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2009 Webmasters Contest
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2009 Entry Form
2009 Score Sheet
2009 Guidelines

AFMS 2009 Webmasters Contest is Off And Running
By Phyllis George AFMS
Webmasters Contest Chair

This contest exists to help the various webmasters enhance their club Web sites in an effort to increase the interest of the general public in the gem and mineral hobby, to gain new members, and to serve as a source of current club information for their members. Through this contest the judges assigned to the seven regional federations Mike Baldwin, Stephen Douglas, Dan Imel, Wes Lingerfeldt, Al Pennington, Win Robertson, and Don Shurtz are serving as mentors for these various clubs by giving the webmasters encouragement and friendly constructive criticism on what they are doing right and where they need to improve.

The Webmaster Contest also has its own logo! Ron Gibbs, editor and webmaster for the Charlotte Gem & Mineral Club of Charlotte, North Carolina, is also a graphic artiste extraordinaire. Ron donated his time and expertise to design and develop our logo. Thank you to Marty Hart for steering me to Ron and his skill.

I've received e-mails telling me that the judging information and guidelines published for the contest have already helped some of the webmasters who want to improve their sites.

Dan Alfrey, webmaster of Lake George Gem & Mineral Club, Lake George, Colorado wrote: We've had a lot of fun with our site. This contest truly has motivated our club to update our site and make sure everything is fully functional! We sincerely appreciate the guidelines and scoring references in order to help make the site more informative and complete!

Bob Loeffler, webmaster of North Jeffco Gem & Mineral Club, Arvada, Colorado wrote: I think this contest is a great idea because it might help push clubs to create a Web site (if they haven't already done so) or keep their existing Web site updated with fun and relevant info to help educate the public.

All the entries submitted to this brand new contest from the various regional federations are now in the hands of their assigned judges. Two judges are assigned to each region, but none of the judges is from the regions they are judging. Each contestants combined scores from the two judges will be averaged to determine his or her final placement in their region.

No trophies will be awarded at the regional level. The original plan was to award a trophy to the first place winner in each regional federation. I just learned that the regional federations have not had an opportunity to vote on whether they support the Webmaster Contest, so no regional first place plaques can be awarded this year. However, we will be awarding certificates for each of the top ten places and for honorable mention. I apologize to to everyone who is disappointed about this, but the contest will be running for at least two more years, so maybe the policy can be changed going forward.

So there will not be a plaque awarded to the first place regional federation winners, but I think they will receive something far better than a plaque. The first place winners will each have their entries forwarded to Bob Keller, the man who is judging at the AFMS level.

Bob is the first rockhound webmaster to have a presence on the World Wide Web - the Internet. Bob put the first rock shop up on the Internet in March 1995, and he called it Bobs Rock Shop. It began as a home page with eight or so images of rocks from his own collection. It is still called Bobs Rock Shop and is still at www.rockhounds.com, but it is now far more than that.

Bob will give the regional first place winners the benefit of his wisdom, his extensive Web experience, and his knowledge of what works and what doesnt. He will analyze each of the sites forwarded to him, and he will give useful feedback on what is being done well and how each site can be improved. Thank you, Bob, for agreeing to participate in our contest, for giving our first place regional winners the benefit of your hard-won wisdom as the worlds premier rockhound webmaster, and for helping us achieve our goal of having rock and gem club Web sites that are as good as they can be.

All the contestants at the AFMS level will receive a certificate signifying their rank, and the first place winner will also receive an AFMS first place plaque.

The results of the various regional Webmaster Contests will be announced at the annual meetings of the regional federations during their Bulletin Editors Breakfast. The results of the AFMS Webmaster Contest will be announced at the NFMS/AFMS joint Show & Convention in Billings, Montana on August 1 during the Bulletin Editors Breakfast.

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AFMS 2009 Webmasters Contest
By Phyllis George AFMS
Webmasters Contest Chair

We are working at a feverish pace to get this new contest up and running. The Webmasters Contest Committee Members (one for each regional federation) are in place, and they are the ones running the Webmasters Contest for their regional federation. The Committee Members receive the entries, they forward the entries to the judges for that region, they receive from the judges the completed score sheets, and they rank the results and award the first-place plaque and the certificates (places one through ten and honorable mention) at the Bulletin Editors’ Breakfast at their regional federation’s annual show. The first-place entry is forwarded to the AFMS level for judging. Currently the Committee Members are notifying webmasters in their region and the regional newsletter editor about the details of the contest, the due date for entries, and of the schedule for their regional contest.

