Q&A: East Kingdom Webminister
This is one of a series of Q&A articles with East Kingdom Officers. The Gazette thanks Lord Lorenz Greylever, East Kingdom Webminister, for answering our questions.
Please describe your job responsibilities.
I am the Lead “Defender” for the East Kingdom’s Æther Realms. In other words, if it has something to do with the security, usability, accessibility and supportability of the Official on-line/Internet presence of the East Kingdom, it falls to myself and my team to make certain that it is ready for the populace of the Kingdom and its varying regions to use.
– This includes but is not limited to:
.. Every Local branch, Kingdom Office and Royal Guild website that exists for the Eastern Realms
.. Email forwards and Email lists for each Local branch, etc
.. Email lists for the Polling Orders
Educating the East Kingdom populace about what the Office of the Webminister is and how it helps the Kingdom, but more importantly, what the Office is not.
– Reducing the confusion surrounding several aspects of the services available to the Kingdom, including but not limited to:
.. The East Kingdom Calendar of Events (working with the Chronicler and Pikestaff Editor). The Webministry only makes certain that the Calendar is up and functioning properly. We do not police for content or completion of the entries for inclusion in the Pikestaff. The Local branch Seneschal and the Kingdom Chronicler do these tasks.
.. The East Kingdom Order of Precedence (working with the Office of the Brigantia Herald). The Webministry only makes certain that the website for the op is active and accessible. All content is supplied and updated by the Shepherd’s Crook Herald, or by a designated Webminister assistant when needed.
o Training Local branch, Kingdom Office and Royal Guild Webministers in best practices for website design and use. You do not have to be a modern webmaster to be a Webminster for the East, however knowing some basics will go a long way in supporting the website the Webminister has.
o Overseeing the 150+ websites and making certain that all are in compliance with Modern, Society and Kingdom acceptable use policies.
o Overseeing the 1700+ email addresses that are used throughout the Kingdom for proper use by the designated Officer.
o There’s certainly more, but you’ll never get this to print if I don’t stop somewhere.
What do you enjoy about this activity?
Helping people. In a nut shell, it all boils down to being able to work on something that makes the other members of the Society’s (namely the populace of this Kingdom), experience a little bit better in terms of finding the information they are looking for, when they need it.
This is where the Anachronistic part of our game comes into play rather heavily. If the Internet was a technology in the feudal system of the times that we are recreating, would there be someone, per Kingdom, fief, enclave or monastery whose sole purpose would be to build, expand and defend their territory of the Æther Realms from any and all transgressors? I would believe so, and I am happy to hold that mantle at this time for the East Kingdom.
Do you have a goal for your term?
Well, yes and no. I have multiple goals for my term. I am hoping to get through a huge list of things, or at least get them all started. Of course not all at once, but spread out over the term, going through by quarters of the year (three month intervals). I’ll give a listing here, in no particular order:
o Moving from email forwards to email boxes to wean the Kingdom off of 3rd party services like Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail and build a historical document repository within the emails for every Officer in the Kingdom.
o Offering up an in-house alternative to Yahoo! Groups and wean the Kingdom off of this other very popular yet unofficial 3rd party service.
o Promoting the East Kingdom Wiki as a repository for the History of the Kingdom. For example, the web page http://wiki.eastkingdom.org/index.php?title=Category:History has ample space to hold all the details of all of the events that we have ever had since the creation of the Kingdom, yet it remains fallow and bereft of details. (Hint, hint…)
o Getting all East Kingdom Local branches in compliance with their website being hosted on the East Kingdom server. There are many that are not currently following this requirement to be official sites. Now that the new Server is up and running, there is no reason to be off the server.
o Update the Webminister Policy Handbook to cover all of the new services available and document previously unlisted tools and support for the Webministers and Populace of the Kingdom.
o Write a Webminister Procedures Handbook to go hand in hand with the Policy Handbook as a Webministry 101 Toolbox/Tool Kit for all Webministers to use as their to-go-to resource while supporting their individual assignments.
o Host “Webministry Hours” at events throughout the Kingdom to help with the education of what this Office does and does not do for the Kingdom. All are invited, not just Webministers.
