Six years ago a new technology rage began to grow like Jack's magic beans -- the Internet. And it raised a question that almost demanded an immediate answer:
Have we created a monster?
Of course, some -- many? -- would say, "Yes! It's so confusing. It's too much. I can't find ANYTHING!"
In fact, the Internet is a gold mine in resources and communications. With it has come a faster pace in doing business, for many a better way of doing business, and for all it is quickly shrinking our communities -- and our world.
But as this technology grows so does the demand for results. The "I want it now" attitudes have trickled down from management all the way through to the consumer and their children.
Have some new information you need communicated? "Put it on the Web!" is the mantra that haunts all Web site managers.
Fortunately, as the demands have intensified the Internet has evolved. In short, regarding the AAPG Web site, "We've come a long way, baby!"
Initially AAPG only posted information about the organization, listed some activities and started a news group.
Today we have a complex site located on three different machines in three different cities (Tulsa, Houston and Cambridge, Mass., organized by subject into little Web sites within the AAPG primary site.
Still too confusing -- or even intimidating?
That's why we've included a detailed site map (at left).
Even if you're a regular Web site user, our newly improved Web site probably has features and services -- many just recently added -- that will be as new to you as they are helpful.
- Want to join AAPG? Download a form and fax it in.
- Need just a sponsor form? That's available, too.
- Going to a meeting? Which one? The details are on the Web, often with registration forms for downloading. If you want to give a paper at that meeting you can even submit your abstract through your browser.
- Want to know what your Executive Committee or other committees are doing? Their activities are posted to the Internet as provided.
- You can read the House of Delegates newsletter also, and see some of the positions AAPG has taken about government issues.
- Just this year AAPG has made it possible for you to purchase publications produced by AAPG and the Geological Society (of London) through our new e-commerce site.
With e-commerce you can buy a book, arrange for shipment and check your order without ever involving a third party.
- Educational opportunities are always available through AAPG and can be accessed online. The popular calendar format is available on the Web for your convenience, and once you see something you'd like to enroll in the form is there as well.
Many online forms are available to assist the visitor to our site.
- Want to comment on an EXPLORER article you've read online? Just type the message in the box at the end of the article and hit "submit," and it's on its way.
- Member services are improving over time as well. Student Chapters are now able to submit reports and fill out rebate forms for travel or membership electronically.
- Advertising also has been introduced to the site, giving vendors an opportunity to bring the latest in technology and data to the professional public.
- Then there are all the other places you might like to go provided through the Gateways. Here, over the past four years, we've collected locations of government surveys, industry resources other societies related to the petroleum industry, career focused sites, educational sites and even some "cool sites" for kids who would pass our way.
How has this changed the way we do business?
- Committees can hold discussions electronically instead of mail or telephone conferencing. Or you can:
- Buy a book without using a fax or mail order.
- Look up a friend without calling headquarters.
- Research a paper and never leave your house.
- Enjoy AAPG Divisions and Sections via their Web sites, all designed to help communicate with their membership -- and as they expand, so do we.
- Experience and enjoy a virtual field trip -- classroom resources are prolific. Educational experiences are available everywhere.
Still lost? The most valuable tool on our Web site is the Site Search. It's simple. It's fast -- and if it's on our primary Web site it will be found!
(This engine is different from the one used to search BULLETIN articles and publications.)
Still confused? Check out the monthly tips, comments and tricks listed almost each month in the EXPLORER.
So what does the future hold? More stuff. Stuff for you to view and peruse. More forms to help conduct business. More online transactions to make it easier to change an address, pay your dues or just plain get together with your peers.
Check your Web site regularly and often. Updates happen weekly and clicking through the site may lead to the discovery of an untapped resource that may just help you do your job a little bit better.
Go for the gold!