Little did Malcolm Bertram know five years ago, that his early efforts to establish the CSEG's web presence would come of age. Back then, the New Zealand-born U of C's geophysics technician and computer systems administrator recalls, "It took awhile to get things going because in the early days, people weren't certain what the web was about."
Bertram, self-taught in the ways of the computer, created CSEG's web page, piggybacking on the U of C's geology and geophysics department's web page, "We created the CSEG's web page in the first place because nobody had done one and we needed to publicize the monthly talks. With so many department members active in the CSEG, it seemed the logical to link the department's and CSEG's web sites together."
Before long, the CSEG's web site had a chat page. Webmaster Bertram was assisted by Darren Foltinek who assists graduate students with software development and Henry Bland, a systems administrator for U of C's CREWES project. Then this past July, Bertram's long-standing affair with the CSEG web site ended, as it ventured out into cyberspace under its own domain name, http://www.cseg.org. The transition was essential, concedes Bertram, to permit easier access. And it was a smooth one, as considerable planning occurred beforehand.
Howard Hepburn, who by day is president of Hepburn Exploration Inc., heads up the CSEG website committee which reports to Barbara McClary, an Executive member who works as a northern geophysical supervisor for Ullster Petroleum. "While the CSEG appreciates the help from U of C, we wanted to take more responsibility to keeping information current as a tool for the membership and resources."
Anisotropist and internet communications consultant Rob Vestrum from Front Range Publishing was hired as webmaster this past spring for the new site. Working in conjunction with The Recorder and The Journal publications, along with feedback from CSEG membership surveys, the new website incorporates a multitude of exciting features. "We've made it more easy to navigate and easier to find things at the site. The graphics are better and the site is more interactive," says Vestrum.
The web site provides an up-to-date calendar of events for meetings, conventions and announcements, educational resources which includes a scholarship application, links to related societies, i.e. SEG and the means by which committee members can broadcast via e-mail at a click of the button, urgent information and announcements. With upcoming convention information, users can access technical abstracts and titles so they make plans ahead of time.
Upon request of members, the on-line membership directory will be installed in a secure format, such that there's no downloading and home information is not available. There's also an available geophysics database, where members can key in any topic they want for the search from ocean bottom cable to acquisitions dilemmas.
An offer has been made to the Advertisers in the Recorder that there is free advertising on the CSEG website until Christmas. The first advertiser to sign up is GMA. "We really encourage feedback from CSEG members," says Vestrum. "There is now a change of philosophy amongst web site volunteers. They can focus their energy on the vision for the website and think about what they want to communicate, not how they're going to communicate."
Since the website was launched several years ago, the number of monthly hits has doubled from 2,000 to 4,000 in recent months. Concedes Hepburn, "The internet, like the telephone, is a very powerful communications tool."