“ ‘The School of Creative Destruction’,” I mutter to myself, “now there’s an interesting name.” Hit the link… ‘The requested url… was not found.’
“Oh, well. Let’s see… ‘The Vermont Group.’ Not as interesting and not too useful to me but give it a shot.” ‘The Vermont Group is now located at…’ and a redirect to the website. “Promising,” I think. Nope. ‘The requested url… was not found.’
“Third time’s the charm, then… ‘The Academy of Diplomacy’.” Finger’s crossed… ‘The requested url… was not found.’
This was a Saturday afternoon, in between cheater-hunting, responding to posts on PlayDip’s Forum, deliberately not looking at a game I’m in simply because I don’t want to get caught up with that, re-writing the rules for using Playdiplomacy.com and walking Kai, our nearly-a-year-old puppy who, when she wants a walk, climbs up on your lap and looks deep into your eyes with a hopefully swishing tail. The joys of springer spaniels.
A lot of that is how I normally spend Saturday afternoons, although I don’t re-write site rules on a weekly basis and I don’t trawl through the DP’s ‘Online Resources’ section, either. Which, I should probably explain, is what all that stuff up there is about.
You see, Chris Babcock had been in touch. “Rick,” he said, in his most persuasive voice (OK, I’m imagining that, this was over email after all), “would you like to edit the Pouch’s Online Resources page?” Not sure why me, except I think Chris saw a sucker and pounced.
To my shame — and I haven’t mentioned this to him — my first thought was ‘The what?’
Now, I’ve visited the Pouch pretty regularly. I’ve even looked at the Online Resources section. I just couldn’t think what he was talking about. Some of that is because I haven’t really needed to use it, some of it is because it wasn’t very useful to me. This last bit I remembered when I went to the section and scanned through it.
Anyway, while I was thinking about this, I decided to look up some of the links. I looked at ‘Dip Player Communities’, ‘Dip Hobby Organizations’ and ‘Dip Zines on the Web’. All good resources to have links to and all potentially useful.
“OK. ‘BOUNCED’ I’ve heard of before. Surely…” Basic Online Utility for Network Computerized Electronic Diplomacy. “Heh. Clever… a little, um, forced…but still good.”
And — oh, yeh, baby — a HIT!!! A link that works!!! Yabba dabba bloody doo! We’re on, right?
Cat23 Diplomacy Home, Dip World: A Diplomatic Diplomacy Club, Israeli Diplomacy, Graue-Substanz — none of them work, for one reason or another.
Which means that, on the Player Communities section, of the links that are there, five work as I’d expect. Compuserve Diplomacy Forum takes me to Compuserve’s site but there seems to be a lack of a Dip forum there… although, by this time, I was not spending a lot of time looking for it.
Five out of thirteen links.
Oh, nearly forgot. There are two links in the opening paragraph of the page: Face- to-Face section of the Pouch itself and the Email section's Newbies page. At least those links work!
It got worse.
On the Hobby Organizations page, just two links worked. On the Dip Zines page, more links worked but most of those were seemingly archives or zines that are no longer published.
That’s when I stopped.
Well, looks like I have some work ahead of me, I guess.
The thing is, to me, the Online Resources section could be a fantastic resource. For whatever reason, though, it’s not working. Literally, in many cases. To me, it’s not in touch with the online hobby, either. Where are the websites? Where is the Wiki page? The MeetUp page?
Having spoken with Chris and Mario Huys, we’re going to start from scratch. In fact, by the time you read this, the work will already be underway. Here’s the plan:
Now, this may mean that some resources could get missed. I don’t want that. In fact, that’s the opposite of what I want. So here’s the challenge to you all.
GET YOUR LINKS OUT!
If there is a resource that you want adding to the Online Resources section, send it to me. I’ll append an email address to contact me on at the end of this article. It WILL be added… if it works!
The new section will be built up over some time. I’m hoping, by the next issue, to have each page up and running (sorry, Mario).
All fine and dandy, you say, but things change. The Hobby grows and evolves. What happens when something new comes along? What happens when groups fade away or site’s no longer run?
That, of course, is the crux of the matter. So, along with setting-up the new section, I’ll be carrying out a rolling programme of checking that links actually work and trying to find out what happened when they don’t. I’ll keep posting reports in DP, detailing updates and changes.
But I need support. I need to be kept up-to-date from you lot. Keep me on my toes (I’m short enough anyway) and keep me working.
Contact me at: email@example.com
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