tMP Exclusive Interview with Stephen Cooke - Webmaster - Fodens Band

Discussion in 'WOM Interviews' started by Di, Jun 8, 2006.

  1. Di

    Di Active Member

    tMP Exclusive Interview with Stephen Cooke
    Webmaster – Fodens Band

    By way of an introduction, could you please tell us a little about yourself
    My name is Stephen Cooke. I run the web site for the Foden’s Richardson Band. I originate from Merseyside, am married to Sue and have a 19 year old son called Robert. I still work for Foden trucks.

    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?
    I used to play for Fodens but now only work on the web site for them.

    How long have you been involved in web design how did you first get involved in it?
    When I decided to stop playing in the late 90’s I thought it would be a way of keeping in touch by offering to get involved in the band’s web site.

    Do you manage/run any other web sites, if so, which ones?
    I maintain a site for a pal of mine. (http://www.ljt-services.co.uk)

    What applications did you use to build your site and why did you choose these?
    I use Macromedia Dreamweaver 4 together and Fireworks 4. The menu is created using Milonic JavaScript website navigation system (www.milonic.com). Ease of navigation around the site has been greatly improved with this system. Also any changes made only have to be made in one file and all pages are updated automatically so site maintenance is now a lot easier.

    Please can you explain for us how you prepared and planned for the development of the site when asked to implement this for Fodens Band?
    I started from scratch as I’d no previous experience. The present site has evolved over several years to where it is now so there was no real plan to begin with.

    What content do you feel should be included on a brass band www site?
    The main aim is to promote the band and inform about its activities. It’s also nice to have information about the people involved and the history of the organisation.

    Do you use innovative ideas on your www site?
    I’ve always tended to keep everything as simple as possible.

    Why should people visit Fodens Band www site?
    There is plenty of news and information about the band past and present.

    What do you feel is important when designing and implementing www sites…?
    Simplicity is the key. Try to make site navigation as easy and logical as possible. Visitors will soon go away if they can’t find their way around.

    How long did this site actually take you to build?
    The initial version took a couple of months but it has evolved and grown over several years.

    How do you manage the content on your web site and do you have a publishing policy?
    The band members email me with news, engagement lists, changes to personal etc. and I maintain the site from that.

    It would probably be better if the webmaster was a playing member privy to everything that is going on but I wouldn't be able to commit to that amount of time these days.

    What would you recommend as the best way to start to learn about designing and building www sites?
    You need a project and a clear idea of what you want to achieve and jump straight in. Initially you work on your local computer before putting it on the web so you can’t do any harm.

    If you know someone with some knowledge or experience in web design see if you can spend some time with them or at least ask loads of questions it will greatly help you on the initial learning curve.

    Do you have a favourite technical reference book for budding web designers?
    No I haven’t.


    How do you see the influence of the internet assisting the banding movement over the next 5 to 10 years?
    I think the internet will have an increasing influence on banding. Even now bands are booking concerts by email, ordering recordings etc. I can see web cams becoming used to broadcast rehearsals or even concerts. There is nothing like a live event but if you can’t get there you might be interested in a podcast.

    In most visited order, what are your 5 most frequently used www sites? http://www.google.co.uk/
    http://www.MSN.com
    http://www.fodensband.co.uk/
    http://www.4barsrest.com/default.asp
    http://www.axminster.co.uk/

    Could you please name your all time favourite www site, and why so?
    It has to be http://www.fodensband.co.uk/ as I spend so much time maintaining it.

    Do you use online community forums, if so, which ones do you use?
    No I don’t.

    What do you do to relax and unwind?
    Go into my shed and make something out of wood!

    What are your other hobbies?
    Woodwork, photography

    What do you drive?[FONT=&quot]
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    I don’t drive. I do have a bike though. :)
     

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