tMP Exclusive Interview with Mark Unsworth

Discussion in 'WOM Interviews' started by Jan H, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    [FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]tMP Exclusive Interview with Mark Unsworth [/FONT]
    [FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Webmaster – East Yorkshire Motor Services Brass Band[/FONT]

    [FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]By way of an introduction, could you please tell us a little about yourself?[/FONT]
    A driver by profession, although the Band sometimes seem to take up my time with my job becoming a hobby! I work for a gas company supplying all sorts of cylinders, propane, butane and most importantly for bandsman - cellar gas to keep the beer flowing. The first instrument I played was the violin, managing to turn professional at the tender age of five - my Dad paid me to give it up! Started on the trombone at age 11. Served eight years in the Army, and then did the GDBM course at Salford, followed by a PGCE at the University of Durham, moving back to my home city of Hull in 1999. Currently single, but with two trombones, a King 4B 24 years old, and a Conn 8H only 3 months.

    [FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Are you actively involved in playing a brass instrument with any band, or do you simply undertake the web design on behalf of a band? [/FONT]
    I play Solo Trombone with the East Yorkshire Motor Services Brass Band, regularly play with a local big band, and help other bands out when asked, if I'm available. After my 119 gigs last year I'm trying to cut down a little, but guess that I'm what you call actively involved.

    [FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]How long have you been involved in web design how did you first get involved in it?[/FONT]
    Since 2002 when I started the Band site as a complete novice.

    [FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Do you manage/run any other web sites, if so, which ones?[/FONT]
    No, one is enough - I'm the Band Treasurer too, and I like to sleep sometimes!

    [FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]What applications did you use to build your site and why did you choose these?[/FONT]
    Notepad using HTML - my idiots guide book used that method, and I was quite happy to follow their instructions. I now mainly use FrontPage to edit and add pages, but occasionally revert back to HTML for small edit points.

    [FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Please can you explain for us how you prepared and planned for the development of the site when asked to implement this for the East Yorkshire Motor Services Brass Band?[/FONT]
    I asked a lecturer in IT that I knew socially, and bought a great book for £6:00. Basically an idiots guide, but so well presented. Everything I needed to know to get started was in there - thank you W H Smith. (CreateaWebSite...for beginners). At the time most of the information about the Band was contained in six scrap books. So I started with them as a basis, and away I went.

    [FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]What content do you feel should be included on a brass band www site?[/FONT]
    Information about the Band - its history, the players its engagements. Our website has almost become our Band archive, so it is important to get as much on as possible for the future, as well as information about next weeks events.

    [FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Do you use innovative ideas on your www site?[/FONT]
    I try to, but some of the techniques are beyond my expertise, but others I play with before using, just to make sure they work, and that they are what people would like to see. I hope to have some pages using Flash technology up and running soon, but overall I think people are more bothered about the content of a page, than if it is all singing and dancing.

    [FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Why should people visit the EYMS Bands www site?[/FONT]
    It covers all aspects of not only our Band, but also our sponsors. It is continually updated - I feel cheated when I visit some sites and the last update was several weeks ago - so I try to update several pages each week, and make sure people know they have been updated. The (Rogues) Gallery is also a good place to visit to see all aspects of the Band in action.

    [FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]What do you feel is important when designing and implementing www sites…?[/FONT]
    The planning. And have a look at other sites, not just brass bands but local clubs. They give you some great ideas on what to do, and also what not to do.

    [FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]How long did this site actually take you to build?[/FONT]
    Initially I took a week off work after doing some research so that I had some articles ready. After a couple of days I had some pages (nothing like the site today) ready to launch.

    [FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]How do you manage the content on your web site and do you have a publishing policy?[/FONT]
    99% of the articles on the site I have written so it isn't really a problem to keep up to date with what is going on next, or what needs updating. I regularly trawl through the site as well, just to make sure all the pages are checked. The Band doesn't have a publishing policy as such, but any articles that I feel may be contentious, I get Tony (Ex Chairman - level headed - sensible) Newiss to check through before they go live.

    [FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]What would you recommend as the best way to start to learn about designing and building www sites?[/FONT]
    Probably to find a night class that does Web Design. I only found one after I'd been running the website for three years. It was still very useful though. Don't ask those members of the band that work with IT, they either baffle you with science, or don't have a clue.

    [FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Do you have a favourite technical reference book for budding web designers?[/FONT]
    CreateaWebSite.....for beginners. Published by W H Smith

    [FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]How do you see the influence of the internet assisting the banding movement over the next 5 to 10 years?[/FONT]
    It brings the movement to the notice of wider audience, which is something we can do with. The more we can do to reach either a potential audience or an existing one , the better for our future. The internet is a cheap and convenient way of letting people know what is going on, both through websites, and emailed newsletters.

    [FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]In most visited order, what are your 5 most frequently used www sites?[/FONT]
    www.yahoo.co.uk - my main email provider.
    www.eymsbrassband.co.uk - to monitor what I've done so far.
    www.4barsrest.com - to keep up to date
    www.themouthpiece.com - to see what is going on and to provide some entertainment.
    www.bbc.co.uk/humber/travel/road_feature.shtml - to seek out travel problems for work.

    [FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Can you let our members know of any other www sites you feel are interesting to visit but are not in your top 5, and why this is so.[/FONT]
    www.national-lottery.co.uk We all need a dream.

    [FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Could you please name your all time favourite www site, and why so?[/FONT]
    www.yahoo.co.uk the email/search facility/news and sports pages.

    [FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Do you use online community forums, if so, which ones do you use?[/FONT]
    The mouthpiece.

    [FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]What do you do to relax and unwind?[/FONT]
    A good single malt, and either a good book or some sport to watch.

    [FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Tell us something about yourself that we don't already know.[/FONT]
    I have a power boat driving licence

    [FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]What are your other hobbies?[/FONT]
    Chilling with friends over a couple of beers and good food, and the conversation that goes with it.

    [FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]What do you drive?[/FONT]
    [FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]A 1.8i SX Citroen Xsara, and a pedal powered Raleigh Activator.[/FONT]
     
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