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EskieFriends - News
(New features, changes, and other noteworthy tidbits will be featured on this section.)
Been awhile since our last "news"
page update, but I figured I should add something here!
Not a whole lot has changed dramatically
since we went to the automated bidding, but
there have been continual, gradual changes
to various pages/operations. Much of this
is behind the scenes stuff, but it all helps
make the fundraisers easier to "use"
and also somewhat to produce. But, here are
a few things that are worth mentioning at
4th anniversary and 4th RescuER Auction: Yes, EskieFriends is now 4 years old as of July 2003. Pat ran the first auction in July 1999, and I have been with since the 2nd auction in August of that year. Jill joined board later that fall, and many, many folks have been with us since day one as well. Others have helped along the way, and we are also constantly seeing new faces. Whether an old friend or a new friend, ALL of you are a part of what makes EskieFriends, well, EskieFriends! :) You can read more on EFs history in the About Us page linked on every page. We are also running the 4th RescuER Auction since we started as well. The first two were run in winter, and the past two(including this one) have been summer fundraisers. Whether we are helping eskies directly or helping those who help the eskies, we have been committed to giving 100% of the funds raised to those in need. Gosh, it's hard to believe it was 4 years ago we were just pups at all this. A VERY big thank you to ALL who have helped out over the past 4 years. Many, many eskies are alive and/or healthier and in loving homes due to your generosity and help!
DogBowl Fundraisers: We started out mainly doing "specific" fundraisers....for an individual dog or two. Thus, all of our earliest fundraisers had a "face". As we've grown and evolved, we've had many more "requests" for help from our DogBowl funds(any extras that weren't used by specific cases), not to mention sometimes cases are needed NOW, and throwing a fundraiser together for every individual gets to be a programmatic issue. Thus, we've run a number of "DogBowl" fundraisers in the past months, and will likely continue to do so. The end result isn't a lot different, as needy eskies(and sometimes friends) get helped via our DogBowl funds. So, rest assured.....there are still many "faces" we help out regularly.
DogBowl Payouts: With the above migration to more and more "DogBowl" fundraisers, we've also seen more "DogBowl Payouts".....being the needy eskies(and sometimes friends) who utilize the EF DogBowl funds. These are posted as they occur, and are on the front page for sometime as our normal fundraisers are. Thus, you can read the stories of ALL the eskies we've helped out..whether it was a direct fundraiser for them, or via a Payout!
Clock Revision: In setting the "clock" row near the top of fundraiser pages apart from other areas, I chose a "white" background for this. For many of the past months(probably a year or so really), I'd been using graphics to display this in a "capped" or smoothed form. This was nice in many ways, but I know it could be problematic on a monitor that displayed things rather differently than the setup I design for. Thus, I reverted "back" to a plain white background for the "clock" starting in July 2003. Unless there is demand for any changes in that, it will likely be left just plain white(actually slightly off-white technically). But, in case you notice a difference from old fundraisers, it was chosen for simplicity and universal purposes.
Treasury Report: Jill has been keeping the T-Report updated for a long, long time now. I forget how long, really. But, for the past many months, she is "completely" managing it. Not only keeping it updated, but uploading the updates as they occur. This saves me time, but also allows for immediate updates to the T-report on the DogBowl pages! Many, many thanks to Jill for all her work for EFs! I know both Pat and I greatly appreciate it, and I wanted everyone else to know they can send her thanks for her part of the work here if you like! (Thanks Jill!)
Well....until the next newsworthy update, guess I'll leave it at that for now!
A couple of notable changes we've been working on are now in place....here are more details:
ALL NEW bidding procedure: Yes, we have finally gone to a more or less "automated" bidding process, but we "built it in" rather than make things too different. This WILL mean a few things are different though. Please make note of these.
- Bids are now to be sent from a "form"(and not direct emails). These are on EACH individual item's page. It is a 2 step process. You enter the amount first(on the form on the bottom of the item page), hit "enter bid" and it will take you to a 2nd form screen. This is a "verification" screen telling you what you are bidding and you will enter your name and email address here. Once you hit "bid" on that page, it gets processed. If you're the new high bidder, you are sent an email confirmation, and the bid is updated. YES, bids are now updated as they are made! Pat no longer has to do this manually! :) So, this is now more or less "live"! :) If you are outbid on an item, you are sent an outbid notice(if you outbid yourself, well, yes, you'll receive both right now! :). A confirmation email is sent to the auction address as well, for our tracking. Thus, we will keep all bids logged as well, so we can follow any questions/problems, etc. Please DO NOT enter a "$" sign or any other things on the bid amount form. WHOLE number only, or you might get goofy results! If you return to an item's page after you've bid, you may need to "refresh" or "reload" to see the updated bid amount. Names and Email addresses are NOT posted during the auction. If you prefer to have a bid "Anonymous" write to Pat and tell her which one, etc. We'll work that out. If there are ANY problems bidding, let us know as well. Thus, to sum it up, the bidding process goes: ITEM PAGE ==>PREBID PAGE==>BID PAGE. The "prebid" page is the verification page, and the "bid" page is the confirmation page. You can return to any part of the auction from there!
