Changes Behind the Scenes

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The 2016 MCC committee at its first meeting. Left to right: Johann Briffa, Kyle Bonnici, Inigo Taylor, Stephen Farrugia, Aaron Attard, and Simon Alden.

It has been busy year so far for the MCC committee, much of which has involved a lot of back-end organisation and planning. Now it’s finally time to start unveiling some of the fruits of this work. As you may have noticed, last week we moved to a new website, with a new look and, more importantly, new features that will make the service more useful. In this article I’d like to introduce you to some of these improvements.

The most obvious one is that the new site uses a responsive design, which means that it works well on mobile devices, both smartphones and tablets. The interface is also more graphical and (I hope) visually appealing. The menu has also been simplified, to make it easier to find things you’re likely to look for. The responsive nature is important, both because most of you will be accessing it from a mobile device, and also because it is our intention to provide more online facilities for interacting with the club.

The first of these is the calendar of events. While we will keep creating Facebook events for those who find it convenient to interact this way, we now have an official calendar of events as a Google calendar. You can find this under the Activities menu item, where you can also subscribe to this calendar – this allows you to have an automatically sync’ed copy on your own Google calendar or on your mobile device. You can also see the first few upcoming events in the footer. All events for members will be published on this calendar. The page also gives details on regular events held by the club.

We have also updated our membership application, which is now completely paperless. You can find this under The Club menu item. The online form makes it easier for us to keep a copy of your emergency contact details with us at all times. We have also simplified payment of fees, including the option of bank transfer and Paypal processing of debit and credit cards. From this year, we ask all returning members to complete the membership form again; this makes sure we have up to date contact and emergency contact details.

Similarly, we have clarified the Bolt Fund page, adding the same money transfer options as for memberships. The bolt fund is an important part of the club, allowing us to develop new routes and to keep existing routes safe.

The Contact page now provides details on the current committee, as well as links to the club’s social media presence. Finally, in Where to Climb you can find a list of known climbing areas and crags on the Maltese islands. In time, these will link to related posts. We also plan to include Google maps of the climbing areas, to make it easier to navigate to these places. The page also includes details on known guidebooks covering climbing in Malta, both current and historical.

We hope you find these changes useful. Meanwhile, please bear with us as we progress with the transition. It is inevitable that some issues will crop up on parts of the site; we will fix these as we discover them. In any case, this is just the start. We will continue to add resources and information to make this the “go to” site for information about climbing in the Maltese islands. As always, we thank members for their support, and do let us know if you have any feedback.

 

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