Monday, November 12, 2007

Remember the 90's? So does our website.

What is it with most Lodges' horrible websites? With the general exception of some Grand Lodge websites that I've seen (and this fact is not even all-inclusive) most appear as if they were done by a 6-year old in 10 minutes (or, a 10-year old in 6 minutes, if your prefer). How could this be?

One reason could be the average age of current Masons. Based on other articles I've read, there appears to be a generational gap caused by the free-love, anti-war, and open-drug-use 1970's. Being known for nonconformity, a general statement could be said that membership did not grow during this time frame. Others have labeled this generation, Gen X. Gen Xers tend to be:
marked by its lack of optimism for the future, nihilism, cynicism, skepticism, alienation and mistrust in traditional values and institutions. - Wikipedia
However, this generation was also controlling the workforce during the boom of the PC and the Internet.

This left the Baby Boomers to run their lodge websites. When HTML was as easy as a bold tag and an italicized tag that was all good and well. In the Web 2.0 era we live in today, we should adapt our message. With the understanding of the many rules imposed on Lodge websites from the Grand Lodge, we can still accomplish a lot. One day when I am not so busy I will volunteer to be our webmaster. Until then, I'll stick with pdf links for our WM message of the month (all text) and other content that hasn't been updated since April.

I'll refrain, for now, of giving our specific address, but from what I've seen on the "intarweb," we might be par for the course.

And can I get some high-quality, non-gawdy Masonic clip art?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Better out than in, I always say

Here's a picture of the Masonic ring I now wear. I wear it proudly and am glad to answer questions about the ring I get from co-workers and the like. I was fortunate enough to plan ahead and wear it the day of my raising (afterwards, of course).

In my preparation, I noticed the other brothers' rings and asked where they go theirs, etc., and one thing I noticed was that all of them had their rings with the points of the compass turned in (that is to say that if holding their arm out straight, the G would be facing them). The common school of thought is to wear it inwardly focused as a reminder to improve themselves. To continue on with this thought is that after one has become a Past Master of a lodge, then they can point the compass outward as a symbol of accomplishment.

I have decided to take another approach. I wear mine with the points outward, for others to see. I do this not in arrogance, but as a reminder to myself that I am "broadcasting" an image of Freemasonry at all times and, as in the previous example, should be constantly reminded to improve that reflection of myself. I like to think of it akin to the fact that as children, we're all on our best behavior when our parents are watching. We in turn should be representative upright citizens at all times since we never know who may be observing our conduct.

Besides, it's easier to show off :)