In this space in September 1997, I informed our subscribers about the new Apologetics Press site on the World Wide Web. We were, we felt, justifiably proud of both the professional appearance of the site and its information content (which included, among others things, current and selected archived issues of Reason & Revelation, annotated links to other Web sites, etc.). Trevor Major, our Director of Scientific Information, and Charles McCown, our Manager of Information Systems, worked long and hard to make the site a reality. And they have worked long and hard since then to maintain and improve it. For example, in my May 1998 “Note from the Editor” I announced the addition to our site of the new Apologetics Press “Web Store,” which made available for the first time on-line all of our catalog offerings (as well as a secure, encrypted system for ordering via credit card). If comments from those who have visited our Web Site may be taken at face value, it has served its purpose extremely well and has benefited our friends and customers—as it was designed to do.
But “resting on our laurels” never has been something with which we at Apologetics Press felt very comfortable. It therefore gives me a great deal of pleasure to announce the availability of the new edition of “A.P. on the Web.”
Approximately three months ago, I asked my staff to begin in earnest a complete “front-to-back/top-to-bottom” revision of the site. Our goal was simple and straightforward—to make the site as professional in appearance, as rich in information, and as friendly for the user as possible. Attaining that goal, however, was neither simple nor straightforward. Line after line of complicated computer code had to be generated. Unified color schemes had to be devised. Striking (yet eye-pleasing) graphics had to be designed. More pages had to be added to accommodate the growth. In short, everything had to be “new and improved.” And to help keep costs to a minimum—in line with the non-profit nature of our work—it all needed to be accomplished “in house.”
A daunting task, to be sure—but one that went smoothly thanks to the dedication, camaraderie, and talent of people like Trevor and Charles. And the “new kid on the block.”
This past October we hired a likable, hard-working, trustworthy, twenty-year-old by the name of Sam Estabrook to serve as our Operations Manager. Sam does a terrific job of supervising the day-to-day goings-on at A.P. (putting in a lot of overtime, but without the pay to show for it). He also has a vast storehouse of knowledge about the software and hardware issues related to computers. His expertise was invaluable in writing the complex code necessary to make our new Web Site a reality. I no sooner had laid out the task before him than he began working diligently on every aspect of the Web site revision. Few there are outside our own offices (the obvious exception being those who are computer savvy in their own right) who fully can understand and appreciate the time and effort Sam invested in this singularly important project. But many there are who will benefit from his knowledge, profit from his labors, and appreciate his dedication.
The new Web site is a beauty to behold and, I think, one that successfully meets our goal of being professional in appearance, rich in information, and user friendly in operation. But don’t take my word for it. You be the judge.
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