ALL NEW Page processing: With the automated bidding, we are also doing the pages differently. Almost everything is being done via a database now, and that includes "most" of the page processing too. The humungo large "description" page is gone.....leaving just the Listing and Individual pages for items. You can still see the overview on the Listing page, and the individual items on their own pages. You can still navigate between the individual items with the previous/next links on each item's page. As before, the Listing page includes the item, thumbnail image, and links to the individual item too. Only now, ALL items will show the CURRENT bid....as it's read from the database. No more waiting for "nightly updates"....it's all live!
New Old Things: The "clock" continues and will work as before...showing completion at the end of the auction! Bids will only be allowed until then. ANY bids sent AFTER the close of the auction are not counted(all bids are time-stamped for reference!). Most of these new things revolve around new programming for the site. As we've tried to do all along, we continue to improve as we can and seek to make the best work here. This was custom work for every aspect of the process, and we hope it was well worth the time! Please let us know what you think or if you have any suggestions, ideas!
The Rest: is pretty much similar. Listing Page shows ALL items, Info page is for "who" the fundraiser is held, and the Front page is the front door/basic info page! ALL main areas of this auction are accessible from the "auction bar"(that little grey bar at the top of the pages...is now ALSO at the bottom of most pages!).
Not a ton of changes during 2001, but a few things taking shape by late in the year. Here are few of the highlights:
Clock/Countdown: Near the top of many of the pages now is a clock/countdown cell. Located just below the "grey bar" at the top navigation section! The clock will show time and countown as of the time the page is loaded! Hit "refresh" or "reload" to check the time or get the updated time!
PHP pages: with the clock and some other things, we are starting to add some new stuff to the site! There will be more things to come in the near future. A different bidding format and page production may change so that the assembly of any fundraiser on the site goes a lot better! Up-to-date bidding is being worked on too. Thus, when you are a new high bidder, you'll be able to see the "new" high bid immediately, rather than waiting a day until the next update! So far, almost all the programming is being done in PHP, so you'll see extensions of ".php" on many of the pages now....rather than the old ".htm" formats! Just wanted to mention some of this in case anyone wondered! :)
NEW SITE! Beginning with the RescuER auction in mid-February, our fundraisers have moved to the EskieFriends.com domain. Yep...we now have our "own" site and everything that goes with that. This means many things, but mostly it's now an easy to remember URL to get to us(see our links page for a button to put on your own pages if you want to link to us!).
With the new domain, our site has gotten a makeover. Though many things remain familiar(background, etc.), there are many new features and changes as well. Please note that some of these are described in more detail on the "guide" page....so if you have questions about navigating the site, see the "guide" section! The "sidebar" is gone! Top corner logo has disappeared as well(sorry, Fang.....we loved you being the model for so long now, but now that we're not just for "auctions" anymore, the new name and look had to see changes....you're welcome to pose for new designs, though, if you like!). The new logo is across the "top" of every page.....encompassing a patriotic(fitting for American Eskimo, afterall!) blend of colors and even cute little paw prints, the new logo is more a "banner", and is linked to take you to the FRONT of the site from any other page you might be on! Underneath the banner logo is our theme: "Giving Life a Second Chance". To each SIDE of the banner/logo, you will have links to the "main" sections of the site. Underlining these areas is a "grey bar"....looking pretty tame, the bar actually has a lot of purpose! On the front page, it will serve as a quickie bar for current/past/upcoming fundraisers and/or whatever seems appropriate in the future. On individual fundraisers, this "bar" will serve as a navigation among THAT particular fundraiser. This "grey bar" will take the place of the "auction" and "raffle" bars used in the past fundraisers.
Combined, this "top section" will appear on every page(grey bar links varying depending on fundraiser), and the main page information then will be below that. From anywhere on the site you can use this navigation section to scurry about the site like a little bunny rabbit! :) It also means that pages should load faster and use less bandwidth in loading! Due to "text" links versus the older "image" links, this will decrease page size and should also improve any loading time for pages to some degree. In addition....with the absense of the "sidebar", with all navigation information being in the top band(as well as duplicated at the bottom of each page in text links), it leaves the full width of the pages for the real "meat" of the information! As Pat noted in previewing some pages....they are "less busy" without all the sidebar stuff! It also means less maintenance for images for Michael....not that he doesn't mind designing stuff. The aim was to "streamline" the site as much as possible. We hope this does well in this respect. If you have any comments/suggestions on the site at all, feel free to write to Michael and let him know.
