Archive for the ‘website’ Category

USPA Nationals Website Explained

September 13, 2010

We’ve been asked to explain the disappearance of a website that intended to cover the USPA Nationals. Here goes. One of the main reasons a DZ bids to host the USPA Nationals is for the resulting exposure to skydivers as well as the general public. A Nationals host DZ is anxious to have its website host reporting of the event, to drive up web traffic and increase its search engine ranking. This was the case this year as well, with Skydive Chicago making plans early to host Nationals team photos, standings, scores, official updates and informal blogging on its DZ’s website here.
Two days before the 2010 Nationals started, USPA was contacted by a third-party that had activated a website using USPA’s name in the url and USPA’s name and trademark on the homepage. The website claimed that it would feature team photos, standings, scores, reports, etc., all without requesting or receiving permission from either USPA or Skydive Chicago. USPA had no control over the site, and there was incorrect and misleading information on it. With plans already firmly in place for web coverage, USPA had no choice but to request that the third-party site come down.

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Let’s Do a Dive for Shifty—and his Brothers

July 22, 2009

You may have recently seen a sentimental email about the June 17 passing of Darrell “Shifty” Powers at age 86.  If not, read about it here on Snopes:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/shiftypowers.asp

While Snopes can’t verify the source of the reported encounter, “Shifty,” as he was known, was real, and so was his bravery as he served with Easy Company of the 101st Airborne in the dangerous days and months following his drop on D-Day.

It turns out that skydivers have a perfect opportunity to honor Shifty and his band of brothers. Sunday, August 16, is National Airborne Day, a day annually commemorated by Congress to remember and honor those servicemen who volunteered to earn their jump wings and serve our country as an airborne soldier. (Read my blog about last year’s National Airborne Day here: https://skydiveuspa.wordpress.com/2008/08/13/national-airborne-day/)

So here’s the thought: Let’s honor Shifty—and his band of brothers—with a memorial skydive. Actually with lots of memorial skydives. Why not organize a memorial dive at your DZ that day? You could form an “A” for Airborne, an “E” for Easy Company, or a “101” for the 101st. Or form a star (if large enough, let a veteran fly in the center), and facing each other with joined grips, give thanks to Shifty and all those who set aside their lives, answered their country’s call, and literally saved the world.

So do a dive for Shifty and his band of brothers and let us know how it went. Send your description of the jump and any photos or links to videos to communications@uspa.org. You don’t have to stop there. Nearly every assisted living facility has WW II veterans who would thoroughly enjoy a visit by a bunch of skydivers expressing appreciation for their service. After all, we not only owe them for their service; we also owe them for sowing the seeds for our sport. It was post-war veterans that wanted to continue jumping out of airplanes who began what became the sport of skydiving.

Parachutist’s 600th

July 16, 2009

As you may have read in July’s Five-Minute Call, in October, Parachutist will print its 600th issue. We are working on a pictorial and looking for crazy, skydiving-related things involving the number 600. Send us a picture with the most amusing ideas you can come up with to communications@uspa.org or Submit a Photo.

Best picture wins a cookie! – Well, no, not really, but you do get compensation for print use.

Oh, yeah! Remember! High-res pictures only.

Slack USPA bloggers?

April 23, 2009

Loyal USPA blog readers may have noticed the lack of recent posts lately. We’re not abandoning the blog, and we certainly have no lack of news! We have recently spread our online wings to include Twitter and Facebook, and are still on MySpace and LinkedIn. Those sites, especially Twitter and Facebook, have been more conducive to the kinds of news we’ve had lately – short, quick updates not really worthy of too many words–140 or less, in fact (that’s the maximum number of characters a Twitter update, or “tweet” can be).

It has been great for things like letting people know the SIM pdf is now updated with bookmarks (www.uspa.org/Portals/0/Downloads/Man_SIM_2009-2010.pdf), that there is a new job opening at USPA (www.uspa.org/aboutuspa/employment.aspx) or that Safety Day reports are online (www.uspa.org/USPAMembers/Safety/SafetyDay/2009Reports.aspx).

