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A Team's Website: how should it be?

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by An end for, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. An end for

    An end for Purple Belt

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    Hello, everyone.

    I've been thinking about setting up a simple website or blog for my team. We used to have a blog, but the guy who set it up has left the team along with his friends, and the website wasn't very organized or anything. I asked my teacher about it, and he said it's an excellent idea, and that I have his blessing to go and do something to show him. He is not picky at all, other than, as long as it's a good site, it's all good.

    So I want to ask everyone here, what do you think that should be in a BJJ school's website? What do you think are "must-haves"? What makes a website (and a team) look like a joke? What information should and shouldn't be shared? If you have any cool tips, interesting ideas, or advice you're willing to share, I'd be grateful. Showing examples of good team/gym/school/dojo websites, or just jiu jitsu related blogs would be very good, too. Any help is welcome.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Cronk

    Cronk White Belt

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    Who is the audience?

    If you're looking to attract new members, you definitely need to include the training schedule, a short bio of the instructors, and the location of the gym. Some pics of the facility are also helpful.

    If you're focused on current students, then I'd make it a blog. Use it to make announcements ("Class is canceled Friday", "Competition on August 21st", etc), ask for input from members ("Would you come to a morning BJJ class?"), and post belt promotions and competition results.
     
  3. HomerPlata

    HomerPlata Purple Belt

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    It depends. Is the team in question wanted for a crime they did not commit?
     
  4. lechien

    lechien Gold Belt

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    a website is a lot of work!

    just do a facebook page for the team.
     
  5. An end for

    An end for Purple Belt

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    Very nice suggestions. The idea is still very fresh, and I'm still thinking of how to set it up. A blog sounds like a better idea, to show the activities, and because it's simple to update. I'm thinking of putting basic information, such as who's the boss, where's the place, how's the training in the site too.

    As for the audience, I got myself thinking about how we need an online presence better than just the teacher's orkut page. When there's a competition, many members of the team want to have a look at the photos, results, videos, but there's currently no centralized online presence for the team, and it would certainly be nice for everyone if there was such a place. Attracting new students would be very good too. I think it would be a bit of both.

    Well... not many people use it around here. People like orkut better, and it isn't as good as facebook to set up a nice presence. We do have a community there, but people hardly post, and orkut communities end up just being like a small forum. A website is a lot of work and that can be tricky, but I'm thinking of doing it as simple as possible, maybe just like a blog.
     
  6. MisterRay

    MisterRay Orange Belt

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    Cronk pretty much nailed everything I look for when looking through school websites. One thing I can't stand is when a site doesn't have an instructor bio, I usually just think it's some mcdojo. One thing I also find nice is a picture section of the students (group pics from seminars and tournaments, etc). It gives off a friendly vibe about the school and shows a strong bond.
     
  7. Joserr

    Joserr White Belt

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  8. MickCollins

    MickCollins O Soto Seanzito

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    Lots of Hannibal and BA, very little of Faceman.
     
  9. An end for

    An end for Purple Belt

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    Thanks for the suggestions, everyone.

    I especially like the idea of giving a welcoming, friendly vibe. I was a bit scared to start jiu jitsu, so it took me longer than I should to actually go there. Group pics certainly would help. So people can realize that if they have a problem, if no one else can help, and if they can find us... :p
     
  10. Steelviper

    Steelviper Green Belt

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    Great post. You can do both though, having a blog (or twitter, or whatever) to do news announcements, then have a feed of the news on the main page.

    Another useful tool can be a calendar, once again potentially putting a feed on it for the next event (or maybe a list of upcoming events if there's always several). At SFC we have a Google calendar for our events, though unfortunately it's not a great example as there aren't any events on the calendar at the moment.

    In our case, we used the look and feel of the affiliate organization (Gracie Barra, thanks again Padlock) but added the wordpress feed for news and the google calendar mentioned above.

    Springfield Fight Club
     
  11. judogido

    judogido Aussie!, Aussie!, Aussie! ...

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    Setting up a website is easy.

    Maintaining it and adding content is hard once the initial enthusiasm wears off.
     
  12. Steelviper

    Steelviper Green Belt

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    Totally. That's why I'd rather hang my hat on more dynamic content like blogs, web albums, twitter, calendars, etc. than trying to keep up with updating html manually.
     
  13. judogido

    judogido Aussie!, Aussie!, Aussie! ...

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    No no - that's not what I meant.

    It's the ACTUAL adding of the content that is hard (or boring).

    Nowadays, setting up an CMS is pretty easy. Wordpress is the easiest one, followed by Joomla and Drupal. I use Drupal (greater flexibility) but it isn't easy.

    Most ISPs have a control panel with 1-click installation scripts - especially for Wordpress. Then you choose a template and modify it a bit and vola - you have your own website which you can set up like a blog but also with fixed pages.

    My advise would be to keep it simple.

    Calendars and such are good - but you have to keep adding the events every week/month etc.

    Fixed info is easier - a few pages about you, a timetable, location with a google map embed and maybe a short spiel on the instructor(s) or top competitor(s) as well as a short description of what training you offfer.

    You can set up the homepage as a blog-style.

    My own (Budokan Judo Club Australia) has a fixed info section, a sidebar for recent news, and a bottom section which aggregates RSS feeds from JudoVision and JudoForum. There are other things I need to still update - there is a calendar but it has no event so it is "collapsed" and so does not show. I have an album which takes pics from Picasa online.

    Our recent news gets automatically posted to our facebook account, as does our events calendar (via ical).

    But it takes a lot of effort to keep it all running and updated - especially if no-one else wants to put up ther hand to help.
     
  14. Knock Out Ned

    Knock Out Ned el mero mero

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    One of my instructors was hurting for students about five months ago. I'm not computer savvy at all, but I made him a simple website: Tozi BJJ Korea
    I made sure to list some of the medals he's won, a video of him receiving his black belt, the gym's training schedule, videos of him competing in Brazil, and contact info. Over the last few months the gym has really grown, and we have had a very large influx of new students who have stayed. Like someone else mentioned, a Facebook page is also a really good idea. We've gotten some new students from individuals seeing us on Facebook. If you're like me, and have never made a website before, you can make one for free at yola.com It's very simple.
     
  15. An end for

    An end for Purple Belt

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    Thanks for all the answers, folks.

    Knock Out Ned: I like the way you set up the info, especially the directions to the gym. It's a very simple website, and more than good enough. I have a little experience with websites, but enough to pull off a simple home for our team.

    judogido: Great points. I'm trying to take that into account, especially because I know I can only keep my obsessions for so long... I especially like the idea of fixed info. It doesn't get old as quickly as rambling about what happened on the weekend, and even if no one updates it and the school moves or something, it's still a good base. Your club's page is very good, and I'll take some notes.

    Steelviper: Loved the site. Maybe using a tool like twitter would be good too, but I never even touched it. Sounds like something I gotta look into...

    And you know what, I gotta check out how creating a page in facebook would be. If I have to write a bunch of stuff, it really can't hurt. Can people outside of facebook see it?
     
  16. Fedorzilla

    Fedorzilla Brown Belt

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    Agreed. Alliance has a good example of a blog
    Alliance BJJ
     
  17. judogido

    judogido Aussie!, Aussie!, Aussie! ...

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    The easiest thing for Facebook is to tap into your website's RSS feed. Whatever you post on your website/blog gets posted on Facebook. Apps like RSSGrafitti help here, although if you set up a Facebook "personal" account rather than a group, it is possible to avoid using an app. (which is free anyway .... )
     

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