Area 78

Alberta / Northwest Territories

E Services

The Mission of the E Services Committee is to employ technology to:

  • Carry the message of Alcoholics Anonymous to the still suffering alcoholic;
  • Increase overall awareness of the AA membership relative to the purpose, objectives and happenings of Area 78;
  • Encourage unity and service within the Area 78 boundaries by having members informed of issues and ideas in a timely fashion;
  • Coordinate and support the activities of present and future groups within Area 78;
  • Better inform the area membership of upcoming events and to invite and encourage participation in said events; and
  • Ensure that the guidelines of the Committee are developed within the framework of the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous and its spirit of anonymity.

Overview

The E-Services Committee looks after and manages all aspects of the Area 78 website and the email system used for communication purposes. The committee oversees conformity with the website guidelines and updates them when required.

It is intended that in Area 78 this committee will handle anything related to computing technology such as networking, hardware, software, the Internet, or the people that work with these technologies. This is a full standing committee, reporting to the Area 78 Assembly.

Tasks

The E Services Committee is responsible for the following:

  1. creation and management of a website for Area 78;
  2. the management of the Area 78 e-mail system;
  3. the creation and management of any electronic newsletters produced for Area 78;
  4. updating guidelines of the E Services Committee and the Area 78 Website as needed; and
  5. managing the inventory of all computer and electronic assets of Area78.

E Services Committee

Oversees the Area 78 website and email system, ensuring conformity to website guidelines.

Promotes awareness and utilization of the website in carrying the AA message. This is done through presentations and sharing at area events, and by keeping the membership informed of the content and value of the website via the E Services Report presented by the chair at assemblies and included in the Assembly minutes.

An E-Services Website subcommittee is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the website, thus ensuring more than one individual is involved in website decision making.

Committee Composition

The E-Services Committee consists of the E Services Chair, two Web Administrators, an Email Administrator, and current DCMs and GSRs assigned to the committee by the Registrar for their two year term of service. Others selected for the committee may include past Area officers or long-time members recommended for their knowledge in an Information Technology or related discipline, and affirmed through the Area 78 Committee. Area 78 visitors may participate on this committee. They may not vote.

The E-Services Website Subcommittee (known as the Web Team) consists of the E Services Chair, the two Web Administrators, and others selected from the E-Services committee as needed by the committee chair.

Background

The E Services Committee Chair is charged with overseeing and managing all aspects of the Area 78 website, the Area 78 email system, and other tasks assigned to the E Services Committee. The Chair of this committee ensures conformity to website guidelines is followed and that required licenses and certificates are renewed on time.

The chair coordinates the Web Administrators, Email Administrator, and outside help activities. In this regard, he/she corresponds with Area 78 Committee Chairs and Table Officers regarding technical issues, making recommendations regarding needed upgrades as necessary. The chair also acts as the technical contact for the area in matters affecting the Area 78 website or email system.

A highly detailed and confidential administrative document (Area78WebsiteMaintenance.docx) is available to guide the E-Services chair through most tasks they would be asked to perform.

Duties

  • Ensure that the Committee functions properly.
  • Facilitate full participation during meetings.
  • Make certain that all relevant matters are discussed.
  • Insure that all committee decisions are recorded in the Area Minutes.
  • Report directly to the Area Assembly on pertinent committee decisions.
  • Travel to and present at E-Services workshops in the Area, upon request.
  • Transport and set up of projector / screen / computer equipment at Area 78 Committee Meetings.
  • Maintain inventory list of all Area 78 digital / electronic equipment and track all items.
  • Produce a synopsis of the background information on the Conference Agenda Items assigned by the Delegate for the Pre-Conference Assemblies.

Send an email to the E-Services Chair by using the form on the Contact Us page.

Web Administrators

Background and Duties

Area 78 makes use of two Web Administrators to approve and post all Area events and meeting changes submitted via the website online forms. They maintain the Public and Private download section of the website, and make website content changes as directed by the committee chair.

Web administration positions are assigned for a two-year term. They alternate responsibility for the administrative work on a bi-monthly rotating coverage schedule, responding to email requests as quickly as possible. They strive to react to and post most requests within a day, two at most.

