for something to eventually happen. Unlike others whose available time for such a project was limited due to work and other factors, my work/home circumstances meant that I was able to make my time available for this task, so I did it. I also spent many, many hours with Photoshop, creating the various graphics that decorate the site, as I feel the appearance of a website can add (or detract) from the overall experience. Now we have the beginnings of our new home set up we can move forward once more.
A few of the original members have signed up to the new website and new content is gradually being added by different people to the forums and the BOD. The group is growing again with many new members recently added. However, there are still a lot of previous members yet to find us again so if you know any of them, please let them know that we’re back. 🙂
A screenshot of the new website…
A new look for the Facebook page…
I’ve also now been given admin privileges on the Clan’s public Facebook page, so naturally I took this opportunity to spruce up the page a bit and redesign its profile and cover images so they matched the website. I also changed the settings so it now has the easy-to-remember address http://www.facebook.com/dmvclan instead of the great long address with a huge string of numbers which is Facebook’s default address. 😀
We’ve moved a few times before…
When I first joined the group it was called The New Dawn Dragon Magick Clan and that was the name on the website that got shut down in June 2013, without any warning, by the group’s High Priestess. Prior to being called TND the group was hosted on the Spells of Magic social platform and called simply Dragon Magick Coven (started in 2008). After SoM the Dragon Magick Coven became TND Dragon Magick Clan and went through a number of other moves around the internet, starting with a free hosted site on uCoz (where I first joined in August 2010) followed by a move to its own website on the social platform Spruz (which was very quickly abandoned) then moved again to become a subgroup of another site called The Alchemists Passage which was also hosted on Spruz.
TND seemed to be doing ok as a subgroup on the Alchemists Passage website for a while, but file storage was limited and we’d lost some of the site functionality we’d had on the uCoz site. So we took a vote and decided that we were happier being an autonomous group with our own website, so back to uCoz we went (and we still supported the AP website by taking part in other general Pagan forums there). The only trouble was, every time we moved to a new website we lost some members and even though new people did eventually sign up the “feel” of the group changed each time. There were also a few issues with some peoples’ ISPs not allowing them access to any websites hosted by uCoz for fear of malware attacks, but they seemed to be in the minority. Eventually this access problem was resolved and all was well (or so it seemed) …for a while.
As with any group there are always “people problems” — differences of opinion, personality clashes, miscommunications, twisted truths and straight out lies, but as I was not an admin on these earlier sites I was not aware of the full extent of the “people problems” festering in the background. Eventually this all blew up in June 2013 when the remaining Admin/High Priestess of TND decided to pull the plug on the TND website and her Alchemists Passage website, leaving 140+ people “homeless”. She also erased all traces, such as Facebook pages and others, of her online identity she’d used in the Clan and totally disappeared.
Soon after the shock shutdown, the original High Priest of Dragon Magick Coven/The New Dawn (who’d stepped aside from the group previously and had given the High Priestess all the necessary website access to continue to run the group herself) restarted the group under the name Drachen Magie Vermachtnis Clan, again on the uCoz free platform. This time I agreed to accept an Admin position on the site and together we built up the website from scratch, creating pages of info, forums etc, along with a lot of help from other Clan members adding content to the forums and to the BOD. This time things were going to be different! We both feel very strongly about preserving the work of all Clan members and find it asinine to see it wiped by one person’s actions/decisions. Never Again! Only one slight hiccup though, the access problem for some people to the uCoz website was rearing its ugly head again, so that is why we moved ONE LAST TIME to our new website at dmvclan.com. This is going to be our permanent home …promise!!! …and that brings us back to the beginning of this post. 😀