Members of the Webmasters Contest Committee are as follows:

California Federation (CFMS) Merryan O’Neill mvoneillcomcast.net
Eastern Federation (EFMS) Dan Imel lapidryaol.com
Midwest Federation (MWFMGS) Cindy Root d-rootsbcglobal.net
Northwest Federation (NFMS) Cheri George lizardwoman3yahoo.com
Rocky Mountain Federation (RMFMS) Phyllis George pgeorge4comcast.net
South Central Federation (SCFMS) Don Shurtz don.shurtzgmail.com
Southeast Federation (SFMS) Jim Flora jimfloraalltel.net

Contact the Committee Member for your region for information about the contest and the deadlines. This information varies by region according to when their annual show is scheduled. Since I had no takers for the RMFMS position, I’m going to fill it myself. The deadline for RMFMS entries to be sent to me is January 15, 2009.

Webmasters wishing to enter their Web sites into the contest should download from the AFMS Web site (or from their regional federation’s Web site) the contest Guidelines, the Entry Form, and the Score Sheet form. These are in PDF format, and they can be opened with Adobe Acrobat Reader®. Free Acrobat Reader® software is available at http://www.adobe.com/products/reader/. The contest information on the AFMS Web site can be found at http://www.amfed.org/web/webmasters_contest.htm.

To enter the contest, the webmaster needs to fill out the Entry Form completely and fill out the information requested in the top part of the Score sheet. These forms can be filled-in on your computer and saved to your hard drive. Note: You need Acrobat Reader version 8 or later to be able to save the forms to your hard drive once you fill them in. Send the two completed forms as e mail attachments to your regional Committee Member before the due date in your region.

My plan is to have two judges for each regional competition (their scores for each contestant will be averaged) and one judge for the AFMS level. Each pair of judges probably will be judging two different regions, but they will not be judging their own region. Right now I have a total of eight judges. If I can get seven more judges, each pair would judge the entrants from only one regional federation. If you are a current (or former) webmaster or are very Web-site savvy, please help make the contest a success by volunteering a little of your time to act as a judge. Read the Guidelines to see what the judges will be looking for on the sites that they judge, and contact me at pgeorge4comcast.net to help this new contest be a success in its first year.

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New—2009 AFMS Webmaster Contest
By Phyllis George AFMS Webmaster Contest Chair

It’s official—the AFMS Officers and Directors have just voted to create a Webmaster Contest on a three-year trial basis. Ike House (new president of the SCFMS) first started a Webmaster Contest within his region while he was the SCFMS Bulletin Aids Chair. Marty Hart, AFMS Webmaster, took the SCFMS Webmaster Contest judging sheet as a start, and he did an outstanding job of developing the documents that are now available for download on the AFMS Web site. The entry form, judging score sheets, and the score sheet guidelines will all be available on the AFMS Web site <http://www.amfed.org/> by the time you read this.

I am assembling a Webmaster Contest Committee that will have one member from each regional federation, and that person should be knowledgeable about Web sites and webmasters. Dan Imel has already agreed to be the Committee member from the Eastern Federation. Marty Hart will be our advisor and mentor. I’m open to suggestions for committee members from the other regions. I hope many people will send in the names and e-mail addresses of webmasters whom they feel would be great on the committee. We will be lining up two contest judges from each region, but these judges will be judging entries outside their own region. So I also want suggestions from all over the U.S. for club webmasters who would do a great job of judging Web sites.

Each Committee member is tasked with announcing the new contest to all the club webmasters in their regional federation and with sending out all the Webmaster Contest forms by e mail. To participate in the contest, club webmasters need to fill out the entry form and return it to the Webmaster Contest Committee member from their region. The Committee members will send all the entrants’ Web site addresses to their two regional judges. When the completed judging forms come back, the Committee members will determine the regional winner and send that winning entry off to the two AFMS judges for evaluation. Since this contest is “on probation” so to speak for three years, the decision was made to have only one winner from each regional federation and one winner at the AFMS level during that time.

This contest runs concurrently with the Bulletin Editors’ Contest, but each Committee member sets the due dates for the contest entries that are to be sent to him or her. The regional judging results will be announced at the regional Bulletin Editors’ Contest. The AFMS judging results will be announced at the AFMS Bulletin Editor’s Breakfast. The AFMS schedule is as follows:

By February 28, 2009       AFMS Judges List is sent to all regional Webmaster Contest Judges
  March 31, 2009   All regional entries forwarded to the AFMS contest are due to the two AFMS Judges.
  May 15, 2009   All AFMS contest entries judged and the results returned to Phyllis George by the two AFMS judges.
  July 31–August 2, 2009   NFMS/AFMS joint Show & Convention in Billings, Montana. Results will be announced at the Bulletin Editors’ Breakfast.

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