Anglicans Online is produced by a small group of dedicated unpaid people
who rarely see one another, but who work together, linked by technology, to bring it to you every week, almost without fail. What
do we do? What does it mean to 'produce' Anglicans Online?
What we use
of us has a good home computer with a good internet connection. We use
the Dreamweaver web editing program to edit the master copy, which is
kept on what is called a 'staging server'. The master copy is a website
just like any other website, but we don't tell people where it is, so
we can edit it during the week and leave spelling errors and missing pictures
overnight while we get some sleep or go to our day jobs.
We depend heavily
on reliable electronic mail to keep in touch with each other, and we have
our own email servers to support that.
How it all works
a week, on Sunday evening US East Coast time, when we agree amongst ourselves
that AO is ready to be published for the week, we launch a software program
that updates the public server so that it is a true copy of the staging
server, and then (depending on what time zone we live in) we go to bed,
or go to work, or go to breakfast or dinner.
The back office
of the work that is put into Anglicans Online is in the 'back room', keeping
our resource directories up to date. Everyone sees the front-page letter
first each week, because we put it on the front page. But the amount of
time that goes into updating, maintaining, culling, and growing our resource
listings is much greater than the amount of time that goes into writing
our more-visible letters. The three writers rotate writing duties, and
also help with the back-room processing.
What do you
need to be
able to contribute to Anglicans Online?
You need to have a computer and
know how to use it comfortably, and have reliable access to a high speed
internet connection. We don't have enough money to buy you a computer
or internet access. Some of us use Macs and some of us use PCs. That doesn't
matter. You need to know how to use Dreamweaver, or at least you need
to be clever enough with computers to learn it quickly. If you don't have
a sufficiently current copy of Dreamweaver, we can buy you one if you're
really going to contribute.
To be able to contribute to Anglicans Online, you must love Anglicanism,
the Book of Common Prayer, and take your faith seriously. You must attend an Anglican church regularly. We couldn't do this if we
weren't part of it, and if we didn't believe. We are not Protestants Online or Interdenominational Online or Churches Online, we
are Anglicans Online.
To be able to contribute to Anglicans Online, you must share our passion
for making and maintaining a resource that is bigger than any of us, and have no need to get much public credit for it. Except for
section editors, whose name is under the banner heading for that section, our names appear only on the Staff page. We work together
because we believe in what we are doing and we believe in the Nicene Creed.
To be able to contribute to Anglicans Online, we need to be able to count
on you. If we've agreed that you are going to take responsibility for some section of Anglicans Online, and for some reason you aren't
able to do it some week, then we need to trust that you will tell us soon enough that we can arrange for somebody else to do it that
week. Our current back-room production staff members spend at least 10 hours a week working on Anglicans Online.
We are really very interested in getting production staff people who do
not live in North America or the UK. Since we have all of these international listings, we know how many Anglicans and Anglican churches
are out there, and we really want more diversity.
You DON'T need
to be a technologist
Although we are heavy users of technology, you don't need to be a technologist
to contribute. You need to be comfortable with technology, utterly unintimidated by it, but you don't need to be an expert. In case
you care, our back-room technology is FreeBSD, ssh, rdist, Apache, PHP, bash, and emacs. If you don't know what a single one of those
things is, please don't worry about it. But if you can't finish the clause 'We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of
God, eternally begotten of _____' then you should very definitely worry. On the other hand, if you can finish it in Latin, or write
a PHP snippet to finish it, you'll get lots of street cred* here on our little street.
What's in it for you?
We can't pay you a penny. We can't buy you flowers
or computers or airplane tickets, or pay your way to conferences. But you can become part of that 'we', and you'll sleep better at
night knowing that you are part of the most widely-read Anglican publication in the world, and that you reliably help make the Anglican
world a better place. Think of it as helping carry the torch. Or the thurible, or something.
us know if you'd like to talk about working with us and can be reliable
about contributing your time. You wouldn't be reading this if you weren't
at least slightly intrigued by the idea, though, would you?
*No, kind and gentle Spelling Checker, we did not mean 'street creed'.