Jeff Brower’s biggest hurdle: taming USATF Masters site
After years of ranting, I see progress in USATF Masters Track and Field making good use of its own section at usatf.org. As part of the USATF Masters T&F Strategic Plan, a Web site liaison has been named to make needed changes. Specifically, the plans calls for “(appointment of) a USATF website liaison to interact with USATF webmaster and to serve as a gatekeeper for Masters web page format, content and submission of material.” The lucky appointee is Jeff Brower of Texas, a national-champion M45 hurdler and pentathlete.
Among lots of things, Jeff has posted the minutes from the 2005 annual meeting. Long overdue.
When I learned of Jeff’s new gig (via a masters birdie), I shot him some questions.
It turns out he’s had access to some areas of the Web site since mid-January, and despite “a few expected bumps in the road,” most of the issues have been worked out.” However, he says, “there are still areas I can’t access, and therefore can’t change.”
My mini Q&A with Jeff:
What are your plans for reshaping the site?
I’m going to work on functionality of the section, and post all pertinent info as I’m made aware of it. I’m somewhat of a soldier, doing what I’m told, fitting into the overall design appropriately, but I have some freedom to implement changes as I see fit, and have done so.
What kind of content do you plan to add?
Content will pertain to all facets of USA Masters Athletics (Multi’s, Long Distance, CC, T&F, RW, etc.) This isn’t a paying gig, so I have to make a living which of course limits the attention the section gets. In addition, somewhere a line has to be drawn regarding what should and should not be placed on a National website, as opposed to a local, Association, Regional or non-USATF website.
Did you volunteer or did George Mathews draft you for this assignment?
I volunteered and George gave me a chance, and I haven’t made him mad enough to get rid of me yet!
When can we expect to see substantive improvements and updates?
Several updates have already been made, as you noticed last February, and we’re going to work forever to make this section more helpful and informative.
Are you getting help (and needed content) from the USATF Masters T&F Committee?
Am I getting help & content from the USATF Masters T&F Committee? Oh yeah!
If anyone wants to help you, what’s your best email contact address?
I’d prefer folks use the USATF Directory to find me, because it has anti-spam measures in place, while a listing of my email address in an article/blog will generate unnecessary spam. I know you understand, so please don’t post my email address anywhere.”
Further, Jeff writes:
“I don’t want to discourage input at all, but I certainly haven’t been given carte blanc to post everything (Otherwise, you’d see pictures of me on the website, and boy would interest plummet!) Suggestions/problems/comments/additions could be sent to me and/or any member of the Masters T&F.
“Final suggestion: Everyone should enter event/meet information in the USATF Calendar, which will ultimately make it the best calendar on the planet for our sport. Non-USATF events can be placed in the calendar, and ANYONE can add an event. (Make sure the event isn’t already in the calendar before you add it.) If all event/meet directors would use this calendar, no other calendars would be needed!”
There you have it.
Make good use of Jeff, but keep in mind the limitations of his authority. In any case, if you want to vent, there’s a masters track blog I know about.
Best of luck to Jeff and congratulations to George for securing his services.