Frequently asked questions

What are the origins of the AEJMC Network?

Answer: In an environment where organizational leadership changes regularly, several members of the AEJMC Council of Divisions expressed a desire at the beginning of the twenty-first century to have a permanent home for their Web sites. The AEJMC headquarters agreed to handle bookkeeping arrangements and the AEJMC Network launched with four members who agreed to share the cost of commercial server space. The network rapidly grew to more than a half dozen members, and in the spring of 2006 moved to a new server to accommodate even more and bigger demands. At the beginning of 2010, more than a dozen divisions and interest groups shared space in a “server condo,” and that number has continued to grow.

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Is Web space all that the network provides?

Answer: No. Over the years we have installed content management systems, blogging software, e-mail discussion lists and other utilities for our divisions. Most DIGs now use WordPress, and we do the install. The server also supports server-side scripting and SQL databases. These options, and some others are closely monitored because of security issues. Custom scripting or application administration is charged back to the division at market rates on a case-by-case basis.

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What about Listserv or other mail lists?

Answer: As inexpensive and free alternatives to mailing list software have developed, we have encouraged divisions to avail themselves of such services and to avoid various risks associated with self-managed e-mail distribution lists. Alternatives include such strategies as creating Google Groups, Yahoo! Groups, or using specialty services like Mail Chimp and Constant Contact.  Accordingly, the AEJMC Network no longer establishes these for divisions.

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How is the server space paid for?

Answer: AEJMC headquarters pays the bill annually for the server and for administrative support. The bill is then apportioned equally across all divisions and interest groups who are members of the network. Each group is assessed at the national level. At this writing, it usually works out to something less than $5 per month per group.

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Who maintains our Web site on the Network server?

Answer: You do. Each member organization is provided appropriate access  to their area on the server. Each division or interest group may have one administrative account.

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Is any special software required?

Answer: Yes, and No. You have options ranging from design-it-yourself to content management software. At the self-design end, any web-authoring software will do. This ranges from the free Composer portion of the SeaMonkey Internet application suite to more expensive high-end programs such as Dreamweaver. Many of these programs have built-in “publishing” utilities that move your files from your computer to the server for you.

At the content management system (CMS) end of things, we can set up your space with WordPress, which has won prestigious prizes for both its CMS and blogging features. Since about 2014, nearly all divisions and interest groups have elected this option. Whatever you choose, we have a few rules we expect everyone to follow so we can keep peace in the family and hackers, spammers and hijackers at bay.

In 2005-06, we had some security breaches on the AEJMC main site enabled by the use of Microsoft FrontPage, which is no longer supported by Microsoft.  In 2013, the AEJMC Network (this site) suffered its first hack after more than 10 years of operation. It was especially pernicious and was enabled by one division ignoring network rules and procedures.

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How can we join the network?

Answer: Send e-mail to the AEJMC headquarters stating your wishes.

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Questions not answered here

As more AEJMC divisions and interest groups join the Network, more questions will certainly arise. Once a couple people start asking the same general questions those questions will get added to this list. If you have other questions not answered here, please do not hesitate to ask Gramps. Who knows? Somebody else may be wondering the same thing.