Friday, 1 October 2010

DepList Google Service

Our messaging site will soon cease to support pages and uploads. Files and information pages will therefore be transferred to a companion site, open to and viewable only by Full Members who have an active subscription. This will provide extra facilities like pages for chatting, blogging, advertising and general discussion, as well as the facility to add widgets, gadgets, calendars and all sorts of gizmos for those who have the time to fiddle. The messaging part will not be affected and should continue as normal.

Eventually, I hope to implement these facilities into our own DepList site so as to bring everything under one roof.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Music Lists

Someone pointed out a broken link on our church Music Lists page. That page is looking very sparse. Surely there are more music lists out there. I haven't time to look for them, but if you sing at a church that has a web link to its music lists, please send me the link. Please send links to permanent pages that are regularly updated, not one-off events. Keeping abreast of membership matters means researching new links comes pretty low down on my list of priorities, but I'm happy to add any links that come my way if I think they're worth adding! The same goes for photos.

Friday, 21 May 2010

New Colour-Coding

Along with reorganisation of the Members' Area I have given the site a good spring clean. There were far too many confusing colours and far too many words. I'm gradually tightening up the wordiness. Much of the redundant stuff stems from a time when the Internet was fairly new to many people and browsers didn't have cursors that turned into pointing fingers. Nowadays, people really don't need to be told that "if you click here you will be taken to a page where you will find...". It's now fairly obvious what buttons are for!

Interesting to see how the language has evolved too since the site went up. The word e-mail with a hyphen is beginning to look very dated so I'm changing these to email. Whether to log in or to log on with a login name or a log-in name is another source of inconsistency. I'm settling for login as a noun or adjective and to log on as a verb.

As for the colour-coded buttons, they seemed a good idea at the time but are now merely irritating and confusing so I've rationalised and simplified them. Traffic-light colours are all very well in food packaging, but here they just looked garish. Anything clickable is now in sky blue (except on the homepage). That way, it's easy to see at a glance what's a link and what's not.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

New Members' Area is Live

The new members' area is now live. It's pretty self-explanatory, but if anyone has any problems they should contact me.

I have imported everyone's existing passwords into the new system. Those who didn't already have a password have been given new passwords that they can ask to have emailed to them. Once logged in, they can change their password by following the instructions.

Login names (formerly Usernames on this site) are now real names where possible — e.g. Ludwig van Beethoven — so are easy to remember. Only alphanumeric characters are allowed, and the names must be unique. So far, however, we haven't had two members with the same name.

A big vote of thanks to the team at Interlogy for making it all possible.

Monday, 17 May 2010


Construction of a new Members' Area on this site is almost complete and is undergoing testing at present. We have also redesigned all the various membership and advertising forms to make them more attractive and easier to use. Some of these are already in place and in use.

The existing database of members' profiles has been imported into the new system. The new database-driven system makes it possible for all members to make their own instantly implementable changes to their profiles as often as they like. They can now change their passwords and retrieve them automatically if they lose them.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Adding Interactivity to the Site

I have long since wanted to make it possible for members to create and update their own profiles on the website and to change their log-ins and passwords for our Members' Area automatically without having to go through me first. Another thing on my wish list is a "lost password" facility that works automatically.

Every six months or so I spend a day or two looking for a solution, but until now all I managed to find were:
  • compromise solutions that are not flexible or customisable enough for our needs and, for this reason, are actually less good than what we already have.
  • cheap solutions that would do the job well but require programming skills that are technically beyond my capabilities.
  • excellent solutions that provide exactly what we need and more, but are far too expensive to even consider. 
However, I think I may now have found something that fits the bill, and I will be testing it over the next week. If it does what I hope it will do, there will be a fair amount of reorganisation of the Members' Area and the members' listings. The messaging part of DepList will not be affected in any way, since that's an entirely separate part of the service.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Minimum rates

For information, the following fees are minimum chorus rates (for the year 2009–2010, as of June 2009) recommended by Equity for classical public concerts. Fees include a three-hour rehearsal on the day of the concert:
  • 37 singers or more:    £108.50 
  • 25–36 singers:    £112.50 
  • 17–24 singers:    £116.00 
  • 11–16 singers:    £124.50 
  • 10 singers or fewer:    £154.00 
  • Overtime – Per 15 minutes or part:    £15.50 
  • Extra rehearsals – Per three-hour session or part:   £60.00 

Friday, 23 April 2010

Reduced service 27 April until 2 May

From 27 April until 2 May I shall be out of the country and away from my desk. Messages to and from the List will operate as normal, but queries, membership applications and other admin matters will be held until 3 May.

Corinne Orde

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Choral Scholar Vacancies at St Martin-in-the-Fields

St Martin-in-the-Fields wish to appoint ten Choral Scholars, to sing midweek services on Wednesday afternoons during term time (October 2010 to June 2011), as well as occasional Sunday evening commitments. Choral Scholars receive an intensive, focused period of training in Church Music. A confident singing voice and good standard of sight singing are essential.

Further information and application form here.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Holy Week 2010

Always a busy time. We wish all our members and advertisers success in this week leading up to Easter. A few stats as of today's date:

Full Members: 233
Associate Members: 13

Of the currently active Full Members, there are 75 sops, 28 mezzos, 17 countertenors, 44 tenors, 52 basses and 22 organists and/or choral directors, some of whom are also down as singers (in case anyone wonders why they total 238 rather than 233). Some members come and go. In my record books there are 255 lapsed full members.

Since we migrated to Google Groups (in March 2007) about 200 job ads from 98 non-member advertisers have passed through DepList.