The Edmonton Broadcasters Club web site is primarily to serve the members of the Club. It also provides information to prospective members, as well as a Public Service to anyone interested in the history of broadcasting in Edmonton.
The Club’s first web site, at EdmontonBroadcastersClub.ca, was created in 2005 by Club member Fred Hodson using web hosting donated by ADTEL Group. Fred moved away from Edmonton in 2007 and new member Jon Pearkins replaced Fred as the Club’s webmaster. Jon soon began work on a database-driven redesign of the site, which debuted February 9, 2008. Along with the redesign came a move to a new home, at EdmontonBroadcastersClub.com, with web hosting provided by RadioWest.ca (Ted Wendland/Jon Pearkins).
Two other related events occurred in 2007:
- RadioWest.ca created EdmontonBroadcasters.com and CalgaryBroadcasters.com, to document the career of every broadcaster who ever worked in Edmonton and Calgary, expanding on the concept created by VancouverBroadcasters.com by including everyone in the Broadcasting Industry, not just those seen and heard on-air.
- The Club partnered with RadioWest.ca on EdmontonBroadcasters.com.
Later in 2008, the Club’s webmaster suggested a merger of its web site with EdmontonBroadcasters.com to reduce confusion. And to eliminate the duplication of effort between the two sites, by sharing information electronically using a single database for both sites. The Club moved its site to EdmontonBroadcasters.com on June 3, 2009.
The Original Design – Five Levels of Access
The initial redesign of the Club’s web site in 2007 was based on a database-driven approach that would allow updates to the web site to be made by Club members with various levels of web site knowledge. Five, in fact:
- This allows updates to most information on the site to be made by authorized Club members with no knowledge of Web technology, other than how to use a Web browser. Information is stored in a database, completely separate from the HTML that formats the information on to the Web pages that you see, eliminating the need for those that update the Web site to have any knowledge of HTML.
- Fixed information like you see on this page can be modified by anyone with experience using computer documents, as the site includes a web page editor.
- At the third level, changes to the format of information anywhere on the site can be changed by anyone with HTML experience. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) allow formatting to be standardized across the entire Web site, with a single change effecting all web pages.
- At the fourth level, new database fields (“columns”) can be added by anyone with phpMyAdmin and HTML experience.
- And, finally, if the site’s functionality needs to be changed or added to, only then does the Club’s webmaster’s knowledge of php and Etomite (see below) come into play.
Unfortunately, the best Open Source software that could be found at the time was Etomite, which was really only a base upon which an Infrastructure had to be built. It took three months of 12 hour days, 7 days a week to just get the new web site working.