New web admins are given time to familiarize themselves with the Area 78 website, and training is provided on how to perform the required administrative tasks (like how to validate and apply the meeting and/or event request updates). A step-by-step tutorial document (Area78WebAdminManual.pdf) is available to guide the administrators through most tasks they would be asked to perform.

Position Requirements:

  • It is suggested they have at least one year of sobriety.
  • A basic knowledge of website navigation.
  • Possess good organizational and communication skills .
  • Comfortable using a text editor (like Microsoft Word).
  • Ability to learn new things.

As with most trusted servant positions in Area 78, mentoring is available as required to new administrators.

Apply to the E-Services Chair by using the form on the website Contact Us page.

Webmaster

Background

Generally, the Webmaster title may refer to a web architect, a web developer, a site author, a website administrator, a website coordinator, or a website publisher. The duties of a webmaster may include: ensuring that the web servers, hardware and software are operating correctly, designing the website, generating and revising web pages, quality assurance testing, replying to user comments, and examining traffic through the site.

The Area 78 Webmaster title here may refer to the website author who extended a Content Management System (CMS), creating the AA Template programs. This software provides website authoring, collaboration, and administration tools designed to allow users, with little knowledge of web programming languages or markup languages, the ability to create and manage the website content with relative ease. Thus, most of the day to day maintenance of the website can be handled by the Area 78 Web Administrators and having a Webmaster available to do the work is not necessary.

Duties

The realm of a webmaster's work for Area 78 includes the regulation and management of access rights of different users of the website, the appearance and setting up of website navigation, and the applying and setup of core CMS updates to the AA Template software as they become available. Content placement can be done by a webmaster, though content creation is usually left to the Web Administrators.

Experience with the Area 78 website and the related Area 91 and Edmonton sister sites has demonstrated that a full time webmaster is not needed. When necessary, the Area 78 Webmaster or a Microsoft .NET web developer can be brought in to handle emergency situations which may require a higher level of skill than what is available to the E Services committee. This would also be the case if a new feature is desired which is not part of the current content management system.

Position Requirements:

A .NET developer will need these skills to work in the AA Template code base:

  • Proficiency with C# (read C Sharp) is a must, with a familiarity of its coding environment (Microsoft’s Visual Studio) and some ASP.NET development experience.
  • Knowledge of the .NET framework and its features.
  • Familiarity with website development and coding with JavaScript and HTML.
  • Strong understanding of the structure and logic of Object-Oriented programming.
  • The ability to write clean and readable code in C#.
  • Development experience using Structured Query Language and the SQL Server database.

Email Administrator

Background

In computers and technology, postmaster is a term used to identify the administrator of a mail server. Area 78 complies with RFC 5321 and maintains the email address postmaster@area78.org where errors in email processing are directed. Error emails automatically generated by mail servers are sent to this postmaster address which is monitored by our Email Administrator.

Duties

The main responsibility of the Email Administrator is to develop and maintain procedures for Area 78’s electronic mail network and associated systems. Currently we use the SmarterMail system supplied by our website host to manage the email accounts created for the area78.org  domain. In addition, Area 78 employs the Spam Experts security solution to help filter incoming SPAM and viruses, as well as managing outgoing emails. An email administrator must identify problems with the mail network and the associated security system, initiating solutions to make working practices more efficient.

The Email Administrator monitors and may make continuous adjustments to these solutions, sometimes on almost a daily basis. They need to prioritize key tasks and communicate with various levels within the AA community in Area 78. Familiarity with the SmarterMail mail server package would be an asset but is not a requirement, as would previous use and administration of any other email server package.

Position Requirements:

  • It is suggested they have at least one year of sobriety.
  • Possess excellent organizational and communication skills .
  • Experience researching issues (i.e. Google) and using Help files to find a solution.
  • Ability to learn new things.

Mentoring (from a past administrator) is usually available to assist a new administrator, and there is a step-by-step tutorial document (Area78EmailAdministratorGuide.pdf) to guide the administrators through most tasks they would be asked to perform.

Apply to the E-Services Chair by using the form on the website Contact Us page.