The Communications subcommittee has met six times since the last AGM. We’ve gained two new members, Madeleine Jennings and Andrew Botros, while saying goodbye to Jan Macindoe and Scott Calvert. Phil Young stepped down as Webmaster (but remains on the subcommittee) and was replaced by Andrew Botros. Other members of the subcommittee are Virginia Simpson-Young (convenor) Peter Thorogood (website technical person), Carole Herriman, Bruce Davis, Allan Hogan and Bill Simpson-Young.
Our main activity over the past year has been to oversee the Society’s various media – the Bulletin, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter, YouTube, email update to members and Eventbrite. We also made some Glebe Society postcards to encourage people to join the Society and some special wine bottle labels for the Glebe Society Red. This year we finalised the Communications Policy which can be read at https://www.glebe.org.au/?p=12271.
The Bulletin continues to be sent to members in either the hard copy or email form. More and more members are electing to receive the Bulletin via email, but the majority enjoy receiving the paper version so they can kick back and enjoy it with a glass of wine or a good coffee (or perhaps read it on the loo!). The ongoing project to scan back-copies for electronic access via the Society’s website continues; back copies are available from Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.. The Society’s trusty archivist, Lyn Milton, has painstakingly indexed past Bulletins up to 1999 – we hope to make those indexes available when the full complement of past Bulletins is available electronically.
The Society has three websites – our main one (www.glebesociety.org.au), one for the Glebe Island Bridge (https://www.glebeislandbridge.com/) and the Glebe Walks website (https://glebewalks.com.au/). Each can be viewed on your computer, tablet or smart phone – particularly useful in the case of the Glebe Walks site. Late last year, we undertook a major upgrade of our websites which involved transitioning the website to a new host, improving security, obtaining an SSL certificate and improving usability. These were big jobs and we’re very grateful to Peter Thorogood for doing this.
As mentioned, Andrew Botros took over from Phil as Webmaster. Phil had been doing this job for around 10 years and, of course, he will be missed. On the upside, we’re very fortunate that Andrew has agreed to take it on. Andrew has already made his mark as the new Webmaster by automating the process by which website enquiries reach the appropriate person office-bearer or convenor.
Some other changes to the website include the inclusion of information and interviews associated with the tram mural (corner of GPR and Hereford St): https://glebesociety.org.au/trams. Our main website is currently averaging about 715 hits per day, and the Glebe Walks site is averaging around 100 hits per day.
The Society’s Facebook pages are also maintained by the Communications subcommittee. These are the main page (www.facebook.com/TheGlebeSociety) and the Glebe Island Bridge page (http://www.facebook.com/GlebeIslandBridge). Around 635 people follow our Facebook page, which is a 30% increase on about this time last year. The vast majority of these people are not Society members, so Facebook is a great way to reach beyond the membership.
As with the website, the Society is often contacted via Facebook, including by journalism students following up a story and people with family history enquiries. If you know of anything you think could be shared on our Facebook page either leave a comment on the page, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the subcommittee’s roles is the compilation and distribution of the Glebe Society Update emails that are sent on an irregular basis to those members who have provided us with an email address. The Glebe Society Update emails include breaking news that can’t wait for the next Bulletin and updated information on important issues that the Glebe Society is working on. The number of our members who can be contacted by email has risen from 90% last year to 95% this year. We imagine it won’t be too many years before it’s 100%!
The YouTube channel remains a useful repository for the Society’s audio-visual material. In the last year, we uploaded a video of the Robyn Kemmis Park naming ceremony and a gem of a clip showing Glebe Point Rd in 1913.
The Society is laying low in the Twittersphere at the moment. We hope to start tweeting again when one of us feels moved to do so. Members are welcome to suggest tweet content by emailing email@example.com.
The communications subcommittee held the Smartphone 101 event in November. It was exceptionally well attended. We’ve had requests for a repeat event, and we’re planning this for 2018. We’ve also been planning our next event, which is co-hosted with the Heritage subcommittee. The topic is researching your house online. We have also been thinking ahead to the Society’s 50th anniversary in 2019. As well as some plans for a publication based on the 50 years of the Bulletin, we’ve met with the Heritage subcommittee to provide support for their plans.
Please get in touch if you have any suggestions, comments or complaints about our media – we’re open to new ideas.