Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Saturday brought the long-awaited and highly anticipated Webmasters Conference at Masonic Hall in New York City. Brothers Ken, Stephen, and Brad provided a great experience where dozens of attendees learned about the practical thinking that goes into the great responsibility of hosting a website for a Masonic lodge, or district of lodges, or other Masonic group. This was a Digital Square Club event.
Diverse matters, varying from how to create a website, to what Grand Lodge expects of those websites operated by its constituent lodges, to cyber-security, with breakout sessions on public relations and social media, were hungrily received by the audience. Grand Lodge VIPs, including the Grand Treasurer, provided insights into GLNY’s specific requirements on sometimes misunderstood aspects of media management, such as photography inside the lodge room. Having a background in media myself, I don’t benefit from the Masonic Public Relations Handbook provided there as much as I do from hearing from Bro. Ed, chairman of the Technology Committee, about the Grand Lodge’s best practices on website maintenance. Some of it is common sense (e.g. no political endorsements), but some of it is not so obvious to those, like me, who are new to New York Masonry. (The Magpie Mason is not an official New York Masonry website. I’m not sure it’s on their radar screen.)
But one particular revelation from the day stands out for me. Two Freemasons have designed an app that puts considerable information power in your pocket. Named Amity, this technology is highly secure, available free of charge, and can provide global connectivity for brethren wherever dispersed over the face of the earth and water.
From communication needs of the lodge secretary to security assistance for the tiler, Amity can add a new dimension to lodge governance while also helping sojourning Masons locate meetings of regular lodges anywhere.
Read all about it here.