Executive Director’s Commentary
By Don Eversmann, F240000, Executive Director
If you’ve visited FMCA.com lately, you’ve no doubt noticed that the Web site has been completely revamped. The new site was launched on January 28, 2009. I have asked Web editor Todd Moning to share some details about the new FMCA.com. If you haven’t visited in a while, you’ll definitely want to do so as soon as you are finished reading this month’s issue of the magazine.
By Todd Moning
The more things change, the more things stay the same. Visit FMCA.com and you’ll notice the Web site is entirely different. But its purpose is strikingly similar to the principles on which FMCA was founded.
Let me explain …
In spring 1963, Bob Richter, who would become FMCA’s first president, began inviting other motor-coach-owning families to gather on the grounds of the Hinckley school in Hinckley, Maine, to view an eclipse.
In his correspondence, Mr. Richter intimated that the coach owners should consider forming a common-interest group. “There are a number of common areas where an interchange of ideas can be helpful,” he wrote. “Discussions on such subjects as bus layouts and fittings, good camping areas, registrations, insurance, excise taxes, zoning restrictions, spare parts, and adventures along the highway could be interesting and enjoyable for all of us.”
Here we are in 2009, and FMCA’s new Web site includes a Community where motorhome enthusiasts can exchange ideas on subjects such as bus layouts and fittings, good camping areas, registrations, insurance, excise taxes, zoning restrictions, spare parts, and adventures along the highway. Sound familiar?
The Community may be new to FMCA.com, but its core purpose is similar to the one established at FMCA’s formation meetings in 1963 “” “fellowship, the dissemination of information and mutual aid to owners, and those interested in owning motorhomes … “
In the FMCA.com Community, motorhomers can “meet” and share information that is valuable to the whole community. How? By reading and posting comments on travel, lifestyle, and technical topics in the forums. By creating a blog or uploading travel photos to a photo album.
What else is new?
Before I discuss the FMCA.com Community in more detail, I’d like to tell you about other changes at FMCA.com.
Navigation: The new site has simple drop-down menus so you can reach desired areas of the site with fewer clicks.
Search: An internal “search” function specific to FMCA.com enables you to find information fast. Enter a keyword, and the site will display your search results in order of likely relevance.
Simplified sign-in process: Create a new account to receive a username and password. Then, you can sign in to access all FMC magazine articles and FMCA forms and documents, and participate in the FMCA.com Community. If you already have a username and password from the old site, you do not need to create a new account on the new site; just type in the same username and password to sign in.
Videos: Get an inside look at motorhomes and RV products showcased at motorhome conventions and RV shows. If you are not able to attend such an event, this is a nice way to glean a sample of the exhibited products.
Product Pavilion: This section showcases all sorts of RV products that can make your motorhome lifestyle easier, more fun, or more enjoyable.
The Community menu “” photos, forums, and blogs “” is accessible from any page of FMCA.com. The Web address of the FMCA.com Community is http://community.fmca.com. With your participation, the Community can be a valuable forum for informal discussion and knowledge sharing among motorhome owners.
Forums: More than 45 forum topics cover all aspects of motorhoming. Post a technical question; trade information about destinations; seek advice related to buying a motorhome; request feedback about campgrounds.
Photo Albums: This is the perfect place to share your travel photos with the rest of the Community or with users whom you designate as “friends.”
Blogs: A blog, or “web log,” is an online version of a public diary. In your blog in the FMCA.com Community, you can write about your motorhome trips or motorhome lifestyle. Add photos and links to relevant Web sites, or allow others to comment or ask questions. Your blog can be private or public.
Each blog entry will have a different title and subject. For instance, your blog may be about a trip to the Grand Canyon. Create blog entries daily or only when you find something interesting to write about.
As Bob Richter wrote nearly 46 years ago, sharing “your adventures along the highway could be interesting and enjoyable for all of us.”
Calendar: Add events to your own personal calendar or add your chapter event that fellow community members might be interested in attending.
The photos, forums, and blogs in the FMCA.com Community are available to all motorhome enthusiasts, even nonmembers. To upload photos, post messages, and create blogs, everyone must sign in first, using his or her username and password. Signing in is not required, however, if you just want to look at photos, view messages, and read blogs.
Recently, I wrote an article about competitive water-skier Carl Peterson, F399916, of Rosharon, Texas. On their first motorhome trip, he and his wife, Trudi, went to a state park in Galveston, which is only 50 miles away from their home.
“We were walking about the RV park and there were four or five motorhomes that were sort of parked together,” Mr. Peterson said. “It looked like the owners were just sitting around, so I came up to them and said, “˜Hey, I just bought a motorhome. What are the 10 most important things that I should know about owning a motorhome?’ And man, about two hours later, I had a crash 101 course in RVing. It was very, very useful.”
At RV parks, FMCA members helping members such as the Petersons and sharing information is a common occurrence, and will continue to be. But you don’t have to be at a campground or RV rally to share your knowledge and experiences.
I encourage you to become an active participant in the FMCA.com Community. That way, the community will have a fraternal feel and foster the members-helping-members philosophy that FMCA’s founders initiated nearly 46 years ago.
And it can be fun. You’ll see.
Tell us what you like about the new FMCA.com and also share suggestions on how we can improve it. We always welcome your comments. Send to [email protected].