Are you currently looking for any deputies?
Most definitely yes!
Please visit http://webminister.eastkingdom.org/ and view on the lower left hand side the open positions and their descriptions.
o East Kingdom Deputy Webminister (someone interested in taking on the job once I have to step down).
o Tir Mara Deputy Webminister
o Social Media Deputy
o Anyone who has webmaster experience that want to be a Webminister-At-Large to help support those Local branches, Kingdom Offices or Royal Guilds that do not have an already assigned Webminister. There is a partial list found at http://webminister.eastkingdom.org/ek-websites/warrants-missing/ which I would like to ultimately see empty.
What was your first event?
Oh, now we are taking a trip into the past to the fall of A.S. XVIII, or 1983 CE. I can’t remember the name of it, but my mother recalls that it was at Bear Mountain Park in New York, during September sometime. I was aware of the Society since ’82, but only made it to informal gatherings of the Shire of Hollyendale prior to the event.
And what made you stay?
I found something that I was missing. A home. The people were open and friendly, accepting and caring of each other and generally helpful. You can’t find that in many places of the rest of the world, even if you look hard.
Now my extended family through the Society spans multiple Kingdoms, continents and decades. I view a new member of the Society, or even those just curious in the SCA as friends I haven’t met yet.
Which people made an impact on you in the SCA and why?
This is the hardest question on your list. I’m not used to talking about myself, or personal influences, so I will try to do my best here. I’d be here until the end of days recounting the multitudes of people who have influenced me personally on a path that encompasses three quarters of my life, so in general I will have to say, “Everyone that I have met and will meet has had and will have an impact on me, however slight that impact has and would be.”
But I am certain that you are looking for names here, so I’ll try to keep it to one or two in a few broad categories that we encompass, which I fear will still be quite the list anyway. Otherwise I’d feel like I was in some way name dropping, which is definitely not my intention. In no particular order…
Alasdair Stuart Campbell of Argyll, the gentle giant of a man that showed me what it meant to be someone of respect and honor when I was but a small boy, and still does today. Edward Dragonslayer and Geoffrey Fitz Galen both easily are considered those that I looked up to over the years (and still do) for this as well.
Edward Zifran of Gendy, Randal of the Dark and Morgunn Sheridan as shining stars of how one can own being chivalrous without being puffy about it. Each in their own unique and different way. (There are so many more that embody what we espouse as Chivalric pillars this list would need its own printing, even for my own personal influences.)
Ian of Clan Mitchell and Anton Winteroak, how to be approachable and smile even when there is stress to be found. How to hold together with tenacity and perserverence amid adversity, coupled with a side of polite decorum and remaining calm.
Alastar O’Rogan, Isabella of York and the one they call “Gypsy”, also each in their own way, showing the rest of us how grace and beauty can be personified to stop the world without having to be demure or overbearing about it.
Alayne Alexandra Nyvern Nightwatcher and Lydushka as additional mother figures, always caring and nurturing no matter how far away they are, or how often they see you. Personal examples of the extended family that the Society in general brings together.
Lastly, but certainly not at all least, Rebecca Greylever, my actual mother yet my persona’s Aunt (you can ask for the story around a campfire sometime) for being the House matriarch and the main driving force behind who I am today.
Of course, I could go on and on. I still feel a bit like I was name-dropping, even after cutting out so many others to make it less so, but… you did ask. How about we just say, “Dear reader, if you know me more than just in passing, you have made an impression on me and your name would be somewhere in this listing as well. I’ll leave it for you to decide where.”
Now, to finally wrap up. The Office of the Webminister has an “Open Door” policy. That is to the entire Kingdom, not just the Webministers. Please feel free to contact me for anything that comes to mind which pertains to the on-line presence of the East Kingdom. Questions, Concerns, Requests, Kudos and Complaints are all welcome. Yes, even the complaints. Without knowing that there is something wrong, I can not fix it. And that is what I am here for. To make sure that the Æther Realms of the East Kingdom work, are secure and giving the populace what is needed.