Those sites also get more activity and response than the blog has, so we’ll spend a little more time there. We will still be blogging when there is a major story that requires a little more behind-the-scenes, personal explanation, or if inspiration strikes! Let us know if you want to read about anything in particular, too – either comment here, or use the “Why” post (skydiveuspa.wordpress.com/2008/09/04/why/) as a forum to ask your questions about why USPA does some of the things it does.

Here are all the places you can now find USPA online:

Twitter: http://twitter.com/skydiveUSPA
Facebook: http://www.new.facebook.com/pages/US-Parachute-Association/55722708148
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/_USPA
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=41846
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/SkydiveUSPA

Nationals Champions

December 4, 2008

The 2008 Nationals results are up (finally!). Sorry for the delay, but we wanted to take full advantage of the new website to make it a bit more useful than just a static list. I think what we came up with is a nice balance of a quick loadtime and coolness. What’s really interesting is that you can click on any hyperlinked team or name and get the team members, plus any past Nationals medals they’ve won.

For example, clicking on “Airspeed” will give you a history of results for every incarnation of the infamous Arizona Airspeed FS team. Impressive, no?

So far, we only have results back through 2005 in that query system, but the goal is to get them all at least through 2002, when we first started publishing Nationals winners on our website. And, we’ll get all past results over to that cool new query system so you can start clicking away on 2005 and older results soon.

We’d love to know what you think, and what you use that page for. If there’s something you really wish you could do – on any page, not just this one – post a comment on the blog or e-mail us at webmaster@uspa.org.

Shop drama over . . . (?)

August 5, 2008

Never say never, but we think we’ve got the shop troubles figured out. And, there is a nice little discussion going on over at dropzone.com about the site – LINK. Feel free to add comments here, or join in over there.

Maybe someday we’ll be blogging about things that have nothing to do with the website! In anticipation of those glorious days to come, you should subscribe to the RSS feed USPA Blog rss feed of this blog. If you’re not sure what RSS is, check out this video for a good explanation:

Shop update

August 4, 2008

We’re still working on the shop, so thanks everyone (especially USPA’s Membership Services department!) for being so patient. In the meantime, we’re setting set up our old shop on the new site, so you will soon be able to order everything just like before. This isn’t a permanent fix, and hopefully very soon you’ll see a cool new USPA shop!

First big oops of the new site – Shop!

August 1, 2008

Is that beer? In any case, we had our first major snafu on the new USPA website – the store’s shopping cart was storing information from the previous customer. Name, mailing address and phone number – but no credit card or e-mail information. Several of our beta testers pointed this out during testing, but I thought we had the problem squared away. I was wrong! I just wish I wasn’t wrong at 4am, ouch.

We had included the membership application/renewal as a shop item, hoping that would make it easier for people who also wanted to buy a SIM, or t-shirt, etc. at the same time as they were renewing. So, what now? Well, as soon as I finish typing this up, it’s back to working on a new online membership application, then on to fixing the shop for good. Until then, you can always do the old fashioned thing and fill in a membership application. You can also view all the items in the shop, you just can’t buy them online. If you see something you want, shoot an e-mail to the store (store@uspa.org) with the items you want and we’ll get them for you.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and thanks for your patience!

New blog, new site, new ulcers

July 31, 2008

Just kidding about the ulcers part. Well, maybe. Unless you’re even more observationally-challenged than I am (Lambert can attest to my ignorance of his many haircuts), you have noticed the new look and feel of the USPA website! Yes, we’ve re-designed. Change can be a bit stressful, so we hope this isn’t too much of a shock for you. Actually, we’re hoping you can find things easier here on the new site than you could have ever dreamed on the old one.

It doesn’t stop here, though – this new site was designed to be super easy to add new features, so don’t think we’ll wipe our hands and be done with it just yet! For now, we’d like to know your feedback – have we missed anything you especially liked about the old site? Is there something you’ve always wished you could do on the USPA website, but haven’t been able to? How do you feel about the color blue?