With the move to the new site, we are more formally adopting the name "EskieFriends" and leaving the past "Auctions for the Eskies" behind. That name was fine when we were first starting out, but things have grown immensely and we've branched out so much that we needed to encompass more and have a more fitting name. We've been migrating toward this name for awhile now, including the "EskieFriends" mailing list that we added a few months ago, so the new name/domain is where we've been heading! Now it will be easier(short name) to access the site and who knows....can't you just see T-shirts with a bunch of cute eskie faces we've helped out and the EskieFriends name on it??? We've discussed possible "merchandise" ideas and though we haven't settled on anything....this makes the idea a lot more possible! Any merchandise would, of course, mean more funds raised to help Eskies and their friends out! :)
Some things have moved here to the new site, while some have remained on the old site. For now, the current and future fundraisers and main sections are moved here. ALL future efforts will be as well. Past efforts will remain on the old site until they are moved here. To be frank....this may take awhile. There are literally many HUNDREDS of pages and images for the old fundraisers on the old Eskie Central section, so it will be a LOT of work migrating all that over. NOTHING will be removed though......the old pages will be left there for reference(and linked from this site) so that anyone can access the old fundraisers. When they are moved, links will be changed to reflect that. Either way, to access "past" fundraisers(including ones left on Eskie Central for now), use the Past Fundraisers link on any page...this will take you to the main "Past Index" and you can get to the old fundraisers from there!
We know that many of you have links to the "Auctions for the Eskies" on your sites. The old "front" page there will merely house a "we have moved" with link to this site page. So, your links won't be bad! We would like to see anyone with a link to us update their pages to reflect that in the near future(mostly for YOUR visitors). We have a section on linking to us, and you can grab a button for your page if you like from there as well...see the "links page" for details!
We want to keep striving to bring you the BEST fundraisers we can, and so your input is always welcome on any and all points!
Previous "news" from our old site(that which is still pertinent) is included below:
December 2000 News:
Over $22,000 raised in our first year and
a half! Since July 1999, our totals have
reached over $22k! Mega-thanks to everyone
who's helped out. After out little "break"
in December/January, we'll be back with more.......
September 2000 News:
NEW MAILING LIST ADDED: We have added a new feature for our fundraisers with a new mailing list. Pat had been manually adding/removing individuals from the daily auction updates and raffle announcements. Her list had gotten HUGE! We decided to look into some possible solutions and came up with this list idea! We are utilizing a Smartgroups mailing list, and anyone can add/remove themselves from the "EskieFriends" list as they like(just follow the directions noted on the mailing list page!). Our new list is "announcement only"...it is NOT a discussion list...it is ONLY for distribution of auction news/updates/etc. This should make it a little less work on Pat's behalf to keep everyone informed! We have done a little bit of testing of the list, but it's still new, so if you have ANY problems joining, etc., please let Michael know....he's the one setting the list up, and will do his best to help you if you let him know! We will continue to post to individuals and the Eskie_Owners(EskieHugs) mailing list for the time being, but if you'd like to be on our "formal" list, please see the Mailing List page for further details!
August 2000 News:
"DONATORS" NAMES ADDED to front listing page: We have added donator's names to the listing page. Various reasons, but mostly for appreciation to those who help with donating items, and more ease in finding particular donations for everyone! We hope our format for adding this info is helpful to everyone....we could have added this in various ways, but doing a "sub-note" under the Item Name seemed to work best!
GENERAL INFO UPDATE: As you can see by the listings below, we haven't updated much to the news section for months. For the most part, the auctions haven't changed a whole lot in that timeframe. And, also for the most part, it's probably because things have been happening pretty smoothly with the auctions. We do have some ideas and possible changes up our sleeves yet to come in the near future, but we'll take each step as it comes. We are constantly trying to maintain the good of what we have accomplished(and $18k in just over a year is a lot to hoot about!), but also seeking to improve in minor ways along the way. We'll continue to do so, and if anyone has any thoughts or ideas for the auctions or site format, please feel free to let us know. Pat's and my emails are at the bottom of this page....for those very purposes....please contact us if you have any "auction thoughts". All in all, our "first year" has developed very well....if you've had ANYTHING to do with any of the auctions(donation/bid/raffle tickets/etc.), you deserve a big THANK YOU...and don't forget it.....it's only by coming together as we have that we can make such a difference!
We want to keep striving to bring you the BEST fundraisers we can, and so your input is always welcome on any and all points!
Below are merely the email contacts for Pat and Michael....contact Pat on general or case issues regarding the fundraisers. Contact Michael for any site/domain related issues....comments/questions, whatever....feel free to drop us a line!.
Pat: firstname.lastname@example.org |
Michael: email@example.com |
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