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Volunteer of the Quarter: Rick Sapir
2006, Q4 (February 07, 2007)
by Sheila Loring, Carolina Chapter Communications Manager

Rick Sapir
Rick Sapir

After several months with no official webmaster, the Carolina chapter began investigating options for managing the website. The main goal was to let members update the site themselves until a webmaster could be found. The website committee tested several wiki programs and decided that MediaWiki (the foundation of Wikipedia.org) best served our needs.

Enter Rick Sapir. Rick jumped in as webmaster and recommended that we implement a content management system (CMS) in addition to the wiki. Using the CMS, we could categorize content and dynamically update that content throughout the website. For example, a calendar event categorized as a FrameMaker SIG meeting is automatically displayed on the FrameMaker SIG home page. If the event is moved to another date on the calendar, the new date displays on the FrameMaker SIG home page automatically. No more updating the same content in multiple locations!

Why does Rick deserve the Volunteer of the Quarter Award?
  • Rick empowers members to take responsibility for their content on the website. In the past few months, he’s given several presentations on updating the site and taking advantage of new features such as news submissions, the calendar, RSS feeds, and the resource directory.
  • Many FAQs on the website address common questions, and Rick continues to create new FAQs as the need arises. Chapter members can also request new FAQs.
  • Rick responds to questions and requests promptly. He set up enhancement request and bug report systems on the website to efficiently track and respond to requests from members. Any member can log in to the web site, report a bug, make a suggestion, and check status on the request. It’s much easier than sorting through dozens of emails.
  • In addition to setting up the CMS and wiki, Rick converted most of the old website into the new wiki format with little help from other members—a huge job for one person.

Please thank Rick the next time you see him and congratulate him for winning Volunteer of the Quarter.

Sheila can be reached at loring at scriptorium dot com. End of article.

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